I have spent all week in my garden. So much so that I am dreaming about compost and worms and transplanting plants. This lead me to some titles I am adding to my class nonfiction collection next week. As I have been conferencing with kids about what they would like to see more of in our nonfiction areas of our classroom library, books about plants, gardens and growing have come up a lot. So these four books will be new additions (although they are not all recent releases) and hopefully of interest to my little gardening/plant enthusiasts.
Dirt: The Scoop on Soil written by Natalie M. Rosinsky and illustrated by Sheree Boyd (published in 2002)
Lots of information on the different parts of dirt: humus, silt, rocks and pebbles, clay and sand. Each of these parts is talked about in some detail. I enjoyed the sections on the decomposers who eat dead plants and how insects and animals help loosen the soil as they crawl through it. The book does mention keeping our soil healthy but it doesn’t go into much detail. Thee are some experiments in the back of the book to try. A nice addition, in my opinion, would have been a section on how to make and maintain a compost bin/pile.
How Does a Seed Sprout? And other Questions about . . . Plants by Melissa Stewart A Good Question book (published in 2014)
Organized in a question/answer format this is a book for stronger readers (late primary/early intermediate) or great to use as a read aloud – even just a few questions at a time. I appreciated the detailed drawings of the six stages of a bean plant sprouting and the pictures of a pine tree’s life cycle. There is an index in the back and more information for further reading and websites to visit. This would be a great resource for a plants/seeds unit.
Grow with me Ladybug by Kate Riggs (published in 2013)
This Grow with Me series published by Creative Paperbacks is an ideal reading level for upper primary (and older) students to be reading independently. Full of lots of photographs (including many magnified close ups), detailed information and nonfiction features such as an index, glossary and fact boxes. While the focus of this book is to talk about the lifecycle of the ladybug, there is a lot of other interesting information shared:
- Protective Measures
- Living to Eat
- A Bug for all Seasons
Ladybugs by Gail Gibbons (published in 2012)
The illustrations here are incredible and give so many specific details about how ladybugs grow, what they eat and how they survive in different seasons. This book would make a fantastic read aloud. I loved the page that explains that there are many different kinds of ladybugs – possibly up to 5,000 different types world wide with 475 different kinds in North America. The illustration depicts ten different types with different colours and spot patterns. Children will come away with an excellent understanding of the life cycle of a ladybug, how they help keep the population of garden pests down and how each of their body parts function.
Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014! Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction titles.
My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 47/65 complete!