Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all

I have been exploring the new B.C. curriculum drafts for Social Studies and thinking about what directions we might take in my Grade 2/3 class next year.

A few of the big ideas:

  • Local actions have global consequences, and global actions have local consequences.
  • Communities are interconnected with their natural environment

Some content items:

  • diverse features of the environment in other parts of Canada and the world
  • responsibilities of global citizenship
  • relationships between people and environment in different communities

All of these things (above) started me thinking about . . . water.

Access to water. Shortages of water. Water scarcity. Water as a human right.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

I think there is so much to learn here. So many questions. Such a relevant and necessary topic. And of course, I immediately started making a book list. Here are titles I may share in my room this year. Other suggestions? Please share them in the comment section.

Through these books, I hope we can both learn about and celebrate all that is water.

Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Katherine Tillotson 

All-the-Water-in-the-World Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home by Michelle Mulder

 Every Last Drop Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley

 A Cool Drink of Water Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

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

One Well Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Poetry (with a water theme):

Water Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija

Water Can Be Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Songs of the Water Boatman written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange (pond life)

Songs of the Waterboatman Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs illustrated by Meilo So 

Water Sings Blue Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Relevant biographies:

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A Nivola

Life in the Ocean Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Éric Puybaret 

manfish Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all There's a Book for That

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jaques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino 

Cousteau Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Water connects us all 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 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Nonfiction 10 for 10 event is back for a third year! How happy am I to celebrate fantastic nonfiction picture books? Well, that is a silly question! Ecstatic of course.

Thank you to Cathy Mere from Reflect and RefineMandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning  and Julie Balen of Write at the Edge for hosting this meme. Click here to read all of the top ten lists shared.

Nonfiction 10 for 10

For the first year of #nf10for10 I shared favourite nonfiction titles – many that I have used with my class over the last few years in a variety of ways. Last year, I chose to focus on nonfiction picture book biographies that feature inspiring women.

This year I am sharing my favourite nonfiction titles that allow us to think about something from a completely new or different perspective.

These books all allow us to look at the subject in a new way. It might be offering us an alternative glimpse of an animal or phenomenon. Maybe the book answers a question you never even knew you had. Or perhaps your learning gets turned on its head. All of these books had this impact on me.

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy

I freely admit that I think sharks are one of the most truly terrifying creatures. But this book captivated me. Its mixture of gorgeously painted illustrations, detailed relevant diagrams and the story of how the great whites who hunt in the Farallon Islands hunt so successfully, kept me reading and interested to the final pages.

Different perspective? Think about the shark beyond its frightening predator status.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge

Each dinosaur featured here is drawn next to something that children already know to allow them to imagine the exact size of the dinosaur. For example, the velociraptor was only the size of a modern day dog. The image shown is of a velociraptor on a leash near by a dog also out for a walk. So engaging

Different perspective? Allows the reader to imagine what it might be like to have dinosaurs around now by providing a sense of their size in reference to what we know. Dinosaurs, for a moment, materialize beside us rather than lay down in fossilized form in a photograph or drawing.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Weeds Find a Way written by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher

Lyrical and visually stunning. I now love the weeds in this book but still battle with those in my garden. Those weeds that seem to always be winning. They seem to find many a way.

Different perspective? It is possible to see the beauty and the tenacity in weeds. Seeing beauty where one previously did not. I appreciated Holly Mueller‘s view on this book – that it lets you look at weeds as children do. First, with appreciation.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

No Monkeys, No Chocolate written by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young with illustrations by Nicole Wong 

What a rich engaging information story book. The reader is quickly wooed by a page of delicious desserts and treats with chocolate as a main ingredient . . . but where does chocolate come from? We travel to the rainforests of Central and South America and learn the very complicated series of natural events that make it possible to harvest the cocoa bean.

Different perspective? The amazing learning here is about how nature is not about isolated events or lone miracles but how a chain of events with each piece dependent on many others is necessary in order for things to happen. This book illustrates this to children in a way that makes this concept truly accessible and clear.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

A Leaf Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija

Beautiful nonfiction describing and hinting at all of the roles leaves can play – from “rain stopper” to “shade spiller” and many more.

