Monday, February 18, 2013

10 for 10 Non-Fiction Picture Books-My Best!


HURRAH!         
             Cathy Mere at Reflect and Refine: Building A Learning Community, her friends Mandy Robek at Enjoy and Embrace Learning, and Julie Balen at Write at The Edge have decided to have a non-fiction sharing day like the fabulous 10 for 10 favorite picture book day that occurred last August.  Come link up at Cathy's blog and have a look!

               I'm excited to see what everyone has to share, and hope you'll find a book or more than one to love from my ten!

Tweet this at #nf10for10


My FavoriteAnthology for the Earth, edited by Judy Allen
       This book was published in 1997 and I think I’ve used it for at least 10 years.  I found it first at a library, copied pages, kept renewing, and it finally dawned on me that perhaps I could find it used on Amazon.  (It is still available!)  It is filled with good readings about loving and caring for the earth from many parts of life.  Examples:  from The Diversity of Life, by E.O. Wilson; poems by Joseph Bruchac and Thomas Hardy; from The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck & Ed Ricketts;  Ovid from “The Teachings of Pythagoras” The Metamorphoses; and from one of my favorite books, The Outermost House, by Henry Beston.  Each piece is illustrated especially for it, from drawings, photographs, and graphics.  I have packed this book on every trip with my students, so we can read from it on our journeys.  It is a beauty.


                  Many of the following books are new to me and rather newly published.  I don’t know many non-fiction books unless I’ve had to access a topic quickly, so I start with a picture book about it.  Because I’m working more with primary teachers this year, I’ve been on the search for really good books all the time, yet I don’t have many to choose from yet. 

The following books are good to share and use for a variety of reasons: 

A Strange Place To Call Home, - The World’s most dangerous habitats & the animals that call them home by poet Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Ed Young
           It’s great to show student that there are numerous ways to communicate research.  This poetry collection is an excellent example of one way, showing animals in a variety of habitats that have adapted and are thriving. Ed Young’s collaged illustrations add beautifully to the poetic stories by Marilyn Singer.

A Boy Called Dickensby Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by John Hendrix
        Many young children know the story of A Christmas Carol, or have seen the musical Oliver.  This book is a terrific introduction to Charles Dickens, showing the beginnings of his life in all its challenges and the beginning of his inspiration to be a writer.  I know that this is classified as fiction, but it is based on factual accounts of Dickens’ life, and is an interesting look at how to include facts in a story.

A River of Words – by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
        Not all, but many of William Carlos Williams poems are so accessible to younger children, so when I got this picture book biography, I knew it would be an important one when reading or writing poetry with students.  It’s his story growing up, and a little bit about being a doctor, but still continuing with his passion, poetry!  The illustrations are all collage, with bits and pieces, sometimes whole piece of Williams’ poems.  A gorgeous book.
             
One Small Square-Arctic Tundra – by Donald M. Silver, illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne
              This book represents at least a dozen books like it, all by Donald Silver.  It, like them all, is beautifully illustrated, showing so many animals and attributes of the habitat that add to the information in the text.  We do many environmental studies at my school, along with lots of field journaling work and these books are invaluable resources for younger students.

The Great Migration, An American Story – paintings by Jacob Lawrence, text by Walter Dean Myers
             This book is an excellent picture book with real paintings done in years previous, telling the story of the movement of many African Americans from the south to the north, for jobs opening up around the time of World War I.   The paintings can be a study in themselves, but Myers' text adds to that work in his story.

The Story of Salt - written by Mark Kurlansky and illustrated by S.D. Schindler
             I read Kurlansky’s adult book titled Salt a few years ago and loved it.  I asked our librarian what non-fiction book she would recommend and this is her favorite.  The story of salt is a fascinating one, and this book has illuminating illustrations and good ‘side’ boxes on some pages with additional tidbits of information.  Definitely for older researchers, or a terrific read aloud to inspire students, to show how one thing can define how history moves in different directions because of need. 

Me…Jane – written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
              I love how this book shows the beginnings of Jane's love of animals and nature, even showing some pictures of her journal pages. It’s a beautiful story.


The Librarian Who Measured The Earth - written by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Kevin Hawks
           For those interested in ancient history, how early searches for knowledge led to proof.  This book centers on the story of Eratosthenes and his curious journey to measure the earth.  The information given that surrounds his life is fascinating, the story of those who sought early knowledge, the library at Alexandria where he was head librarian, and so on. 


A Rock Is Lively - written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long
           This, too, is part of a series of books.  The earlier ones are An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, and A Butterfly Is Patient.   They are filled with solid facts, but presented in such a way that one is immediately entranced by the topic.  In other words, a rock is not only lively, but mixed up, old, galactic, helpful, surprising, etc.  Each of the pages that hold those definitions share clear factual explanations with gorgeous illustrations.  

