Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nonfiction Wednesday

  Join Alyson and others at Kid Lit Frenzy for a nonfiction picture book bonanza each week!
A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups
I worked for a principal who had a poster hanging on his office wall with a list of the names of animal groups. I loved it and always wanted one just like it. This is even better! A book, beautifully illustrated with interesting textures and materials, about animal groups and their behaviors. I love how some of the names of groups fit perfectly with the animals such as a flamboyance of Flamingos and an ostentation of peacocks. Wonderful! I can see students going crazy over researching more collective nouns. Great mentor text for the writing and reading workshop. Can't wait to share it with my class.

The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea
Ooh - I can see all the possibilities of this book in the classroom - a model for writing a creative/literary nonfiction text using first person point of view, a springboard for writing an argument paper by choosing which one you think really is the most amazing creature in the sea, and as a mentor text for researching other habitats and writing a similar picture book with the findings. The illustrations are awesome.
 Fascinating video that could assist in your students' research.

High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs
"It's starting. They're arriving." This is an interesting book about the arrival of horseshoe crabs and shorebirds at Delaware Bay in the late spring - the horseshoe crabs to spawn and the shorebirds to rest in their migration and feed on the eggs of the crabs. It's fascinating to see how relationships like this happen in nature. I loved the illustrations - the muted colors, the diversity of the people coming to watch all this happen, and the beauty of the birds and interesting features of the horseshoe crabs.
Bird & Diz
Bird & Diz by Gary Golio, illustrated by Ed Young
The format of this biography about jazz legends Charlie "Bird" Parker and John "Dizzy" Gillespie is interesting. It confused me for a minute trying to figure out how to read it. I don't know if kids would like that or not. It's different. I enjoyed how Ed Young's illustrations captured the energy and vibrancy of jazz - the blues, pinks, purples, greens, and browns adding to the tone of excitement. I liked the figurative language, too - "tossing notes back and forth like jugglers" and "He points his trumpet and shoots out fireworks." Good introduction to jazz and a couple of jazz greats.


  1. The giraffe book looks gorgeous!
    You have two books on your list that I've been trying to get my hands on - Creature in the Sea and Horseshoe Crab! Haven't found them yet, but I'll keep looking!

  2. I found "An Ambush of Tigers" at my library, but will have to purchase or request that they purchase so I can see this "A Tower of Giraffes", Holly. It does look great. I'll also look for the one about Horseshoe crabs-looks fascinating. Thanks for all the good recommendations!

  3. The collective noun book is definitely gorgeous. That's coming up on an nfpb pot soon. Have you read A Zeal of Zebras? Great book with the same idea.

  4. I think I need to add A Tower of Giraffes and a Zeal of Zebras to my list, since we've already got An Ambush of Tigers! :)

  5. All books requested, but my library doesn't have A Tower of Giraffes. Adding it to my not available list, will try again later. Thanks for sharing wonderful NF every week.

  6. Holly, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Gennady Spirin's work. And, as you may remember, I went wild over Bird & Diz in March here: A Tower of Giraffes looks beautiful. I hope I get to see a copy.

  7. Giraffes looks beautiful! Reminds me of a board book that Trent loves.
    The other two look wonderful as well.

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