Monday February 12th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. This was all about little sister reading. One little sister read to a baby sister while big sister (in my class) worked with Mom during Student Led conferences. Some amazing book love!

Our #classroombookaday titles for two weeks. Week 1 included books all about books and the things you find when you open them up!

This past week, we explored art, colour and inspiration! Such a fun week!

Classroom Highlights 

So much has been about celebrating picture books in our Mock Caldecott unit! Partners explored each Mock Caldecott contender and rated books using “kid friendly” versions of Caldecott criteria.

Then it was time to complete some inspired art, “fan art” we called it.

Then we voted! Such serious, important work! Unfortunately, we had a number of students away ill and decided that we would hold off with our final results until everyone was back and had a chance to vote. So our Mock Caldecott results will be announced after the actual award winners are shared.

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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

Books I loved:

How to Be an Elephant: Growing up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy

Oh this book! I learned so much about elephants and was completely in love with he illustrations. Would love to see this title get some love when awards are announced tomorrow.

Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up by Sally M Walker and William Grill

Interesting poems, beautiful art and detailed back matter make this title an earth science gold mine!

The Blue Songbird by Vern Kousky

In search of your song, where will you travel and where will you arrive?

My Wounded Island by Jacques Pasquet and Marion Arbona 

How are rising sea levels interpreted by a young girl on an Arctic Island? This is a powerful title.

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Kuipers

This title isn’t published until May – it’s the first in a series I definitely want to feature in our classroom library! Be on the look out!

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling 

Aven Green is some kind of amazing. Born without arms and adopted by encouraging, loving parents as a toddler, Aven seems fearless. But life is a constant challenge as you face your own fears and help your friends confront their own. An important read.

 

The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh

Middle grade perfection. This title is all about navigation and coming out the other side. Friendships. Identity. Individuality. Facing fears. Following your heart and your instincts. Taking risks. LOVED all of the characters!

Up next? I am reading Solo by Kwame Alexander

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 6/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 3/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 34/300 books read

Progress on challenge: on track

#MustReadin2018: 4/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 3/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 4/40 books read

Nonfiction 10 for 10: Wandering through Wonders

This year for nonfiction 10 for 10, I invite you to wander with me where questions and wondering takes us. Start with a topic and let the questions happen. How do we find out more? Usually, there’s a book for that!

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.

This is my sixth year participating in this meme!

In 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.

In the second year, I chose to focus on nonfiction picture book biographies that feature inspiring women.

In my third year, I shared nonfiction titles that allow us to think about something from a completely new or different perspective.

Year four was about travelling the world through nonfiction picture books.

Last year, my list focussed on ocean life and ocean exploration.

Nonfiction 10 for 10Recently in my classroom we read a book about the moon as part of our Mock Caldecott unit. This book led us to many, many questions. As the children were busy wondering, I was busy thinking about books on my bookshelf that might help us to begin answering some of the questions and to explore some of the wonders more deeply. Some have just been published. Others have been on my shelves for years. We are still in the middle of our exploring so part of my wandering from book to book is imagined: What might we wonder when we read about . . . ? The first few books are the titles where we began.

If you read

If You Were the Moon written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim (2017) 

you might have some questions about gravity. So you should probably read

Gravity by Jason Chin (2014)

 Gravity Nonfiction Picture Books Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to NonfictionYou might also begin wondering about space and our galaxy. Reading Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson (2014) is a fantastic place to begin.

Maybe you have questions about how the world was made and how everything came to be. How did it all begin? How is the world put together? What is inside the earth? The questions are endless.

There are a few places you can turn

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield (2017)

The Story of Life: A First Book of Evolution by Catherine Barr and Steve Williams with illustrations by Amy Husband (2015)

Earth Verse Haiku from the Ground Up by Sally M Walker and William Grill (2018)

This might lead to questions about specific landforms. A perfect book to turn to here is

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin (2012)

Island  Nonfiction Reading Ten titles for older readers There's a Book for That

Some of you might be more interested to learn about all things tiny and microscopic rather than huge and majestic things like islands.

