Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nonfiction Wednesday

I'm excited that Alyson Beecher, at Kid Lit Frenzy, is continuing her Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge for the third year in a row.
The nonfiction books I read last week:
The Long, Long Journey: The Godwit's Amazing Migration
I really enjoy Sandra Markle books. I liked learning about the godwit and its amazing journey from Alaska to New Zealand every September and October. What I especially liked is that the people of New Zealand celebrate the godwits' arrival and departure. Beautiful illustrations accompany this informative and entertaining book.  Here are some other Markle books I've read, all of which are great for the classroom library:
  What If You Had Animal Teeth!?  Snow School  Bats: Biggest! Littlest! 
Volcano Rising
2013-book, nonfiction, nonfiction-challenge-2014, onomatopeoia, picture-book, science
I liked how this author described volcanoes as creative. "But volcanoes are not just destructive. Much more often, volcanoes are creative. They grow taller and wider. They form majestic mountains. And they build new islands where there were none before." I also thought the illustrations were beautiful. This would be a good book to teach onomatopoeia while sneaking in some nonfiction! Great "Volcano Vocabulary" in the back.
JFK by Jonah Winter, illustrated by AG Ford
Jonah Winter was only one year old in Dallas, TX when he saw John F. Kennedy drive by, only moments before he was assassinated. He writes of the legacy of JFK's Irish Catholic family and how John rose to power to become the President of the United States. The vivid illustrations capture the Kennedy family's charisma and Camelot-like charm.
Through simple text (only one word per two-page spread) and eye-catching illustrations, Hurley captures the essence of the life cycle of robins (which is symbolic of growing up for all of us). The author's note contains lots of information about robins.

I'm not exactly sure how to categorize this next one.  I'm choosing to put it with my nonfiction post, mostly because I just read it, and I want to share it NOW!

What's Your Favorite Animal?

What's Your Favorite Animal? by Eric Carle and Friends

I LOVED this compilation of children's artists' favorite animals! Some are funny, some are touching, and some are outlandish. All are wonderful. I'm going to use it for an upcoming memoir unit. I'm confident my students will want to write about memories of their favorite pets and animals. This copy came from the library, but I'll purchasing my own. It's definitely one you'll want for your classroom library. It would make a great gift book, also. Mini-biographies of the artists are at the end. All royalties from this book will go to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Art, so when you buy it, it's also raising money to promote the arts. It's a win-win!
What nonfiction are YOU reading this week?


  1. Love seeing about The Long Long Journey, Holly. And I have Nest from the library-still haven't read & now I will! Also, I have Carle's new book-what a treasure it is! Thanks for the others, too-will look for Volcano Rising and JFK!

  2. Love that you shared the Eric Carle here as nonfiction! I like that lines are becoming very blurred between fiction and non - just means more learning opportunities as far as I'm concerned. I love the look of The Long, Long Journey. I think I may need to own this title. I love books about migration and this looks gorgeous!

    1. I debated whether or not to categorize it as nonfiction - I felt like the information on all the artists and the memoir-like descriptions of the artists' favorite animals lent itself toward NF. I agree - those lines are becoming more and more blurry due to the creativity of new NF authors! I think you'll love The Long, Long Journey!

  3. Holly - thanks for these great books. Many I have seen and love - Animals, What if You Had Animal Teeth - my students LOVE this one! And I LOVE Nest. (BTY - do you know if the author is any relation to Barbara Herley - the NF children's author and national geographic photographer?) From your other recommendations, I am most interested in the Long, Long Journey - it looks like a must have for our school library - and my own collection! Thanks, Holly!

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets confused about categorizing books. Nonfiction bird books seem to be popular nowadays so I'll have to check them out.