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 byCaptain 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!