Posted tagged ‘Nonfiction Picture Books’

Rock On!

July 13, 2017

What is it about rocks? An overabundance of toys can be there for the taking, but if there are rocks around that’s the first thing my granddaughters grab. Their mother was exactly the same. Rocks seem to call out kids. Who knew they could make little ones so happy?

Today happens to be International Rock Day. Pick up a rock and see if it speaks to you. I find the ones that speak the loudest to me are diamonds, emeralds, rubies …

Maybe one of these books will explain the fascination kids have with ordinary rocks.

Nonfiction Books:

if you find a rock If You Find a Rock written by Peggy Christian and photographs by Barbara Hirsch Lember, Harcourt Brace and Company

national geoEverything Rocks and Minerals written by Steve Tomecek, National Geographic Society

livelyA Rock is Lively written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long, Chronicle Books

can beA Rock Can Be… written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija, Millbrook Press

rocksRocks! Rocks! Rocks! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Cavendish Square Publishing

lets goLet’s Go Rock Collecting written by Roma Gans and illustrated by Holly Keller, HarperCollins

Fiction Books:

singIf Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk, Tricycle Press

RhodaRhoda’s Rock Hunt written by Molly Beth Griffin and illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell, Minnesota Historical Society Press

roxRoxaboxen written by Alice McLerran and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, HarperCollins

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Black History Month

February 2, 2017

February is Black History Month. It’s a time to honor the accomplishments of black Americans and the and contributions they have made to our country.

Below are some wonderful nonfiction picture books to read and share.

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Freedom in Congo Square written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

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Freedom Over Me written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

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 Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes

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The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

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Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis written by Jabari Asim and illustrated by E. B. Lewis

 mahalia

Martin and Mahalia: His Words Her Song written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney

 blackbird

Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of  Florence Mills written by Renee Watson and illustrated by Christian Robinson

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Marvelous Cornelius: Hurrican Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleanwritten by Phil Bildner and illustrated by John Parra

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My Name Is James Madison Hemings written and illustrated by Jonah Winter

America has a rich history of accomplishments made by African Americans and by many others who are a part of our diverse population. That’s what makes this country so great!

Summer Reading

June 23, 2016

Summer reading. Share the adventure!

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Check out these websites for some great summer reading choices for kids.

Summer Reading Guide 2016 Ages 0-12

Science is for Girls:  25 Books About Female Scientists  

The New York Times® Bestsellers:  Children’s Picture Books 

ALSC Summer Reading Lists

Summer Reading Lists for Kids Ages 6-14

100 Best Books Every Boy (and Girl) Should Read 

 

 

 

 

The Cow Stops Here

June 9, 2016

June is National Dairy Month. Since our recent move to New Hampshire, I’m missing Wisconsin and all of its delicious dairy products. I’m particularly missing the Farmers’ Market around the Capital Square in Madison. They do a bang-up job of celebrating Dairy Month. Since I couldn’t be there this year, I’m reposting one of the last times I strolled around the State Capital, taking in all the delectable sights.

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Mo-o-o-ve over! June is National Dairy Month, and Saturday the cows were out – Cows on the Wisconsin State Capital Concourse, of course, of course. Cows flaunted their “Dairy aire.” Got Milk? You betcha! White milk, chocolate milk, and strawberry milk were on the menu. There were hunka hunks of cheese and mounds of squeaking cheese curds. If you missed breakfast or lunch, grilled cheese sandwiches were making the rounds. For dessert or an anytime treat, I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream and don’t forget the overstuffed cream puffs. The cows were doing their best to please. It was a dairy day overload. Follow me and see.

First stop — cows. I had a hard time getting close to the mooers. Those little kiddos wouldn’t let me in.

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A Close-Up Look

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That’s Big

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Milk mustaches were en vogue. Got Milk?

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There were all kinds of dairy treats – good for your teeth and bones.

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Say Cheese!

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Give the Man a Cream Puff!

It was an “udderly” satisfying day. So don’t forget to celebrate National Dairy Month. Drink a glass of milk today!

Want to know more about cows and dairy products? Check these out.

The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons (Aladdin, 1987), Cows (Animals Animals)by Renee C. Rebman (Benchmark Books, 2009), Farm Animals Cows by Cecilia Minden (Cherry Lake Pub., 2009), Cows (Animals That Live on the Farm) by JoAnn Early Macken (Weekly Reader Early Learning Library, 2009), Ice Cream:  The Full Scoop by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 2008)

For Fun:  A Big Cheese for the White House:  The True Tale of a Tremendous Cheddar by Candice Fleming (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) 2004)

Historical Nonfiction Picture Books of Interest

January 7, 2016

During the holiday break, I stopped at the local library to browse. I found three nonfiction picture books that piqued my interest. These are perfect additions to school libraries.

Aaron and Alexander written and illustrated by Don Brown, Roaring Book Press, 2015

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were born a year apart. Don Brown, the author and illustrator, compares the similarities in their lives. Both men were orphaned at an early age. Aaron was taken in by his wealthy uncle. Alexander was taken in by a merchant. Both were bright young men who went to college. Both displayed courage as they fought in the Revolutionary War. Both became lawyers who sometimes worked together. Both became politicians, and that was where their likenesses ended. Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton had very different political views. Aaron politely approached people to ask them for their support. Alexander wrote articles and pamphlets that were insulting. The two became political enemies. Through a series of events, Aaron and Alexander continued to butt heads. When Alexander called Aaron “despicable,” Aaron wanted an apology, but none came. Aaron challenged Alexander to a duel. This duel was the demise of both men. Alexander Hamilton lost his life, and Aaron Burr lost his political career.

