Picture Book Pairings: Fiction/Nonfiction

Pairing fiction with nonfiction books is an excellent way to show children how different types of writing can easily be connected. If birds are a hot topic, here are two outstanding books that can be paired. One is Birds, written by Kevin Henkes and illustrated by Laura Dronzek and the other is Feathers Not Just for Flying, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen.

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In the fiction book, Birds, the young narrator talks about birds of all sizes, shapes, colors, and how they move. The text is spare but poetic, and Laura Dronzek’s illustrations are bright and colorful. A variety of birds can be found in the book and, with Dronzek’s illustrations, a few surprises are sure to capture the attention of young readers.

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Pair this book with the nonfiction book, Feathers Not Just for Flying. Melissa Stewart has created an appealing book with two storylines. One has simple text that compares birds’ feathers to everyday objects. “Feathers can shade out sun like an umbrella …” The other has fascinating information about certain birds, the various shapes of their feathers, and how the feathers function. With Brannen’s watercolor illustrations presented in a scrapbook format and Stewart’s attention to scientific details, this book will win over readers.

Book pairings can inspire discussions and motivate children to delve deeper into the subject matter. Try it. You’ll like it.

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