Posted tagged ‘Nonfiction’

Earth Day 2017

April 20, 2017

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” ~Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson, a popular political figure from Wisconsin, is the founder of Earth Day. He had the foresight to understand the need to protect our environment. On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans gathered to raise awareness about our environmental problems and demand that our elected officials see the necessity to do something about it.

This Saturday, April 22nd, we continue to celebrate Earth Day. The theme of this year’s event is Environmental and Climate Literacy.

Below are selected picture books to share with young readers to help them become more knowledgeable about our environment and to encourage them to take care of our earth’s precious gifts.

tidy

Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

watersong

Watersong written by Tim McCanna and illustrated by Richard Smythe, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

giant

The Lonely Giant written and illustrated by Sophie Ambrose, Candlewick Press

pond

Over and Under the Pond written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, Chronicle Books

bag

One Plastic Bag: IsatouCeesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press

wangari

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter, Harcourt Children’s Books

green

What Does It Mean To Be Green? written by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Blair, March 4th Inc

garden

The Curious Garden written and illustrated by Peter Brown, Little, Brown Young Readers

lorax

The Lorax written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Random House Children’s Books

stew

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth written by Mary McKenna Siddals and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, Tricycle Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Pickin’ Time

September 29, 2016

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The foliage puts on its best show. The days are crisp. And the apples are oh, so delicious! It’s time for apple picking – Courtland, Macintosh, Red Gala, Braeburn … Yum! Yum! Yum!

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Getting ready to pick.

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Rows and rows of apples!

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A perfect specimen.

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Done!

What to do with all these apples? No problem! It’s apple crisp, apple cake, apple pie, applesauce, and a bushel of apple books!

Apple-Cranberry Cake

Take a bite of out of this delicious apple-cranberry cake and one of these yummy books.

The Apple Orchard Riddle written by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Apples for Everyone written by Jill Esbaum

Applesauce Season written by Eden Ross Lipson and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

Pinkalicious: Apples, Apples, Apples! written and illustrated by Victoria Kann

Apples A to Z written by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by Jake Parker

Apples written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons

The Apple Pie Tree written by Zoe Hall and illustrated by Shari Halpern

 

Earth Day – April 22

April 14, 2016

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Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd. We have been given a precious gift. To continue to enjoy all of Earth’s treasures, we should make it a point to celebrate Earth Day every day.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Its founder was U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. You can find more about the history of Earth Day here, and check here for some great Earth Day activities for families. Below are a few of the outstanding books that are ideal for parents and teachers to share with children in celebration of Earth Day. 

Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World written by Laurie Lawlor and illustrated by Laura Beingessner, Holiday House

Water Is Water A Book about the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin, Roaring Book Press

One Plastic Bag Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.” ~Chief Seattle

S is for Save the Planet written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Linda Holt Ayriss, Sleeping Bear Press

If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor, Henry Holt & Company

Miss Maple’s Seeds written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, Nancy Paulsen Books

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” ~Evo Morales

 

Summer Reading

July 2, 2015

I’m beginning to compile a list of books for summer reading. They’re a combination of fiction/nonfiction from picture books to young adult. Then I’ll be off to the library.

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

The Magician of Auschwitz by Kathy Kacer

Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage by Alan Schroeder

A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Wishing you all a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Celebrate America!

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“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

Picture Book Pairings: Fiction/Nonfiction

May 28, 2015

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.

A Cautionary Snow Tale

February 26, 2015

Last week I was in Boston and New Hampshire. There’s a LOT of snow there. Take a look at the drifts outside this New Hampshire house. How long does it take to shovel those snowdrifts? Let me count the days!

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In Boston, snow is piled just as high. Mother Nature played a dirty, white trick on the Northeast. Do you remember the Big Dig in Boston years ago? Well, this is the new Big Dig. Snow is still everywhere and people are continuing to dig out!

This brings to mind a wonderful nonfiction book, Over and Under the Snow, written by the very talented Kate Messner and enhanced with clever illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal.

A little girl and her dad are enjoying a cross-country ski romp in the winter woods. As they glide over the snow, the little girl sees an animal dart by and then disappear. She wants to know where it went. Her dad describes the “secret kingdom” under the snow where animals are safe and warm during the winter. It’s a lovely winter tale.

Boston has a secret kingdom under the snow, too. As Bostonians trudge over and around the piles of white stuff, there is a secret world beneath it.

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 A trash can hidden beneath a pile of snow

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A bench in the Public Garden that disappeared during one of the nor’easters

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A parked car buried by a city plow

And over the snow is something else to keep your eye on.

Icicles!

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Long, dagger-like pieces of ice hang from buildings.

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On a whim, those icicles can turn into a deadly weapon if they break free.

Watch your head!

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Unlike Kate Messner’s delightful story, the Boston Winter of 2015 is a cautionary tale. For the time being, keep a close look out for what’s over and under the snow if you’re walking through the streets of Boston.

Is it spring yet?

Celebrating Women’s History Month

March 20, 2014

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper is an inspirational woman who demonstrated character, courage, and commitment during her life. The picture book biography, She Sang Promise:  The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader, by author, Jan Godown Annino, describes her life as a member of the Seminole Tribe in Florida.

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As a small child, Betty Mae learned tribal medicine, traditions, stories, and legends of the Florida Seminoles. When Betty Mae heard about reading, she pleaded with the Elders to send her to school. She was a quick learner and eventually went on to become a trained nurse. Returning home to the people she loved, Betty Mae convinced women to trust her new medicine and helped many suffering from diseases.    

It seemed there was nothing Betty Mae couldn’t do. When her husband was sick and unable to work, she took over for him and wrestled alligators. When the U.S. government asked the Seminoles to organize a Tribal government to work with leaders in Washington D.C., she became the “voice for her people.” And when it came time to elect a Tribal leader, Betty Mae asked for votes. She was the first woman to be elected a leader of the Seminole Tribe in Florida. In a man’s world, Betty Mae Jumper sang promise to all. Throughout her life, she never forgot where she came from and continued to keep alive the stories and traditions of the Seminoles.

The illustrations by Lisa Desimini are in bright jeweled colors that depict time-honored aspects of the Seminoles. Like the title, She Sang Promise, this book is uplifting and serves as an inspiration to young girls and boys who have the character, courage, and commitment to succeed!


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