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 Picture Books – grow a beginning collection

Recently I created a list of 20 picture books to be gifted to new parents/grandparents to begin growing a picture book collection of beautiful books. I purposely did not include any nonfiction titles because I had this list in mind – 20 incredible nonfiction titles that should be on the family bookshelf.

This list includes recent releases and some favourites I have had for some time. I looked for books that inspire wonder and curiosity about nature and the world. On this list are titles that cover specific concepts with rich language and stunning images. None are too lengthy or complex. The books that are more detailed are perfect for sharing in chunks with a parent/adult reader.

Shopping for gift books for a family? Think nonfiction picture books! Here are 20 beautiful titles:

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Listed alphabetically by author

A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

There are so many different kinds of nests for so many different creatures. This book is a treasure.

Nest Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

On A Beam of Light- A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

Wonder, curiosity and thinking outside of the box. Accessible Einstein!

 Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Gravity by Jason Chin

Visual story telling, simple text explain a complex concept so that all readers can grasp it.

 Gravity Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Just Ducks! written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

Gentle narration infused with facts in this beautifully illustrated book about ducks!

Just Ducks Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

Explore just how enormous a blue whale really is. Gorgeous.

The Blue Whale Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Some Bugs written by Angela Diterlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Will absolutely inspire some bug hunting! And maybe collecting. Break out the magnifying glasses.

 some Bugs Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray illustrated by Kenard Pak

Beautiful lyrical text. Will get everyone outside to listen to beautiful and varied bird song.

HaveYouHeard Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be? by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Betsy Thompson

Counting. Guessing. Lovely repetition.

eggs123 Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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.

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

What happened on the first day each animal was born? Children love to wonder about animal babies.

My first day Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and their Parents by Lita Judge

How do mammals care for their babies? Will inspire many conversations about how young children are cared for too.

Born in the Wild Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge

Were all dinosaurs gigantic? If they were walking around today, just how big would they be?

Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking written by Elin Kelsey and illustrated by Soyeon Kim

Will prompt a discussion about perseverance, creativity and inspiration.

Wild Ideas Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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 Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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

A beautiful poetic title about the water in our world.

Water Is Water- A Book About the Water Cycle Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre

Oh these photographs and this beautiful language. Walking in the rain? You will want to go.

Raindrops Roll Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Lifetime written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Math is all around us. Gorgeous illustrations. Fascinating animal facts.

lifetime Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

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

How do birds use their feathers? For so much more than flying . . .

feathers Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Forest Has a Song poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater  and illustrated by Robbin Gourley 

Beautiful poems about the forest – the perfect place to wander.

Forest has a song Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Mama Built a Little Nest written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Poetic text showcase all of the different nests birds build for their babies.

Mama Nonfiction Picture Books - grow a beginning collection There's a Book for That

Give books.

Read books.

Share books.

Often.

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 🙂

Ocean wonders: twenty nonfiction picture books about sea life

My class and I have fallen into a theme of ocean and sea life without really knowing we were heading in that direction. And just like dipping your toe into the deep blue sea and being lured into the depths, we have found that everywhere we turn, there are more books on this theme for us to discover. Here are twenty nonfiction picture book titles – some we have read, some that are in the pile to share and some we might not get to this time around. I hope that some will be ones you want to share with the children in your lives.

Books with a theme of Exploration:

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins  

How can we not be intrigued at the idea that we may only have encountered half of the large animals living in the sea?

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

Cousteau was fascinated by a world that he couldn’t spend prolonged time in. Without being able to breather underwater, how could Cousteau explore its mysteries? Read a more detailed review here

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jaques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino

Another fantastic picture book biography sharing the life of the inspiring Jacques Cousteau.

Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester

This title is based on the author’s real experience of travelling to Antarctica. Full of all kinds of facts about icebergs, icebreakers, life in a research station. Read a more detailed review here.

 Ocean wonders: 20 nonfiction picture books about the sea There's a Book for That Nonfiction picture book Wednesday

Books with an Environment theme:

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

The depiction of Earle’s curious childhood in the water, descriptions of moments in her life that truly shaped and changed her, beautiful and enticing illustrations and this very important message: “You can’t care if you don’t know.”

Winston of Churchill by Jean Davies Okimoto

This book tells us about Winston, the bear from Churchill, Manitoba who decides to mobolize a group of polar bears to teach the tourists who come to see the polar bears about the effects of global warming on the melting ice in the Arctic.

