Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - A little of this.... 2.01.17

(photo credit to Sarah Brannan)

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.

One of my unofficial goals of 2017 is trying to read more nonfiction picture books that are not biographies.  It's not official because I'm going to read everything I can that looks like a book that should be in the hands of young readers, but I'm also noticing that the majority of my nonfiction picture book reading is biographies.  I'm going to consciously be looking for other nonfiction, especially books that can be used to enhance classroom content.

This past few weekends I've read a little of everything!

Social Studies/US History/civil rights

Martin's Dream Day
Martin's Dream Day by Kitty Kelley
A rather appropriate book for recent events.  I also celebrated every time I saw a picture of Congressman John Lewis in the photographs.....
First of all, the target audience for this book is young readers.  At 39 pages, it falls within the picture book category.  The text, while more lengthy than others, the font is large and the sentences are not overly complex.  Kelley gives the background of Martin Luther King Jr. and a sets the scene for the infamous "I Have a Dream" speech.  More an overview than a story in detail, it certainly gives young readers a feel for the day, a feel for our nation at that time (cough, cough like now...).  
What makes this book stand out from other nonfiction picture books about this day is the photographs by famed photojournalist, Stanley Tretick.  Photographs like the one found in this book are most often used in longer nonfiction texts, yet by using them, this book gets the message from this day and those leading up the the infamous speech, into the eyes of young readers.
Something to note, the proceeds from this book are being donated to Reading Is Fundamental.


Whose Eye Am I?
Whose Eye Am I? by Shelley Rotner
I'm always looking for books that discuss animal adaptations.  This one is very specific to animals eyes.  I would pair this one with Steve Jenkins' Eye to Eye.
A guess and discover book, readers see a close up of an eye, with the answer and details on the following page.  Usually another page that shows 2 similar animals from the same species with a smaller close up and photo of the animal and additional information of how the eye is important to that animal.
I wish there had been information that detailed how the scientists discover some of the information.  For example, Rotner tells us that a dog cannot see green - green looks yellow to dogs.  How do they know that?  (I know, I could go research that.....)

and one... Biography

Ada Lovelace: The Poet of Science
Ada Lovelace Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley
I had been on the look out for this book for awhile.  I first heard about it at the NCTE Children's Book Award Luncheon this November when it was listed on the 2017 Orbus Pictus Recommended List, but it took awhile before I got it in my hands!
An interesting biography and I like that it had a science and math background with a female lead!  I'm not sure I understood all the math parts but it was interesting going back to the beginnings of programming.  I liked the page where it showed some of our technology that has benefitted from Lovelace's start.

There you go.  A little of this and a little of that.  I hope I continue to be varied as I read more and more nonfiction this year!


  1. I, too, love biographies and have kind of an addiction! So I appreciate your nonfiction stretching!

  2. Good to see all different kinds of books, Michele. I have Eye to Eye, and this new book looks good too.