Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Terrific Non-Fiction Picture Books

New Non-Fiction Plus Sibert Contenders

         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 have a giveaway of a Christmas book here. Come check it out!

             Reviewing some books new to me, yet some have been well reviewed by others. And I'm again listing some previous books read that are contenders for the Sibert award. Here is Alyson's post that explains the criteria. 

Brick by Brick - Charles R. Smith Jr. and Floyd Cooper
           The story of the construction of the first White House unfolds with Floyd Cooper's beautiful paintings of the working men, mostly slaves, who built it. At first, free men worked, but it was soon found that more were needed, so slave owners were asked to send their slaves. Sadly, even in the backbreaking work, the slaves earned nothing because the wages were paid to the owners. One good thing happened, however. As the slaves built alongside craftsmen, they learned the skills, which eventually, as 'skilled hands' earned them money. That money was saved to buy their freedom. Charles Smith's poetic text mirrors the day by day activity, relentless, on and on. "Nameless, faceless/daughters and sons/build brick by brick/until each day is done."  Finally the house was built, far out into the country although we now know it as central to the city Sadly, the beautiful building was burned during the War of 1812, but now rebuilt, as the author says, stands as a reminder of the contribution made by slaves who worked toward freedom "brick by brick".

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear - Lindsay Mattick
and Sophie Blackall
          The author, Lindsay Mattick is the great-granddaughter of the man (Harry Colebourne) who saved a baby bear he found at a rail station as he was boarding the train, reporting for duty as a veterinarian during World War I.  She crafts a beautiful story telling her own son (named Cole) the story, of how Winnie got his name (Colebourne is from Winnipeg) and became a mascot in Colebourne's unit, then when they left for the front, became a beloved bear in the London Zoo. The rest of the story is wonderful, a little known writer and his little boy met Winnie. The writer was A.A. Milne, and he began writing stories about this friendship for Christopher, who became Christopher Robin. Blackall's illustrations are filled with love, as the story is told to by Mattick to her son. The end papers share photos of the real people, Winnie, too.

Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest - Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
         It’s wonderful to see that someone has written and illustrated a picture book telling the inspirational story of Julia Butterfly-Hill for younger children. The story of a young woman who stayed in a redwood tree  (Luna) in order to save it from being logged. She was supported by an environment group, and only volunteered to stay for a few weeks. But that turned into two years when finally an agreement was made to save the tree.  The mixed media illustrations are wonderful. 

Sibert Contenders - this time about people. Click on the title for my review.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear - Lindsay Mattick and 
         Sophie Blackall
TheCase for Loving - Selina Alco and Sean Qualls
         Boston Weatherford and Jamey Christoph


  1. I so adored Winnie. The personal connection in this story really made it special.
    I also enjoyed Luna and Me. The illustrations were beautiful and the story was wonderful.
    I will be on the lookout for Brick by Brick.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Linda!

    1. Yes, I loved that she was the great granddaughter, too. All these, and so many others, are wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  2. When the author of Luna and Me came to do a reading at our store, she was super nice. It's indeed a good book that sparks conversation.

    1. Wow, how wonderful that you met her, Earl. You are a lucky guy to work at this bookstore. Happy Thanksgiving!


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