Ice Bear (In the Steps of the Polar Bear) written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Gary Blythe 

Nicola Davies tells us how polar bears survive in the Northern landscape weaving facts on each page into the beautiful story she tells in lovely poetic text.

Read about how I used this title in my room to practice deep thinking questions here

Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm 

Narrated by the sun. Learn about ocean’s life cycles and the importance of phytoplankton.

Environment  Ocean wonders: 20 nonfiction picture books about the sea There's a Book for That Nonfiction picture book Wednesday

Books about Specific Sea Creatures (one or many):

Here Come the Humpbacks written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Jamie Hogan

Through a story of a mother whale and her calf’s migratory journey, we are able to learn many things about humpback whales.

See What a Seal Can Do written by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Kate Nelms

The reader is then invited into the world of seals. Learn all about gray seals – how they move, how they hunt and how their body is perfectly suited to their ocean home.

Read more about this book here.

One Tiny Turtle written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Jane Chapman

The amazing story of the lifecycle of the loggerhead turtle.

Surprising Sharks written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by James Croft

Learn lots about sharks including how humans pose many threats to their survival.

Bubble Homes and Fish farts written by Fiona Bayrock and illustrated by Carolyn Conahan 

How do animals use bubbles? In quite amazing ways! From the bubble nets of humpback whales to the bubbles sea otters use to stay extra warm in the cold ocean water.

In the Sea written by David Elliot and illustrated by Holly Meade

Poems about various sea creatures. Gorgeous illustrations.

Giant Squid: Searching for a Sea Monster by Mary M. Cerullo from the Smithsonian

Written like an active investigation. Just what is the giant squid? Why is it so elusive? How is it studied?

Shimmer & Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life by Jim Arnosky 

Learn about different fish and sea animals that live in the ocean. Amazing fold out pages.

Sea Creatures  Ocean wonders: 20 nonfiction picture books about the sea There's a Book for That Nonfiction picture book Wednesday

Books that begin on the Shore or wade into the Coral Reefs:

Coral Reefs by Jason Chin 

In this title, being lost in a book means getting lost in a completely different world – in this case the magical world of coral reefs.

Hello Ocean written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, with illustrations by Mark Estrella

Not exactly a nonfiction title but a poetic text that speaks to all of our senses close to the shore.

Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish written by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Joan Paley

The book itself reads like a story – we learn about how sea stars hunt for food, how they eat (by extending a stomach out through the mouth) and how they are vulnerable when the tide goes out to being eaten by seabirds

Looking Closely Along the Shore by Frank Serafini 

Look at the shore in ways you have never quite imagined it through the camera lens and close up shots of Frank Serafini.

 Ocean wonders: 20 nonfiction picture books about the sea There's a Book for That Nonfiction picture book Wednesday

 

NFPB 2014

I learn so much by reading all of the blog posts that link to the Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday event that KidLit Frenzy hostsVisit Alyson’s blog to see what books are shared this week.

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 42/65 complete!

Do you have favourite nonfiction titles on any of these themes? Please share in the comments!

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: The mysteries of the underwater world

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

So excited to be participating in this meme again! I was inspired to read so many more nonfiction titles in 2013 thanks to #nfpb2013 and Alyson Beecher from KidLit Frenzy for the inspiration! I wrote about my favourite nonfiction picture book titles read in 2013 here. All of this reading meant many more fantastic titles being shared with my class! What could be better?

This week, I’m not sharing a recent title but it is one that is new to me and it was so enjoyed by my class that I felt the need to give it some more #booklove (of the nonfiction variety).

My students’ responses will help make the point of how accessible this book is to primary students.

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

Manfish NFPB 2014 The Mysteries of the Underwater World There's a Book for That

Picture book biographies, when well done, strike the important balance between inspiration and information. This title does this so well. The illustrations are magical – just the different shades of blue in the water on various pages is worth flipping through to notice. The theme that came through clearly was that Cousteau was fascinated by a world that he couldn’t spend prolonged time in. Without being able to breather underwater, how could Cousteau explore its mysteries? His invention of the aqua lung changed everything for him and for future ocean exploration.

What I loved most about this story is how it depicts the interests and passions of Cousteau at all ages and stages. It helps reinforce the message we want to send to our children – be curious, wonder, figure things out and care for our world. An ideal introduction to Cousteau.