Different perspective? The different perspective here is simple and complicated all at once – stretching the imagination. Absolutely beautiful.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey written by Loree Griffin Burns with photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz

The most special thing about this title is that it answers a question that few children might have imagined: How exactly do butterflies get to live exhibits in the north? Many children have been to Science Centres and Natural History Museums that might house live exhibits. Where do those butterflies come from? How do they get there? This title tells that story.

Different perspective? Poses and answers a question readers have not even entertained.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors poems by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

Poet and artist celebrate nature’s successes. Who has been around for a long time and continues to thrive? Introduced in order of their evolutionary arrival, read poems and facts about such creatures as the squirrel, ants, geckos and diatoms. Fascinating and a lyrical experience all at once. Blending of art, poetry and nonfiction.

Different perspective? We often think about endangered animals (as we should) but this book allows us to think about those creatures and life forms that have survived and thrived. What are their secrets?

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Feathers Not Just for Flying written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen

Such a beautifully written and organized book – almost like a nature journal or a scrap book. Read about sixteen birds in particular as you learn about different ways feathers are used. Perfect as an interactive read aloud experience.

Different perspective? Stretches the reader’s imagination to think about various ways feathers are useful and needed for various types of birds. Many would not even have been considered.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley

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

Different perspective? The more we think we are different, the more we realize we have much in common. A wonderful reminder of this.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons written by Sara Levine with illustrations by T.S. Spookytooth 

How do our bones function within our skeletal system? What about compared to animal skeletons. What if we didn’t have certain bones or what if they were much different than they are? Can you imagine if we had extra bones attached to our spine? We’d have a tail! And what would that be like?

Different perspective? We often don’t think about our bones, their purposes and what it would be like if they were different. Fascinating questions to help us learn about the body (both human and various animals).

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

The Boy who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos written by Deborah Heiligman and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

This is a fascinating biography that not only makes math seem absolutely engrossing but gives us a glimpse into a mind that was truly one track. A beautiful balance between the mathematical life and the other life of Paul Erdos. Accessible and intriguing for younger readers/listeners. A definite book to be explored multiple times.

Different perspective? The everyday, human side of genius. Revealed that when we are really good at one thing, we may not be good at other things (like laundry).

boy-who-loved-math

Are there books that fit this theme for you? That transformed your thinking about something? All of these titles to me highlight the amazing power of nonfiction picture books to teach and inspire us. When we are reading and sharing these books, we are always part of the learning journey.

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 1)

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

In July, I published a series of posts about using more nonfiction titles in the classroom. I included numerous recommendations of book titles geared to the primary/early intermediate classroom.  In case you missed them, here are the links:

Part 1: Everywhere you look . . . let there be nonfiction!

Part 2: The importance of the nonfiction read aloud

3A: Generating excitement, making choices and having time to read

3 B: Reading and working with the texts 

Through twitter and from a few comments, I heard from some teachers that their middle school students (Grades 5-8) have lost their passion for nonfiction reading. Linda Baie from Teacher Dance addressed this here with some great book suggestions. At first, I thought that this was not something that I could talk about since my students are younger and I don’t have first hand experience working with these older readers. But the more I thought about it, I realized that my own children (boy/girl twins) are eleven and we share a lot of nonfiction together. And I started another list . . .

For the next few weeks, I will share thirty of my favourite nonfiction books for older readers – ten at a time. If you are an intermediate teacher, I hope you have students eager to read nonfiction! If not, maybe some of these titles can persuade them to spend some time with this genre.

