Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday 8.06.14

NF PB 2014

We know that a big part of the CCSS is to include more informational texts into ourstudents' reading.  I quickly discovered I had a "gap" in my reading diet - the genre of informational texts!  To help me fill the gap this year, I am going to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesdays!  This is a great link-up hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy.  Please visit this website to see other educator's link-ups.  My goal is to read at least one informational text each week and post information on the blog.  The more books and subjects I read, the more I can encourage (my #OLW for 2014) other teachers to use in their classroom! 

Sophie Scott Goes South
Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
I'm going to really stretch things a bit (kind of like we did for the Aviary Wonders book) because technically, this book is fiction BUT it has big origins from a real life event, that I'm going to post this book under nonfiction.
Sophie Scott is the fictional character invented by the author, Alison Lester.  In real life, Alison actually went on the boat, Aurora Australis, and took a journey to Antarctica.  After speaking with many students about her experiences, she decided to write this book for children.  Included in the book is artwork made by children.  Lester includes this information in a note to the reader at the beginning of the book.
The rest of the book is written as a journal, or diary.  Each entry starts with what day of the trip they are on.  Sophie is on this trip to Antarctica with her dad.  Really, Alison took this trip as a fellow.  The book describes various aspects of the Antarctic region - animals, the variety of ways they travel, the landscape and temperatures, how they dress, and some of the work that is done on the ship as well as on the continent.  
There are illustrations as well as photographs.  Many of the illustrations come from children that Lester spoke with about her trip.  The photographs are from Lester's collection showing real photos of the descriptions in the book.
The beginning and end pages are fascinating to look at, as well.  Both contain maps of the Antarctic region, from different perspectives.  The end pages map also shows some of the previous expeditions that were highlighted in the book.
This book would be a great mentor text if studying the Antarctic region or if doing a unit on taking on challenging adventures.  This text could also be a mentor text to show how to keep a journal.
Check out this video that shows more amazing photographs of this trip!

This book would pair well with Recess at 20 Below by Cindy Aillud.


  1. It really does sound like a good addition to learning about Antarctica, Michele, full of information but guided by a person. Thanks for your opinion of it!

  2. I thought this was an interesting book for kids to page through but was disappointed in it as a potential read aloud because of the scattered arrangement of texts, pictures, and illustrations.

  3. I am a sucker for everything Antarctica, so I am going to have to get this book. Love the way it sounds!

  4. I'll be looking for this title, Michele. I remember seeing it last year sometime (I think) but thank you for reminding me.

  5. I don't think I knew that there was a video for the book. Thanks for sharing. I read the book but like Elisabeth I wasn't sure about the design of the book though I still liked it.

  6. I had never heard of this one, but like Elisabeth, I'm a sucker for Antarctica!