I'm joining Julie Balen and Mandy Roebuck and Cathy Mere for the nonfiction event #nf10for10. I'm putting together a top 10 nonfiction picture book list... with a theme! Visit Write at the Edge to jog to all the other 10 for 10 nonfiction picture book lists. Make sure you have a way to record all of the great books you'll want to check out!
When I think of nonfiction picture books, or informational texts as we are referring to them now, I think of using them to teach content area subjects. I'm grouping mine together plus one extra!
Strong American Women biography series
These women were fascinating to read about. I think they would be great reads, either in their entirety or in excerpts (particularly Josephine if you are using it with a younger audience).
Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell
Goodreads review: In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.
Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renee Watson
Goodreads review: Zora and Langston. Billie and Bessie. Eubie and Duke. If the Harlem Renaissance had a court, they were its kings and queens. But there were other, lesser known individuals whose contributions were just as impactful, such as Florence Mills. Born to parents who were former-slaves Florence knew early on that she loved to sing. And that people really responded to her sweet, bird-like voice. Her dancing and singing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired songs and even entire plays! Yet with all this success, she knew firsthand how bigotry shaped her world. And when she was offered the role of a lifetime from Ziegfeld himself, she chose to support all-black musicals instead.
Brave Girl by Michelle Markel
Goodreads review: When Clara Lemlich arrived in America, she couldn't speak English. She didn't know that young women had to go to work, that they traded an education for long hours of labor, that she was expected to grow up fast.
But that did not stop Clara.
She went to night school, spent hours studying English, and helped support her family by sewing in a factory.
Clara never quit. And she never accepted that girls should be treated poorly and paid little.
So Clara fought back. Fed up with the mistreatment of her fellow laborers, Clara led the largest walkout of women workers in the country's history.
Clara had learned a lot from her short time in America. She learned that everyone deserved a fair chance. That you had to stand together and fight for what you wanted. And, most importantly, that you could do anything you put your mind to.
Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough
Goodreads review: Once upon a time, American children couldn’t borrow library books. Reading wasn’t all that important for children, many thought. Luckily Miss Anne Carroll Moore thought otherwise! This is the true story of how Miss Moore created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library, a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world’s best children’s books in many different languages.
The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins
Goodreads review: Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens.Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees.
Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city.
Part fascinating biography, part inspirational story, this moving picture book about following your dreams, using your talents, and staying strong in the face of adversity is sure to resonate with readers young and old.
The next few books feature animals:
The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins
My review: Amazing book.I was a little worried with the size of this book. It's very big, very thick. I'm not much of an animal person, much less someone who would pick up an animal book to read. If it wasn't for the fact this was Steve Jenkins, would have probably skipped over it.
The facts were fascinating. The amount of writing about each animal at a manageable size. The organization was impeccable. Kids can skip to certain parts that interest them the most. Read a few pages, read the whole section, or read the whole book. I think kids will enjoy looking at the illustrations (done in true Steve Jenkins style) and talk about the facts. Some are interesting, some are gross, some are unbelievable.
Great addition to your home or classroom.
Eat Like a Bear by April Pulley Sayre
Goodreads review: A sleepy bear awakes in spring and goes to find food. But what is there to eat in April? In May? Follow along and eat like a bear throughout the year: fish from a stream, ants from a tree, and delicious huckleberries from a bush. Fill up your belly and prepare for the long winter ahead, when you'll snuggle into your warm den and snore like a bear once again.
My comments: I may be stretching this one a little into the nonfiction category, but I think this book is rich with details for the younger reader and gives great information about what a bear eats during the different season.
Eight Dolphins of Katrina by Janet Wyman Coleman
Goodreads review: On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina crashed a forty-foot tidal wave over the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi. The dolphin house was demolished, and its inhabitants swept from their tank into the Gulf of Mexico. After growing up in captivity, how could the eight bottlenose dolphins feed and protect themselves in the wild? And if they could survive, would their trainers ever see them again? This fascinating picture book—enriched with both beautiful color-wash illustrations and photographs taken by the trainers themselves—tells this dramatic, happy-ending story.
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth
2014 Sibert Award winner
Goodreads review: Above the treetops of Puerto Rico flies a flock of parrots as green as their island home. . . . These are Puerto Rican parrots. They lived on this island for millions of years, and then they nearly vanished from the earth forever.
Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, development, and habitat destruction. In this compelling book, Roth and Trumbore recount the efforts of the scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to save the parrots and ensure their future. Woven into the parrots’ story is a brief history of Puerto Rico itself, from before the first human settlers to the present day.
With striking collage illustrations, a unique format, and engaging storytelling, PARROTS OVER PUERTO RICO invites readers to witness the amazing recovery efforts that have enabled Puerto Rican parrots to fly over their island once again.
+1 amazing nonfiction read:
Locomotive by Brian Floca
Goodreads review: The Caldecott Medal Winner, Sibert Honor Book, and New York Timesbestseller Locomotive is a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America's early railroads, from the creator of the "stunning" (Booklist)Moonshot.
It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America's brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.
Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!
Enjoy the blog hop! So many fantastic books out there, waiting to be read! Happy nonfiction reading!