Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - what's in my nonfiction stack? 5.29.19

Wednesdays 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.

Some nonfiction that jumped out of the stacks recently:

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando
Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando
written by Andrea Wang
illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz
Anyone who has been through college, probably survived in some point in time, on ramen noodles.  This is the story how they came to be!  A story about determination and making do with what you have, a story about an inventor whose product has withstood the test of time!  

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon
If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon
written by Joyce Lapin
illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli
This book is so cool!  
Melissa Stewart has talked a lot about voice and nonfiction reading.  This is one I would add to her conversation.
Lapin takes the idea of having a birthday party on the moon and then explains how the logistics of everything would work.  For instance, how long it will take you to get to your birthday party (answer:  3 days via rocket ship, another 9 birthdays if you choose to walk...) and how while you're celebrating, the sky from the moon will look black even though if you're party was on Earth is would be blue (answer: it has to do with the fact that Earth has air in the atmosphere and the moon doesn't).  And did you know there are some "artifacts" left from space trips on the moon?  Who knew there was a four-leaf clover, golf balls, and moon boots?
I'm looking forward to pairing this one with Stacy McAnulty's upcoming Moon! Earth's Best Friend (publishes June 11th).

Two Brothers, Four Hands
Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti
written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
illustrated by Hadley Hooper
I always find it fascinating when I read about someone I should probably know but I don't.  That's the case with this one, and I'm grateful for the backmatter since I found photos of the artwork of the Giacometti brothers that looked familiar.
A biography that really goes through the lifetime of the brothers - organized with headings that detail the years it is discussing, readers travel from the early years to their deaths learning about the passion of these two artists.
Illustrated by Hadley Hooper, it is a gorgeous picture book, one you'll want to have some time to read.

Super Summer: All Kinds of Summer Facts and Fun
Super Summer: All Kinds of Summer Facts and Fun
by Bruce Goldstone
If you ever need a book to teach about the seasons or patterns in a day/month/year, this series is perfect!  It is one of the most kid friendly book when teaching about the seasons because it does such a great job making connections to young readers.  The book is clearly organized by a main heading and then it connects the information being learned to something in a young reader's life.  

Hope you've added a new book to your stacks!

Monday, May 27, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.27.19

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
 and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  
It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.

Last Week's Adventures

Nonfiction books that encourage you to raise your voice!

Engaging books for the PreK-1st grade reader.

Picture Books

We Are (Not) Friends
We Are (Not) Friends
written by Anna Kang
illustrated by Christopher Weyant
While not a new take on the friendship of three is tough topic, it's still a fun read.  Told through decodable text and sight words, young readers can clearly understand the difficulties these three have with playing a game that is meant for more than two players.

The Magic of Letters
The Magic of Letters
written by Tony Johnston
illustrated by Wendell Minor
Oooh, this is a book you're going to want to read at the beginning of the year to talk about the power of letters and words.  Perfect for intro to Reader's and Writer's Workshop.

Little Taco Truck
Little Taco Truck
written by Tanya Valentine
illustrated by Jorge Martin
Little Taco Truck is used to have the city street all to himself, but what happens when as the city grows, new food trucks arrive?
Great for author's message and to talk about what was this book really about?

written by Deborah Underwood
illustrated by T. L. McBeth
Another great book for what is it really about - and the older the audience, the more in depth the conversation!
Ogilvy the bunny has just moved to a new town.  When Ogilvy hits the park where everyone is playing another bunny lays down the rules - bunnies in dresses play ball and knit socks, bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks.   Oglivy wants to do it all so quickly decides on playing ball and knitting days, it's a dress and on climbing and art days, it's a sweater.  The other bunnies get upset and demand Ogilvy pick a side.  That's when Ogilvy decides to ask the big question, why are all the bunnies obsessed with what each other is wearing?  Why are the clothes they wear the deciding factor on what they are allowed to play?
See.... what's the story really about, right???
Interestingly enough I noted no pronouns are ever used in the book....

