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

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

NFPB 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joys are the same, and love is the same.

Pain is the same, and blood is the same.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014! Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction titles.

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 73/65 complete!

 

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!