Posted tagged ‘Nonfiction Picture Books’

More Picture Books to Add to Your Reading List

June 30, 2022

What is home? It has different definitions for different people. Here is a look at books that describe a variety of homes.

Home

Wes and Claire, a brother and sister, use their imagination, art, and adventures as they live in their comfy Brown House. But when they have to leave their beloved home because of circumstances they can’t control, the family finds themselves homeless. They are on their way to nowhere, then somewhere, then anywhere as they desperately search for a place to stay. They end up living in a shelter where the family has the love of one another infused with hope and determination to find something better. When they finally are able to move into the Blue House, imagination, art, and adventure are alive once again, but they never forget where they have been and remember to help others in the same circumstances. A touching story that is ripe for discussion on why homelessness sometimes happens to people and how you can make the best of it.

Little Houses

A young girl visits Grandma and Grandpa’s little house close to the ocean where she and her grandma explore the beach. They search for shells of all colors, shapes, and sizes that wash ashore. They find empty little houses – the shells where their inhabitants no longer live. The little girl is filled with so many questions about the little houses, the shells, the rocks and stones, and the beach animals that she finds as she wanders around the beach. When the little girl returns home, she brings back empty little houses, good memories, and dreams of the many things she doesn’t know while looking for answers. This is a lovely book with illustrations created by the author’s wife.

Home: A Peek-Through Picture Book

A bear cub wanders out into the forest and gets to take a peek at a variety of animals building their homes. As night appears and winter nears, a pack of wolves is on the prowl for a tasty treat. The bear cub returns to his cave and the warmth of home for a long comfy sleep. This is an adorable peek-through rhyming book that kids will love as they learn about animal homes.

Celebrate Independence Day with this inspiring story that honors our nation’s flag.

30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag

This is a book that will touch your heart as you read about how the 30-foot tattered flag that flew across from Ground Zero after the 9/11 attack on the United States was restored. The flag was put into storage, but in 2008, it was brought back out. It was lovingly restored by citizens from different walks of life as it traveled to all fifty states. Pieces of flags of historical importance from each state were used to repair the torn flag. It was an act of patriotism that displayed the true fabric of America – our home. A must-read!

Update on My Upcoming Picture Book

June 16, 2022

In case you didn’t know or have forgotten, I have a debut nonfiction picture book coming in spring of 2023 from Sleeping Bear Press. Working closely with my editor, we’ve tweaked the original text and title.

The New Title

Here’s a recap: Colonel Thomas S. Meacham, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a dairy farmer, living in Sandy Creek, NY, had a slice of an idea that grew into a colossal idea. In 1836, he gifted the President of the United States an enormous wheel of cheese that stood in the White House vestibule until March of 1837. In the interim, the cheese ripened and caused an overwhelming odor in and around the White House. At the end of his term in office, the president invited the public to the White House to “eat cheese” where chaos ensued. This is a quirky event in the history of the United States that will make your nose twitch and put a smile on your face.

My editor shared sketches created by the talented Lesley Breen which led to more research to check for accuracy. The designer is busy working on the layout of illustrations and text. Hopefully, I will have a cover reveal for readers in the coming months.

When I signed my contract, I thought 2023 seemed a long way off. I’ve learned that time flies trying to get everything done when creating a book. I’m now working on promotion ideas.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back with more news as it happens. Make sure to check out my author website: http://www.cathystefanecogren.com

Celebrate Earth Day!

April 21, 2022

Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin came up with an idea to raise awareness of environmental issues. On April 22, 1970, Earth Day was born. Demonstrations took place across the United States to protect our planet Earth from pollution and deforestation. Groups picked up litter and planted trees. Earth Day is now an international celebration. About one billion people observe this day every year. There are many more things that humans can do to continue to protect our Earth. This year’s theme is “Invest in our Planet.” Do it!

Check out these picture books about our planet Earth.

All from a Walnut

One Million Trees

The Garden We Share

Hey, Water!

Emile and the Field

Ice! Poems About Polar Life

The Tide Pool Waits

Little Monarchs

Fantastic News!

