Weird and Wonderful New Non-Fiction

Unusual Creatures: a mostly accurate account of some of the world’s strangest animals

Amateur biologists, this one’s for you! While some of the ‘facts’ are rather tongue in cheek (I’m sure we’re all aware that P Diddy is not an expert on puffer fish) the majority of the information in this book is really interesting. For starters, it explains Biological Classification, which is a way of organising different types of animals. It then shows how each animal is classified under this system.  But the main attraction is the weird and wonderful creatures contained within. From the Flying Snake to the Jesus Christ Lizard (so called because it can walk on water) this book will tell you all about Mother Nature’s more odd creations.




The Magic School Bus inside the Earth

This one’s a classic…I remember the Magic School Bus books from when I was a kid! But the information’s as fresh and as useful as ever. It’s  a cross between a picture book and a science book, so it’s  good for younger readers.  What’s really handy is the pronunciation guide at the back!




 The Alien Hunter’s Handbook

This may seem a little bit “out there” but this book is extremely useful! The beginning of the book defines exactly what constitutes “life” is, talks about what the stars are made of, and how life on earth is supported by water, the sun, and the intricate web of plants and animals that feed off each other to survive.  It’s a book that’s more about the hard science behind what life on other planets might look like, rather than your average book about alien abductions, little grey men and flying saucers.





Drawing the villains in your graphic novel 

To write a proper story you need conflict; and if you’re writing a superhero story then you need a proper villain. This book will show how to draw many different types of villains, from the Wicked Warlord to the Mad Scientist to the Evil Queen. This isn’t a book for those who’ve just started out drawing their own comics, but if you’ve got a bit more experience then this should be a handy source of inspiration.




The Soul Bird

“Inside the soul, right in the very middle of it, there’s a bird standing on one foot. This is the soul bird…” This is an excellent book for understanding what is means to have a soul, using simple language and pictures to discuss very complex ideas.






Universe: journey into deep space

Another great book for the astronomers among you. This beautiful book will explain the wide universe beyond our tiny solar system. It talks about what different types of planet there are, and what you might find on them, depending on their proximity to the nearest star. It also looks at what happens to stars when they burn out. The reference section at the back is also very good. The illustrations are beautiful and it manages to convey just how big the universe really is and how we know so little about what lies beyond our (tiny) galaxy.


World of discovery: new non-fiction

New non-fiction that reaches from the sky to the deepest depths.


Rocks and Minerals

Whether they are igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic, this little book is crammed full of facts about different types of rocks and minerals. Do you want to know the difference between the types of rock? Read this book to find out.







Night Sky

Have you ever looked into the night sky and wondered what exactly you were seeing? This book will explain everything you need to know about watching the stars. It’s got some amazing pictures of deep space; the picture of the butterfly nebula is particularly beautiful.  There are star maps for both hemispheres, so wherever you are, you can look up and map the constellations. There’s plenty of information on the constellations, too; where they are, when you can see them and how they got their names.  If you have an interest in astronomy or just want to know more about the stars, then this is definitely the book for you.



Get the scoop on animal poop! : from lions to tapeworms, 251 cool facts about scat, frass, dung & more! 

If you’re easily grossed out, you’d better avoid this book! If you’ve got a strong stomach, then this book has got some surprisingly interesting facts about what comes out of the wrong end of our feathered, furry and scaly friends. For example, did you know that the waste material of insects is called frass? Grasshoppers and other insects have complete digestive systems, just like humans, which means they have to get rid of waste the same way.




53 ½  things that changed the world and some that didn’t

This is a hilarious book that talks about the great inventions of human history…and those that weren’t so great. It goes through the history of each ‘thing’…I like the pages on the development of the toilet. As well as talking about the printing press, telephones, guns and antibiotics, this has some really funny information about chewing gum, the miniskirt and the sandwich. But really, what would a school lunch be without a sandwich?





Darkest Depths and other Underground Megastructures

Find out about everything that happens underground in mines and tunnels. This interesting books will let you know all about the biggest underground projects and what it’s like working underground. Explore the dangers and find out what’s going to happen in the future.








A little book of slime

This is another book you might want to avoid if you’re easily grossed out! From jellyfish to the Banana slug, this book has information on all sorts of slimy creatures and plants, whether on land or in the water.





When dinos dawned, mammals got munched, and Pterosaurs took flight : a cartoon pre-history of life in the Triassic 

That’s the coolest (and the longest) book title I’ve seen in a while. But never mind that; this book will tell you all about what life was like before the dinosaurs ruled the earth.  After erupting volcanoes  caused mass extinctions, dinosaurs were just one of the many forms of life that got started in the Triassic period. With its great illustrations and amazing facts, this is a great book about a period of time that isn’t often discussed.

In September 2010, the San Jose copper mines in Chile sustained a serious but not unpredicted cave-in that trapped 33 miners 700m below the earth’s surface. This book is an amazing and exciting account about how the men survived underground for 69 days and how they were rescued.