Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

I have a brand new class: a busy group of seven and eight year olds. Many of them are not used to the nonfiction read aloud. But, they love to be read to and they are fascinated when I share facts with them about the world. Nonfiction books are stories of their world and I know they will be hooked. I wandered through my collection yesterday and pulled some titles to start reading aloud.

I needed titles that are not too long. They have to have engaging photos or illustrations. Ideally, there will be some humour or an interactive element (guessing and checking). The language needs to fit and if it can be lyrical and lovely, all the better. Or punchy and action packed!

Here are the ten titles I selected as beginning nonfiction read alouds:

Nest by Jorey Hurley

A series of words and beautiful images to explore birds and their nests.

nest Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

A Bird Is a Bird by Lizzy Rockwell

What makes a bird a bird exactly? A title to explore all the qualities of a bird.

A Bird Is a Bird Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

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

A fun interactive style. What kind of animal would you be if . . . ?

bone by bone Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Guess What is Growing Inside this Egg by Mia Posada

Clues and images lead us to the next page where we find the answer. Perfect to read a few pages at a time.

guess what is growing inside this egg Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton

Humour, spiders and some splatting. Learning as you laugh! Perfect.

Trying to Love Spiders Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Eat Like a Bear written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Follow a bear over seasons – how and what does a bear eat?

Eat Like A Bear Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

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

Lyrical and visually stunning. Appreciate weeds for their beauty and persistence.

weeds-find-a-way Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

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.

leaf can be Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws by Ingo Arndt

Marvel at the various interesting animal feet that different animals use to walk, climb, dig, paddle, etc. There is a guessing from a photograph aspect to this book.

 Best Foot Forward Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

The format is engaging – each animal is introduced with a mini letter/question and answer.

creature-features-Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Some beginning read alouds

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

Monday January 13th, 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!

First week back and my students were as excited as I was to be back together and share lots of reading time together. I shared highlights of our first week back in this post on our classroom blog. It’s worth a peek to read a poem two of my girls wrote called Girl Drama.

I found lots of picture books (both fiction and nonfiction) to treasure this week. Here are my favourites:

The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

This book was first published in France and wasn’t available in the North American market until 2013. I love lots of things about this book – the gorgeous colours on the cover, the fact that it is big and tall and that inside, each page is a visual delight. If one wanted to skip the story and just flip through the pages, it’s possible just to get lost in the details on each page searching for Little Bear as Papa Bear chases him into the city. But the story is simple and sweet – Little Bear has been lured by a bee and is rewarded after grand adventures with a sweet treat and snuggles from his Papa.

Here is a link to this book featured on the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

#IMWAYR 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

A fabulous story made even more spectacular by Melissa Sweet’s illustrations. This book tells the story of Clara Lemlich who was instrumental in the labour movement in the garment industry in the early 1900s. Introduces children to themes of work place safety, worker’s rights and individual strength and resolve. An inspirational story, this title is another book I would love to own for my picture book biography collection.

Brave girl #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Trouble Gum by Matthew Cordell

All about little siblings, mischief, and candy sneaking (in this case gum). Imagine chewing gum and little ones and you might be able to predict some of the “uh oh” happenings of this story. Lots of amusement and kid (in this case piglet) antics.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton written by Lauren Child and illustrated by Trisha Krauss

I was surprised to find that this book was only written by Lauren Child, not illustrated by her as well. I think I might have preferred her signature style with this story. Still, this is an interesting exploration of a quieter daughter in a flamboyant, expressive family. Turns out her ability to just blend in and not stand out becomes a definite asset.

Maude #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mole Had Everything by Jamison Odone

The message with this book is clear – having too much stuff just takes too much time and takes away from living life. Who wants that? Must admit I had a happy little smile when Mole prioritized and included in his “just enough” things one bookshelf for books. Because there is always room for books!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Henry’s Map by David Elliot

This book is absolutely adorable. It went right into my book bag for school as soon as I finished reading it as I must experience this as a read aloud! Henry the pig draws a map of the farm yard, carefully locating each structure and each animal. But when the animals all gather around Henry to admire his work and then look out to the farm, all of the animals detailed on the map seem to be missing! They all race back to the farm to investigate. Silly and clever, a wonderful book to inspire mapping your community.

Henry's Map #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws by Ingo Arndt

I book talked this title early in the week and have watched it make its rounds around the classroom. My students have loved sharing this during buddy reading and marvelling at the various interesting animal feet that different animals use to walk, climb, dig, paddle, etc.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

This is our House by Hyewon Yum

A house holds so many memories when multiple generations are raised beneath its roof. Tells many stories – immigration, raising children, different stages of life, sharing a home across generations. Would love to share this story with my students and see what kinds of conversations are sparked – either of living with grandparents or of missing them because they don’t live here in Canada.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished three novels (all of them YA), the first two from my #MustReadin2014 list

Legend by Marie Lu

In the last few months I have been reading many dystopian trilogies and kept seeing this title (and the next two in the trilogy) by Marie Lu receiving high praise on various #IMWAYR posts. After reading this first book, I can understand the enthusiastic reviews. Full of drama, action, intrigue and compelling characters, I was hooked within pages.

Legend #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

Wow. What a story concept. There are themes that one might encounter in many YA novels – friendship, romantic relationships, searching for a way out of a town and a way into a better future. But this book is also rich with strong characters, upsetting secrets and the trauma of grief. Highly recommended.

Boy 21 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller 

This was one of those books I found myself finishing in one long late afternoon into evening reading sessions. Another title that had come highly recommended via the #IMWAYR community. Callie was kidnapped by her mother at age five, has never been to school except for a brief stint in Kindergarten and has never had security or routines. Suddenly at seventeen, she is swept back into a full and busy Greek family who has missed her desperately and wants to make a place for her. But never having had friends, anyone to be accountable to or the belief in herself that she matters, Callie’s learning/adjustment curve is steep. Very engaging YA drama.

where the stars still shine #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I’ve started Prodigy by Marie Lu and then plan to read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick and The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour Lots of reading – yes! But nothing is a better cure for a miserable, rainy January than great books!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 27/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 3/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 6/65 complete

Happy Reading everyone!