Some student responses:

Ibtihal wrote: The most important thing under water is to breathe. The aqua lung helped Jacques to be a Manfish. When he was young he was curious. He loved to invent and draw things. He did writing and made his own movies. There’s a lot of fish in the water! 

Heman shared: Jacques Cousteau was a person who loved fish. When Jacques was a little boy, he was curious about how rocks sink and boats float. He always wondered how to breathe underwater. So he invented the aqua lung to solve his problem which let him be a Manfish. 

Hyo Min wrote: When Jacques goes deeper it gets colder and darker. He invents things. With his goggles he can go underwater.

Kevin wrote: I wonder how to breathe underwater? I learned that if you go deeper, it gets colder. The flippers made the men go faster and the rubber suits made them warm. Jacques liked to invent, draw and write. He wants to explore under water so he invented an aqua lung. They made an exploring boat. 

Kassidy shared: Jacques was interested in how to breathe underwater. He and his friends were having a race in the water. Who can go the fastest and stay under water longest? But they needed to stay under for longer. 

Andrew shared: Jacques went diving with his friends Didi and Phillipe. He invented the aqua lung/water lung. Just when he went down it was like a new world to Jacques. He felt so good. He saw two worlds together. He was a Manfish! 

We read this title over two days in my classroom and did a lot of talking, wondering and writing. Students asked if we could learn more about how to save the ocean from pollution to be like Jacques Cousteau. There was much upset and talk about how people are throwing their trash in the ocean. We will continue exploring this topic. At the back of Manfish in the author’s note are some suggestions of how to have “more Cousteau” in your life. Caring for our planet is discussed. 

I then shared an IMAX movie (Deep Sea) with the students so that they could get a sense of how incredible life in the ocean can be. They were fascinated by the predator/prey relationships, examples of symbiosis and the somersaulting manta rays! After the movie, students did some wonderful art work and writing.

NFPB 2014 The Mysteries of the Underwater World There's a Book for That

Other titles to share on this topic . . .

Another picture book biography:

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A Nivola (published 2012)

I think this is a wonderful read aloud to share with upper primary (and older) students about finding your passion and making it your life’s work. I love this book for many reasons. The depiction of Earle’s curious childhood in the water, descriptions of moments in her life that truly shaped and changed her, beautiful and enticing illustrations and this very important message: “You can’t care if you don’t know.” In this story, this message applies to ecology and caring for our natural world but it is a message that applies to so many things. One worth thinking a lot about.

Life in the Ocean NFPB 2014 The Mysteries of the Underwater World There's a Book for That

Books to inspire wonder about the ocean world:

Coral Reefs by Jason Chin (published 2011)

Coral-Reefs NFPB 2014 The Mysteries of the Underwater World There's a Book for That

In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails and Salty Tails By Anthony D Fredericks and illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio (published in 2002)

In one Tidepool NFPB 2014 The Mysteries of the Underwater World There's a Book for That

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 5/65 complete!

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.

NFPB 2014

Monday January 6th, 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!

Speaking of what to read next? Do you have a TBR list that needs to be tamed? Join a number of bloggers who have chosen some titles as must read titles in 2014. Follow #MustReadin2014 on twitter and read more here. If you want to join in – send me your list/blog post via twitter to @CarrieGelson and I will add it to this post! Everyone is welcome! 🙂 My Must Read List is here. On the Gathering Books blog there is also a wonderful challenge called Check off Your Reading Challenge where you can keep track of and include reviews of books you read. Many of us are participating in both of these challenges!

The picture books (fiction and nonfiction) that I loved this week!

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

Gorgeous. What I loved most about this story is how it depicts the interests and passions of Cousteau at all ages and stages. It helps reinforce the message we want to send to our children – be curious, wonder, figure things out and care for our world. An ideal introduction of Cousteau for children. I want to add this title to my picture book biography section and will share it with students this week.

Manfish #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors? The story of Elizabeth Blackwell written by Tanya Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

I love the style of this book – both visually and the narration. It makes the story both interesting and accessible for young readers. And what a story! An important biography about determination, changing general opinion and beliefs and following a dream. While I want all of my students to hear this story (I have ordered my own copy and will share it soon), there are some children that I specifically have in mind who will rejoice in the messages of this book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Duck by Randy Cecil

A very sweet little story about a duck from a carousel who befriends a duckling. How can she teach duckling to truly fly? Little bits of melancholy in this gentle book.

