Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Fourteen favourites (Part 1)

As 2014 comes to a close, avid book lovers and book bloggers start amassing favourites. As I looked over the close to 150 nonfiction picture book titles I have read this year, I realized that there are many to highlight. So, I have decided to do two top fourteen lists (in honour of 2014). This one contains my favourite titles read in 2014 but with a publication date of 2013 or earlier. Next week I will share my favourite fourteen titles published in 2014.

Favourite Nonfiction of 2014

Shared alphabetically by author:

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Éric Puybaret (published 2008)

A gorgeous introduction to Cousteau and his passion for the underwater world. I shared my students’ responses to this title here.

manfish

Look Up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate (published 2013)

Written in conversational, humorous style, this title encourages us to pay a little more attention to the natural world in general and to the beauty of birds in particular.

look up!

Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile written by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb (published 2011)

An inspiring story about Dorothy Thomas, an absolute book hero. True testament to how books change lives and connect community.

miss dorothy

Can We Save the Tiger? written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Vicky White (published in 2011)

This book introduces students to a huge variety of endangered and extinct animals. With some creatures, like the tiger, more details are provided about the animal including reasons for its vulnerable status.

can we Save the Tiger?

How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge (published 2013)

Lita Judge’s illustrations are so rich. They inform. They amuse. And they delight. Each dinosaur featured here is drawn next to something that children already know to allow them to imagine the exact size of the dinosaur.

dinosaurs

One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley (published 2009)

Spectacular photographs showcasing the daily routines that many of us share – all a little different in different places but yet, so much the same.

one-world

Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia written by Sy Montgomery with photographs by Nic Bishop (published 2009)

How can a book about searching for snow leopards be so amazingly interesting when the snow leopards are never actually seen? Montgomery and Bishop tell an incredible tale about these magical and elusive creatures and their champion, scientist Tom McCarthy who has devoted his life’s work to their conservation.

snow-leopard

Jasper’s Story: Saving Moon Bears written by Jill Robinson and Marc Bekoff; illustrated by Gijisbert van Frankenhuyzen (published 2013)

Jasper is a bear that was rescued by Jill Robinson (the author) and her Animals Asia team and brought to a sanctuary in China. Jill describes Jasper as courageous and loving; a symbol of forgiveness and hope.

jaspersstory

Volcano Rising written by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Susan Swan (published 2013)

One of the very best, if not the best nonfiction picture book I have read on volcanoes. Two layers of text (one section with more details for those who want to read more information) and incredible illustrations.

Volcano Rising 2

Songs of the Water Boatman written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange (published 2005)

Come to the pond and experience it like you have never imagined through vivid images, fascinating facts and gorgeous illustrations.

Songs of the Waterboatman

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors poems by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange (published 2010)

Poet and artist celebrate nature’s successes. Who has been around for a long time and continues to thrive?

Ubiquitous-Celebrating-Natures-Survivors

Under the Snow written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Constance R Bergum (published 2009)

Informative and beautifully illustrated. Feel like you are peeking into winter hiding places of animals and creatures that seemed to disappear.

Under the Snow

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman (published 2013)

This title inspired some amazing discussion in my classroom. An important biography about determination, changing general opinion and beliefs and following a dream.

WomenDoctors_cvr_lorez

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Cindy Trumbore and Susan L. Roth (published in 2013) Winner of the 2014 Sibert Meda

So often when we hear about animals on the brink of extinction, there is no happy ending story to share. Here, we have a story of hope and promise. Through much hard work the endangered parrots of Puerto Rico are once again flying through the treetops.

parrots

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 books you need to read!

klf_nonfiction2014_medium

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 142/65 complete!

Next week I will share my top nonfiction titles for 2014. 14 of them 🙂

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2)

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

This is Week 2 of 3 where I will be sharing thirty titles (ten at a time) of my favourite nonfiction books for older readers. The first ten are here.

My post last week goes into more detail of why I wanted to put together these three lists. Basically, I had just written a number of blog posts featuring titles for younger readers (like this one) and had received a comment about older students losing their passion for nonfiction titles. I wanted to share some of my favourite titles that I have read with my own children or on my own that I think will appeal to these intermediate/middle school readers. I hope something catches your eye!

The second ten:

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest by Steve Jenkins (published 1999)

The Top of the World Climbing Mount Everst Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

Poop – A Natural History of the Unmentionable written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Neal Layton (published 2004)

Poop Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

Predator Showdown (30 Unbelievably Awesome Predator vs. Predator Face-offs!) by Lee Martin (published 2011)

Predator-Showdown Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

Let’s Talk About Race written by Julius Lester and illustrated by Karen Barbour (published 2005)

Let's Talk about Race Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

Helen’s Big World The Life of Helen Keller written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Tavares (published 2012)

 Helen's Big World Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

Meadowlands – A Wetlands Survival Story by Thomas F Yezerski (published 2011)

Meadowlands Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

Bugged: How Insects Changed History written by Sarah Albee and illustrated by Robert Leighton (published 2014)

Bugged Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) 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)

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

Look Up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate (published 2013)

Look up! Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) There's a Book for That

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth written by Rochelle Strauss and illustrated by Rosemary Woods (published 2007)

One Well Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 2) 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 books you need to read!

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 102/65 complete!

klf_nonfiction2014_medium (1)

Monday August 4th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

imwayr

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list.

I didn’t get as much reading finished this week, but books were certainly on my mind. Over the last week and a half, I have published a blog series about using more nonfiction books in the classroom called Teaching with a Passion for Nonfiction books. It is a four part series. This link takes you to the fourth post and if you are interested, you can follow the rest of the links there to visit the other posts. I teach a Grade 2/3/4 class so the book suggestions and strategies are geared toward a late primary classroom. If you are looking to add more nonfiction titles in your teaching, some of the ideas might be helpful. I welcome any feedback.

My favourite picture books of the week are a mixture of fiction and nonfiction titles.

Mogie: The heart of the house written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal 

A very special book about a dog that is perfectly placed to connect to the children who need him most. This book is based on the real-life Mogie, a Labradoodle who lives at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston.

Mogie The heart of the house #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Naked! written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

If this book had existed when my children were younger, we would have had to read it over and over and over! Running around naked is pure joy for toddlers and this book perfectly captures the enthusiasm for the sensation of racing about the house without a thing on!. Delightful.

Naked!  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino 

Gorgeous whales. And I have a thing for beautifully done whales in picture books. Dreamy illustrations and a sweet story for younger listeners. I was so lost in the pictures, I had to go back and reread the story.

 Following Papa's Song  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley

I really like all of the titles Barbara Kerley has published through National Geographic – the photographs of people around the world are always spectacular. But I think this book is my absolute favourite. Maybe it is the simple aspect of showcasing the daily routines that many of us share – all a little different in different places but yet, so much the same. The back pages have additional information about each photograph. I can see sharing a photo a day with students. It would spark so much discussion and reflection.

One World, One Day  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Hello World! Greetings in 43 Languages by Manja Stojic

Illustrations with big kid appeal. Literally how to say “hello” in 43 languages – each page a smiling child and a greeting with a pronunciation guide. Of course, I tried them all!

Hello World  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Be My Neighbor by Maya Ajmera and John D Ivanko with words of wisdom from Fred Rogers

Another fascinating book full of photographs of children all over the world. This one focuses on the concept of neighbourhood and community. A map in the back lets children locate all of the places mentioned in the book.

Be-My-Neighbor  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Worm by Elise Gravel 

Another title in the Disgusting Critters series. Really silly. Very amusing. And full of information. Will lead children off to find out even more and then back to read and reread. And giggle.

The Worm  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Look Up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate

I read this book by the river after a long hike through the forest. All I could hear were shouts from my children and their friends as they played in the water and the sound of birds. Could it have been more perfect? Don’t think so. So much to learn in this book. Written in conversational, humorous style.

Look up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished

Winger written by Andrew Smith (YA)

This book was just so very good. Although, I finished it and couldn’t function properly for hours. Raw. Funny. Honest. Beautiful. Made me numb. Buying a copy for my son to read when he is a little older because I want him to meet Ryan Dean West. If this character instantly materialized in front of me, I would adopt him. What a kid. Such a story.

Winger #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up Next? I am reading Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 54/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 374/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 92/65 complete