Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Our children, our rights, our world

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

NFPB 2014

There are many reasons that I have human rights and the rights of children on my mind right now. I recently read a number of books to my class including Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors and Donovan’s Big Day which led to discussions about everyone’s rights regardless of their gender or who they love, etc. We are also in the middle of an intense labour dispute between B.C teachers and the government. Rights are on my mind. The rights of children to an equitable, accessible excellent public education system are front and center. So I have been thinking books – and – here is where my thinking has led me . . .

We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures (with Amnesty International). (published 2008)

This book was published in association with Amnesty International to honour the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights. Each of the specific articles is illustrated by an international artist – most of them children’s book illustrators. Some of my favourite illustrators are featured including Peter Sis (who did the cover), Marie-Louise Gay, Polly Dunbar and John Burningham. 

I have used this book in the past to just talk about one specific article and illustration at a time to begin a discussion or introduce another book on the subject (like children’s rights to an education or not to work).

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Our children, our rights, our world There's a Book for That

I Have the Right to be a Child written by Alain Serres, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty (published 2012)

The afterward of this book explains that the rights outlined in the book were adapted from the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted in 1989 by the U.N. General Assembly.  Gorgeous illustrations and child friendly language make this a title that can be read and shared in one sitting. I love the page about education:

I have the right to go to school without having to pay, so that I can learn how birds or planes or poppy seeds fly.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Our children, our rights, our world There's a Book for That

Whoever You Are written by Mem Fox illustrated by Leslie Staub (published 1997)

Soothing and celebratory, this is one of my favourite titles to introduce diversity and sharing the most important thing about ourselves with everyone – our humanity.

I have used this title when talking about peace, about diversity, about community or just because. It reminds us with gentle, lyrical text that we are all the same in many ways no matter how we look or where we are from.

Joys are the same, and love is the same.

Pain is the same, and blood is the same.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Our children, our rights, our world There's a Book for That

A School Like Mine: A Unique Celebration of Schools Around the World (In Association with Unicef) (published 2007)

A book full of photographs and information about children going to school all over the world. Students love reading about classrooms and families and how they are different and similar from their own.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Our children, our rights, our world There's a Book for That

Every Human has Rights – A Photographic Declaration for Kids A National Geographic book with a forward by Mary Robinson. (published 2008)

What I particularly love about this title is the poetry that accompanies the list of rights. All written by children and teens. The photographs from around the world make the rights so much more powerful, real and worth defending. I would share this book with intermediate students over primary children because of the more mature message in the poems and some of the photos.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Our children, our rights, our world There's a Book for That

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: 73/65 complete!

 

Monday February 18th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join up to Kellee and Jen’s meme and share what you have been reading from picture books to young adult novels.

I enjoyed many picture books this week. It seems many had a theme of friendship. Also dogs graced many a page and the name Hopper kept cropping up. Who knows why these things happen?

The Lonely Moose by John Segal Sometimes we think we don’t need friends. But once we’ve begun to enjoy the company of another, life can be pretty lonely once we are alone again. This is what this lovely little picture book explores.

the lonely moose

The Reader written by Amy Hest and illustrated by  Lauren Castillo I adore Castillo’s illustrations. Amy Hest never misses. Books, companionship and a snow day. This book is a wonderful nostalgic little read. The most clever thing of all? Calling the little boy the reader throughout the story. It just gives this story a whole other level.

the reader

Hopper and Wilson by Maria Van Lieshout I think there can never be too many picture books about friendship. So I was delighted to find another.

hopper-and-wilson

Harry and Hopper written by  Margaret Wild and illustrated by Freya Blackwood I am fast becoming a huge fan of Freya Blackwood’s illustrations. I love the scratchy, loose lines and the mood she creates through shading and colour. This book tackles themes of grief and a pet dying. It is done in a gentle, sweet way that respects everyone’s process.

harry and hopper

Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates Great message – that art, doodling. drawing can tell a story, allow for creativity and challenge the imagination.

dog loves drawing

You by Stephen Michael King I have a soft spot for Stephen Michael King’s illustrations. (Leaf is one of my favourites) A book that celebrates all of us.

you

Mirror Mirror written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse Beyond clever. I have been sharing these poems with my reading group and we read each poem multiple times just being in awe how reversing words and changing phrasing alters everything.

Mirror_Mirror

Some nonfiction titles:

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins written by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by  Brian Selznick I read this title to my own children. We have all read all of Selznick’s books so were excited to see his illustrations here (Caldecott honour worthy and all!) We were intrigued by how Hawkins made models of dinosaurs without having all of the definitive details that would be later discovered. Part of a story about the quest to “recreate” dinosaurs that we just didn’t know.

Waterhouse Hawkins

How the Dinosaur got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland We actually read this before The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins – it gave us all of the vocabulary to understand what is involved in erecting a dinosaur skeleton. Fascinating! And time consuming! Reading it with my children, we turned it into a memory game 🙂 Each time I got to the by the _______, I would pause and see who remembered the title! An excerpt:

“chiseled from the stone by the EXCAVATORS,
authenticated by the PALEONTOLOGIST,
and searched for by the DINOSAUR HUNTER.”

HowTheDino

I Have the Right to be a Child written by Alain Serres, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty Such an accessible book for children to learn about the rights of children everywhere. Gorgeously illustrated.

I have the right to be a child

I finished two novels this week:

Anything but Typical written by Nora Raleigh Baskin Is this cover not just absolutely stunning? Loved pausing in this book just to stare at it. A fantastic middle grade read narrated by a boy with autism. Themes of family, friendship and identity. So much to this story. Baskin weaves many stories into this one vulnerable tale. It is challenging enough to fit in as a preteen, what happens when you are autistic and your very reactions to the world guarantee you stand out?

anything-but-typical

Fourmile written by Watt Key This book manages to be both all about the characters and yet it doesn’t scrimp on action. There is always something going on – even under the surface of the simplest and mundane tasks like painting a fence. Sometimes the goings on are dramatic and frightening. Steeped in hurt, pain and longing, this story also reveals the vulnerability and strength in the characters. While, the main character is a twelve year old boy, some of the disturbing scenes might make this more of a young adult read. Or a middle grade . . .  with caution. I continue to love this author after first reading Alabama Moon and being blown away.

Fourmile

Next up? Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz