Books and Brunch: Nonfiction Children's Books

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Amanda's presentation on biographies, poetry, and science books!


<ul><li> 1. Books and Brunch 2010 Outstanding Childrens Nonfiction Books 2009-2010 Amanda Fensch, Childrens Assistant M/RCPL</li></ul> <p> 2. Biographies 3. Anne Frank:Her Life In Words and Pictures By Menno Metselaar </p> <ul><li>Unique biography on well-known figure </li></ul> <ul><li>Features many unpublished photographs; photographs are accompanied by diary entries</li></ul> <ul><li>Excellent biography for older elementary school students (grades 5 and up) packed with details about Annes life before, during, and after her capture by the Nazis </li></ul> <ul><li>Also recommend to students who enjoy diary type literature </li></ul> <p> 4. Bad News for Outlaws:The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, U.S. Marshall By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie </p> <ul><li>2010 Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner </li></ul> <ul><li>Has many elements to capture the attention of students grades 3-6 who may not cotton to nonfiction:colorful vernacular of the Wild West, great artwork, an engaging hero, and the story reads like a picture book, not a biography </li></ul> <ul><li>Nelson heavily researched the life of Reeves; whileBad Newslooks and reads like fiction, it is thoroughly cited and can be used by students for reports </li></ul> <ul><li>Publishers website offers additional classroom resources, including a discussion guide </li></ul> <p> 5. Black Elks Vision:A Lakota Story By S.D. Nelson </p> <ul><li>Excellent biography written in first-person, present tense </li></ul> <ul><li>Historically accurate with a unique perspective on an important figure in Native American history </li></ul> <ul><li>Author provides extensive bibliography, source notes, and personal note </li></ul> <ul><li>Perfect for students seeking information on a historical figure for a research project or give to the student interested in history </li></ul> <p> 6. Bylines:A Photobiography of Nellie BlyBy Sue Macy </p> <ul><li>Fascinating look at a historical figure who isnt often brought up in classrooms </li></ul> <ul><li>Macys book thoroughly portrays Blys stunt journalism and her perseverance in a male-dominated field </li></ul> <ul><li>Provides plenty of photos and other visual aids to accompany text on the 4 th -6 thgrade reading level </li></ul> <ul><li>Macy provides a fantastic index with every supporting character mentioned in the book </li></ul> <p> 7. Lincoln Tells A Joke:How Laughter Saved The President (And The Country)By Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer; Illustrated by Stacy Innerst </p> <ul><li>Great book to share out loud with a group of younger students (grades 1-4)the text shows a lighter side of Lincoln that many students would be unaware of </li></ul> <ul><li>Innersts illustrations add to the unique humor and zest of this book </li></ul> <ul><li>Krull and Brewer gathered the quotes used from collections of Lincolns jokes and clever sayings, which were mostly compiled posthumously (many of them eyewitness accounts); a source list is included </li></ul> <p> 8. Lost Boy:The Story of the Man Who Created Peter PanBy Jane Yolen; Illustrated by Steve Adams </p> <ul><li>Yolen and Adams capture J.M. Barries vast imagination and sense of adventure in this excellent biography aimed at children grades 3-5 </li></ul> <ul><li>Yolen focuses as much on Barries childhood (the good and bad) as she does his adult life, which is important because it shows how what he experienced as a child shaped what he did as an adult </li></ul> <ul><li>Adams illustrations portray Barries unstoppable spirit and are paired with a quote carefully chosen from one of Barries literary works </li></ul> <ul><li>End notes include a list of Barries writings and the actresses who have played Peter Pan </li></ul> <p> 9. The Boy Who Invented TV:The Story of Philo Farnsworth By Kathleen Krull; Illustrated by Greg Couch </p> <ul><li>Capture the attention of 2-5 thgraders with the story of Philo Farnsworthkids cant imagine a world without television.Tell them the story of the boy who invented it. </li></ul> <ul><li>Krull focuses on Farnsworths dream to become an inventor, doesnt mention his struggles and depression later on in life except in the afterword </li></ul> <ul><li>Couchs beautiful illustrations accompany this well-written biography meant to inspire and inform </li></ul> <p> 10. Sciences 11. A World of Colors:Seeing Colors in A New Way By Marie Houblon </p> <ul><li>An inviting book that asks children grades K-3 to find colors in the world around them </li></ul> <ul><li>Takes color beyond the normal and includes black, brown, gray and white and explains each of them </li></ul> <ul><li>The photos in the book for each color are not discussed in detail (each photo may have an exotic location, person, or thing in it) and allows for open dialogue between you and your students </li></ul> <ul><li>A variety