Tiny Creatures: the world of Microbes by Nicola Davies with illustrations by Emily Sutton (2014) is the book for you!

But some of you might want to head back into the past and talk about early life forms. Small things that emerged from the sea? Or gigantic creatures that roamed the Earth like dinosaurs!

Born to Be Giants: How Baby Dinosaurs Grew to Rule the World by Lita Judge (2010) is the ideal title for the dinosaur enthusiast.

This book might lead us to wonder what else might become extinct? Thee are many books about endangered animals. This is one of my favourites, full of truths and hope:

Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild is written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Stephen Walton (2015)

Counting Lions: 2015 Gift BooksWhat are you wondering about now? Your questions can lead us to more incredible nonfiction titles!

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: One Day on our Blue Planet . . . In the Antarctic

If you shouldn’t fall in love with a book by its cover . . . how about its end pages? Because these are truly stunning! The front pages feature all of the animals you might find above the ice in Antarctica and the final end pages reveal many of the creatures who live below the Antarctic waters.

One Day on our Blue Planet . . . In the Antarctic by Ella Bailey (Flying Eye Books 2016)

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: One Day on our Blue Planet . . . In the Antarctic

Wander (or waddle) through the day of an Adélie penguin chick in her Antarctic home. Through the story of her day we are introduced to elements of the Antarctic landscape, penguin habits, their predators and the creatures who share their home.

Perfect for younger listeners, this is a beautiful read aloud to introduce children to the continent of Antarctica and it is sure to spark further reading and research. This would also be a wonderful mentor text for older readers to share their research on an animal as a “day in the life” format.

This book begs you to consider art projects. It is stunning on every page. Like all Flying Eye Books, the pages are high quality and the colour palette, so attractive.

Pair this title with these titles about Antarctica:

Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester (published in 2012)

 Sophie Scott Goes South  There's a Book for That

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill, a stunning Flying Eye book published in 2014.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: 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 2016. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

nfpb2016logo

Nonfiction 10 for 10: Travel the world

I am not sure how many of you have read the The Bear Report by Thyra Heder. It is a beautiful, playful and imaginative title. And Olafur, a polar bear, is a transformative Arctic tour guide. Transformative and inspirational. This book got me thinking about how much we learn when we travel. And then I started thinking about how much we learn when we travel in a book.The Bear Report

And so, yes, it makes sense that a not really nonfiction book starts my post about some incredible nonfiction titles. Titles that let us travel to new places and learning through their pages. I feel that these titles do a particularly fantastic job of capturing a sense of place.

Nonfiction Ten for Ten: Travel the World

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.

This is my fourth year participating in this meme.

In 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.

In the second  year, I chose to focus on nonfiction picture book biographies that feature inspiring women.

Last year, I shared nonfiction titles that allow us to think about something from a completely new or different perspective.

Nonfiction 10 for 10

This year my theme is about travelling the world and learning about place and more via the pages of a nonfiction picture book. These are ten (“ahem” eleven) of my favourite nonfiction titles. If I have blogged about them before, I have shared the link.

Travel to Chengdu, China when you read  Jasper’s Story: Saving Moon Bears written by Jill Robinson and Marc Bekoff; illustrated by Gijisbert van Frankenhuyzen (published 2013)

Jasper’s story is one you just might not know and all of us should. A terrible instance of animals being captured and imprisoned so that their bile can be extracted for use in traditional Asian medicine. Jasper is a bear that was rescued by Jill Robinson (the author) and her Animals Asia team and brought to a sanctuary in China. He had been held in a cage for 15 years and was very weak and injured from so many years of cruel captivity.

Travel the World

Travel to Puerto Rico when you read  Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Cindy Trumbore and Susan L. Roth (published in 2013) Winner of the 2014 Sibert Medal

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. Both captive bred parrots and wild flocks are being supported by the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program. Gorgeous collage images invite you into the treetops with these beautiful birds.

