Wednesday, November 12, 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.
Fall Leaves
Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland, illustrations by Elly MacKay
Everything I've heard about this book is true - it's beautiful! It will become one of my literary nonfiction mentor texts for my classroom. The illustrations are amazing. Nonfiction done with poetry is becoming one of my favorite genres/formats.   Speaking of that, I just read this next one...
Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold
The cover of this beautiful, informative book captured my interest right away. It's gorgeous! The rest of the book doesn't disappoint. Sidman's wonderful poetry and Rick Allen's absolutely captivating prints combine to make this a must-have for the classroom library. Informational paragraphs follow up each poem, teaching us about tundra swans, snowflakes, honeybees, voles, chickadees, and more. I'm looking forward to sharing this with my students in December when I do a winter unit on figurative language and sensory details using short texts. 
Read a Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast interview with Rick Allen here.
Here Is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays
I was especially captivated by the illustrations in this book about Jewish holidays. This is a great introduction to the traditions surrounding the Jewish holidays with more information in the back. I loved the emphasis on family. 
                 The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse
The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrations by Hadley Hooper
I love the focus of this Henry Matisse biography - his mother's inspiration. Matisse's mother encouraged creativity and loved color, which helped Matisse look at the world's light and movement. I enjoyed Hooper's relief printing illustrations, especially the two-page spread with young Matisse on the left side of the ladder and adult Matisse on the right with the red background. Pair up with Henri's Scissors by Jeannette Winter.
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio
2014-book, biography, nonfiction, nonfiction-challenge-2014, picture-book, sports

Joe had three strikes against him: he was supposed to become a fisherman like his dad, he was an Italian American in a prejudiced time, and he barely said a word. Those things didn't stop him at all, though. He loved baseball, and he was so good at it that the New York Yankees AND his dad approved. He played baseball for the Yankees through the Great Depression and in 1941, he tied the American League hitting streak record that George Sisler had set in 1922. He didn't stop his hitting streak, making it through 56 games, a record that still stands today. Big, bold language and dynamic, expressive illustrations join to make this an entertaining read for all readers, not just baseball fans. An Author's Note & Stats give extra information in the back.
What I'll read this afternoon to get ready for the November SharpSchu Book Club:


  1. Thanks for sharing these lovely picture books. Fall Leaves and Winter Bees both look particularly enticing to me.

  2. Beautiful selection. I really want to find Winter Bees and also Fall Leaves - I just shared Fall Walk with my students and they are now fascinated with identifying leaves they find.

  3. Thanks Holly. We just ordered Fall Leaves but haven't read it yet. Can't wait to read The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia Machlahan. It looks amazing

  4. I just got the shark book too--hoping to read it with my son sometime soon. The cover of Fall Leaves is just gorgeous--really want to see the whole book now! I liked Iridescence of Birds quite a bit--would like to know more about how Hooper creates her art.

  5. I loved Neighborhood Sharks! The SharpSchu bookclub tonight was so fun hearing more about it.
    Fall Leaves was a favorite too. I have Winter Bees on hold, can't wait to get to it!

  6. I have not seen Here Is The World Holly but I can hardly wait to see it now. Thank you for featuring it here.

  7. I agree with you, Holly, Fall Leaves is marvelous. I just got Winter Bees & haven't opened it yet-soon! And Love the look of Here Is The World & the DiMaggio bio. Thank you!

  8. Wow! What a great selection of books. I haven't read any of them, but will be on the lookout for them.

  9. Such gorgeous books you have here Holly! Haven't read any of them yet, so quite a lot for me to find in our libraries when I get back in Singapore. :)