Sunday, February 10, 2019

Nonfiction 10 for 10

#nf10for10 is an online celebration of nonfiction picture books. Whether you'd like to contribute or just pop into see what others are featuring, I strongly recommend doing so.

Click on this link to follow along at Enjoy and Embrace Learning blog or twitter with the #nf10for10 hashtag.

Every year I find out about new and sometimes older picture book titles that teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents are giving and reading to children.

My picks are pretty eclectic this year.  It's a list of picture books I enjoyed, found beautiful or made me chuckle.

So in no particular order...

#1. The Butterfly Garden by Laura Weston
      A lift-the-flap book that portrays the life cycle of the monarch butterfly in a beautiful and unique way. This is a black-and-white board book with flaps that open into brightly coloured butterflies, caterpillars, leaves and flowers. Recommended for Kindergarten to grade 2.

#2. Picture the Sky by Barbara Reid
     Barbara Reid's illustrations always amaze me. Composed from clay, she creatively conveys every mood she describes. In this book, the reader is shown variations in the light from skies in different landscapes at different times of the day and night and everything in between. Would be a great mentor text for art and language arts classrooms. Recommended for Kindergarten to grade 2.

#3. The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, and Caprice Crane.
      A few years ago Esther the Pig had an adult book written about her. This picture book tells young readers how she came to live in the family that took her in and what life is like living with a  650 pound pig. Emphasis is on lots of love. Lots of love!  Recommended for Kindergarten to grade 3.

#4. Hawk Mother: the Story of a Red-Tailed Hawk Who Hatched Chickens by Kara Hagedorn
     This book is filled with fantastic photographs detailing the journey an injured red-tail hawk lived through, from a wildlife rehabilitate centre to living with a human who tries to give her a life that is as authentic as possible. To that end, Shineshine (the hawk) was given a couple of chicken eggs to hatch after several years of trying to hatch her own infertile eggs. The question would she see these chicks as her's or potentially, as a meal? Excellent nonfiction writing with additional information and glossary.  Recommended for grades 2 to 6.

#5. Welcome to Country: a Traditional Aboriginal Ceremony by Aunty Joy Murphy 
       Written by a Wurundjeri woman from Australia, we learn about the importance of the welcoming ceremony as cultural greeting offered by Elders to visitors to enter onto their traditional lands.The illustrations are reminiscent of bark paintings. Emphasizes the importance to connecting to the land and respecting the people and ancestors of that land.
Recommended for grades 1-6.

#6. The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock.
      A creative, little boy loves the stories he learns from his family that reflect the rich Indian culture of his village. This is India in 1947 at the time of partition when Hindus and Muslims were separated into two countries. Nek and his family are forced to leave their homes. Moving to a new city that seemed devoid of the culture he loved, Nek collects and re-purposes trash and constructs his own village from it over a period of year.This renown folk artist has up to 4000 people a day visit his Rock Garden of Chandigarh. You need to check out the Foundations website to see some of his sculptures and how he changed the landscape. Amazing! Recommended for grades 3-7. Great book to tie in to units about recycling trash into art, science units about waste in our world and social studies units about India and partition. 

#7. Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home by Sy Montgomery
     I've a soft spot for stories about octopues since reading Sy Montgomery's book, The Soul of an Octopus. This book conveys the intelligence of this marvelous animal while he learn about how they live. This one has the added bonus of an adventure story as a rescued octopus finds his own way back to the ocean from an aquarium that had been his home. Recommended for grades 3-6.

#8. The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs by Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe
      Recounts how Ken Nedimyer was fascinated with oceans as a boy. He noticed that corals in the Florida Keys were in distressed and dying. Through his interest and endeavors he discovered a way to cultivate introduced corals into areas that were in dire need of help. Beautifully illustrated. Recommended for grades 3-6.

#9.  Around the World in Numbers by Clive Gifford and Josh Hurley.
      Divided by continent, the reader who loves trivia will enjoy this book. Lots of statistics are given for a range of eclectic things related to specific countries or specific areas in countries. Examples: 1,500 paintbrushes and 66 tons  of paint are used repaint the Eiffel Tower; 38,000,000 motorbikes are the most popular form of transport in Vietnam; 2.25 gallons of water can be held in an African elephant's trunk; 100,000,000 leather slippers are made in Morocco every year; 5.9 million pounds of maple syrup were stolen by thieves in Canada in 2012, etc. Because such large areas are covered there are not a lot of details for any one country. Good for browsing. Recommended for grades 4-7.


#10.  Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song by Kathryn Erskine.
       Born in South Africa apartheid was enforced, Miriam uses her amazing voice to sing songs of protest to raise awareness and protest the oppression that black South Africans live  under. This picture book tells of the trials and tribulations that she endured. Extensive author's notes, timeline, glossary, bibliography and additional reading list are included. Recommended for grades 4-7.

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