Wednesday, February 17, 2016

More Non-Fiction Wonder


         Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy, I started reading more non-fiction picture books, and found they taught me as well as entertained me. Hope you will find some good books for yourself as you read my post and others.  


          Did you know #nf10for10 hosted by Mandi Robek and Cathy Mere is this coming Friday? Are you getting your lists ready? Here is Mandi's post with directions.


         Come read to discover everyone's recent nonfiction picture books.
       Tweet - #NFPB16

         One thrill this week was finding Pink Is For Blobfish by Jess Keating, with illustrations by David DeGrand. So many have been shouting good things about it, and now I know why. The book makes me want to know more, and that's the best thing about non-fiction picture books.

One full size spread/photo of the actual animal. On the right is a short description, a cartoon drawing of the animal (clever and creative), and another piece that tells interesting "stuff" about it. On the right, a column gives the facts, species name, size, etc. Each time one wants to pore over the pages, reading, then looking back at the animal, checking what is said, looking again. Loads of extra information is at the back: a map, a glossary, additional resources, and a "When I Grow Up" column showing kinds of scientists. It's terrific.

         I didn't know a lot of the information shared in this book, the beginnings of this odd man who was so smart that his father mortgaged their meager farm so that Noah could leave home and go to college. He hated school, and wasn't learning as he wished. He kept at it, learning, learning, and began an idea, a book of words, not new, but this time the words would be for America. The story is of a man with a passion, and even with a wife and children (who I guess supported him even when he was not supporting them) he persevered. The illustrations are entertaining, as Boris Kulikov uses words and books in creative ways to help tell the story. One example is the cover, the dictionary used as part of the W. Another page shows Webster digging into a huge book, pulling out handfuls of words, something like harvesting. The story and the pictures help make a brief, but complete picture of the story of the first American dictionary for younger students. There is an author's note about some changes made in the writing about Webster's words because of their length, and additional resources. 

14 comments:

  1. I am in the process of preparing for #nf10for10. Can't wait to see what others recommend. I picked up an ARC of Pink Is for Blobfish at ILA last summer. It is a fascinating book. I will look for W Is for Webster. It would be a good companion for The Right Word.

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    1. There are several Webster books out. I read this to Ingrid and it was a little old for her, but she was fascinated to learn about dictionaries, so it sparked some good learning despite that some of it went over her head. Yes, Blobfish is wonderful! I'll look for your #10for10! So hard to choose!

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  2. I've read Noah Webster and His Words as well, both are quite fascinating stories of an eccentric genius. I can't wait to get my hands on Blobfish - how could you resist that face?! :)

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    1. Blobfish was a nice surprise. Although many had praised it, I didn't realize about all the animals included. I'd like to find that other Webster book too. Thanks, Jane.

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  3. Can I tell you HOW much I love that Webster cover? There's something about the design. <3 (Not that the blobfish cover doesn't have its own... charm.)

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    1. The illustrations are like that throughout the book, Tabatha, so creative! I understand about the other one!

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  4. I am so looking forward to Blobfish!
    I didn't know about the Webster book at all, so thank you for sharing it :)

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    1. Enjoy both, but definitely get to Blowfish, Kellee. It's quite good, tells so much in a short space. Thanks!

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  5. I wrote about Blobfish this week too, Linda. I think it is outstanding. You have peaked my curiosity about the Webster book. I really like the illustrations.

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    1. I haven't looked back to see who else has posted, but will look for your review, Margie. The Webster illustrations are quite clever and creative. Thanks!

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  6. I really want to get a copy of Pink is for Blobfish. The cover is so alluring, and your review made it even more compelling of a title for me! Thanks for sharing this one. I've seen it shared, but your review helped me realize I must get a copy of it!

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    1. Thanks, Ricki, you definitely need to see the book. And please also check out Margie's review, at Librarian's Quest, much more detail!

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  7. I don't have the book yet, but Jess Keating has a great YouTube channel that my students are enjoying, "Animals for Smart People."

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    1. Thanks for telling me, Margaret. I didn't know!

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