Dear Boy,
Dear Boy,
written by Paris Rosenthal and Jason Rosenthal
illustrated by Holly Hatam
A companion picture book to Dear Girl, which is the final book by beloved children's author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, completed by her daughter Paris Rosenthal, this is a perfect bookend to the first book.  A wonderful book to give as a welcome baby gift, it really is a beautiful guidemap to navigating life as a young boy.

Brave Molly
Brave Molly
by Brooke Boynton-Hughes
A wordless picture book that depicts the feeling of social anxiety in the form of monsters that crowd a young girl when she tries to enter a social situation. 

Home Is a Window
Home is a Window
written by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
illustrated by Chris Sasaki
Gorgeous picture book written with a lyrical voice about all the things a home is.  A home is many things, but will it change when you move to a new house? 

The Pigeon Has to Go to School
The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!
by Mo Willems
So even though this book does not publish until July, I just want you to all know it's a must read.  It's a must pre-order.  You're going to read it at the very beginning of the school year, so you might a well make sure it's for sure going to be in your hands.
All of the things you expect to see in a Pigeon book by Mo Willems is in there.  And it will make you laugh out loud.  I promise!

MIddle Grade

A Wolf Called Wander
A Wolf Called Wander
by Rosanne Parry
I didn't know what to expect with this one, but what I got was an amazing survival story that is full of heart.  Swift, a young wolf, is separated from his pack and must survive on his own.  He ends up on a journey where he learns to survive and live on his own, but he never gives up on finding his own family.  The book does not shy away from animal instinct and survival (some blood and gore described especially in the hunting for food parts), but is very respectful about the circle of life.  
With a writing style that was reminiscent of Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan, not a word was wasted in this first person narrative told by the wolf.
I am very much looking forward to holding a finished copy so I can see the backmatter (it was not in the published ARC).  This story is based on an actual wolf's journey and I'm interested in reading about the parallel's of the two wolves.
This is a must have for your readers who love animal stories.

Silver Meadows Summer
Silver Meadows Summer
by Emma Otheguy
I really enjoyed this coming of age story.  Otheguy does a wonderful job capturing that in between time - when you know you're supposed to be growing up, but want to stick to the joys of childhood.
Carolina has just moved to upstate New York from her home in Puerto Rico.  Moving in with her aunt and family is challenging, especially when everyone, including her own Mami, want her to hang out with her older cousin and try to be more New York than carry on her traditions from Puerto Rico.
The only problem I have with this book, and I know it won't be a problem for many, is there is a huge Tooth Fairy spoiler.  It is an important part of the story that has to do with the main character's struggle of balancing two cultures.  The main character is 11, so I understand that many kids already "know", but for those who still believe (and yes, I had a 5th grader who absolutely believed), this book would be a spoiler.  Again, know your readers......

Currently Reading

The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life, #2)
The War I Finally Won
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
I know, so late to the party.  I held off reading this one because I loved TWTSML so much.  Having a daughter with physical disabilities, this book hit home.  Not because I'm like Mam (please, no) but because I see these kids and I want nothing but the best for them.  I was hesitant to start it because I didn't want to ruin that first reading experience.  But, it's time!

I hope you get some great Memorial Day weekend reading done!  This weekend has been filled with books, but not with the reading part.  I had a shelf collapse a year ago and I've been meaning to clean out, weed, and reorganize my books.  Finally started that this weekend.  What a process it's going to be!  I will be so glad when it's done!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - readers for beginning readers! 5.23.19

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

Last week I shared books that are part of the "Ready to Read" series from Simon Spotlight.  They are a great series for readers PreK-2nd grade.  You can check out the post here.

Today I've got some other readers to share with you.  These are so important to have for readers who are beginning their reading journey.  PreK-1st grade classrooms, these are a must!  We want to encourage independent reading, but that also means we need to have high interest books that are accessible for those readers.  Here are some suggestions!

