Time to share on Wednesdays with Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at her blog, Kidlit Frenzy.
A beautiful nature book and three inspirational stories add to my collection of terrific non-fiction picture books. If you haven't already, find and read them!
High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs - written by Lisa Kahn Schnell and illustrated by Alan Marks
The end papers start with information through detailed sketches of these crabs, female and male, and their parts, purposes explained. And the story is told from the beginning of the horseshoe crabs arrival in Delaware Bay to lay their eggs, the thousands of shorebirds arriving on their long trek North to gain energy for the flight to the Arctic to lay their own eggs, and what happens during these two weeks of frantic activity. Scientists arrive, too, to study the crabs or the birds, to find crabs that have been tagged. Volunteers help, too. As Lisa Schnell explains the events as they occur, Alan Marks illustrates each scene in lovely watercolors. It’s an interesting book that helps beginners discover some of the phenomenal events in nature that occur each year, especially at the turn of the seasons.
Georgia’s Bones - written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Bethanne Andersen
It’s a brief introduction to Georgia O’Keeffe’s early life, those little things that fascinated her, that she brought home, like leaves and stones, sticks and flowers. She loved shapes, all kinds, and studied them. Jen Bryant, with Bethanne Andersen’s beautiful paintings, tells this story of young Georgia, misunderstood by family. Her mother called the way she studied things “her silly notions”. Yet, Georgia didn’t give up, continued to draw, then paint her beloved objects. The story ends after her trip to New Mexico, and the painting of the skull that is so well known. It’s a nice introduction for younger children to discover those who love to look and examine, and who might find a kinship with the early life of who became a beloved artist.
Malala, A Brave Girl From Pakistan and Iqbal, A Brave Boy From Pakistan (two books in one) - written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter
I’m sorry that I missed reading these two stories beautifully told and illustrated last year by Jeannette Winter. On one side is the story of Malala; turn it over and there is the story of Iqbal. The words are brief, inspiring stories told for younger children, but each also adds an author’s note that explains more. There is a beautiful quote at the beginning of each by Rabindranath Tagore: “Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless when facing them.” These are the words exemplified by the story of these two young children.
Dolores Huerta, A Hero To Migrant Workers - written by Sarah Warren and illustrated by Robert Casilla
It’s another story of a woman who steps forward to take care first of those in her community. Dolores Huerta grew up in California, was educated and became a teacher, but quickly learned her students were hungry and many didn’t have shoes. She wanted to know why, and learned from the parents that they weren’t paid enough to eat well or buy their children shoes. Through the early fight with bosses, her alliance with Cesar Chavez in the fight with the United Farm Workers, Dolores was there, giving her time and risking her safety for the many, many migrant workers’ living conditions. I remember well the grape boycott and still find it difficult to purchase a bunch of grapes. The book shares the fight for better conditions continues in our country.