 Duck #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Without You by Geneviève Côté

Perfect friendship story to spark discussion with the younger set. The message is a simple one (full of all of the complexities of interpersonal relationships!) Without you . . . many things just aren’t as good. With you, it all is better. My favourite line?

But my book is funnier when I read it with you!

Without you #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I am the World text and photographs by  Charles R. Smith Jr.

A wonderful celebration of children and culture from around the globe.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Minji’s Salon by Eun-hee Choung

What a delightful little find at the library this week. This story is all about the celebration of make believe. A little girl peeks at her Mother at the salon and then decides to have her own salon day with her dog! The back and forth between Mom at the salon and little “hairstylist to be” playing at home is wonderful!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Novels I finished:

Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

This was my final book on my Must Read in 2013 list and I squeaked in finishing it 45 minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve. A lovely way to “read in” the New Year – with humour, heroics (of sorts) and creative license with all of the fairy tales we think we know! My son adores this series and I can see exactly why it appeals to him so much!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (the first title I finished on my #MustReadin2014 list)

If you are no longer 18 years old, you might forget that fact while reading this book. All the vulnerability, fear, brutal soul searching and life lessons will come hurtling back at you as you experience the characters of Fangirl. Rainbow Rowell writes characters that are all about raw and true. Brilliant.

Fangirl #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I am almost finished reading Legend by Marie Lu and will probably jump right into Prodigy as I am trying to read the series without many breaks. I’m reading The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey as a read aloud with my children and it is lots of fun! A great MG fantasy/adventure.

Heading back to teach tomorrow, I feel a little sad to give up the long hours of reading I managed to do this holiday! But lots of read aloud adventures await me with my students and for this, I am excited! I was capturing our last two weeks of learning/activities on our class blog Curiosity Racers today – no wonder I was tired at the end of December! Wow, were those last two weeks busy!

For all of you heading back to teaching this week, good luck! Happy Reading to everyone!

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014

I’ve been inspired once again by Alyson Beecher at KidLit Frenzy to participate in the 2014 Nonfiction picture book challenge! Link up here to join in!

NFPB 2014

According to Goodreads, last year I read 66 nonfiction picture books – my goal had been 60 titles. I read 44 nonfiction picture books in 2012 so it was wonderful that participating in this challenge allowed me to increase the titles I read by a third! Wonderful for me and wonderful for my students as my passion for these titles has spilled over into some amazing read aloud experiences! And the learning . . . Wow!

This year when I selected my favourite titles of the year, including nonfiction picture books was a priority – I credit this challenge with my new absolute love for this genre. Thank you Alyson and all of the fantastic bloggers sharing favourite reads all year!

I would like to keep reading at the nonfiction pace I read last year – so I am choosing 65 titles as my goal. Again, I will try and read many recently published books, but there are many 2013 (and even older) titles that I really want to get to so I will be reading both new and older titles. When I can, I will include favourites and link to Alyson’s Wednesday nonfiction posts.

One of my most popular posts of the year was for this challenge: Wonder Inducing Nonfiction Read Alouds. I have been using this list to guide which books I share with my students. In my timetable, I have set aside two guaranteed nonfiction read aloud times each week. Often, it is more. We read a lot of nonfiction in my room!

Like last year, I am excited to learn about a variety of nonfiction titles shared via the bloggers participating in this challenge! Reading passion is wonderfully contagious!

My ten nonfiction favourites read in 2013 (not just published in 2013) included:

The final 3 titles on this list were on my Favourites of 2013 list and four of these books were on my Gift Books 2013 list. Testament to the nonfiction love!

The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Tree Lady NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Is This Panama? A Migration Story written by Jan Thornhill and illustrated by Soyeon Kim 

Is this Panama? NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

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

No monkeys, No chocolate NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frog: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle

The Case of the Vanishing Frogs NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

my first day NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke 

a little book of sloth NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Even an Octopus Needs a Home by Irene Kelly 

NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals’ Lives  written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Lifetime NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

On A Beam of Light- A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

 On a Beam of Light NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 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 

 The Boy who Loved Math NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That

I feel compelled to share this post to highlight all of the love this book had in my classroom: For the Love of Math

NF Picture Book Favourites of 2013 There's a Book for That