Some books I found in my Scholastic Book Club order:

Big Dog and Little Dog (Reader)       Big Dog and Little Dog Getting in Trouble by Dav Pilkey
Big Dog and Little Dog and Getting in Trouble
by Dav Pilkey
Lots of sight words, most of the pictures support the text, some words that readers will have to figure out using comprehension, but lots of laughs with the doggy pair of friends!

Baseball Buzz by C.C. Joven       Basketball Break by C.C. Joven
Baseball Buzz and Basketball Break
by CC Joven
These books will be high interest because they are about sports.  There are some sports-driven vocabulary that kids will pick up if they are familiar with the sport.  Even with only one sentence/page, the stories are long enough to feature a problem and solution, sometimes a lesson learned, and will increase readers' stamina.

I Will Race You Through This Book! by Jonathan Fenske
I Will Race You Through This Book!
by Jonathan Fenske
I love Fenske's humor in all of his books.  Sometimes tongue in cheek, but it always makes readers laugh!  Kids will appreciate all the excuses Bunny gives as to why the reader beat him.  I'm guessing the readers have even used one of these excuses or two before!

Birthday on Mars! by Sara Schonfeld
Birthday on Mars!
written by Sara Schonfeld
illustrated by Andrew J. Ross
This book is voiced by Curiosity, the rover on Mars!  It's Curiosity's birthday and it is celebrating a birthday and being curious!  I'm really happy to see a sight word reader that features a different topic - kids love space and this one is great because it has an exciting topic that kids can read on their own.
Publishes June 4th.

Bruce's Big Fun Day by Ryan T.  Higgins
Bruce's Big Fun Day
by Ryan T. Higgins
I am really excited for this book and I'm hoping it will be a series.  Bruce is coming to early readers in this early chapter book.  If young readers know the character of Bruce, they know that fun and Bruce don't usually go together!  Each chapter takes us through the day in which Bruce and his rodent friend, Nibs, enjoy the outdoors together.  Nibs has planned a fun-filled day for Bruce, although you know what that means!  It of course doesn't go as planned, which leaves Bruce extra grumpy... or is he?
I know this chapter book is going to be well loved by early readers!  Publishes June 25th.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - raising our voices - 5.22.19

Wednesdays 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.

Did you know June is Immigrant Heritage Month?  Here are some books that you may want to check out and share with readers.  The first two books are longer nonfiction books, however, they are written in a way that does not have to be read cover to cover.  Share stories or read it all, both books should be celebrated!

First Generation by Sandra Neil Wallace
First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great
written by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace
illustrated by Agata Nowicka
First of all, I love the title.  Nothing tongue in cheek at all here :)
Co-writers Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace have put together a collection of stories about immigrants who come from all walks of life - some athletes, others from academia, from fashion to technology - all of these immigrants have improved the American experience.  I liked that there were many new to me names here.  So many anthologies celebrate names that are well-known, this book helped me learn about many people who have done some really great things for America who did not have their start in this country.
I thought at first that I would quickly go through the book, reading a few of the bios, but the stories are so well written, each one drew me in.  I wanted to know more about these people's accomplishments, even when it was in a field outside of my comfort zone (hello anything to do with math....).
With backmatter that gives additional sources about each person featured, it's a great jumping off point to learn more information about these amazing people.

We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adults
We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adults
by Susan Kuklin
This is such a powerful collection of stories and at the very beginning of the book, author Susan Kuklin shares how this book had to be changed right before publication.
This book features undocumented young adults.  They were very brave to share their stories.  However, as this book was very close to publication, the president took away DACA and the face of the book had to change.  Changes were made to protect their identity, instead of their names only first initials followed by a dash are used.  There are empty boxes within the pages of the book which were meant to have photographs of the young adults.  That had to change in light of this changing time.
What didn't change is their story.  Told in the first person, these stories are heartfelt and pack a powerful punch.  At times hard to read, at times a tough look at the truths of living in America, these stories have a right to be told and heard.  So often, it's the voices of young people who may change the future.  
I hope this book finds its way into hands of young adults everywhere.

