The Federation of Children’s Book Groups promotes National Non-Fiction November, starting on the first Thursday of November. It is a great initiative to reflect or introduce all to the power of non-fiction, to inspire children to gain information, and to celebrate readers who have a passion for information and facts. Reading non-fiction together, be it about nature, history, science, or biography and discovery, is a great way to stimulate discussion and debate. Each year the FCBG selects a theme for National Non-Fiction November. 

The theme for 2022 is Communication. ‘Humans have the unique ability to communicate through spoken and written language. Our amazing ingenuity and creativity have also resulted in the development of a wide range of other ways to communicate, from hieroglyphics and emojis to sign language and secret codes. Below are 10 books that demonstrate the diversity of the list across subject areas and genres.

Early communication: With vibrant and welcoming illustrations Sophie Beer gently introduces the topic of communication in a positive and enjoyable way for preschoolers in this “cute” book, How to say hello. There are so many different ways, physical and verbal to make our friends feel welcome and included – a high five or a fist bump, sharing a smile or giving a hug. A Board book teaching that first level of communication.

Language as the means of communication: Here’s a book that begins with an introduction to why language is important, how it originated and how it has evolved. Learning to say “Hello” and then”Goodbye” is perhaps the first step to communicating through spoken language and here’s a book that teaches you how to do so in forty-eight languages. Mick Webb along with discussing twenty-one languages, from Arabic to Quecha, has also included the non-traditional language: nonverbal languages like Morse code, smoke signals, semaphores, American Sign Language, bee dances, whale songs, bird song, whistling & dog barks & body language, made-up languages in this book, The Book of Languages. An informational and interesting book, informational and interesting. Two pages have been devoted to each language where it features a map, which points out the countries where the language is spoken, a picture of the flag of the relevant nation, and a short history of the language, alphabet, how to count to ten, and some basic conversation with pronunciation guide. An informative and useful book for upper-elementary children interested in languages.

“This creative team adds to its cheeky series with this volume devoted to animal communication. . . . Entertaining and worthwhile.”—School Library Journal

Talk, talk, squawk! : a human’s guide to animal communication How does a stinkbug flirt, a bee give orders, or a panda says “back off”? Animals find all sorts of ways to keep in touch without saying a word. They communicate through colors, patterns, smells, movements, vibrations, sounds, and even electricity. From the chatter of dolphins to the click of a moth, from the stripes of a reef fish to the rumbling of elephants, this funny, fascinating book unlocks the mysteries of how animals talk and squawk to one another—and how humans try to talk back. The back matter includes an index and a glossary.

 Trees communicate: A young reader’s edition of “The Hidden Life of Trees” in which , describes the remarkable world of forests and how trees communicate and care for each other in his extraordinary storytelling style with children by asking questions. Can You Hear the Trees Talking? shares the mysteries and magic of the forest in language kids will love and understand. Translation of: Horst du wie die Baume sprechen?” by Peter Wohlleben, the forester. He explains the complex interactions that allow trees to communicate with and protect one another in his storytelling style, asking surprising questions about trees with exciting quizzes, photographs, and hands-on activities to help even the most reluctant learners discover the answers. Children will be surprised to know that trees in forests form families and devise methods to ensure the long life and survival of their species

Communicating through codes: DK Publishing’s Code Breakers: Riveting Reads for Curious Kids takes a really interesting look into all types of codes and ciphers, from Egyptian hieroglyphs to DNA to the Enigma machine. Aimed at children but not condescending or overly simplified at all, there are some fairly sophisticated explanations. While learning about the mysterious world of codes and ciphers, readers also get to know about the brilliant people who worked behind the scenes to crack the codes and reveal top secrets!

Communication for the visually impairedDK Braille: It Can’t Be True is a unique book that shares incredible facts with curious young minds but more so for the visually impaired. Combining braille, large print, and high-contrast photography with clear and predictive layouts, fact boxes with information for readers, and embossed images make new concepts as clear as possible for the tactile reader. The combination of text alongside the braille enables sighted parents or caregivers to share the reading experience with visually impaired children, and for sighted children to share with their visually impaired parents. 

Communication for the Hearing Impaired: Easy way for kids ages 3 to 6 (and parents) to learn the American Sign Language American Sign Language for kids by Rochelle Barlow is the ideal bookfor parents of nonverbal children or children with communication impairments (ages 3-6), in a simple way to introduce 101signs perfect for everyday use.

American Sign Language for Kids includes is divided up into concise categories. 101 helpful signs—From family and feelings to meals and playtime, work with your child to master subjects that will help the two of you connect. Fun ways to practice—Discovering enjoyable activities at the end of each section that make it exciting and engaging to learn signs and start conversing! Practical guides—Getting useful advice for introducing signs to a child with autism, helpful primers on deaf culture, and more.

Train travel has always been one of the major modes of communication. Written by Sam Sedgman and illustrated by Sam Brewster,  Epic Adventures: Explore the World in 12 Amazing Train Journeys is a non-fiction book about different epic train adventures worldwide. Packed full of information and description about other trains and aspects of their journeys, makes you want to go on a train ride across six continents, thirty-four countries, and numerous cities via twelve of the world’s most amazing train journeys, revealing the history, culture, landscape, and wildlife of the countries traveled. Perfect for upper elementary students, this book is also popular with adults who are planning their next trip.

Special Delivery: a book’s journey around the world by Polly Faber, illustrated by Klas Fahlén is a beautifully illustrated picture book following the journey of one book across the globe, from printer to reader.  Printed by the factory workers of a  printing press far, far away, travels over land and sea, handled by train drivers, container ship captains, postal workers, and booksellers, and eventually is in the hands of a young boy. Bright, contemporary artwork detailing the process, the people, the vehicles, and the distance traveled will fascinate children to realize that the book they are holding in their hands has made an incredible journey around the world. An absolutely gorgeous book for our young readers.