Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Nature's Non-Fiction



     Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at her blog, Kidlit Frenzy.   
      Come read to discover everyone's recent non-fiction picture books.
       Tweet - #NFPB15
               I read a few different kinds of n-f book this week, all of value, some I really loved.

In The Canyon - written by Liz Garton Scanlan and illustrated by Ashley Wolff
                A good introduction to the Grand Canyon for younger children, perhaps some who are studying important geographical sites in the U.S. It introduces the beauty of the vistas, the flora and fauna of the canyon, and people who visit. The story is told by a young girl who rides a donkey to the bottom, sinking into a starry moonlit night when she finally arrives. The text is limited, and in rhyme, but even with the spare wording, quite a bit is introduced, will call for further research. My favorite image is toward the end: "We reach the bottom, look back up./We've dropped into a rocky cup!" And looking up, the walls surround with a starry sky at the top. Wolff illustrations are big and bold with black outlining, quite realistic, yet a little dreamy too. If you look carefully you can see that she has added extra information within the scene. Scanlan has included a note about a personal experience in the canyon, and a glossary of important terms. The endpapers show a map of the canyon.
           
My Leaf Bookwritten and illustrated by written and illustrated by Monica Wellington
              It's the season for collecting leaves and hopefully learning to identify them, and the main parts of identification too. This is a fabulous book for all of that. At first it looks like a sweet little book about a young girl collecting pretty leaves, but she begins talking about a leaf book, and manages to share a lot about leaves. Monica Wellington's ideas of illustration are using simple shapes with bright colors, and she fills rounded circles of trees with shapes every time a new tree is shown. There is a focus on fall in this book, and the leaves shown are in their fall colors. Each page also has a short paragraph with specific information about identification and/or about a tree itself. One page at the back shares how to start a leaf book, how to make leaf rubbings and leaf prints, a wonderful addition.

Born In The Wild: Baby Mammals and Their Parents - written and illustrated by Lita Judge
              I'm not surprised how beautiful this book is, because it's by Lita Judge. She has arranged the book in small sections, starting with A baby is born, then The baby is hungry, all the way to the final one, The baby learns. After lovely double page watercolors of one animal with the title, additional animals are shown and facts given. Twenty-six animals are shown just the way the text tells. For instance, in the section about protection in the early days (or weeks), a mother panda is painted cuddling her cub close in her arms, keeping predators away. And in The Baby grows strong through play, lion cubs pull a father's tale in a fun tug-of-war, and mountain goat "kids" play "King of the Rock". There is additional information in the back about each animal, a glossary and more resources. If young children are studying animals, and humans, too, this is the perfect book to learn all the ways important in nurturing. I need to add that my favorite illustration inside and on the cover is the mother and giraffe. Yet, the illustrations are so enticing, everyone will love the looking and the learning about each and every animal. 

25 comments:

  1. As a national park freak, I love the Grand Canyon book. All three look great. :->

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    1. Thanks, Teresa, enjoy. You've made me wonder how many other national park picture books are out there!

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  2. I know parents whose children are required to make leaf books, so My Leaf Book would be a boon to them. The Grand Canyon book & the animal book are both ones I want to get my hands on. Thanks!

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    1. Oh, great to hear about needing to know about 'leaf books' Jane. I remember making one, but think it was for girl scouts. The others are lovely books, too. Thanks!

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  3. I used In the Wild to show text organization. Such a great NFpb for that. I'd like to find the book about the Grand Canyon!

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    1. In The Wild is one I'd really love to own, Michele. Each picture makes you fall in love with that animal. And I too loved the organization, easy to understand for younger children. Thank you.

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  4. I like Scanlon's work. My Leaf Book is displayed at work but I still haven't read it.

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    1. My Leaf Book has such imaginative art, Earl. Showing leaf shapes isn't easy & Monica Wellington's artistic approach to this is marvelous & easy to understand too. Thanks.

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  5. Love the books you share here, especially since I don't normally gravitate to NF. I love bring NF picture books to our book club. The students devour them. The Grand Canyon - I've still never been there. It's on my bucket list.

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    1. Sorry, but I forgot to mention that My Leaf Book would be a great NF book to pair with Kate Messner's fiction novel,The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z! A leaf project figures prominently. It's a great read aloud for MG this time of year.

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    2. I first visited the Grand Canyon with my students, Ramona-awesome trip, & wonderful to see. You must go sometime. Thanks for the connection to The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. I've never read it, & now you've made me interested! Thanks!

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  6. I had a preschool group come in, and I showed them "Born in the Wild" - the kids were so fascinated that the teacher made sure to sign the book out!

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    1. I will be sure to read it to my granddaughters. We ran out of time recently, read too many other books! Glad you told me of the younger ones' interest, Jane. Thanks.

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  7. We agree with you about the illustration on the front cover of Born In the Wild - As soon as we saw it, we wanted to read that book.

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    1. Indeed, it is a wonderful cover. Thanks!

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  8. I LOVED Born in the Wild!!! That cover is one of my all-time favorites. Giraffes are my favorite wild animal. ;-)

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  9. Giraffes are favorites of mine, too, Holly. The illustrations are gorgeous, aren't they? Thanks!

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  10. They all look great. I think I have Born in the Wild in my library, but I haven't read it. I'll have to remedy that. :)

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    1. As we've all agreed, Crystal, it's fabulous. Don't miss it!

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  11. I know and love this Lita Judge title. The Leaf one intrigued me. Will be on the look out. Thanks Linda!

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    1. Yes, Lita Judge presents beautiful and interesting stories. I enjoyed it so much. Hope you like the leaf book!

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  12. Oh wow, I remember our beautiful time at the Grand Canyon - such magnificent sights really.

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    1. Happy to hear that you've been there, Myra. The book is a lovely beginning to learning about it.

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  13. I love Into the Wild!! Glad you did too :)
    The Grand Canyon is on my bucket list, so I'd love to read In the Canyon.

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    1. Thanks, Kellee. These nature books are just marvelous to see and read.

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