Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - biographies - 2.05.2020

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.

These influential men made their impact on the world in different ways.  Have they made a difference in your life?

Soldier for Equality by Duncan Tonatiuh
Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War
by Duncan Tonatiuh
So grateful for Mr. Tonatiuh and his books.  They always educate me about people, customs, and traditions that I may not know a lot about.
This book introduces us to Luz, a Mexican American born in Texas (Tejano), who felt the injustices and racism because of his descent.  He enlisted to fight in World War I as a way to honor his country and show that Mexican Americans are an important people in this nation.  Luz continued his fight throughout the War but continued to educate through peace and his teachings.  He continued this education once he returned to the States, even helping to form the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Fred's Big Feelings by Laura Renauld
Fred's Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers
written by Laura Renauld
illustrated by Brigette Barrager
I am excited to see the picture book biographies that are being published about Mister Rogers.  I grew up with Mister Rogers and his neighborhood.  In fact my mom still says I learned to much of my early education through PBS - Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Sesame Street - while my poor younger sister was raised on cartoons - Tom and Jerry and The Flintstones - because I had moved on by the time she was young.  Ha!
I do have wonderful memories and after reading the biographies, I remember even more about his show.  As an adult I can see the positives in what he was accomplishing with his young audience.
After reading some picture book biographies I pulled up some of the old shown on youtube.  Dated, yes, but the values he embodied are still so important today.
This book really focuses on the way Mister Rogers so effortlessly talked about feelings and the importance of naming them.  I'm looking forward to sharing this book with young readers and maybe even inspiring a new generation of Mister Rogers fans!

Infinite Hope by Ashley Bryan
Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace
by Ashley Bryan
I have long admired Ashley Bryan's work and who he is as a human being.  To get this glimpse into his history is a gift.  To be able and witness this history, how art saved who he was as a person, is not something I take lightly.  A story about art, but also about the social injustices of our country that extend far beyond our borders.  I sincerely hope that middle school social studies and literature teachers, as well as librarians, use this book with students.


  1. The first two are still on my list, Michele, and I loved Bryan's Infinite Hope. I too have loved his art, but knew so little of his background until this book. Thanks for reminding about the other two!

  2. I've got Infinite Hope on my stack. I need to get going on reading it. Thank you, Michele.