Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wed. N-F Picture Books - Awesome

  Time to share on Wednesdays with Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at her blog, Kidlit Frenzy.  Interesting titles this week, again all with a similar thread!

        Thanks Alyson!   Tweet - #NFPB15

                I found and read these books because so many others have shared how wonderful they are, the stories and the illustrations. They are indeed inspiring stories. Find them if you haven't yet read them. 
               This week, all about people, the known and the little known, but making a difference in our world. I appreciate that they did so much.



Special Link: 2015 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalists Have Been Announced: You can see all the award-winners here with Kellee Moye at Unleashing Readers.

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews wrote this autobiography to inspire other young kids who love music, but who may not be able to play an instrument because they are poor. His family, his neighborhood, his town (New Orleans) all surrounded Troy with music. His brother was in a band, and included Troy as much as he could. At four, Troy got his first trombone, as a young boy he played with Bo Diddley. As his story tells, he played and practiced, then started again. He was a dedicated man. The illustrations are multimedia collage, filled with color and people and photographs, so interesting to see.



       This book was published in 2001,  long before Deborah Wiles published her next wonderful, and extensive books about the times before and during Freedom Summer. This brief story tells about a white boy and his African-American friend, whose mother works for the white boy's family. They do everything together, play, do chores, swim in the creek. But they can't do exactly everything together because colored people can't go to the movies, get ice cream at the ice cream place, or swim in the town pool. The illustrations show friendship and sadness; the story is based, Wiles says, on truth. So it is not non-fiction, yet would be a good entry into conversations about Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights Act, and being an ally when it is so hard to be one.   
       I've read other books about Wangari Maathai, but this gives the most information, perhaps  most interesting and inspiring for middle grade students who might be studying those who have changed the world. This book covers her entire life, her ideas, her perseverance. Even facing death threats, enduring prison and many enemies in her country of Kenya, she does not stop working for her dream, to plant trees. She was told by her mother, "a tree is worth much more than its wood", and she never forgets it. The extraordinary art by Aurelia Fronty accompanies Franck Prevot's story of Mama Miti with colorful collages that celebrate this beautiful life. Prevot adds extensive back matter, a timeline, important photographs of her life, and a map of Africa.

10 comments:

  1. I loved your first two books, Trombone Shorty and Freedom Summer, but I'm not familiar with Wangari Maathai and it is definitely a book I want to read. Thanks for letting us know about it.

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    1. I think you will enjoy it very much, Alex. It's both inspiring and beautiful.

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  2. Wangari is indeed such a beautiful book. It was full of information without it being text heavy.

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    1. You've described it well, Earl. Thanks!

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    1. Yes, I think you're where I discovered it, Teresa!

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  4. I really enjoyed Freedom Summer and of course Wiles' other longer books too. Trombone Shorty looks fascinating and I love Collier's illustrations. I look forward to seeing the Wangari book. I think I've read two picture books about her already, but will watch for this one too.

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    1. Yes, those Wiles books are wonderful, and I admired the research, too, Crystal. I have read the other Wangari PB books too. This tells more about her early struggles growing up and with the Kenyan dictator, and then her successes, too. Thanks!

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  5. I love the Wangari title. I think the illustrations are stunning. What a beautiful selection of nonfiction titles today Linda! Trombone Shorty is on my wish list!

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    1. I think you're inspiring me to gather more books that are 'connected'. It seems to be happening, so now I'm looking! Yes, I loved this Wangari title. I love looking at the way different artists do their collages. Thanks, Carrie!

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