Nonfiction Books Expand Kids' Horizons

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 28, 2005 | Go to article overview

Nonfiction Books Expand Kids' Horizons


Byline: Heather Cunningham

Parents soon realize that if they want their child to be a reader, they will have to compete with television, video games and the computer for the child's attention.

While these can be turned off and reading made the family priority, many parents continue to search for books that make their kids want to choose reading first for themselves. Batavia resident Ellen Posledni was on that same quest a year ago.

"My son Joe never really got into storybooks, but we had a few nonfiction selections at home that he just loved," said Posledni.

At the same time she picked up a catalog for Usborne Books from a friend, discovered their tremendous selection of nonfiction literature, and was hooked.

"I gravitated toward their books because I tuned into the fact that nonfiction was underserved in my own house, and that my son just gravitated to that type of text," she said.

Today, Posledni is an independent educational consultant for the Educational Development Corp., of Tulsa, Okla., -the company that creates, markets and distributes Usborne Books.

The books were the brainchild of Peter Usborne, who back in 1973 came to the same conclusion as Ellen: that educational, nonfiction books were a great way to reach young readers.

Usborne hired media and educational consultants to determine how to design non-fiction books that could compete with TV and comics, and pique a child's interest. The result is a literature line that is 90 percent nonfiction, and that entices young readers with exciting graphics, activities and puzzles, and text that uses humor, surprise and drama. …

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