Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday The Polar Bear 2.08.17

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

We all have readers who gravitate towards fiction.  We even have our readers that gravitate towards nonfiction.  How do we get our fiction readers to start inching their way to nonfiction readers?  One of the many ways can be introduction them to narrative nonfiction.  These books read more like a narrative story, but instead of a typical fiction picture book format with a plot line and characters, narrative nonfiction is full of facts, but perhaps told in a way that sounds like a story.

The Polar Bear
The Polar Bear
by Jenni Desmond

Jenni Desmond has another wonderful book written in this format.  In The Polar Bear, readers are taken on a journey where many facts about the polar bear and its lifestyle is given.  In the story, a young girl is reading the same book we are and is brought into the story within the illustrations.  While the story stays clear of making the girl part of the story, and thereby making the book completely fiction, we just see her from time to time.

I also liked how the author's note is at the very beginning of the story and there is a quick explanation of how Global Warming is impacting the polar bears.  By including it at the beginning of the book, I was able to hold that thought in my head, especially when Desmond talks about the feeding habits.  

While narrative nonfiction has many positives, I caution all teachers to make sure that this is not the only format of nonfiction reading you're providing your readers.  We need to make sure students can read, interpret and understand how to read all nonfiction, so making sure you expose students to the different varieties is very beneficial.  Where to start?  Be sure to visit Melissa Stewart's blog - she has many posts that share the different nonfiction formats and book lists to go along with them.


  1. You shared wise words there at the end, Michele. I still have not read this book and didn't know that it wavered between fiction and non-fiction. I want to read it, looks beautiful!

  2. Can't wait to read the Melissa's blog post. I've been so amazed with all the different storytelling style with nfpbs.

  3. I'm so glad you talked about the role of the author's note in this book. In narrative nonfiction, the beginning and endnotes can be such an important part of the nonfiction experience!