April 7, 2022

April is poetry month. The following may not be poetry, but it makes my heart sing!

I’m thrilled to announce my newest book, THE BIG STINK: The Legen-dairy Tale of Colonel Thomas S. Meacham and His Enormous Cheese. (This is a working title.)

I’m a children’s book author. I had two early chapter books published years ago along with a variety of educational magazine articles and stories. Then, life got in the way and my writing was intermittent. In the last five years, I’ve been free of major commitments. I’ve used those years to commit to my writing.

I happened to see an unusual story of a huge cheese that was made and delivered to the president of the United States with considerable pomp and circumstance in 1836. It piqued my curiosity, and I began researching the story behind the story in 2019. When I felt I had enough information, I wrote a fictional picture book manuscript that was based on the incident. After many revisions, using comments and suggestions from my critique partners, I sent it to my agent. She liked it, and after more revisions suggested by my agent, she sent it to various publishing houses. The common response was that the editors liked the historical information in the story but didn’t like having a mouse as a narrator. I went back to the drawing board. Or I should say, I went back to the computer board. I turned the fictional story into a narrative nonfiction manuscript. I made sure my research and facts were accurate before sharing the manuscript with my critique partners and my agent. More revisions. The new version was sent out once again. There were more rejections, but Barb McNally and her team at Sleeping Bear Press liked what they saw. Through my agent, they made an offer in August of 2021. Lucky me!

The book is now in the works with talented Lesley Breen tackling the illustrations, and Barb McNally skillfully guiding me through the editorial part of the process. You’ll be hearing more from me as the publication date in Spring of 2023 gets closer. You can check out my website here. I hope readers will find THE BIG STINK a tasty slice of cheesy history.

Women’s History Month

March 3, 2022

Welcome to Women’s History Month!

It’s time to celebrate key roles and accomplishments mighty women have played in history.

Check out these awesome picture books to see the difference women have made in the lives of many.

From a Small Seed: The story of Eliza Hamilton Find out how Eliza Hamilton, the wife of Alexander Hamilton, established the first private orphanage in New York City.

Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression Dorothea Lange traveled across America and used her camera to document those most affected by the Great Depression.

What Isabella Wanted: Isabella Stewart Gardner Builds a Museum Isabella Stewart Gardner loved art. She traveled the world, collecting extraordinary art pieces. She displayed them in her home which she eventually turned into a museum to share her collection with the public.

On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life Of Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson, a famous poet, used words that touched and inspired others.

A Voice for the Everglades: Marjory Stoneman Douglas It took the courage of Marjory Stoneman Douglas to speak up to help save the Florida Everglades.

Human Computer: Mary Jackson Engineer Mary Jackson overcame many difficulties to become the first African American engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Ablaze with Color: A story of Painter Alma Thomas Alma Thomas, an exceptional artist, was the first Black woman to have her art chosen for the White House collection.

Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fright for Independence You’ve heard of the minutemen, but what about minute women? Prudence Wright formed a group of “minute women” to fight the British who were threatening her Massachusetts community.

Fight of the Century: Alice Paul Battles Woodrow Wilson for the Vote Alice Paul, leader of the suffragette movement, was a thorn in President Woodrow Wilson’s side as she fought with him to create a new amendment that would allow women the right to vote.

Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, A Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion Evelyn Glennie was a musical talent, but when she lost her hearing as a young girl, she didn’t lose her passion to become a musician. Find out how she met the challenge of her hearing loss to create extraordinary music.

Things you can do during Women’s History Month.

Celebrate Black History Month

February 3, 2022

The month of February is designated as Black History Month. It’s a time to celebrate the history, accomplishments, and contributions of African Americans. Below are a few of the powerful books that display the grit and courage of some amazing Black Americans. They are a definite must-read.