Parrots over Puerto Rico

Travel to Antarctica when you read Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester (published in 2012)

This book defies categorization. It is a fictional story of young Sophie Scott travelling to Mawson Station in Antarctica with her father who is the captain of an icebreaker, the Aurora Australis. But it is based on the author’s real experience of travelling to Antarctica. And it is full of all kinds of facts about icebergs, icebreakers, life in a research station, Antarctic animals and the history of Antarctic exploration. I’m calling it an information story book and placing it under the nonfiction umbrella.

_sophie-scott-goes-south-copy-1337598376

and Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill, (published in 2014)

Such a story of adventure, misadventure, perseverance and survival.

shackletons-journey

Travel to Australia when you read Big Red Kangaroo written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne (first published by Walker Books Australia in 2013, first U.S. edition 2015 by Candlewick Press)

The illustrations are so unique. Dry, dust seems to float off the page. I feel like I am under a hot sun, staring at wide expanse of dry grass, with little green. There is absolute mood in these pictures. Action, drama in the simmering Australian climate. Limited colours and striking lines. A fantastic book that celebrates both kangaroos and the Australian landscape.

big red kangaroo

Travel to wooded areas of California when you read Redwoods by Jason Chin (published in 2009)

It’s not just that redwood trees are majestic, this book brings some kind of added magic to learning about these forest giants. Part fantasy, part nonfiction – this title by Chin is a magical information story book. Learn about each level of the tree from small sapling to the canopy hundreds of feet off the ground in a redwood tree over 350 feet tall!

Redwoods by Jason chin

Travel to the Galapágos Islands when you read Galapágos George written by Jean Craighead George and illustrated by Wendell Minor (published in 2014)

This was a powerful read aloud in my classroom last year. This title let us talk about extinction. It allowed students to grasp the true vulnerability of so many species. We read this after reading various books about endangered animals. Reading about a special creature that actually became extinct prompted both outrage and sadness. “So many animals could disappear because of humans . . . ” one child observed solemnly.

Galapagos George

Travel to Ghana when you read about Emmanuel Ofusu Yeboah in Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls (published in 2015)

An inspirational biography of Emmanuel Ofusu Yeboah who rode across Ghana (more than 400 miles) to raise money for and awareness about people living with disabilities. A story of persistence, endurance and the human spirit.

Emmanuel's Dream- The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Travel back to Cuba in the 1930s and learn about when you read Drum Dream Girl Dreaming: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López (published in 2015)

Millo Castro Zaldarriaga dreamed of drumming but this was not a dream for girls. This beautifully illustrated story gives us a peek into the colours of Cuba and the persistent dream of one girl  to play her music.

Drum Dream Girl

Travel to Minnesota in the wintertime Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen (published in 2014)

What about animals who must survive long winters where snow is not a novelty but a part of life? Is the snow a burden? A hardship? How do they survive? How do they adapt to the long winter months? These are questions that children will find answers to in this stunning collection of poems, lino cut prints and informative paragraphs.

winter bees

Travel to Iceland  when you read Puffling Patrol by Ted and Betsy Lewin (published in 2012)

An incredible story of two children on the island of Heimaey in Iceland who take part on the Puffling Patrol to assist young pufflings making their way to the sea. Unfortunately we learn in the back pages that the puffling population in Iceland is rapidly declining.

Pufflng Patrol 2

What are some of your favourite nonfiction titles that honour place?

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit Collection

Last week Elisabeth Ellington put together this list: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction – one that was relevant from K-16 (as she teaches college)

From Elisabeth:

“What does a starter kit need? Representative titles that show the range and diversity of this genre. Books to read independently. Books to read together. Funny books. Serious books. A range of illustration styles. Books to teach writing. Books to teach research. Most of all, books to invite wonder and much more #booklove.”

She then wondered what we might include on our lists. I was so inspired I thought I would make my own. Which was much harder than it seemed. Elisabeth’s criteria made a lot of sense to me – especially thinking about books as invitations to wonder and to think about the world in new ways.

Finally, after a week of changing my mind, AND realizing that I couldn’t fit all of my favourites on one list, I chose ten incredible books.

Nonfiction a starter kit collection NFPB 2015 Ten titles for those new to nonfiction

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. Amazing photographs from Ellen Harasimowicz.

 Handle with Care Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

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. This book was absolutely fascinating to my students.

 Teh Boy who Loved Math Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

Can We Save the Tiger? written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Vicky White

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. Heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. And the illustrations are breathtaking.

can we Save the Tiger? Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

Gravity by Jason Chin

Visual story telling, simple text explain a complex concept so that all readers can grasp it. Accessible for young readers and engaging for older readers.

 Gravity Nonfiction Picture Books Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

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. Little bookworms on each page extend the learning and provide some humourous commentary,

no-monkeys-no-chocolate Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page 

Learn about the unique symbiotic relationships between specific creatures. Jenkins is, of course, nonfiction royalty and incredibly prolific often creating books with his wife Robin Page. I learned so much in this book – the children I have shared it with have been completely captured by it.

How to Clean a Hippopotamus Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

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.

 Saving the Ghost of the Mountain Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

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.

Ubiquitous-Celebrating-Natures-Survivors Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

Bright Sky Starry City written by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by Aimée Sicuro tells the story of little Phoebe who helps her father set up telescopes outside of his shop to observe a special event in the night sky. Saturn and Mars are going to appear together in the sky. She fills the sidewalk with chalk drawings of the solar system and her mind fills with wonders and worries.

A beautiful story of father and daughter, of a curious girl wondering about space and astronomy, of a glorious sky full of stars and constellations. A mix of fiction and nonfiction with more information in the back matter detailing a number of the concepts from the story.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill

Such a story of adventure, misadventure, perseverance and survival. This book is full of so many details to share – learn about exploration, polar landscapes, geography, history – all the while, being captured by one of the most incredible survival stories of our times.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Starter Kit for Teachers New to Nonfiction

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

What books would you include in your starter kit?

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: constant danger, hazardous journey and 69 dogs

Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have been reading lots of nonfiction. My students have been reading lots of nonfiction. I have so much to share.

But . . . I am really busy and have many other things I should be doing.

To blog or not to blog . . . ?

I can’t resist!

I am reading my class the incredible Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill, a stunning Flying Eye book published in 2014. I really debated about whether my class could manage a longer nonfiction read aloud but then decided if any book was going to hold their attention, it would be this one. Such a story of adventure, misadventure, perseverance and survival. This book is full of so many details to share with my students. We are going to be learning about exploration, polar landscapes, geography, history – all the while, being captured by one of the most incredible survival stories of our times.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: constant danger, hazardous journey and 69 dogs There's a Book for That

I decided to launch this title by having students explore the continent of Antartica in the atlas and on the globe and think about what it might be like to travel to the continent and over its landscape. We read Sophie Scott Goes South last year so many students remembered learning about ice breakers and watching videos about the frozen landscape.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: constant danger, hazardous journey and 69 dogs There's a Book for That

We did a writing exercise with a copy of Shackleton’s actual advertisement for men to sail with him on the Endurance. I gave this wonder statement as a prompt:

I wonder who would choose to go on this journey? What would be some of the challenges?

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: constant danger, hazardous journey and 69 dogs There's a Book for That

Students shared some fantastic responses:

“I think someone would do it for the fame and fortune. Maybe a vet would do it because they want to see how the animals are doing. I would have mixed feelings about doing this if I saw this in the newspaper because first of all I’m not very good in boats, cars and buses – you know what I mean but on the other hand I love animals and adventure. And I’m skinny – me and the cold don’t get along.” (above)

“I would choose my Mom’s Aunt because once she survived a hurricane by swimming because she’s a good swimmer. I think the hardest thing to be is to fall down because even if you’re a good swimmer, you will freeze to death.”

“I don’t want me or my family going on that journey because I love them and they would probably be gone forever. They should let the girls join because girls and boys aren’t that different. Maybe girls would want to go too. The hardest thing would be the risk taking. You should think about your family if you have one.”

“I think that the people who have dreams will do it. I would do it only if I was 49. I think that the challenges are risk taking, braveness and special equipments. I think that girls at back in time didn’t feel like going. They might get sick easily. But a lot of men take risks? Shackleton is the bravest man I ever heard of!”

