Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday 4.01.15


I am excited to join Alyson Beecher and other friends in this weekly challenge.  Finding great nonfiction picture books isn't a challenge anymore, there are so many wonderful books to be read now!  The challenge is sharing them with as many people as possible so they can find this wealth of literature to share with our young readers.  Thanks to Aly for starting this weekly link-up and thanks to all who join in!

It's time to think spring, even if the weather in the midwest is not cooperating!
Our kindergarten has studied birds and other animals and this week begins their study of eggs.  Thinking spring, animals and eggs, check these out!

Egg: Nature's Perfect Package
Egg: Nature's Perfect Package by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
I'm not going to write much about this beautiful book, instead I'll refer you to Margie Myers-Culver's comprehensive post from last week - she does the book justice!  
I read a conversation on Twitter today by Carrie Gelson, Alyson Beecher and Melissa Stewart about text structure, and I thought about that a lot as I read this book.  Egg is full of amazing information but Jenkins and Page make it so accessible to all readers by dividing the information into sections, example "Egg Eaters" and "Egg protection" are two different headings.  Teachers can guide young children through the book slowly and read just a bit at a time or they can focus on specific sections.  When going back through the book, students can use the heading to locate information quicker.  There is so much information, it helped me think about eggs in different ways but be able to categorize everything as I read.

Raindrops Roll
Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
Oh my, have you seen this gorgeous book?  This is one that warranted numerous re-reads. You need a read to just read the words, then a read to think about what it's teaching you, then a read to go back and re-read after you read the end notes about the science behind the book, and of course a read just to look through the amazing photographs.  So much to do with this book:
* ask, "what does rain do to insects? plants?
* what sounds do raindrops make?
* what does rain do?
* what happens after rain stops?
* how is rain important to the environment? (think plants and animals)
* look at the describing words, sort them into categories - examples: helping, science
Gorgeous.  And again, make sure you read Margie's post on this beautiful book.

Sweep Up the Sun
Sweep Up the Sun by Helen Frost
Poet Helen Frost and photographer Rick Lieder, the team that brought us Step Gently Out is back again with another sight for our eyes and prose for our ears.  Frost captures what it must be like to be a bird, flying solo or with friends, living on earth or up in the skies.  Lieder's amazing photography captures birds at moments that take our breath away.  This book is beautiful.  The endnotes, again, share information about the birds to make this book a wonderful addition to a science unit.
* I think I would use this book with students, first, just sharing the poem.  After talking about the words and what it makes us visualize, then I would share the stunning photography.

You Nest Here with Me
You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple
Ok, I'm cheating here with this one.  It's a work of fiction, but if you just concentrate on the endnotes, then you're talking nonfiction!  This is a very sweet story, maybe even a bed time story about a mother sharing with her child about some of the nesting habits of birds, but always reminding her child "you nest here with me".  If kids aren't careful, they might even learn a little bit about birds and how and where they nest.  And if they have a savvy parent who shares the information in the endnotes, well, then they will definitely learn a few facts about the birds featured in the book.

What are some of your favorite bird, egg and spring books?


  1. Sweep Up the Sun is a personal fave! I love your idea of sharing it two ways with students.

  2. I know about the Yolen book, but still haven't seen it. I'm sure it's divine, Michele. And will look for Raindrops Roll. I love the title too! Thanks for all, will also find Egg.

  3. Egg and Nest have been floating around our blogs this week. I'll have to get my hands on them. (Especially because I think Jenkins and Yolen are geniuses.)

  4. Great spring books! I bought this new Jenkins title. I love all that he does and always share so many of his books in my classroom. I have all of the others on my wish list . . . Nonfiction dreaming . . .

  5. Love your theme here. What a wonderful welcome to spring and the birth of new things. You Nest Here With Me looks lovely too. :)