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)

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 10 for 10 List for 2013!

I’m so excited to participate in the first Nonfiction 10 for 10 event celebrating fantastic nonfiction picture books. 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 new meme.

In many cases, I have shared the books on my list with students, often more than once. If I have used a book with my class and blogged about it, I have provided the link (for more information about the book/possible ideas on how to use it).

An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long Shared in my class here. I love all of the Aston/Long titles (there are now four) but I think this is my favourite. Maybe it is that I love birds – my backyard is full of feeders and specific plants to attract them. But it is also the simplicity of an egg and the wonder of what it might contain. In this book we learn about more than bird’s eggs – we see the eggs of frogs, insects and various reptiles. The text is soothing and informative and the illustrations stunning. It is fun just to pore over the end papers trying to match various eggs with the creatures that may have hatched from them. I find this book is as lovely shared in the classroom as it is read aloud to just a few (my own children adored it). It inspires so much inquiry and amazement.

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin A simply gorgeous book detailing the birth of the Galapagos islands over millions of years and the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. Why is this book so great? The illustrations are certainly stunning and detailed but it is much more than that. I also love that big concepts: evolution, natural selection, migration of specific species and environmental changes are made so accessible for young readers. I think this is best introduced as a read aloud and then left for children to visit and revisit. This is a book to return to often to further study the illustrations and explanations. I want to get a hold of Chin‘s other nonfiction titles now too (Redwoods and Coral Reefs)

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

Over and Under the Snow written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal Shared in my class here. This book is truly magical and I would be thrilled to see Kate Messner do another picture book in this genre. Of course, Neal’s illustrations are also stunning – I love the muted colours – the gorgeous blues and white. I have frequently given this book as a gift to young readers especially if they have the opportunity to get out into a snowy wood and imagine all of the life happening under the snow. My students think it is absolutely fascinating that this subnivean zone (the small open spaces and tunnels between the snowpack and the ground) exists and marvelled at the animals that inhabit it. More detail about each animal is located in the back of the book for further reading. The text itself reads beautifully and repeated readings are a must!

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

Every Human has RightsA Photographic Declaration for Kids A National Geographic book with a forward by Mary Robinson. I seem to collect books that explore the United Declaration of Human Rights. I have many favourites. 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. For books more suitable to younger students, I recommend I Have the Right to be a Child written by Alain Serres, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty and We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures (with Amnesty International).

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

Poop – A Natural History of the Unmentionable written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Neal Layton. Shared in my class here and here. Really what child is not going to be engaged when you open up a book that is all about poop? There is a lot to learn in this title!   Do you know how often a sloth poops? How about a kind of messy thing that hippos do with their poo? Why is there hair in the poop of some animals? Wonder what follows when there is a title Sloppy or Ploppy? You must read this book! Better yet, you must share it with a group of curious children! And giggle. And oooh and ahhh.

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

Crocodile Safari by Jim Arnosky Shared in my class here and here. Arnosky has so many wonderful nonfiction titles but this is my favourite. Not only do students learn the important difference between crocodiles and alligators, they learn all kinds of facts about crocodiles. The art is true to life and the colours set the mood to make you feel like you really are out in the swamp. One of the best features of this book is the DVD that is included. See Arnosky out in the mangrove swamp doing research and learn how to draw crocodiles. A step by step drawing lesson is part of this DVD. My students loved this!

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

The Pebble in my Pocket written by Meredith Hooper and illustrated by Chris Coady Shared in my class here. This is a lengthy read but so worth sharing- a book that describes a journey of over 480 million years.  Follow a piece of rock that formed as a result of a volcano and travelled through time to end up in a little girl’s pocket. On this amazing journey, learn how the earth has changed in many dramatic ways over time. The back of the book has a geological time line that explains the main periods in Earth’s history. You might never look at a small pebble the same again.

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

How to Clean a Hippopotamus by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page Shared in my classroom here. How to choose just one Steve Jenkins book as my favourite? Not an easy task. I adore them all. (And there are always more! Just today I read my class part of My First Day) But if I had to pick a favourite, this would have to be it. I learned the most from reading it and my students were completely engaged with the information  Symbiotic relationships between animals are fascinating and this book details many strange animal partnerships. This book’s format is somewhat like a graphic novel and contains, Jenkins’ stunning artwork/collage.

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

 Fire!  The Renewal of a Forest by Celia Godkin, the queen of information story books 🙂 Have you ever thought of a forest fire as a positive thing? This detailed picture book explains how fires can be a natural and necessary part of the forest’s cycle of life and growth. The pages are typically set up so that the picture is spread over two pages  allowing for more scope and detail. I once did an entire unit on ecology using Godkin’s books and this was a favourite.

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

And my favourite nonfiction title? It would have to be Ape written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Vicky White Shared in my classroom here.

Ape is a visually stunning book! A book to pore over again and again marvelling at the details – both visual and written. Vicky White’s close up portraits and lifelike illustrations are fascinating while Martin Jenkins’ poetic text provided so much new information it is difficult to turn a page in a classroom of children without endless questions being tossed around the room. Learn about four endangered ape species: Orangutans, Chimps, Bonobos, and Gorillas. The fifth species of ape? Us. Similarities between apes and humans are described – for example, that we usually just have one baby at a time. Read and share the information in this book and then just flip through the pages taking in the pictures – there is so much to notice that a once through won’t do this book justice.

Nonfiction 10 for 10: There's a Book for that

Thanks again to Cathy, Julie and Mandy for the inspiration and hosting this event!

Happy reading and sharing everyone!