Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A NF Book for Children - Learning About Poverty

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 not easy to explain poverty to young children and to further explain that it can mean homelessness, but it is a complex issue, so also means those with little income, needing to choose to use their limited funds to buy food, or go to a doctor, or pay the utility bills. Dr. Jillian Roberts writes in her author’s note that she read this quote, discovered who said it and contacted him. The quote by Jaime Casap, “Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up; ask them what problem they want to solve,” started their collaboration to inspire children to help solve a most important problem in our world--homelessness. She says the result is this book. 

       Following a group of three children who ask questions, each page offers the question and gives brief but clear answers. One helpful addition found on each page is one specific added explanation, like this page which gives more information about mental illness. The brief illustrations by Jane Heinrichs of the children looking for answers and sometimes showing concern to those answers offer a personal connection for children reading this. Here is one example of the way the double spreads of the pages look. And the resource page showing all three that were the questioners in this book.

left side

right side

      When classrooms of any elementary age want to study social justice issues, this book will help start that research, discussion, and hopefully, action. 


  1. That combination of photos and drawings is powerful. And I love the question, "What problem do you want to solve when you grow up?" Maybe I'll start asking kids that.

    1. Yes, isn't it great? The book is well done, covers many things clearly. Thanks!


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