After reading a few pages about recruiting men and raising funds, it was all about the dogs! 69 dogs were brought on board as part of the expedition. Each of their names is listed. I had to read the list aloud multiple times. “Do it again,” I would be prompted. 🙂 I then had to make a copy of the list for the students. We used this as another writing prompt.

I wonder why Shackleton brought 69 dogs on the expedition. What would be the challenges?

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: constant danger, hazardous journey and 69 dogs There's a Book for That

Loved their thoughts on this!

“So if the crew gets lost the dogs could smell their way back. Because dogs have a great sense of smell. Or if there is some blind people – you never know. Probably some challenges are like the dogs might be smelling lots of cool stuff and wanting to explore it.”

“The challenge would be that they will have to figure out how they are going to let the dogs do their business. How will they feed all 69 dogs? And you wouldn’t like to see 69 angry dogs. How will the crew and the dogs all get water because they can’t just drink from the water because it;s salt water and trust me salt water is not good for you. Where will they put all the food, because there’s 69 dogs and 26 people counting the expedition leader and the stowaway.”

“I think they use the dogs for looking for food. Or maybe looking for trouble. I wonder why they bring more dogs than people. I wonder what kind of dog food they bring. Maybe they use them to go on a quest. My favourite dog is Jerry (my name!)”

“Maybe they are snowdogs or I wonder if some members of the crew get scared of the trip so the dogs are hired to cuddle them. I love dogs. If I was going on this trip, I would be happy that there were dogs around.”

“Maybe to use as snow dogs and 69 because humans are very heavy to dogs. Or for their safety? But the problem is what if they get lost or run away. And if he is so poor, how can he buy boots and coats for all the men.”

“I think they need them for warning so they won’t crash. I think they need them because they are tough. Is their enough room on the boat?”

“I wonder why they bring more dogs than people. The challenge are the dogs poo and need to eat and drink. I think they bring the dogs because they can smell stuff. It he doesn’t have enough money from the funding, he can’t buy enough food for the dogs and all the equipment. If he goes across Antarctica, it will be very risk taking.”

We are just pages in and the children are absolutely hooked. We have pages and pages ahead and I can’t wait for all of the learning, thinking, writing and discussions to come with this beautiful book.

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 Book Wednesday: Fourteen favourites of 2014 (Part 2)

I am thrilled to share my favourite fourteen nonfiction titles of 2014!

2014 Nonfiction Picture Books

I love books. As in absolutely adore, frequently gush over, make piles, make lists, always reading kind of #booklove devotion. If you had asked me to talk favourites a few years ago, a nonfiction title would have made it on the list here and there. I have always appreciated the power of the nonfiction read aloud but . . . it wasn’t until I began participating in the nonfiction picture book challenges organized by Alyson Beecher (from Kid Lit Frenzy) that I have become absolutely smitten with nonfiction titles.

I have been busily tweeting about this as of late . . .

I am thrilled to renew my commitment to nonfiction reading by participating in the #nfpb2015 challenge! The more nonfiction I read, the more I learn and the more my students ultimately benefit.

#nfpb2015

More about my favourites of 2014. If these titles are not on your already read and loved or must read radar, consider adding them to the list!

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

ivan

The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

The Right Word

Gravity by Jason Chin

gravity_chin

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton

tiny-creatures

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

weeds-find-a-way

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill

shackletons-journey

Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World by Steve Jenkins 

eye-to-eye

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

creature-features-coversmall

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

Born in the Wild

A Boy and A Jaguar written by Alan Rabinowitz and illustrated by Cátia Chien 

boyandajaguarcover

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

neighborhood-sharks

Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen

winter bees

Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson

star stuff

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

feathers

I have included picture books here but must also note that Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cats written by Sy Montgomery with photographs by Nic Bishop was an absolute favourite of the year.

cheetahs

I am also pleased to report that I more than met my goal of reading 65 nonfiction picture books this year. Grand total: 144 titles! 🙂

What are your favourites of the year?