I am excited to join Alyson Beecher and other friends in this weekly challenge. Finding great nonfiction picture books isn't a challenge anymore, there are so many wonderful books to be read now! The challenge is sharing them with as many people as possible so they can find this wealth of literature to share with our young readers. Thanks to Aly for starting this weekly link-up and thanks to all who join in!
This week I read the book Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird by Stephanie Spinner because it landed on the 2016 Bluestem Award nominations. This is the 3rd-5th grade IL Kids Choice award. This book is a great mentor text for narrative nonfiction. It is divided into chapters, with each chapter being several pages long, usually one full page of an illustration and the opposite page with another illustration and half a page of text. The amount to read is very accessible for 3rd-5th graders, with even younger students being able to listen and comprehend the story. The story is in narrative format, showing how Alex the Parrot learned information and was able to communicate over time. The scientific process is shown to students as the text explains how the scientist, Irene Pepperberg, went about her study of how the grey parrot learns and communicates. This highly engaging text and story will be a book students read again and again. With multiple ways of using the book - either as a mentor text for writing nonfiction, a mentor text to show the scientific process in writing, or a mentor text for looking at research, this is a great addition for the classroom.