Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Older N-F To Remember




  Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From Alyson and others, you will discover terrific non-fiction picture books!

       I don't have a recent non-fiction book to share and thought I'd share an older one I found at my library's big book sale, one by Steve Jenkins that's new to me! If you want to learn basic and important information about dogs and cats, with some comparisons, too, this is the book. It's Dogs and Cats, or Cats and Dogs, depending on which side of the book one is looking at. It's a book that explains about each, but you flip the book in the middle to read the "other" side. 

        When studying evolution one time, I gave my students the assignment to research the history of one dog, its origins and how it came to be the breed we know today. It was fascinating to learn what really was the "backstory" of these specific dogs. In this book, Jenkins writes some of the parts of how dogs descended from wolves, through circumstance of geography and later, human need. Each page answers some questions, like how one can tell "who's the boss?" through physical actions. Also, on each page, there is always a tiny silhouette of the "other", in this case, the cat, and telling that many of the cat's messages mean "leave me alone". There are other pages that are fun facts, special things about the dog (or cat), things that Jenkins wonders. 
        Of course, Jenkins' collages illustrate with both small and page-filling collages. It's a book to use for younger children to read and discuss together or for sparking an interest in older children to do further research. There's no back matter, no source list. 

        I read and reviewed this book several years ago, but because it also is by Steve Jenkins, and holds unique ideas in the poem observations by the late Valerie Worth, I thought I'd share again in case some do not know it. 
         My earlier review: This is a wonderful discovery to me, another book with those gorgeous collage illustrations by Steve Jenkins and he’s illustrating exquisite poems about animals by the late Valerie Worth. She writes of a whale floating easily in the sea, “light as dust in sun-baths”, a wasp as a ‘sharp flake of night” and a porcupine “held fast in the thicket of its own thorns”. Her poems don’t just teach us the basics of the animals, but hold questions to consider. It’s a book of poems that older students could enjoy and study.


8 comments:

  1. Posts like this are actually super helpful for those of us who are fairly new to the game, because there are so many fantastic titles that came out in between when we were kids and when we started working with kids!! :)

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    1. I hope you can find and enjoy these two, Jane. Sometimes when I look back, I discover titles that I've loved and then forgotten. I agree, good to share those too.

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  2. Steve Jenkins is amazing. He's always so spot on and reliable - reliable in that his books are fantastic!

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  3. It's fascinating to see some of his earlier art and to see how it compares to his more recent work!

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  4. I love Steve Jenkins' work. I especially enjoy the porcupine.

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  5. I did a short survey of the books I've shared on Goodreads and there are about 20, but I think I read more before I started keeping track, was so glad to find this Cats and Dogs one. Yes, he is terrific, as are his "co-writers" when he has them.

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  6. This is great, Linda! I love Steve Jenkins' work, but both of these are new to me. And a combination of Valerie Worth and Steve Jenkins--Wow! Win-win!

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    1. So glad that these are new discoveries, Molly! Enjoy!

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