From oversized and over the top to tiny and intricately detailed, we love judging these all around beautiful and unusual books by their covers. Explore the Alvin Sherman Library’s informational books for children and find beauty and wonder on every shelf.

  • Animalium

    Designed to mimic the experience of visiting a natural history museum, this elegant, eye-catching volume explores the animal kingdom through gorgeously detailed pen-and-ink illustrations that resemble vintage taxonomical plates.

  • The Wonder Garden

    Open the gates of the Wonder Garden to explore five of Earth's most extraordinary habitats, each filled with incredible creatures and epic scenery. An enchanting tour of the animal kingdom that makes the world's biodiversity feel downright magical.

  • Under Earth; Under Water

    In this oversize, vertically oriented book, readers encounter science concepts, locales, and creatures in and around lakes and oceans; and, from the book's other end, in the shallow underground and deep center of Earth. Although the spreads' topics are a hodgepodge (buoyancy, sinkholes, diving suits; edible roots, sewage, subways), the intricate illustrations, filled with flow-chart-like graphics and neatly labeled specimens, encourage extended examination.

  • Trombone Shorty

    "This well-told and exquisitely illustrated story of a musician with a steep career trajectory will inspire young readers to pursue their passions, despite the challenges."

  • Radiant Child

    A visually stunning picture book biography about modern art phenomenon Jean-Michel Basquiat. Coretta Scott King Award—winner Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork reflect the Haitian Puerto Rican artist's collage-style paintings that rocketed him to fame in the 1980s.

  • Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction

    This critically acclaimed book has been translated into a dozen languages and remains a classic of children's literature and a touchstone for budding architects. Cathedral's numerous awards include a prestigious Caldecott Honor and designation as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year for Macaulay's intricate pen-and-ink illustrations.

  • Let it Shine

    With a kaleidoscope of color and cut paper, Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee and two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan celebrates three favorite spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." The power of these beloved songs simply emanates through his joyous interpretations.

  • The Little Hummingbird

    The evocative artwork by internationally renowned Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas complements this optimistic tale that encourages everyone to take responsibility for their home and the planet.

  • Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

    Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

  • Atlas of Adventures

    Set your spirit of adventure free with this lavishly illustrated trip around the world. Whether you're visiting the penguins of Antarctica, joining the Carnival in Brazil, or a canoe safari down the Zambezi River, this book brings together more than 100 activities and challenges to inspire armchair adventurers of any age.

  • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

    "The dramatic oil paintings heighten the dignity of this story, whether they are of well-known historical figures, common folk or landscape…This intimate narrative makes the stories accessible to young readers and powerfully conveys how personal this history feels for many African-Americans."

  • The Grasshopper & the Ants

    "Full-page vivid watercolor paintings bustling with natural activity and fanciful detail flow through the hues of the seasons, ending in the spare whiteness of winter. Fine line pencil-drawn strings and frets on his banjo, intricate snowflake shapes, the lace of a dragonfly's wings, and the colorful flow of musical bars all demonstrate Pinkney's painstaking concern with detail."

  • Bugs by the Numbers

    "This one-of-a-kind, eye-catching look at the insect world will entertain, engage, and educate stylish young entomologists everywhere!"

  • Balloons over Broadwa: The true story of the puppeteer of Macy's Parade

    “Sweet’s brilliant combination of collage, design, illustration and text give Balloons Over Broadway an amazing richness. . . [no one] will ever see the parade in the same way.”—Pete Hamill in The New York Times Book Review

  • Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Infographics

    Jenkins layers his signature cut-paper illustrations alongside computer graphics and a text that is teeming with fresh, unexpected, and accurate zoological information ready for readers to easily devour.

  • Pocket Full of Colors: The magical world of Mary Blair, Disney artist extraordinaire

    "Sunshine radiates past corners and mermaids swim off the page, while rainbow wisps stream from Mary’s paintbrush and trail after her fingers.... The whimsical illustrations will enamor young readers while older kids will learn about a Disney legend as well as new words, such as russet or viridian."

  • Giant Squid

    In this beautiful and clever nonfiction picture book about the giant squid, Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann explore, both visually and poetically, this hidden creature's mysterious life.