Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday 8.20.14

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! 

As we start the next school year, I wanted to review the 2015 IL Monarch Awards, particularly the informational texts.  Being familiar with them helps me know if any of these books will work for any of our science units.  

Animals texts (NGSS:  animal adaptations)

Nic Bishop Snakes
Snakes by Nic Bishop
I love Bishop's books.  The texts are always rich with information and the photography is outstanding.  The colors and textures of the animals seem to come to life and I really like how he puts the size magnification.  His author notes are always interesting too - it seems that there is always an interesting, if not humorous story, that comes from his work with animals!
The first page is perfect to closely read to look for snake descriptions and come up with generalizations based on them.  I also flagged pg 8 to use when close reading as Bishop compares humans and snakes.

Jimmy the Joey: The True Story of an Amazing Koala Rescue
Jimmy the Joey:  The True Story of an Amazing Koala Rescue by Deborah Lee Rose and Susan Kelly
Great story of how rescuers teach the koala how to survive and then release them back to the wild.  Young children will love the photography.

A Little Book of Sloth
A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke
Read this book and then compare it to the adorable Sparky fiction story by Jenny Offill


Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller
Helen's Big World:  the Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport
This book could almost be used in adaptations as well!  I'd also use it for a lifeskill discussion of perseverance.  Masterful illustrations.

Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Early biography of Jane Goodall.  Use as a writing mentor text as discussed in this 

Inventions - Social Studies

Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud That Changed Baseball
Miracle Mud:  Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball by David A. Kelly
Fascinating story about a specific part of baseball.  I could see using this in a unit on inventions that changed America.


  1. I have Sparky from the library, now will need to find The Little Book of Sloth to compare, as you suggested. We focus on n-f so much at school because of the varied unit topics, so will look for Nic Bishop, too! I think Me...Jane will be an all-time favorite of mine. I love her story anyway, & it is so good for younger students. Thanks, Michele!

  2. Ooh, definitely want to check out the baseball book - almost every year I have an "all I read is baseball books" kinda student. :)

  3. Great titles here. Nic Bishop has been a great find. The photos are incredible!

  4. Sparky and A Little Book of Sloth are indeed the perfect pair! Great books on this list!

  5. Fantastic titles. The Little Book of Sloth was the first nonfiction title I read with my class last year and the kids were rereading it all year! Then we read Me Jane - also on your list and also a favourite.

  6. It's great to see a diverse list of nonfiction titles here. I am familiar with Helen's Big World as I have featured that a few months ago. I agree with you, definitely gorgeous artwork.