of shades of colors are also displayed, which is typically not seen in color books </li></ul> <p> 12. Bones:Skeletons and How They Work By Steve Jenkins </p> <ul><li>Jenkins (a Caldecott Honor Award Winner) distinctive artwork style makes bones come to life in this entertaining take on skeletal systems </li></ul> <ul><li>Aimed at the 3 rd -6 thgrade levels, the text is fluid and fun </li></ul> <ul><li>Includes many life-size representations of skeletons (including a small python) </li></ul> <ul><li>End notes include interesting tidbits on a variety of bone topics (human and non-human) </li></ul> <p> 13. How To Clean A Hippopotamus:A Look At Unusual Animal Partnerships By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page </p> <ul><li>Formatted in block comic book style, this book introduces symbiosis to kids at grade levels K-3 </li></ul> <ul><li>Husband and wife team Jenkins and Page showcase some of the more unknown pairings, like the goby and blind shrimp, or the coyote and badger </li></ul> <ul><li>Like withBonesand other Jenkins books, the artwork is stunning and paired with engaging, accessible text that encourages learning and pleasure reading </li></ul> <p> 14. In The Trees, Honeybees! By Lori Mortensen; Illustrated by Cris Arbo </p> <ul><li>A great read-aloud suited for grades PreK-3 </li></ul> <ul><li>Almost picture book in presentation, Mortensens text is simple and inviting (coupled with interesting facts about bees at the bottom of each page) while Arbos highly detailed illustrations are truly incredible </li></ul> <ul><li>End notes offer great information on the lives and importance of bees along with resources </li></ul> <p> 15. Kakapo Rescue:Saving the Worlds Strangest Parrot By Sy Montgomery; Photographs by Nic Bishop </p> <ul><li>One of the strangest, most amazing birds ever found, the kakapo will certainly be a source of wonder for students once they discover it with the help of Montgomerys superb book </li></ul> <ul><li>Written with older students (grades 5 and up) in mind, this book details Montgomery and Bishops ten days with New Zealands National Kakapo Recovery Team, a group that works to restore the very limited kakapo population (current count is 122 of these beautiful birds) </li></ul> <ul><li>This is a riveting book--filled with stunning photographs that accompany a story that is an emotional rollercoaster </li></ul> <ul><li>Montgomery provides facts and history on the kakapo and then launches into the journey she and Bishop had while in New Zealand, observing rescue group members trying to save kakapo eggs and babies, being chased by a famous kakapo named Sirocco, and exploring Codfish Island (sometimes in gale force wind and rain), where the kakapo live </li></ul> <p> 16. Nic Bishop Marsupials By Nic Bishop </p> <ul><li>Bishop adds to his repertoire of engaging nonfiction titles withMarsupials </li></ul> <ul><li>Filled with photographs of high quality that Bishop is known for (and that kids grades 2-5 will react to with open mouths and big eyes), Bishop adds facts, details, and fun information about each animal in straightforward language </li></ul> <ul><li>Bishop also includes info on how he took each photo (most of the animals are nocturnal) and a handy index and glossary </li></ul> <p> 17. The Buffalo Are Back By Jean Craighead George; Illustrated by Wendell Minor </p> <ul><li>George blends nonfiction with a touch of fiction to tell the story of the history of buffalo on the American plains to kids grade levels 2-5 </li></ul> <ul><li>Georges eloquent writing and Minors evocative watercolor paintings will transport kids to a different time and place, especially if the book is read aloud </li></ul> <ul><li>George does not gloss over how the buffalo and the plains were almost obliterated by hunters, Westward expansion, and the American government </li></ul> <ul><li>End notes list a few sources and several places that kids can visit to see buffalo in their natural habitat </li></ul> <p> 18. The Frog Scientist By Pamela S. Turner; Photographs by Andy Comins </p> <ul><li>An enthusiastic, inspiring look at a scientist and his work, presented with gorgeous photographs and straightforward storytelling </li></ul> <ul><li>Tyrone Hayes, whose potential as a student was recognized and turned into a career by a professor who didnt give up on him, is now The Frog Scientist, studying the effects of the chemical atrazine on amphibians </li></ul> <ul><li>Give this book to a budding scientist or a kid that needs a little inspiration; Tyrones passion for his job and his crew (The Frog Squad) is evident throughout the book and is uplifting to read about; grades 5 and up </li></ul> <p> 19. The Salmon Bears:Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest By Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read; Photographs by Ian McAllister </p> <ul><li>A look at a lesser-known habitat presented in conversational text with fantastic photographs </li></ul> <ul><li>Extensive data is presented on the different bears, their diets, habitat, family life (especially the bond between mother and cub) </li></ul> <ul><li>Young researchers will find info on the Spirit Bears (white-furred black bears) especially fascinating </li></ul> <ul><li>A great choice for school reports and browsers; ideal for grades 5 and up </li></ul> <p> 20. Where Else in the Wild?More Camouflaged Creatures Concealedand Revealed Poems by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy; Photographs by Dwight Kuhn </p> <ul><li>Follow-up toWhere in the Wild? , this collaboration of poetry, facts, and photography is wholly unique and superbly constructed </li></ul> <ul><li>Each two-page spread contains a poem about the camouflaged creature in the facing photograph; if you then lift the page with the photograph, you can read facts about the hidden animal/insect </li></ul> <ul><li>Excellent for individual use or read-alouds with grades 2-5 </li></ul> <p> 21. Poetry 22. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night By Joyce Sidman; Illustrated by Rick Allen </p> <ul><li>Sidman (Caldecott Honor winner) combines compelling poetry, Allens stunning artwork and science for a knockout combination, grades 3-6 </li></ul> <ul><li>Opposite page illustrations highlight Sidmans vivid poetry; the poems are a mix of structures and dont always rhyme, allowing students to be introduced to various poetic forms </li></ul> <ul><li>Facts about each life form are placed on the page opposite the poem, giving kids a chance to explore further and/or do research </li></ul> <ul><li>A glossary is provided with all the scientific vocabulary covered in the book </li></ul> <p> 23. Poetrees By Douglas Florian </p> <ul><li>Eloquent and enjoyable wordplay from a well-known childrens poet based around the magnificence and importance of trees </li></ul> <ul><li>Each poem is printed on a two-page spread with artwork of the tree or tree part described </li></ul> <ul><li>Florians poetry is graceful and full of excellent vocabulary-building words, great for reading aloud and group activities in grades 3-6 </li></ul> <ul><li>Includes a Glossatree in the back and an Authors Note with resources </li></ul> <p> 24. The Monsterologist By Bobbi Katz; Illustrated by Adam McCauley </p> <ul><li>Designed to look like a scrapbook, this volume of monster poems will have kids giggling with delight as they read about trolls, vampires, goblins, and more </li></ul> <ul><li>Katzs rhymes are spectacular in form and the poems range from subtlety funny to downright hysterical (try reading the Suds Surfing Sock Eater without smiling) </li></ul> <ul><li>McCauleys illustrations are also a sight to behold and pull together the entire collection </li></ul> <ul><li>Perfect for poetry enthusiasts and beginners, monster-story lovers, and those looking for a good laugh in grades 3-6 </li></ul> <p> 25. History of Exploration/Music/Social Sciences 26. Cars on Mars:Roving the Red Planet By Alexandra Siy </p> <ul><li>Follows the journey ofSpiritandOpportunity , the two rovers on Mars </li></ul> <ul><li>Designed to only last 90 days, both rovers have been slowly working, gathering samples and collecting data, for over 5 years </li></ul> <ul><li>The book is full of black and white photographic images of Mars and artistic renderings of the rovers and what the planet might look like in real life; also includes photos taken of the rovers and all their gear while on Earth with excellent details mapped out for curious students </li></ul> <ul><li>Siy takes readers on a fantastic journey to a planet that holds a lot of interest for current and future space explorers </li></ul> <p> 27. Learn to Speak Music:A Guide to Creating, Performing and Promoting Your Own Songs By John Crossingham; Illustrated by Jeff Kulak </p> <ul><li>For the music lover or the true enthusiast looking for advice on how to write and create music </li></ul> <ul><li>The author is a music professional who starts the book with simple lessons (beat, rhythm, melody, etc) and gradually steps up the advice as the book goes on </li></ul> <ul><li>Crossingham has an easy, conversational tone to his writing that never feels forced or demanding, but rather encouraging, which is important for any kid </li></ul> <p> 28. Sit-In:How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down By Andrea Pinkney; Illustrated by Brian Pinkney </p> <ul><li>Pinkney uses powerful metaphors and repetitious phrasing to describe the focus of her book :in 1960, four African-American college students sat down at a N.C. Woolworths lunch counter that was for whites only and were refused service; they went back every day and were treated exactly the same way </li></ul> <ul><li>Students grades 3-6 will understand what these young men (the Greensboro Four) were trying to accomplish through peaceful protests because of Pinkneys effective word choices </li></ul> <ul><li>Brian Pinkneys illustrations also make a potent statement with mixes of thick and thin lines and patches of color </li></ul> <ul><li>Civil rights timeline and update on what happened after the book ends are provided</li></ul>