Both of these longer format books are important for middle school and young adult readers.  But what about our young readers?  Here is a short roundup of books that you can use with students for conversation and discussion about using your voice.  While both fall in the fiction category, the truths within the books certainly lie within today's reality, so I am including them in this nonfiction post.

Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights by Rob    Sanders
Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights
written by Rob Sanders
illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr
If you go through this book too quickly you might notice it's written in an ABC format and it's full of words and phrases that explains to young readers what activism looks like.  But if you dig deeper, and use this book to have conversations about what these words/phrases mean, how they can make a difference.  Ideas that are out of a comfort level and those that spark an idea. 

Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds
Say Something!
by Peter H. Reynolds 
Reynolds gives us a story that encourages young readers to step up and say something.  Whether it's to deter a bully or to share a beautiful thought in words, no matter how big or small, your voice matters.

Monday, May 20, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5.20.19

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
 and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  
It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.

Last Week's Adventures

Some nonfiction picture books that encourage readers to take a look at the world around them.

Simon Spotlight has some fantastic books for readers in the PreK-2nd grade range.  Check these out!

Picture Books

Watch Out for Wolf!
Watch Out for Wolf!
written by Anica Mrose Rissi
illustrated by Charles Santoso
Drawing from a few fairy tale stories and nursery rhymes, these little pigs are trying to plan for a surprise party but that pesky wolf is nearby!  A couple of surprises at the end of this book.

When You Are Brave
When You Are Brave
written by Pat Zietlow Miller
illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Add this to your social emotional learning collection to talk about what it means to feel brave and where bravery comes from.  Beautiful story!

Dog vs. Ultra Dog
Dog vs. Ultra Dog
written by Troy Wilson
illustrated by Clayton Hanmer
There is a lot about this book that is going to appeal to young readers - a dog story, super heroes, most of the story is told through talk bubbles.  But it also has so much heart - a character that feels like he doesn't quite measure up, comparing yourself to another, best friendships.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle
My Papi Has a Motorcycle
written by Isabel Quintero
illustrated by Zeke Peña
I cannot express how excited I am for the new imprint from Penguin Publishers - Kokila.  What I'm seeing from them is blowing me away.
One of the first picture books to be released is this beauty.  Add it to your list of small moments stories.  A young girl goes on a motorcycle ride with her father.  It's a ride they've taken many times before but with lyrical language by author Quintero, we understand the importance of these rides.  Neighborhoods are explored, familiar faces seen, and excitement just being with her papi.  
I love the illustrations from Peña.  They fit this story so well.  The colors used are these muted pastels that seem right for this California setting.

¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market
¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market
by Raúl the Third
I loved Richard Scarry books when I was little.  The important parts of those books were in the labels by the illustrations.  There was so much to look at in those books, I would pour over a page, looking at each part of the illustration individually, reading the labels, and then finally seeing the illustration as a whole.  
This book brings me back to my early experiences.  It took me such a long time to read this book because I wanted to get lost in the illustrations.  There are so many other stories within those illustrations, I couldn't help but get carried away!
I hope there are more stories coming, I think it would be really popular with readers.

You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks
You Are Home
by Evan Turk
This is a book you're going to want to preorder.  I absolutely got lost in the lyrical language that is a love letter to our National Parks.  The Parks are meant to be welcoming to all, home for everyone.  Animals and plants and flowers and visitors are celebrated in this story.  You won't want to miss the author's note as Turk fully acknowledges that while the Parks are meant to be for everyone and welcome all, not all have felt welcomed.  Also in the backmatter Turk talks about how much of the artwork was done while sitting in the Park and letting the life go on around him while he captured everything going on around him on black paper and pastels.
Also included in the backmatter is a map of the National Parks of the United States and the ones he included in this book.  Did you know the National Parks has a program that allows all 4th graders to enter the parks for free?  Find info here.
This book will absolutely be on my future Mock Caldecott list.  It's simply beautiful.
Publishes June 4th.

