Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - 7.27.22

I know, it's been awhile for a nonfiction post!  I've got some books in my lap so I figured I would take a moment and share them.  

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Happy Sloth Day!
by April Pulley Sayre and with Jeff Sayre
I've had this book in my pile for a long time, but have felt very bittersweet about reading it since April's passing this past spring.  I've always loved her poetry and the way she and her husband worked together (photos for her books), always made me smile.
This book also made me smile because with April's trademark poetry, it was such a joy to read.  Of course reading about sloths is always fun but you can just stretch out the lines in the poetry and make it so fun!  Full of additional facts spread throughout the book and in the backmatter, this book is one you'll really want to read slowly... you know, like a sloth!

Honeybee Rescue: A Backyard Drama
Honeybee Rescue: A Backyard Drama
written by Loree Griffin Burns
photos by Ellen Harasimowicz
A couple of years ago I fell in love with Burns' You're Invited to a Moth Ball.  I've used it every year with students and have found them to be fascinated with the sequencing of the story.  This one is definitely one to add to my collection and I hope you find it too!  With the honeybee population lowering in numbers, this is a perfect book to teach young readers what to do if they find a swarm of bees.  They can be habitat heroes and help the bee population!  I read this book cover to cover and then had more questions that I quickly had to research.  This is a must have for your nonfiction collection.

One Turtle's Last Straw: The Real-Life Rescue That Sparked a Sea Change
One Turtle's Last Straw: The Real-Life Rescue That Sparked a Sea Change
written by Elisa Boxer
illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens
If you ever wanted to get a child (or adult!) to stop using plastic straws, this is the story to read!  It might be a bit much for younger readers, but it certainly will make everyone think twice about what happens to those plastic straws you throw away!  This is the story about a true rescue of a sea turtle that got a plastic straw stuck in its nostril.  Without the rescue from some marine biologists, this animal probably would not have survived.

Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky
Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky
written by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
illustrated by Daniel Minter
Never really thought about the history of a color before.  Because, you know... colors are just always there, right?  But they have a history, and I never really thought about how fascinating they could be!  Brew-Hammond not only brings the history of the color to light, but also talks about connections to common blue phrases.  
And the illustrations?  Well, let's just say there's a chance we'll be hearing this one mentioned during award season.

Solitary Animals: Introverts of the Wild
Solitary Animals: Introverts of the Wild
written by Joshua David Stein
illustrated by Dominique Ramsey
So often we teach groups of animals, but what about those animals that choose to be alone?  An interesting look at a few of them.   Be sure to read the Q&A at the end of the book because it most likely answers questions that aren't in the text.

Footprints Across the Planet
written by Jennifer Swanson
A beautiful poem about the footprints we leave across the planet - both physically and metaphorically.  With poetic lines, Swanson leaves us with some big ideas about the footprints we leave all around us.  Beautiful, full-layout photos go along with the lines that will leave readers thinking about these big ideas.  Going from animal footprints to human, to those we see on the ground (for long and short times), to the footprints we are leaving on this earth that show we are here (some good, some bad).  The backmatter has additional information about the photographs and ideas in the layouts.  Whether you share this book around Earth Day or at any point in the year, it's a great springboard for talking about the environment.

Blips on a Screen: How Ralph Baer Invented TV Video Gaming and Launched a Worldwide Obsession
Blips on a Screen
written by Kate Hannigan
illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
Video gaming is well-known by young readers, but how did it get its start?  This biography goes step by step of how Ralph Baer started with the idea of gaming on television to making it happen.  The backmatter gives loads of more information, including that Baer also invented the game of Simon - that's one that provided lots of gaming time in my youth!

The Mystery of the Monarchs: How Kids, Teachers, and Butterfly Fans Helped Fred and Norah Urquhart Track the Great Monarch Migration
The Mystery of the Monarchs
written by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Erika Meza
This was a fascinating story!  The monarch is Illinois' state insect, and I always make sure to plant some flowers and plants to attract monarchs to my backyard every year.  
We know that monarchs migrate south every year, even know that many make the trek all the way to Mexico.  But how did we discover that?  That's Fred Urquhart's story!  Rosenstock tells us about Fred's love for these winged insects and his curiosity about where monarchs went when it got cold.  It's really interesting to read about all the steps and travels they took to find the answer to the mystery!

My Blue-Ribbon Horse: The True Story of the Eighty-Dollar Champion
My Blue-Ribbon Horse: The True Story of the Eighty-Dollar Champion
written by Elizabeth Letts
illustrated by Kayla Harren
There seem to be quite a few books written lately about true stories of horses and this one will be a welcomed addition!  It's the story of a horse that was saved from being sent to the slaughterhouse.  Never thought to be more than a horse students could ride, this special horse went on to be a champion jumper!

The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan
The Rise (And Falls) of Jackie Chan
written by Kristen Mai Giang
illustrated by Alina Chau
I know who Jackie Chan is, I've seen him in some movies.  I mostly know him by his fighting in movies and those faces he makes!  I loved being able to dive into his past and learn more about him.  I'm glad he is someone who knew who he was and wasn't going to change that to fit into the mold others wanted!

Moving Forward: From Space-Age Rides to Civil Rights Sit-Ins with Airman Alton Yates
Moving Forward: From Space-Age Rides to Civil Rights Sit-Ins with Airman Alton Yates
written by Chris Barton
illustrated by Steffi Walthall
This is fascinating and equally frustrating to read.  It's about Airman Alton Yates' life - going from the work he did in the Air Force, including putting his body through crazy stunts all to improve safety for those protecting the country's freedom.  Then going back home to segregated Florida and not be served at counters or be given the same rights as whites.  Then Yates put his body through new rigors - some physical, some verbal and mental.  All to protect basic freedoms.  

Hope you found some new nonfiction books to add to your collection this fall!

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing selection of picture books, Michele! I recently read Blue and loved it too—you're right, the illustrations really are award-worthy. And I made note of several other books here. Somewhat randomly, I've always found the history of video gaming fascinating, so I'd love to read Blips on a Screen. And the illustrator of The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan, Alina Chau, wrote a graphic novel I read last year, so I know her illustrations are excellent! Thanks so much for the wonderful post!