Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Non-Fiction Picture Books-Terrific Always

        Time to share on Wednesdays with Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at her blog, Kidlit Frenzy There are so many great titles to find and read. Here are a few books with stories and illustrations that I hope you will find and enjoy. 
        Thanks Alyson!   Tweet - #NFPB15
    Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat - Emily Jenkins & Sophie Blackall take us on a fine journey seeing the background of this "blackberry fool". With wonderful afterwords from both the author and the illustrator, one learns just how much research occurs in a seemingly simple story. Each part that shows the dessert created and then served shows history, including whipping cream with a created twig whisk, how cooling it happened before electric refrigeration, and the way people dressed and lived. Beautiful, not simple at all! 



      Thanks to Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ross MacDonald, I now know this story of the two boys, then men, who created our favorite superhero. It reminds me of the beginnings of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, lonely boys who had a vision. Their persistence to do something big is inspiring, although the backstory is sad because they sold their idea to the company that is now DC Comics for only $130. There is more to that part, and the families are now receiving some profit, but the men struggled most of their lives. The story told of the boys who didn't play sports, were shy around girls, but who worked and worked to create something that everyone could cling to in the hard times of the Depression. The illustrations fill the pages with superhero style, wonderful to see.


       Elin Kelsey takes us on a wild ride of nature's inspiration, and Soyeon Kim uses cutout drawings and collage to illustrate the content of all the ways animals in nature solve problems, don't give up. The message is that we should take the advice for our own lives. One example: a chimpanzee has learned to fold leaves to spoon cool drinks of water. And sea otters balance rocks on their bellies so they can crack crabs. Each page inspires a conversation for applying to our own lives. 

14 comments:

  1. I'd been meaning to read Boys of Steel. I wouldn't call myself a graphic novel fan but I tend to enjoy them from time to time.

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    1. It is quite a story, Earl. I think you will enjoy it. I loved Superman comics as a child, and then the Superman tv show & finally those wonderful movies. These two men really gave us something special.

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  2. History about a yummy dessert, that is my kind of history! I enjoyed the Boys of Steel, but did not think I would for some reason. The art in Wild Ideas looks gorgeous!

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    1. A Fine Dessert was just a beautiful book to see and the story is so well told, Gigi. Yep, the art in Wild Ideas is so pretty & creative!

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  3. I need to check out Boys of Steel. I read Nobleman's other book so I would be curious to see this one. And I can't imagine making Blueberry Fool without refrigerators and the equipment we have today. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Both are worth reading, Alyson. It was interesting to see all that they did do to keep things cool, & the cream whipped! Enjoy!

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  4. A Fine Dessert sounds so interesting. There are so many families who pass recipes down. I bet particular kids would love to see you could write a text about a family tradition. Thanks for sharing

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    1. One year my class collected stories and recipes from the staff & created a cookbook for the school. It was filled with learning, the interview process, planning ahead, writing thank yous, and then creating each of the pages-I loved the project and the students were very proud of the final result.

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  5. I just bought Wild Ideas after hearing JoEllen rave about it at AllWrite!
    And I adore A Fine Dessert. I loved how Jenkins organized the story - so much you can do with the writing! But Blackall's illustrations are just gorgeous. I think it definitely has a chance at a Caldecott!

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    1. It didn't occur to me because I often don't pay attention to dates, Michele, guess I should! I loved both and for different reasons.

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  6. I love these books too Linda - although #2 is new to me. I own both Wild Ideas and A Fine Dessert. Used Wild Ideas with my group this year as inspiration for an art project and plan to share Dessert with new group in the fall.

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    1. How great to use Wild Ideas as a mentor text. I love the art, as I said above, so clever. It makes me want to try it too! Thanks Carrie.

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  7. I have a copy of Boys of Steel which I borrowed from the library. Really looking forward to reading it. I heard that it was kind of heartbreaking.

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    1. It is rather sad, but mostly the back story, Myra. It's inspiring too with the persistence shown.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!