Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Non-Fiction for February & March



art by Sarah S. Brannen
          Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!

         It's a "must-have" for both Black History and Women's History month!
        Best known as a recording by Jerry Lee Lewis, this book reminds me of the song "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" by Dave "Curlee" Williams. And in this book, from the early 1730s to 2014, Susan Hood chronicles fourteen girls and women, also states it was hard to narrow the list to only fourteen. Wouldn't it be great to read this to students and have them search for other names to discover and write about?
        I wish I could show you every page! While Susan Hood has written "just right" poems that tell each story, each of those stories are illustrated by a different artist, some I recognized from other wonderful picture books, some I did not but they are each unique and clever. This cover and the opening, double-spread title page by Oge Mora shows Ruby Bridges, the youngest who "shook things up". There is a timeline, a full-page illustration and a smaller one accompanying the poems. The poems vary in style and form, alluring in their own right and sometimes connected to the person. For instance, there is a "shape poem" for Mary Anning, words woven into an outlined picture of her "find", a fossil of an ancient sea turtle/ichthyosaur. The blues and greys of England's coast show Mary at her happiest, finding fossils to sell to help her family.


         Susan Hood also added a brief one or two line summary of the main part of these stories. Sometimes the actions came from personal need, like the fight for a proper, unencumbered bathing suit helped Annette Kellerman shed her pantaloons for a sleeker swimsuit , forcing "streamlining" so she could swim comfortably. Illustrations by Emily Winfield Martin show a sleek swimmer about to dive in with women in the background only wading in their pantaloons.

         One of my favorite stories, among ALL, is about Frances Moore Lappé illustrated by Melissa Sweet, showing a truck hauling the earth with its wealth, food from plants. I have this ground-breaking Diet for A Small Planet that changed the way many eat in the Nineteen-Seventies and on. According to the text, she was only twenty-seven when she wrote "Hunger is human made." 

         There is an additional author's note and more pages of sources, books, websites, and more! I imagine this book could underlie a marvelous curriculum of learning in many classrooms.

8 comments:

  1. Love this book. I included one of the entries in my #nf10for10. Powerful writing and illustrations.

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    1. It is another wonderful book to share with students, I agree. I've been working on my #nf10for10 and it's hard with so many good books available. Thanks, Mary Ann.

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  2. This would be great to use as a jumping off point. It's a good number to not be too intimidating but enough people to get to know better.

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    1. I agree, Earl. Just think of the number of people written about this year we've rarely, or never, heard of. I enjoyed this a lot!

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  3. Requesting this title now! I love how we cannot help but think of classroom applications. Your words inspire many still there.

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    1. Thank you. I do love sharing books and miss having the classroom in which to do it, too! Enjoy this book!

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  4. I am so looking forward to this book finally making its way to my library, it looks just wonderful, so inspiring!

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    1. It is, Jane. I hope you enjoy it when you get it!

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