Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Non-Fiction Picture Books Teach and Entertain

           Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books! It's the start of a new challenge and a new image for inspiration. 

               This first book of 2019 I want to share fits all the year, for those who want to know what's going on under that layer of leaves left on the garden, that "needed" layer. Animals are very busy underneath, and Leslie Bulion has written a new poetry book that tells all, at least quite enough to begin an interest in Leaf Litter Critters. Poetry, graphic art, added informative paragraphs create interesting pages every time they are turned. 

       The poetry varies in form, including rhyming couplets, blank verse, various rhyming forms, and concrete poems. One fun example is the poem about "springtails", told to be some of the most numerous animals in the brown food web after nematodes, who also have a page. Here is the first verse of this poem about these fascinating and needed creatures:

      Glue Pegs

In fallen leaves
and underground,
in crannies where
soil mites are found,
these arthropods
(of jointed leg),
named "glue peg,"
wear bright white skin
or cheery swirls,
and short antennae
strung like pearls.

A page about my favorites. I call them roly-polies or pill bugs, but others use names like sow bugs, wood lice or slaters. They are kin to crabs and lobsters!

A wonderful page demonstrating the size of the critters included and compared to each other.
       Robert Meganck's graphic illustrations amuse and they are also accurate to the poem and the scientific explanation. See the illustration on the page above about pill bugs, mostly living and eating below the leaf litter, in the dark. Here they are shown on a darkened page, chewing up dead and decaying matter. 
       There is a table of contents, a glossary, poetry notes for each poem and critter--the how and the why, investigations and further resources. It's a small book that holds more than can be imagined. Be sure to find it and enjoy the information presented in clever and unique ways. Each animal is preparing for spring planting!


  1. Thank you for being such a faithful participant in this challenge! And Leslie's book is wonderful!

    1. You're welcome, Alyson. I've loved reading all the wonderful n-f books & seeing what you and others share! Yes, I enjoyed this book very much!

  2. This looks terrific! Thank you so much for bringing this book to my attention.

    1. You're welcome. It's a wonderful book and I hope you enjoy it!


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