The first ten:

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest – and Most Surprising – Animals on Earth by Steve Jenkins (published 2013)

 The Animal Book Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins written by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by  Brian Selznick (published 2001)

 The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sis (published 2003)

 The Tree of Life Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cats written by Sy Montgomery with photographs by Nic Bishop (published 2014)

 Chasing Cheetahs Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

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

 Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong (first published in 2002, second edition 2011)

 If the World were a Village Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Maker’s Strike of 1909 written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (published 2013)

 Brave Girl Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill (published 2014)

Shackleton's Journey Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

Zombie Makers True Stories of Nature’s Undead by Rebecca L. Johnson (published 2012)

Zombie Makers  Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) There's a Book for That

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle (published 2011)

 The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some favourite nonfiction titles for older readers (List 1) 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: 99/65 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

Monday February 10th, 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. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

Lots of reading this week. And some important writing:

  • I loved sharing the wonderful sentiments from my students shared in our weekly Gratitude Circle in my Celebration post this week.
  • I also wrote a post that has been brewing for a long time. Finally, I had the courage to  finish it and press publish: The Part that is True. And then, I burst into tears. Sigh. Sometimes, sharing is a big risk. I have so appreciated the supportive comments and feedback.

And on to the books I have loved! My favourite picture books of the week:

Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle your Tongue by Jon Agee

These tongue twister poems are hilariously ridiculous. Many are battling it out to be my favourite. I will check back soon to see which has won! Sharing the one I plan to read first to my class – just because we have been talking about the courtesy of neat writing for the sake of the reader 🙂

Rotten Writing

Reading writing

When it’s written really rotten

Can cause your eyes and intellect to strain.

When it’s written really rotten,

Writing’s really rotten reading.

Yes, reading rotten written writing really is a pain.

Organgutan Tongs #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Scoot! by Cathryn Falwell

I adored the celebration of nature and the liveliness of the rhyming text. In the final pages, Falwell explains some of her inspiration and how she made some of the collages using found objects from nature. A sample of the text:

Hustle! Hover! Flitter! Flee! On every branch and shrub and tree!

Scoot! #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman

A picture book that invites you into its pages where much is happening after a pot of blue paint is toppled by a chicken. I love the splashing, splattering and wading through the spilled paint. And then of course, the delightfully simple problem solving at the end of the story! Would be a perfect story time book for younger students!

Blue Chicken #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite written by Nick Bromley and illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne

Titles that demand to be shaken, examined and rocked can’t miss! And then when there is a huge bite mark in the back cover . . . Yikes, beware! Lots of fun for an interactive story experience.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The World is Waiting for You by Barbara Kerley

Gorgeous photographs beckon you – get outside and explore something amazing! Star gaze, get your hands muddy or follow a path to anywhere. Back pages include details about some of the photographs and how the photographers managed to capture such images. Significant photos for me: Sylvia Earle swimming with dolphins, a cave of crystals (beams of selenite) in Mexico and a beautiful photograph of two children racing with a toy sailboat on the edge of a river. A National Geographic title.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I featured three amazing nonfiction books with an ocean theme on my Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday Post: Life in the Deep Blue Sea

Deep Blue Sea #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Slugs by Valerie Bodden

I picked up this title at a recent book store sale. It is the perfect level for my primary students and has been passed from child to child ever since I book talked it on Tuesday. Wonderful photographs and interesting text. And of course slug slime, slug eggs . . . Such fun! I plan to purchase more of these Creepy Creatures titles.

Slugs #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The New Girl . . . and Me written by Jacqui Robbins and illustrated by Matt Phelan

This is a must have for school library and classroom collections. Themes of friendship, kindness, being new and taking social risks. When Shakeeta shows up in Mia’s classroom, Mia sets out to discover just how she might make her feel at home even though she is not entirely sure what that means. Mia certainly doesn’t want to say anything that might make Shakeeta want to punch her in the head like she threatened to do to the boy making fun of her. Mia’s gestures are sweet, genuine and “iguana friendly.” The story ends with possible new beginnings. Lovely.

The New Girl and Me #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile written by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb

Such an inspiring story about Dorothy Thomas, an absolute book hero. Dorothy’s dreams of a fine brick building where she could be librarian never materialized. But her role in bringing books to a community was huge. True testament to how books change lives and connect community. This title is now part of my growing picture book biography collection.

