Welcome to the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge that Alyson Beecher hosts at Kid Lit Frenzy each Wednesday. Visit Alyson for the link-up to lots more posts about nonfiction picture books.
I’ve read so many great nonfiction picture books recently. Here are some of the ones I’ve given 5 stars to on Goodreads (which is not usually that common for me!). Enjoy!
My friend Tracy Nelson Maurer has written a wonderful mixture of straight nonfiction (the main text) with a clever, fictional (but well informed by meticulous research) second layer of text–editing by the man himself, Noah Webster. Discover how the first American English dictionary came to be–and why. Think about how the words we use influence the way we think. Get to know Noah’s bossy own self through the very revealing and funny editing marks and comments “by him.” Enjoy lighthearted and delightful collage illustrations that will support your understanding of the text itself. Kids (and, ok, adults) who don’t think they’re interested in history will be surprised. Noah Webster’s Fighting Words is an awesome book about Noah Webster. But it’s really about language, independence, justice, self-expression. It’s about why words are so powerful.
I don’t even like reading about politics, but I loved this. Wonderful, rhythmic writing and an inspiring story.
The art of Basquiat is not my style, but this is another wonderful biography. After reading the book, I still didn’t much care for the style of the art, but I cared enormously for the person/artist. I cared about what his art meant to Art, and I cared about his journey as an artist. A powerful read.
I learned a lot about Nimoy, and I got a sense of him as a person, not just an actor. Learning where the “Live long and prosper” hand gesture comes from was very cool. A really inspiring book about the impact you can have if you work hard enough for it (and even if you’re worried about what people will think). A great read (and think) for Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike.
Wonderful picture book about a complicated topic (computer programming!).
Follow a single walking stick throughout this book and learn all sorts of amazing things, like how ants help walking stick eggs survive the winter. And how walking sticks protect themselves against squirrels and birds. And how a female walking stick can lay hatchable eggs, even without a male stick. A poetic, dramatic main text, great for reading aloud, is supplemented by longer sidebars giving more scientific detail. Awesome for storytime and science class!
What a gorgeous book! This dramatic and engaging story is based on a scientist’s explanation/estimation of one elephant herd’s journey. Though it might not be exactly what happened, all the elephant behaviors are based in fact and research. It’s a lovely read-aloud, with a refrain of “not enough for the elephants.” Lovely, swirly, powerful-yet-delicate art by Fabricio VandenBroeck enhances the beautiful text. The spread that shows the moment they arrive to find …WATER is just a celebration!
michelle @ books my kids read says
great list. Noah’s fighting words looks pretty awesome and I Dissent is definitely one of our favorites. I agree with you about Radiant Child. I appreciate his art work and was moved by the story, but I still don’t actually like his work.
I still need to read I Dissent. It’s been on my list for a while. I loved “Fascinating” about Nimoy, had no idea about his life’s work. Good Trick, Walking Stick sounds interesting. I love learning about insects! This is a great lot of books, Laura. Thanks!
Jean James says
What an amazing collection of nonfiction books! I’m especially looking forward to reading about Noah Webster.
The layer of fictional editing end the Noah Webster book sounds very clever. Excited to pick that one up!
I can’t wait to read THIRSTY THIRSTY ELEPHANTS! I DISSENT was a standout from last year, I really enjoyed it, too!
Jane the Raincity Librarian says
These are all fantastic titles, and some are new to me, yay!