I’m posting a tad early this time so that I can join the gang contributing to this year’s Top 10 for 10 : the Nonfiction Edition.
Now in its fourth year, Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10 (#nf10for10) is co-hosted by Cathy Mere of Reflect & Refine and Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Go to Picture Book 10 for 10 Community to see all the contributors. It’s a great way to really build your library with recommendations from people who are really passionate about children’s literature.
Here’s a list of books that are new and some oldies but goodies that I go back to time and again.
Actual size by Steve Jenkins.
I never miss an opportunity to rave about Steve Jenkins’ books. This is one that continually impresses teachers-to-be. The visuals are brilliant.
14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy
This one was published in 2009 but this story continues to resonate with students. I’m finding that students currently in university were children in 2001 and now bring their lived experiences to this story adding another level of intensity.
When I Was Eight by Kristy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
With the recent release of the Truth and Reconciliation Report there is a stronger emphasis on developing better relationships with First Nations peoples. Part of this understanding can come from reading books like this one about a young Inuit girl attending residential school and the impact on her and her family. See also Not My Girl.
The Wall by Peter Sis
I love Peter Sis’ work and this autobiographical picture book for older readers is fantastic. Living in Czechoslovakia under the Communists wasn’t conducive to living a creative life and Sis makes the decision to leave and start over in the United States.
Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Sarah Campbell
Not being a ‘math person’ any book that can convey mathematical concepts, hold my interest, get me to learn something and be beautiful is going to be included in a top 10 list.
I See a Pattern Here by Bruce Goldstone
I know – another math book! Bruce Goldstone also writes really good picture books with a math focus. This one is very appealing to work through and has a lot of potential for classroom use.
Trout Are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre
I love the title of this book. It’s an intriguing way to introduce the interconnectedness in ecosystems. I use this is workshops that promote trying to come up with interesting or essential questions when developing lesson plans. You tell me what you’d rather learn about: listing the characteristics of trees and the interactions of local animals; OR, finding out how trout are made of trees.
A Street Through Time by Anne Millard
This one has been around for a while but it and the others in this series again offer so much classroom potential. Historical and geographical thinking, visual literacy, model for student work and a terrific book for browsing without connecting to a curriculum are how I see this book being an incredibly useful addition to a classroom library.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
The true story of a boy in Mali who created a windmill that pumped water and generated electricity for his village from scraps of whatever was at hand and translating old textbooks written in English is a fantastic book for STEM connections and innovative thinking. Comes in adult and junior editions, too.
And last but not least –
A River of Words: the Story of William CarlosWilliams by Jennifer Bryant
The combination of mixed-media illustrations and expressive text creates a feeling for this poet that still resonates with me. Not knowing much about this poet besides the ‘wheelbarrow poem’, I was immediately caught up in his life’s story. A really beautiful book.