Miss Dorothy #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Champion written by Marie Lu

I have read the entire Legend trilogy in the last 5 weeks (around the reading of other novels) and I must admit I am sad to leave the world of June and Day. I don’t want to give anything away so I will just make two comments. One, the ending was not a disappointment. At all. Two, I might have enjoyed this third title in the trilogy most of all. Fantastic YA fiction: lots of action, drama, and intrigue.

Champion #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I am currently reading Far Far Away by Tom McNeal. After this, I plan to read The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. My children and I are almost finished Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo and we will be starting The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen next (a #MustReadin2014 title).

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 9/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 90/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 5/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/65 complete

Happy Reading everyone!

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Healthy Kids all over the world

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

Some of the most powerful books to share with kids are books featuring photographs of children doing everyday things around the world. There is a natural fascination to compare. What is different? What is the same? How are things done somewhere else? What does it look like? As children explore these photographs and accompanying text, the huge world seems a little bit smaller and we are happy we share it in such similar and diverse ways.

This week I came across Healthy Kids (A Global Fund for Children book) by Maya Ajmera, Victoria Dunning and Cynthia Pon (published in 2013). This book begins with a forward by Melinda French Gates reminding readers that all children have the right to be healthy .

Healthy Kids Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There's a Book for That

The photographs in this book are lovely. Each full page spread features multiple photographs (each labelled by country) of children engaged in the activity described by the text. The book focuses on clean water, a healthy diet, medical and dental care and adequate exercise. A home that is clean and safe, immunizations and a hygenic place to go to the bathroom are explained as being an essential part of a healthy life.

Healthy Kids Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There's a Book for That

Travel around the world and witness a young girl pumping water in India, a group of children brushing their teeth together in Tonga and children whizzing down a hill on toboggans in Greenland. Bike riding in Botswana is great exercise. In Nigeria, children sleep under mosquito nets. Children wash their hands at an outdoor sink in Guatelmala.

The last few pages of the book provide more information on each of the topics covered and also stresses that while healthy kids live all over the world, not all communities and countries have everything they need to ensure the health of their children and citizens. Some suggestions of ways to advocate for better health for children world wide are suggested.

Pair this title with other books – both fiction and nonfiction that celebrate children, their bodies, their feelings, their families, their happiness and their health. Here are just a few of my favourites:

The Best Part of Me: Children talk about their bodies in pictures and words by Wendy Ewald

A beautiful celebration of children’s thoughts and feelings about themselves shared in their writing about a part of their body. Photographs accompany each piece of writing. A beautiful line (there are many to choose from)

I like my hands because they turn the pages of a book slowly and magically. Reading makes me happy.

The Best Part of Me Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There's a Book for That

Shades of People by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly

In this book, people are not described by their skin colour but rather the shade they come in – creamy, coffee, copper, almond, rose, bronze, brown . . . My favourite lines:

Our skin is our covering, just like wrapping paper. And, you can’t tell what someone is like from the colour of their skin.

Shades of People Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There's a Book for That

The Handiest Things in the World by Andrew Clements Photographs by Raquel Jarmillo 

While I like the photographs more than the text in this title, it is another beautiful book full of photographs of children doing everyday things. A celebration of all the things we use to make life easier even though our hands have many things all figured out!

The Handiest Things in the World Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There's a Book for That

You and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the World by Barbara Kerley

A wonderful collection of photos from all over the world of parents interacting with their children – doing the most natural of things – making a mess, telling a tale, taking a nap or catching a bus. Fun to guess where in the world the photograph might have been taken.

You and me together Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There's a Book for That

Whoever You Are written by Mem Fox illustrated by Leslie Staub 

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.

Their lives may be different from yours,

and their words may be very different from yours.

But inside, their hearts are just like yours,

whoever they are, wherever they are,

all over the world.

Whoever-you-are Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There's a Book for That

My original goal was 60 nonfiction picture books for 2013. Progress: 37/60 complete

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2013!

NFPB2013leavesPlease share your favourite titles on this theme!