Come read to discover everyone's recent nonfiction picture books.
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Today I'm sharing the top five books that I believe are the contenders for the Sibert award. I haven't read all possible, but have read many. Here is Alyson's post that explains the criteria. The awards will be announced next Monday!
And here are the final ones I've read this week as contenders, books by terrific authors and illustrators.
The family of one little girl, unfortunately for her, doesn't have dogs or cats, bird or fish. They have snakes, and she tells them emphatically: "I really, really, REALLY don't like snakes!" Mom, Dad and brother can't understand why, so ask her, "Why?" As she lays out her reasons, each responds with the facts, and each page adds to that information. Davies manages a fun conversational tone with the girl's complaints and the enthusiastic and clear explanations. And cartoon-like sketches add to the information. The reader learns that snakes really aren't slimy, have dry skin, but it's a shiny, see-through outer skin. There are pages about the kinds of eyes, how snakes hunt and eat, and extra information at the back, including an index and bibliography. I learned some things about snakes, and for those who want to know the basics, this is a book to start with.
Sayre's beautiful and rhythmic words enhanced by Jenkins' collages offer lots of information in the brief words Here are rhymes and pictures that will cause more wonder. The answers are given in the extensive back matter about each topic. For example, Sayre writes "Spring sap rises./Who will drill?/Sapsucker, sapsucker,/sticky bill." Additional information is given about Sap and woodpeckers in the back, and there is much more that explains other topics about woodpeckers.
I have never heard of this unusual and wonderful artist, one who loved to make things even as a child, and grew up making all kinds of statues displayed at her home, once a cabin where she and her parents spent summers. The book gently tells the tale of Mary's growing up, how she loved to make things, loved art and dogs, and traveled over the world where she sketched what she saw. Additional parts of the story are told on a page at the back. The illustrations are both from a wide view, or close-up, realistic depictions of parts of Mary's life, including a special vertical double-page of one of her whimsical sculptures.
My five predictions for the Sibert Award. I looked at the previous winners and knew many of them, so thought about what was good in them. It is challenging to judge among so many.