Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Non-Fiction Treasures

             Visit Alyson Beecher to discover favorite non-fiction picture books every Wednesday on her blog, KidLit Frenzy.  There's a wealth of non-fiction picture books that can be found on everyone's posts!  Thanks for hosting, Alyson!




 The Right Word - Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

I've been waiting for this book since I first read about it, and in the past few days, reading it more than once. What a treasure it is, like these creative artists' other collaboration, A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, this book celebrates a life filled with a love of words. It's interesting that both men were doctors.



 The Right Word fills us with the words Peter Roget loved, from the first Latin ones he learned from a tutor, to the pages in his first published book. Even the inside covers are filled with WORDS! A favorite page is when Jen tells of Roget finally falling in love, at age forty-five, and she lists the words: amour, love, smitten, marriage, husband, wife, family, and on. Each word of course in the thesaurus leads to other lists. 



 They tell us that the word "thesaurus" means "Treasure House" in Greek, and the book is certainly a treasure to read and to pore over.



















I Was Dreaming to Come to America - Memories from the Ellis Island Oral History Project - Selected and Illustrated by Veronica Lawlor      
            This is another treasure I've used more than once with students who were doing their own oral histories as well as when we studied immigration. It is filled with short pieces from immigrants who tell of their experiences when they arrived in America. The artistic responses by Lawlor are gorgeous watercolor/collages, and the words from each tell small parts of their time. Here is a part from a young woman: When I came here, I was in a different world. It was so peaceful, it was quiet. You were not afraid to go out in the middle of the night... I was free. I'm just like a bird. It's a good example of a short book appropriate for younger or older students who are researching this time, or would serve as a mentor text for writing memoir. 

Happy Reading!









13 comments:

  1. Linda, I absolutely loved how Melissa Sweet incorporated so many different words into the art. This is a book I'm going to enjoy returning to again and again because the art is so detailed, rich, and complex.

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    1. Thanks, Elisabeth, me too. This is one I'll keep for me. Just like The River of Words, it is filled with things to look at many times.

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  2. I haven't seen The Right Word at any bookstore here in Portland and I work at one! I'm getting impatient, lol.

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    1. Hm-m, I'm surprised, perhaps late getting to the west? Hope you find it soon. How about the libraries?

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  3. Yay for The Right Word! I just loved it. Bryant and Sweet are the dream team. :-) I haven't heard of the other one you featured. It looks great! I love immigration stories.

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    1. I was so excited to get The Right Word, Holly, & see that you were too. The other one is older, but still available.

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  4. Anything by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet is guaranteed goodness. I love this title as much as the others.

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    1. Yep, me, too. Now we have to wait for the next one while we enjoy this one over & over!

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  5. I was really impressed with The Right Word. I thought Bryant and Sweet made such a perfect team - it would be hard to imagine the text without the illustrations and vice versa!

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    1. It seems to be applause from everyone, Michele. Hope it receives lots of Caldecott love! Thanks!

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  6. Treasure House - love this. I can't wait to grab this The Right Word and devour it. Hoping it inspires students to dive into a thesaurus and play with words.

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    1. Isn't it great to know that? Hope you find it soon for you and for your students! Thanks!

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  7. I am excited to pick up The Right Word from the library tomorrow! :) Been reading so many great things about it.

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