The Undefeated
The Undefeated
written by Kwame Alexander
illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Don't be deceived by the fact that this is a picture book.  You're going to need a lot of time when reading and sharing this book.  Read it without the illustrations and just enjoy the words - every word is so important and holds so much meaning.  Read it with the words and pour over the illustrations.  I've long been a fan of Kadir Nelson's illustrations but the significance of these are not lost on me.  Then you'll want to read the Afterword and go through the "Historical Figures and Events Featured in The Undefeated" and go back and reread those pages and look at the illustrations and compare it with the information.  This is a book you'll share over several days.  It's going on my Mock Caldecott and Mock Newbery lists.


A First Book of the Sea
A First Book of the Sea
poems by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Emily Sutton
Another gorgeous book by these two (if you haven't already, be sure to check out Tiny Creatures and Many: The Diversity of Life).  This collection of poetry by Davies focuses around sea life and is divided into four sections: Down by the Shore, Journeys, Under the Sea, and Wonders.  Each poem is beautifully illustrated, many of them would look wonderful on a frame displayed for all to see.

Middle Grade

Other Words for Home
Other Words For Home
by Jasmine Warga
Wow - I hope this book is already on your must read list.  It is fantastic.  Everything about it is so perfect.  
Jude is an immigrant to the United States from Syria.  Her pregnant mother and her travel to America, leaving behind her father and older brother, as they leave war-torn Syria.  The reader journeys with Jude as she leaves behind the life she knows and travels to Cincinnati to live with her uncle, aunt and cousin.  Jude starts at the same middle school as her cousin and finds things that surprise her - good and bad - as she tries to fit in.  
This is a beautiful immigration story and the decision for it to be a novel in verse fits so well.  While Jude has a handle on basic English, there is so much for her to learn.  Told in verse, every word must count, just like how Jude uses her English.
I think this is an important book for middle grade readers.  Whether it is a mirror book for them, or for so many, a window book, it allows readers a perspective that is probably very new to them.
Look for it on May 28th!

The First (Endling #2)
Endling:  The First
by Katherine Applegate
I really enjoyed the first book in this series last fall.  It took me a bit to get into it, but once I did, I found it hard to stop.  This book the action starts right away and it was all I could do to keep up!  Byx and her friends are trying to find an island that may, or may not have more dairnes on it.... all the while trying to escape from those who are trying to find them, in hopes of making sure Byx is the last of her species.  
Applegate has created an amazing world, which I found I had to be very careful when reading to make sure I truly imagined and understood where that part of the story was taking place. 
I feel like so much of the characterization took place in the first book so this one could truly be a plot driven story.  It really was so hard to put down.  The ending is certainly set up for another sequel.  I haven't heard anything about it, but I'm ready for it now!

Planet Earth Is Blue
Planet Earth is Blue
by Nicole Panteleakos
If you enjoy books that pull on your heartstrings, make sure this one is on your list.  It's touching, it's beautiful and it's important.
Nova is a nonverbal, autistic middle schooler living in the 80s.  She's been shuffled around from foster home to foster home with her older sister, Bridget.  Chapters alternate from being told in the third person - the reader sees what is happening to Nova and gets glimpses from time to time about what has happened in her past - to letters written to Bridget by Nova and here, of course, we get to really understand what Nova is thinking.  It's important to notice in the written chapters we witness what is happening to Nova and in the letters we get a first hand account of Nova's thoughts.  This is important since she is nonverbal.  
The story takes place at the same time as the days leading up to the space shuttle Challenger lifting off to space.  Nova is obsessed with space, but even more so with this space encounter because her older sister, Bridget, has promised she'll return on this day.  We don't know why she is gone, but we understand how important it is to Nova that her sister return.
This is a story about family, understanding others, and the ways we protect ourselves.  It is interesting to see how far we've come in understanding those who have autism and ways we communicate.
This was a quick read but one that will stay with me for a long time.