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone written by Traci N. Todd and illustrated by Christian Robinson, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2021

The People Remember written by Ibi Zoboi and illustrated by Loveis Wise, Balzer + Bray, 2021

We Wait for the Sun written by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe and illustrated by Raissa Figueroa, Roaring Book Press, 2021

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Carolrhoda Books, 2021

Stitch by Stitch: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly Sews Her Way to Freedom written by Connie Schofield-Morrison and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Holiday House, 2021

Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas written by Jeanne Warner Harvey and illustrated by Loveis Wise, HarperCollins, February 22, 2022

Flying Free: How Bessie Coleman’s Dreams Took Flight written by Karyn Parsons and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2020

Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth  written by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo, Thomas Nelson, 2022

Kids, check out this website for an easy-to-understand history of why we celebrate Black History Month.

NATIONAL DAIRY MONTH

June 10, 2021

Did you know that cows are very generous creatures? They give us milk, milk, and more milk.

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and ice cream are made possible by cows. These products provide us with calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and protein. So, grab your favorite dairy product and celebrate National Dairy Month. And while you’re at it, give three cheers for our hard-milking cows!

Milk it!

Got Milk?
Say Cheese!

One Happy Man!

As you enjoy delicious dairy treats, take a look at these mooving books.

Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More

I’ll Love You Till The Cows Come Home

Mootilda’s Bad Mood

Cow Says Meow

Author, Runner: Kim Chaffee’s Story

May 16, 2019

Kim Chaffee headshotToday I’m interviewing my friend, critique partner, and author extraordinaire, Kim Chaffee. She is the author of Her Fearless Run:  Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon – a book that received two starred reviews. Ellen Rooney is the talented illustrator whose colorful illustrations and attention to detail are done in a combination of digital media and mixed media collage using paint, paper, and pencil. The book is a perfect collaboration between author and illustrator.

Kim Chaffee’s biography of Kathrine Switzer tells of switserKathrine’s love of running from an early age. Back in the late 1950’s girls weren’t supposed to run. They were “too weak, too fragile, for sports.” That’s not what Kathrine thought. She kept on running. While in college, the men’s coach at Syracuse University saw Kathrine run. He invited her to practice with the team. That’s where she met the volunteer team manager, Arnie Briggs. When he mentioned to Kathrine that women weren’t up to running the distance of the Boston Marathon, she disagreed with him and took his challenge. She applied for her official number by registering as K. V. Switzer. No one knew K. V. Switzer was a woman—not a man. On April 19, 1967, Kathrine Switzer made history by running the entire Boston Marathon with an official number. Her feat opened doors for women to compete in future marathons.

Welcome, Kim. I’m so excited to have you here today.

Why did you decide to write about Kathrine Switzer? And did you have any reservations about writing a biography of a well-known living person?

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today, Cathy! When I started writing, I wasn’t really thinking of ever tackling a biography. I mostly write fiction. But I was home writing one Monday in April 2016 with the Boston Marathon on TV and within view. Kathrine was on, talking about her Boston run in 1967. I was completely pulled into her story and was shocked that as a runner, I had never heard it before. I immediately felt compelled to share her story. In hindsight, I probably should have had some reservations about writing a biography of a well-known living person, but I didn’t while I was writing it. I just kept thinking that I had to do her story justice.

Kim, you’re a Wonder Woman. You’ve run in many races before, but this year you ran the most famous of all marathons – The Boston Marathon. Did writing about Kathrine Switzer have anything to do with your decision to run?  

My goodness! I don’t know about Wonder Woman! But I do love to run and have the best running friends that keep me motivated and push me to challenge myself. Writing about Kathrine had everything to do with my decision to run Boston. I was thinking about it a lot while I was researching and writing the book but that tiny voice of doubt and fear kept creeping in telling me I was crazy. After finishing and selling the book, I just couldn’t shake the thought of needing to run Boston- needing to silence that tiny voice in my head. Kathrine helped me find my fearless and believe in myself.

Can you tell us a bit about how you trained for this long and difficult run?

There are a lot of different marathon training plans out there and I had trouble choosing one so I meshed two together, typed up monthly calendars with motivational quotes, and put one foot in front of the other. My training started in December with three runs/week and two cross-training days. Long runs were done on the weekends and by mid-March, I was feeling a little physically and emotionally drained. Marathon training is no joke. Some runs felt great, others worried me that I had gotten myself into something I wasn’t going to be able to complete. But when I ran my 20-mile long run, a race from Maine, through the Seacoast of NH, and into Massachusetts, I felt ready.