This book provides information about two important men in the history of our country, but it’s also a cautionary tale. These were two accomplished men, who had much to offer, but because of differences of opinion and more importantly, what one might call foolish pride, their lives were destroyed. It’s something to think about.

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France written by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Iacopo Bruno, Candlewick Press, 2015.

I’ve always been fascinated by Benjamin Franklin. Among other things, Franklin was a statesman, inventor, scientist, and humorist. He was brilliant. In Mesmerized, Mara Rockliff chooses to explore Ben’s approach to science and other new ideas of the time. Ben is sent to France to convince King Louis the Sixteenth and Marie Antoinette to send much-needed money and soldiers to America to help with the Revolutionary War. While there, Ben hears about the remarkable Dr. Mesmer who claims to have discovered a new force that can do many amazing things – even control thoughts. The French people are enthralled with the thought that their ills can be cured with the wave of Dr. Mesmer’s wand instead of going to a doctor. The king needs someone to help explain this new phenomenon.  Ben Franklin puts on his scientist hat and utilizes his scientific method, which is still used today. He observes, forms a hypothesis, tests the hypothesis, observes the results, and draws conclusions. Ben proves Dr. Mesmer’s force was not what he claimed it to be, and discredits him. The king is happy and provides America with the support requested by Ben. Iacopo Bruno’s over-the-top illustrations are colorful and cleverly executed. Combined with the end pages, you’ll be mesmerized by this book.

W Is for Webster: Noah Webster and His American Dictionary written by Tracey Fern and illustrated by Boris Kulikov, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015

From his youth on, Noah Webster loved words – big words. Noah’s father knew he would never make a good farmer so he agreed to send Noah to college. Noah enjoyed school and studied hard. When the Revolutionary War began, he volunteered to be a soldier without much success. Eventually, Noah became a school teacher. Noah detested the British textbooks being used in the schools. He thought the newly independent America should have its own language. He was the one to do it. He started with a speller in which he included everyday words and simplified the spelling of other words. The speller was a success, but Noah saw a need for a dictionary with words unique to America. This was not as easy to accomplish as he had thought. He started by writing a small dictionary which was not well-received. Then he set to work on a big dictionary. He collected words, traced their origins, and wrote the definitions. Year after year Noah worked on his dictionary. He sold his expensive house and moved into a small cottage in order to provide for his wife and eight children while he continued to work on his dictionary. He spent years researching and traveling to libraries in America and Europe. He was passionate about bringing his work to completion. Twenty-five years after he began his project, An American Dictionary of the English Language, was complete. The time was right for his project. Congress made it its standard reference book. Revised editions of the dictionary are still used today. Readers will enjoy Boris Kulikov’s imaginative and whimsical illustrations that include words, letters, and comical facial expressions.

Each book includes author notes with additional information, sources, and a bibliography. These are worth checking out!

Huzzah for Libraries and Librarians!

April 16, 2015

It’s National Library Week and School Library Month. What would we do without our beloved libraries and librarians? Both are treasures not to be overlooked or underestimated.

Whether a library is …

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big,

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small,

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public,

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or in a school,

libraries open doors to new worlds.

They shake up your imagination. They offer a wealth of knowledge, and as this year’s theme says, there are “Unlimited Possibilities @ your library.” They’re places where miracles can happen. Make the library a happy, go-to place for you and your family. And if you If you have questions, seek guidance from a librarian. They’re all-knowing!

Below are some of my favorite fiction and nonfiction picture books that pay tribute to libraries and librarians.

Library Lion written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Bats at the Library written and illustrated by Brian Lies

The Library written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small

Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t) written by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Michael Emberley

Stella Louella’s Runaway Book written and illustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile written by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb

A Library Book for Bear written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

Wild About Books written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown

Book! Book! Book! written by Deborah Bruss and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke

The Library Dragon written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Michael P. White

Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians written by Carla Morris and illustrated by Brad Sneed

Waiting for the Biblioburro written by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra

Library Lil written by Suzanne Williams and illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Please Bury Me in the Library written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Kyle M. Stone

That Book Woman written by Heather Henson and illustrated by David Small

Tomás and the Library Lady written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Raul Colón

Richard Wright and the Library Card written by William Miller and illustrated by Gregory Christie

“L” is for Library written by Sonya Terry and illustrated by Nicole Wong

Biblioburro:  A True Story from Colombia written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise written by Jan Pinborough and illustrated by Debby Atwell

My Librarian Is a Camel written by Margriet Ruurs

The Librarian of Basra:  A True Story from Iraq written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter

Do you have any favorites to add?

For some inspiring quotes about libraries and librarians, click here.

Caldecott Hopefuls

January 15, 2015

Each year, there are many fabulous picture books written and illustrated by some very talented people. Choosing the best illustrated book among all those that qualify must be next to impossible. On February second, the Association for Library Service to Children will award the Caldecott Medal to one very lucky illustrator and Honor Medals to several others.

There are certain picture books that have created a buzz in blogs and articles I’ve read in recent months. Below is a list of books that have popped up in many different places as contenders for the Caldecott Medal.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson

The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall

Bad Bye, Good Bye written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Johnathan Bean

Blizzard by John Rocco

Draw! by Raúl Colón

Emily’s Blue Period written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Lisa Brown

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems written by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino

Gaston written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Grandfather Gandhi written by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Evan Turk

Gravity by Jason Chin

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray and illustrated by Kenard Pak

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse written by Patricia MacLaclan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads written by Bob Shea and illustrated by Lane Smith

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Quest by Aaron Becker

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo

Viva Frida written by Yuyi Morales and illustrated/photographed by Tim O’Meara

Where’s Mommy? written by Beverly Donofrio and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

This is quite a list of books. Who do you think will win?

 

 

 


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