Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Non-Fiction - Always Good!

Alyson Beecher hosts Non-Fiction Picture Book Wednesday at her blog, Kid Lit Frenzy.  Because the students at my school study individual topics, the need for great non-fiction that will help in their research is vital. I've learned much from other blogs in this group, about books, authors, and illustrators. Thanks for hosting Alyson!









Sophie Scott Goes South – written and illustrated by Alison Lester
                     I know this is an imagined story about a little nine year old girl who gets to travel to Antarctica with her father on his ship, an ice breaker on its way to Mawson to make the final delivery before the community is cut off, and to deliver some scientists and other wrokers who will spend the winter there. Yet, Alison Lester based the book on her real life experiences and includes much information, about the ship, the animals who live there, what the workers do, and bits about the harsh weather there. During her own voyage, Alison contacted schools all over via e-mail about her trip. Some of the pictures that children sent her are included in the book, along with small sketches that explain some things, photographs that explain others. It’s a “full” book of information given in the text as well as the illustrations. What an adventure to be able to experience such a voyage on the Aurora Australis!


Tuesday Tucks Me In, The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and his Service Dog – written by
Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan with Bret Witter and photographs by Dan Dion
          This is a story of a service dog helping a young man, former serviceman, with PTSD.  For those children who are perhaps experiencing a family member with such problems, or for those who know about the wonderful work that service dogs do, this is a terrific story that explains for young children how life works in such circumstances. It gives good details of why Luis needs the help, how Tuesday helps, in addition to the idea that each really needs the other, too. I imagine that children would love the idea, and be so curious about the training that the dogs receive, and the training that also continues when in their new home.

Mogie: The Heart of the House - written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
           Kathi Appelt says she spent two months visiting, watching and interviewing those who lived at the Ronald McDonald house in Houston where Mogie lives. It's a true "biography" of a special dog who has the gift of understanding what people (children and adults) need. Perhaps it's a quiet leaning in, perhaps it's a lick on the hand or cheek? She leads us into the story by showing that really, no one wanted a dog at this place, but when Mogie arrived, and seeming to magically help a child 'get his mojo back' as the story goes, they realized that Mogie was needed. You'll need to find and read the story, and enjoy the joyful illustrations created by Marc Rosenthal, who, with the text, helps us "see" Mogie for the joy he is.

Wild About Bears – written and illustrated by Jeannie Brett


               I’ve enjoyed many beautiful bear books in the past few years, all wonderfully entertaining fiction stories showing antics galore with children and adults, other animals. But this book, gives us good basic information about the eight bear species left in our world along with gorgeous realistic illustrations. I learned that even the paws are different because of the way the bears live. Some need different kinds of claws, for example, because they climb and live in trees. Some have different fur because of the climate in which they live. Fascinating to read, accessible for young students who want to learn about bears.

 Hope you're finding more good non-fiction too!

14 comments:

  1. I thought I had seen all the bear books but I'll have to check the one you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very well presented, good basic info, Earl. Enjoy!

      Delete
  2. I'm so glad you posted about Sophie Scott Goes South. I had seen this book in a Monday post quite awhile ago and forgotten to write it down, then couldn't remember title or author--only that there was a polar expedition book that I really wanted to get. But this is the one! I'm excited about Tuesday Tucks Me In as well. Don't you just love this reading challenge? I can't believe there was ever a time when I wasn't obsessed with children's nonfiction!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed Sopie Scott, Elisabeth. For a fictional story, she included so much great info. Glad you caught up with it! Tuesday Tucks Me In is a good intro to the needs that dogs can help with.

      Delete
  3. Linda - so pleased to see that you also loved Sophie Scott Goes South. This was a favourite title in my room last year. I feel like I struck gold discovering it because there was so much to learn and gorgeous art throughout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I really loved it, Carrie. It shares so much information while telling an engaging story along the way. Thanks for telling about it!

      Delete
  4. I got hooked on watching a puppy cam for service dogs. It is a wonderful organization that helps many. I'm glad there's a book about it. And the book by Kathi Appelt about the Ronald McDonald house is another one I'd love to read. do your students also do service projects related to their chosen topic? I am always looking for ways for my students to engage in service. These books could serve as a guide for this discussion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had a family a few years ago who did train service dogs, and we learned a lot from them. They were always sharing and showing the dogs at school because it was good practice for the dogs, too! As for the students, many do, but of course it depends on the topic. Each class does service work with another group all the year, but additional activities happen too. I agree, helping students become aware of the work being done with service dogs, or helping anywhere may inspire them to choose to do something to help.

      Delete
  5. I think I've read all of the books except Tuesday. Guess I need to add that one to the pile now :) I've said it before, but I just love the quality of NFPB that are being published these days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing I agree, Michele. I'm going to try to gather a list of the 'series' I keep seeing, like "A Rock Is Lively" and on. I think it will be helpful. Hope you eventually find & enjoy Tuesday...

      Delete
  6. One of my kindreds who is a part of the European special forces has a very special dog that he keeps with him at all times. Not sure if they provide the same function, but I do recognize the importance of the warmth and comfort that a canine companion can bring to a soldier. Sophie Scott goes South sounds exactly like my kind of book. Will be on the lookout for that one next time I visit the library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe the dogs are trained to sense for whatever the needs are, sometimes very specific, Myra. As for Sophie Goes South-very good story and info!

      Delete
  7. Can't wait to read Mogie! I think I actually have Sophie Scott goes South in my library! Must pick it up now! :) Happy reading to you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debbie-hope you enjoy both very much!

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!