Thanks to Alyson Beecher, we discover favorite non-fiction picture books every Wednesday when others link up on her blog, KidLit Frenzy.
When Marian Sang – written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick
Somehow I missed this when it was published several years ago. The story begins with Marian’s childhood, all the way to her triumph singing at the Lincoln Memorial, with some follow-up of changes that occurred after that. The author and illustrator notes at the back are also of interest, adding more to Marian’s story, and the spark that started both down the path in crafting this book. The story of Marian’s voice is celebrated by interspersing songs she sang throughout her lifetime, and the illustrations fill the pages with a kind of celebration too. Even the background surrounding her on each page is meaningful in a historic sense. I enjoyed it very much.
Firebird, Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird – written by Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers
“In a pas de deux/a music box for two”, Misty Copeland tells her story to a young girl, hopeful for her own ballet success. It’s a loving story of a beautiful mentor, showing that everyone who has a dream can realize it. The illustrations, of background cutout paper and emotional paintings of the two dancers, are gorgeous and inviting.
Electrical Wizard, How Nikola Tesla Lit Up The World – written by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Oliver Dominguez
This story of Nikola Tesla is inspiring. His life shared is accessible for young children (third grade and up) and will be interesting for older ones, too. The early curiosity, the persistence he showed to realize the ideas that he worked out in his head amaze. From an early age, he noticed the electricity in lightning bolts, then when he petted his cat. Later, he built a wheel with a stick pushed through a hole in its middle, and watched a small waterfall spin the wheel without stopping. Years later, the energy of Niagara Falls would be harnessed from that same idea, this time producing electricity for millions. The story includes the conflict with Thomas Edison, so well known for many inventions, but it is Tesla that gave us alternating current. Rusch included many explanations in the extensive back-matter, including how AC works, the way Niagara was harnessed, etc. The full page illustrations show the history and background well from Tesla’s youth to adulthood.
I didn't have time to read all the N-F books that I have from the library. They'll have to wait until next week. One is The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis. It looks great.
Enjoy your reading week!