Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Final April Non-Fiction - next to last haiku

My next to the last haiku for April. It's been a joy!

27)
mild April evening,
rolling out the trash -
hawk fly by
  Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

 Most Wednesdays I'm happy to link to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at her blog, Kidlit Frenzy. I love finding good non-fiction picture books available about many varied topics, for all ages, too. Here are three marvelous books with stories to savor and illustrations to pore over, again and again. They were all brought to me by my colleague, my book buddy, with whom I trade picture books as often as I can.
        Thanks Alyson!

Drum Dream Girl, How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music -written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez.

         This ‘drum dream girl’, an African-Chinese-Cuban girl broke the taboo that only boys could play drums. The story/poem is lovely, filled with those wonderful drumming sounds, at first in drum dream girl’s imagination, then finally in real places.  We read “the clack of woodpecker beats” and the “comforting pat of her own heartbeat”, see her listening to “the rattling beat of towering dancers on stilts.” Finally she is given permission to drum, at last all girls in Cuba would have the chance. The illustrations are filled with color and drama. My favorite page shows drum dream girl imagining playing on the “big, round, silvery moon-bright timbales.” This time it’s the moon itself.  


Whale Trails - Before and Now - written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by G. Brian Karas
          This is a good introduction to the tragedy of whale history, and today’s whale watching instead. The author and the illustrations alternate pages, today’s in color is a day in the life of a tourist’s whale-watching boat and yesterday’s history in browntones. I’ve copied some of the pages so you can enjoy the creative idea of the contrast. For a picture book, so much information is included. There is less information about whales than about what people through the years do to and with them, but it’s still a book worth reading for the positive changes in history.
 I loved the pages of Whale Trails so much I copied a few for you to see.



Toad Weather - written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez


           According to the back matter, toads trek on the first rainy night when temperatures have reached at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Sandra Markle has written a wonderful fictional story of excitement using this event-toad migration! A mom arrives home, grabbing her young daughter and the reluctant grandmother to come see something exciting, even on the late afternoon dark rainy time when most people just want to be inside. They walk and walk, see other lovely sites, like colorful umbrellas, “cardboard boxes melting”, and “colors swirling in the water”. Thomas Gonzalez paints gorgeous illustrations to meet the poetic words. His paints seem to melt too! But the best is yet to come, a street blocked off for the ‘toad migration’. People are everywhere, carrying toads across a street to ponds. It’s exciting and delightful, and even the grandmother thinks it was worth going out into the rainy. Night. It’s a great story, with science wonder included.

25 comments:

  1. It HAS been a joy, Linda! I love the domestic rolling out the trash in the same image as the wild, wheeling hawks. Nice! xo

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  2. Loved how you got to get a glimpse of awesome while doing the mundane!
    And Love those books!

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I hope you have that line up now. Looking forward to it!

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  3. What a wonderful haiku, I could really see it in my mind like I was standing there.
    And thanks for sharing these three interesting looking nonfiction books.

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    1. Thanks Alex, I hope you find at least one of these that you love!

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  4. I love that you have a book buddy to trade books with! I always seem to be loaning out, but never borrowing. Ha. I got a copy of Toad Weather, and I think I forgot to add it to Goodreads and blog about it. I thought it was great! Sandra Markle is a fantastic nonfiction writer! Love the look of Whale Trails!

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    1. Thanks, Holly, that Toad Weather is marvelous to "see", isn't it? Hope you find Whale Trails good, too. It would be such a good mentor text for a history project.

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  5. The instrument I wanted to play first, was the drums, but my band director steered me toward the flute. I never strayed too far from the drums though, and while in college, played in the percussion ensemble on the side for a short while. Thanks for sharing Drum Dream Girl.

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    1. Oh, Teresa, this sounds like a book just for you! It is a wonderful story.

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  6. I should give Toad Weather a try. We've had the book faced out awhile and I keep walking past it!

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    1. It's so beautiful inside, Earl. Take a look!

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  7. I love the juxtaposition of the hawk while taking out the trash. You never know where wonder will break in on our days.

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    1. It was quite amazing, Kay. Here it came, flying so fast down the street!

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  8. Love the hawl image but have to admit I am leery of them when I see them sulking about stalking prey. Someone here last year was attacked by hawk-- he had his arm out the car window and the hawk dove for him and wouldn't let go. Can you imagine! What fearful talons they have. The palette of Whale Trails is lovely -- thank you for keeping me in titles to explore!

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    1. I've never heard of a hawk attacking a human. Oh my, what a terrible experience. I know that they attack small dogs and cats, but . . . You're welcome Lee Ann. I wonder is Whale Trails would make a good text for a high school project?

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  9. Isn't Drum Dream Girl such a beauty? Margarita sent me an ARC when I was still in the US last year and I will be featuring it next week for our new reading theme! :) Hope your travels are good.

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    1. Thanks, Myra. Yes, I loved Drum Dream Girl. Margarita's words always speak to me. Will try to read your post about the book.

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  10. I have Drum Dream Girl waiting for me at the library. I am excited about finally reading it. I also love Toad Weather.

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    1. Yes, both are treasures this time, Alyson. I hope you enjoy Drum Dream Girl as much as I did.

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  11. Great selection here Linda. Loved the details you shared. Whale Trails looks very interesting. I loved seeing the inside pages. such an important topic - my students and I have discussed whale watching in the past but I would like to delve deeper.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. The pictures are good, detailed, would call for good conversations about yesterday and today.

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  12. Margarita Engle is brilliant! I need to get as many of her books as possible this summer and just do a readathon!

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    1. Yes you do, Kellee. You will enjoy it thoroughly!

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  13. I loved Toad Weather! The illustrations are fantastic and the story is cool too. I enjoy Margarite Engle's books and am looking forward to this one.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!