       Happy Reading!!

23 comments:

  1. Wonderful selections here Linda - the Anthology for the Earth looks like a rich source of teaching goodies. I'm putting in my Amazon order for that one right away!

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    1. It is a wonderful resource-lots of material to choose too, Tara. Thanks!

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  2. Those all look terrific, Linda! I love the look on Eratosthenes' face. The cover of Salt is also very eye-catching. I think I'm going to have to get A River of Words for a little friend who loves biographies and poetry both.

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    1. I just adore the collages in A River of Words, Tabatha. That little friend will love it! Thanks!

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  3. Thanks for some great titles! I love that nonfiction has taken on many different formats. I'll be visiting my library with list in hand and then deciding which books need to live with me.

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    1. I need to get on the library search & have books sent for sure, Elsie. My list grows ever longer. Thanks!

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  4. An eclectic list Linda-fantastic! I,too, am intrigued by the Anthology of Earth; your description is so enticing. And The Story of Salt. Often the most mundane of topics end up being the most captivating. Both titles are on my list.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hope you can find both, Julie. Both are lovely, & as I said, I loved the adult book about salt too. Fascinating. Thanks! I'll be looking at these 10 for 10 posts all week!

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  5. Great titles!

    A few specific comments:

    -I'm intrigued about The Story of Salt. I can't wait to check it out.
    -I, too, had an Aston and Long book. The one you selected is also a favorite!
    -Me…Jane needs to go on my wish list. I've seen it on a few people's lists today.
    -I had Anthology for the Earth in my classroom when I taught fifth grade. What a great blast from the past!

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    1. Nice to hear about all your connections, Stacey. The Salt book is so interesting & I did enjoy the adult book too. Me...Jane is so inspiring, to know about her life now & then to read the beginnings is terrific. And you already know about my love for the Anthology. Thanks!

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  6. Linda - You have some titles here that I love too - like A Rock is Lively and Me Jane. I am most interested in Salt and The Librarian who measured the Earth. Thanks for the inspiration! I am pinning all of these lists for when I have more time to source titles I want!

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    1. You make me want to do more with Pinterest, Carrie. It sounds like fun. I started, then just ran out of time. So glad I had a few books to share with you! Thanks!

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  7. These are beautiful books, Linda. Wow! I am not familiar with most of them...loved An Egg is Quiet, so must check out A Rock is Lively. I love rocks!!

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    1. Those three books are just beautiful, some of the nicest non-fiction that have real info. Thanks Maureen!

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  8. Linda,
    This is a fabulous list. I'm fascinated by an "Anthology for the Earth." I enjoy books that are collections of small snippets of text. I think my class would love to see "A Strange Place to Call Home." These titles and "A River of Words" top my list. I'm adding them to my library book bag right now.

    Cathy

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    1. Thanks Cathy-there are so many good books available. I hope you can find Anthology for the Earth. I do love it a lot!

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  9. Thank you for sharing these, Linda! I just told elsie how I was having trouble finding NF books that were not too juvenile for my high school ELLs, and I think some of these may be possibilities!

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    1. Absolutely, & I will share more if you want them, Jennifer. Since I taught middle school gifted students, I have a big collection of those appropriate for older students. Thanks!

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  10. Great titles and several that I want to check out right away - Me ... Jane, The Story of Salt, and A Strange Place to Call Home (because I love Ed Young's illustrations). Can't wait to add some more titles to my nonfiction pile which definitely lags behind fiction for me.

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    1. As I said before, my list is growing longer & I think I'll be reading the posts all week, Ramona. Hope you enjoy A Strange Place To Call Home. I love the way the art is so interwoven with the poetry-beautiful. Thank you!

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  11. What a great list. I have begun collecting nonfiction poetry books. I'm finding that my kids love them and are trying to write their own nonfiction poetry. I met Dianna Hutts Aston at NCTE and I hope to connect with her via Skype w/ my students. I'm adding A Strange Place to Call Home and Anthology for the Earth to my Amazon cart right now. I wonder how much #nf10for10 is going to cost me? :)

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    1. I'm trying to visit a few more blogs each day, Julie, & you're right, my list grows longer. I have fallen in love with nonfiction poetry books-there are some wonderful recent ones like this one by Marilyn Singer, & I just found one on sale recently that is similar, by J. Patrick Lewis, titled Swan Song, about extinct animals. Try to find it; it's great!

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  12. Oh Linda, I've pinned most of the books you have here, as I'm sure I would just lovelovelove them, particularly the River of Words book which just called out to me. I can't wait to get my hands on that one. I just checked our library and I just reserved it. :)

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Having a conversation is a good thing!