I'm excited that Alyson Beecher, at Kid Lit Frenzy, is continuing her Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge for the third year in a row.
Today, my Nonfiction Wednesday is going to be a little different. First, I'll include my regular, weekly review on a nonfiction picture book:
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I'm participating in this fantastic #nf10for10 event, hosted by Cathy Mere, Mandy Robek, and Julie Balen! Oh my, it's so hard to narrow any favorites list down to ten, and I had to think about how I wanted to do that. I decided to go with a theme topic, and when I read The Noisy Paint Box, I thought about all the wonderful nonfiction picture books I've read about art and artists! I knew I had my theme topic! My Top Ten Nonfiction Picture Books about Art and Artists (in no particular order):
Beautifully illustrated book about a slave in South Carolina in the 1800s who would make pottery and carve poems into them. I can't wait to meet the illustrator of this beautiful book, Bryan Collier, at the Dublin Literacy Conference this Saturday! My potter friend, Karan Witham-Walsh, uses this book in her high school ceramics classroom.
Since this biography won the Sibert Honor medal at the 2014 Youth Media Awards, and it was the only one I hadn't read in that category, I remedied that as soon as I could! George E. Ohr was indeed an eccentric genius. I love how he held on to his imaginative artistic ideals even in the face of the Industrial Revolution. The photographs throughout of him and his handlebar mustache and his beautiful pottery are wonderful. This is an excellent addition to a classroom library.
3. Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate
Another Sibert Honor medal winner this year! I LOVED this book! This book is about birds, but there is definitely an art element. I am a bird geek, and I spent many hours as a child drawing birds (why did I stop?) and raising chickens and ducks. I still love watching birds come to the feeders, especially on a snowy day. This book reminded me about why I love them so much! It's a very "busy" book - lots of information, drawing tips, even comics and humor. My daughter gave me drawing pencils and a sketch journal for my birthday after I read this.
I was fascinated by this book about Randolph Caldecott. I love the many illustrations included by Caldecott, his story of fulfilling his life's dream, and the design of this book. I was also interested in the people he rubbed shoulders with and inspired: John Tenniel (illustrator of Lewis Carroll's Alice), George du Maurier, George Eliot, and Beatrix Potter. We also learn about the evolution of the picture book and inner workings of this famous man.
5. Henri's Scissors by Jeanette Winter