Currently Reading

A Wolf Called Wander
A Wolf Called Wander
by Roseanne Parry
A fantastic book to hand off to your readers who enjoy animal stories.  I'm reading the ARC and it does not have the backmatter which has all the information about wolves and the real wolf this story is based upon.  I'm looking forward to buying a copy so I can read more!

I have a few more ARCs in my pile to read and then loads of books that have recently been published that are screaming for my attention.  Hoping to get many off my plate before heading to ALA in June!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - looking at the "Ready to Read" series - 5.16.19

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

Today I'm taking a closer look at the "Ready to Read" series from Simon Spotlight (Simon and Schuster Publishing).  Like other "leveled readers", Simon Spotlight has their own levels.  I read books from their "Ready to Go! series to "Level Two".  I'll share what I notice and the books I read in this post.

"Ready-To-Go" level
This level is where Simon Spotlight instructs new readers to begin.  Featuring one, maybe two sentences, on a page with no more than seven words in a sentence.  Sentences are made up of sight words and word families, usually the same word family stretches throughout the book.  At the start of the book I read, it even had some things an adult could do to help get the reader ready to read that particular book.  Sight words found in the book and the word family that would be practiced were spotlighted so a reader would know what to expect.  At the end of the book are some questions that could be used to discuss the story.

Poof! A Bot! by David Milgrim
Poof! A Bot!
by David Milgrim
Often in a level like this, the stories are dry and boring, but I found this one to be very humorous!  Even with minimal text, readers will laugh at Zip's antics.
Zip is an alien who can make things appear with a flick of his antenna.  First he produces a Bot.  When Zip asks the bot to get him some tea with mint he ends up with pie... in his face!  When Zip tries to fix his mistake, he ends up with more bots and more pies.  You can see where the laughs will come in with this!

Level One
* note, there is also a "pre-level one" series but I did not have any to preview
These books still have a lot of sight words and decodable text.  The illustrations have a high support level with the text.  The sentences start to get longer and the font is smaller.  There is dialogue, but in the books I saw, the dialogue appears as talk bubbles.  When there is more than one character, the talk bubbles are color coded to help readers connect dialogue with characters.

Bunny Will Not Smile! by Jason Tharp
Bunny Will Not Smile!
by Jason Tharp
Bear is trying to do everything to get Bunny to smile.  Bear even breaks the 4th wall and talks to the reader.  Once the reader gets involved, now it's an interactive book!  Use your best silly smile and maybe that will get Bunny to smile!

Kiwi Cannot Reach! by Jason Tharp
Kiwi Cannot Reach
by Jason Tharp
An even more interactive book, this time the reader has to move, bounce and shake the book to help Kiwi reach a rope that is just out of his reach.  Of course, the funny part comes when Kiwi actually gets to the rope!

Level Two
There is a big jump from level one to two.  Many of the words are decodable and there are sight words, but more advanced.  The vocabulary is content related.  Sentences are longer and there is a significant change in amount on a page - now it goes from 1-3 sentences on a page to a quarter-half page of text.  Font is also smaller.  This level also features chapters, although they seem to follow a pattern and stay predictable.  I read some nonfiction books and I liked that the glossary was at the start of the book which allows readers to preview some words before reading the book.

If You Love Dolphins, You Could Be... by May Nakamura
If You Love Dolphins, You Could Be...
written by May Nakamura
illustrated by Natalie Kwee

If You Love Video Games, You Could Be... by Thea Feldman
If You Love Video Games, You Could Be...
written by Thea Feldman
illustrated by Natalie Kwee

This looks to be a fun series.  It takes something that a young reader might like or enjoy and shows them three possible jobs in the field.  For example, in the video game book, it talks about becoming a video game writer, animator, or programer.  Each of the jobs are detailed in separate chapters.  Quick details about what workers do for each job and it concludes with how the reader can start practicing that job now while they are young.  I'm looking forward to seeing what readers think of this series!

I like the many books that Simon Spotlight is featuring in this series.  They are engaging and I think will hook readers.  It has certainly caught the eye of the Geisel Committee since some of the titles in the past few years have come from this group!  Have you read any?  What are your favorites?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - the world around us, part 2 - 5.15.19

Wednesdays 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.

