Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Getting Nature-y! 4.22.2020

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.

It's April and it means Spring is supposed to be in the air!  Even if there are lots of signs of winter, animals everywhere are starting to wake up and do what they do!  Some nonfiction picture books that celebrate animals!

Seagulls Soar by April Pulley Sayre
Seagulls Soar
written by April Pulley Sayre
illustrated by Kasia Bogdańska
I hope you have a few days set aside to enjoy this book with readers!  First, just enjoy the lyrical prose this story brings.  Maybe read it once without the illustrations and just make mental pictures that all of Sayre's verbs will bring to the imagination!  And then bask in Bogdańska's digital illustrations that seem to dance before you.  The backmatter will have you pouring over the additional information and have you going back and cross-checking it with the information you learned in the book.  
Definitely a book to add to your collection!

After Dark by David L. Harrison
After Dark: Poems About Nocturnal Animals
poems by David L. Harrison
illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
Kids love nocturnal animals and these fun poems will keep them reading.  My favorite is the last one - comparing the blinking lights of fireflies to texting :)  Backmatter gives additional information about each featured nocturnal animal.

Honeybee by Candace Fleming
Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
written by Candace Fleming
illustrated by Eric Rohmann
This is one of the coolest nonfiction books I've read.  As much acclaim as Giant Squid received, I think this one is even better.
This book concentrates on the worker bee, or apis mellifera, shortened to just Apis in this story.  The structure of the text follows Apis' life cycle and while she doesn't live long, she does a lifetime of work for her colony.  I think readers will be fascinated with the information and amazed by the illustrations.  Just like Giant Squid, this one also has a foldout gateway that shows a four page layout.
More fascinating information is found in the backmatter, so when using this as a read aloud, make sure you leave time to go over this information!

Not a Bean by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez
Not a Bean
written by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez
illustrated by Laura González
Whaaaaat??  Did you know inside a jumping bean.... is a caterpillar waiting to become a moth?  I really didn't know anything about jumping beans.  Why they moved.  If they were a living thing.  This book kind of blew my mind.  
What starts as a seedpod from the yerba de la flecha, a desert shrub, becomes a home for a caterpillar.  The caterpillar eats the inside of the pod.  Once it dries out, the pod splits and falls to the ground.  And that's when the jumping begins.  While the pod moves around, the caterpillar is waiting its time to spin a cocoon and eventually emerge as a moth!  Who knew!

Tiny Bird by Robert Burleigh
Tiny Bird: A Hummingbird's Amazing Journey
written by Robert Burleigh
illustrated by Wendell Minor
Burleigh and Minor team up again to bring us this beautiful narrative about Tiny Bird's migration from the north part of the United States all the way down to Mexico.  Including one dangerous trip over the Gulf of Mexico!  
I find hummingbirds fascinating so I loved getting to read more about them.  I love this description of this tiny bird by Burleigh, "Tiny Bird hovers above a blossom as if hanging from an unseen thread."  Accompanied by Minor's watercolor illustrations, the reader will appreciate the amazing journey these birds take.

The Nest That Wren Built by Randi Sonenshine
The Nest That Wren Built
written by Randi Sonenshine
illustrated by Anne Hunter
I go on daily walks right now in order to get some air, exercise, and a reason to leave the house for a short amount of time!  Especially in the morning time, I see birds everywhere.  As I see them flitting around, I wonder if they are scouting for materials for their nests.
This book fills in some holes in my knowledge about what a bird, in this case a wren, uses to construct its nest.  Did you know they may put a spider sac into their nests?  It's believed that when the spiders hatch they eat parasites that infiltrate the nest.  Total new fact for me!

And one fiction picture book:

Kaia and the Bees by Maribeth Boelts
Kaia and the Bees
written by Maribeth Boelts
illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Love this sweet book.  It goes along with this week's theme - some bee information throughout the story.  But it's really about young Kaia whose father is a beekeeper.  But Kaia is so afraid of bees after being stung.  Kaia acts like she is the beekeeper to her friends, but when they see her reaction to a bee, they know it was an act.  Kaia decides to conquer her fear, but she learns sometimes that doesn't happen right away.
This is a must have!

Here's hoping Spring is in bloom everywhere!


  1. Happy Earth Day! Each one of these is a gem. I think spring is finally here. We have upper seventies on their way, so I hope our tree's leaves will pop out soon! Thanks for reminding about these books, Michele!

  2. I remember jumping beans from when I was a little girl! Thank you for these recommendations.