I watched the interview with Kathrine Switzer that took place during the running of the Boston Marathon. She spoke very highly of you and your book. What was it like to meet Kathrine?

I was so surprised when I found out she was talking about the book while I was running! Talk about motivation to keep going! Meeting Kathrine was surreal. We had talked several times and emailed even more before we actually met to do an event together on the Friday before the Marathon so I kind of felt like we were old friends already. She is just as amazing as you would imagine…so genuine and inspiring!

IMG_4918

Lisa Hughes, WBZ-TV News Anchor, Boston

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Lisa Hughes, Shalane Flanagan, Olympian and Boston Marathon Runner, Kathrine Switzer

You also ran with the global nonprofit 261 Fearless, Inc. Can you tell us more about that and what 261 stands for?

Yes! I was honored to run for 261 Fearless, Inc. which is the nonprofit organization founded by Kathrine in 2015. It’s a women’s social running network that aims to support and empower women all around the globe. Amazing things are happening in these clubs! Women in Mumbai, Goma, all over the United States and Europe are finding their strength and self-esteem through running, and we are all united under Kathrine’s iconic bib number from her 1967 run, 261.

Do you and Kathrine have any plans to see each other again?

Yes! We are currently scheduled to do a book event together at a bookstore called Rough Draft in Kingston, New York on July 1!

How was your run on the day of the marathon? Feelings? Emotions?

How much time do we have here? Haha! It was quite a day and I feel like I could go on and on about it. I’ll start by saying it was hard. Not a shocker, I know. But it was harder than I had expected and I think that’s because the day didn’t go as planned. As a runner, you do your best to adapt and overcome obstacles that pop up at any point in a race, be it the night before when your daughter gets sick in your bed, or at mile 17 when your stomach feels queasy (both of these things happened). My goal was simple: cross the finish line. And I got to do that with my son which still brings me to tears when I think about it.

Kim and Colin

Kim and her son, Colin

KIm with medal

Kim and her medal

Would you run the marathon again?

 I won’t say no but I don’t have plans to any time soon.

You sponsor an annual 5K Run. Tell us more.

When my brother-in-law was diagnosed with thyroid cancer several years ago, I felt so helpless. I wanted to do something to make a difference but wasn’t sure what. One of my best friends suggested we start a team for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The 5K race started as one of our team fundraisers and then shifted into a stand-alone event that now raises money to support local families afflicted by cancer. This will be our 8th year hosting the Fight 2 Finish Cancer Family Fun Run/Walk 5K in Windham, NH! This year’s event will be on Sunday, June 2nd and we are hoping it will be our biggest year yet. If you are local and would like to join us you can register at www.lightboxreg.com

Now that your training isn’t taking up so much time in your life, what’s next for you with your writing career?

I’ve been doing a bunch of school visits, which as a former second-grade teacher, makes my heart so happy! I definitely have more time to write! Hooray! And I’m still running but not nearly as much. Also, my second book, Nothing Wee About Me, a fiction story about a little girl who uses her grandmother’s magical ladle to go on an adventure and save the day, will be hitting shelves on November 12, so I’m starting to prep for that.

What is some advice you can give to writers about achieving their goals?

Don’t give up. Ever. Even when it gets really hard, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll make it to the finish line.

As always, it’s fabulous being with you, Kim! Thank you so much for doing this interview.

Don’t forget to check out Kim’s forthcoming book.

nothing wee

Learn more about Kim Chaffee here.

Website:  www.kimchaffee.com

Follow on Twitter:  @Kim_Chaffee

Follow on FB: Kim Chaffee, Children’s Author

Follow on Instagram:  kchaffeebooks

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

congo  

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

freedom

Freedom Over Me written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

fannie

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

 marcher

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

 chickens

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

cornelius

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

james

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!


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