Oh my, my nonfiction stacks have gotten OUT OF CONTROL!  I really need to read and post.  I'm hoping to have a month worth of new(er) nonfiction to share with you in the upcoming weeks.  Be sure to check back on Wednesdays, here's what's coming:
1.  books for little foodies

2.  picture book biographies featuring men
3.  picture book biographies featuring women, part 1
4.  picture book biographies featuring women, part 2
5.  celebrating baseball - Yogi Berra blog tour
6.  animal nonfiction books, part 1
7.  animal nonfiction books, part 2
8.  the world around us, part 1
9.  the world around us, part 2

Today marks the last in the series!  I had a lot of nonfiction books to read in my stacks, hope you enjoyed the roundups!  Today is the part 2 of books that feature the world around us!

Yellowstone by Marion Dane Bauer       The Grand Canyon by Marion Dane Bauer
Wonders of America series:  Yellowstone and The Grand Canyon
written by Marion Dane Bauer
illustrated by John Wallace
This is a new series from the Simon and Schuster group, Simon Spotlight.  These books are written for readers who are beginning their reading journey.  This series focuses on some of the wonders of America and are meant to be a quick introduction.  Relying mostly on sight words and decodable text, the sentences are short and to the point.  Each story gives some information about the national park, enough that a young reader gets a few facts and quick understanding about the park.  Other books in the series include the Statue of Liberty, the Rocky Mountains, Mount Rushmore and Niagara Falls!

Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis
Hey, Water!
by Antoinette Portis
Love this book by Portis, concentrating on all the water there is around us.  From water in a drinking glass to water in a bathtub, from water in a dewdrop to water in a lake - Portis compares the different forms, shapes and properties water can take.  This is one of those books that I may read multiple times and find new ideas in her groupings and comparisons.  
The backmatter also has information that has classroom uses.  From a map of the water cycle to information on how to conserve water, you won't want to miss this information!

Popcorn Country by Cris Peterson
Popcorn Country: The Story of America's Favorite Snack
written by Cris Peterson
photographs by David R. Lundquist
Popcorn has always been a favorite snack of mine.  Whether cooking it in an air popper, in the microwave or buying it at the movie theater, it's always a tasty treat!  This book gives all the information you want to know about popcorn before it gets to the store or movie theater!  There's some really interesting facts too - like did you know the United States produces almost all of the world's supply of popcorn??

Stretch to the Sun by Carrie A. Pearson
Stretch to the Sun: From a Tiny Sprout to the Tallest Tree on Earth
written by Carrie A. Pearson
illustrated by Susan Swan
Celebrating the redwood trees, Pearson details the magnificence of these trees and tells the story of one particular tree that started off as such a tiny shoot, but now grows tall, perhaps tallest, in the forest. 
Don't miss the fascinating backmatter.  I thought this was really interesting - did you know no one knows the site of 2 trees that are racing to be the tallest tree?  Scientists actually will not tell you where they are, keeping the location hidden in the hopes the trees will continue to grow and grow!

Just Right by Curtis Manley
Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet
written by Curtis Manley
illustrated by Jessica Lanan
You know the Goldilocks lesson - looking for the "just right" things.  This book explores all of the different ways we are researching the universe around us, searching for what could be another "just right" planet.  Full of amazing research and information, this is a great book that explores the what ifs, what could bes, and gets readers to think about the possibilities of life in the universe.

And one fiction book to add to this collection.  I know, it's a nonfiction post, but I wanted to share this book because it goes along with the theme so well!  There is a lot of information to be picked up in this one - great to use to sort and collect, what information can you compare and contrast?

The Home Builders by Varsha Bajaj
The Home Builders
written by Varsha Bajaj
illustrated by Simona Mulazzani
Looking at the different homes animals create - below ground, above, in the air, inside nooks and crannies of the earth.  Would be great to use with young readers to note similarities and differences of homes and locations.

Happy nonfiction reading!