Celebrating Big News With Two Picture Books From @LernerBooks

The New Year is starting with a bang with a big announcement and picture book giveaway at our sister blog, Growing with Science.

Want to hear more? The big news is that I’ve had a children’s picture book manuscript accepted by Millbrook Press, a division of Lerner™Publishing Group. If all goes well, the book should be ready sometime in late 2020.

To celebrate I’m holding a giveaway for two books from Millbrook Press in this post at Growing with Science. Let’s take a closer look at the two picture books here.

First up we have Love, Agnes: Postcards from an Octopus by Irene Latham and illustrated by Thea Baker.

This title is not traditional nonfiction. Instead, author Irene Latham combines solid information about the life cycle of an octopus with an imagined correspondence between a mother octopus and others living nearby, including a boy who lives on land.The combination unexpectedly gives both added emotion to a poignant story and also added layers of depth. (Be sure stop by Growing With Science where Irene reveals the story behind her story.)

The serious nonfiction comes to the fore in the back matter, which contains amazing facts about octopuses and lists of books and websites for further reading.

As you can see from the cover image, Thea Baker’s mixed media illustrations capture the life of Agnes the octopus in brilliant detail.

Love, Agnes will thrill young readers and educators alike. Pick up a copy and see if you don’t love it, too.

Suggested Activity:

This book begs to be accompanied with an activity of preparing and sending postcards to friends and family members. Finding some undersea stickers to decorate them would be an added plus.

(Public domain image from Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.)

You can also sign up to receive a postcard from author Irene Latham here: http://goo.gl/forms/JmNeFvo7j4

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press (October 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1512439932
ISBN-13: 978-1512439939

The second book in the giveaway is an older title about plant dispersal, Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch and illustrated by Mia Posada.

“Plants don’t have feet or fins or wings,
yet they can move in many ways.
Look closely and you’ll discover that plants can’t sit still. “

So starts Rebecca Hirsch’s exploration of all the ways plants get from place to place. As she discusses in her “Author’s Note,” Hersch spent time watching plants, either in the wild around her neighborhood or through videos. Her attention to accuracy and detail really show.

As much as I enjoy the text, it is the bright, lush, and active cut paper collage and watercolor illustrations by Mia Posada that really sold me on this book. I just can’t get enough of the colors.

Plants Can’t Sit Still is a wonderful introduction to plant dispersal. Get on the move and check out a copy today.

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1467780316
ISBN-13: 978-1467780315

And, don’t forget the Giveaway at Growing with Science.

Disclosure: I purchased these books for the giveaway. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

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Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

STEM Friday Two #Kidlit Books About Exploring the Ocean

Over the last few months we have been exploring some of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that were nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Let’s dive into two children’s picture books about deep sea exploration.

First up is Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible Alvin by Michelle Cusolito and illustrated by Nicole Wong, which is a finalist in the Elementary Nonfiction category.

The reader is taken on a day-long ride in the submersible Alvin to the bottom of the ocean, almost two miles down. Find out what you might see, how you might feel, even what you might eat and drink while cramped inside a three-person exploration craft. It is so real, you will want to stand up and stretch when you are done.

The digital illustrations stay in the cool color plate and are appropriately dark in the deepest depths. The underwater creatures are beautifully drawn and detailed. Some of the spreads fill the pages lengthwise, giving even more sense of traveling down beneath the water.

Flying Deep is a wonderful adventure in book form. Climb in and explore the ocean depths today!

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (May 22, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1580898416
ISBN-13: 978-1580898416

Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Katherine Roy reveals the collaboration that led to the first deep ocean dive back in June 6, 1930.

Years before the Alvin submersible, two men decided they wanted to be the first to explore the deepest ocean. Otis Barton and Will Beebe designed a round metal ball they called a bathysphere to carry them far beneath the water. Because they were the first, they bravely faced the many dangers to successfully explore areas that no one had seen before and see sights no one could have imagined.

Katherine Roy’s watercolors are playful and full of action. The climax of the book, when the two reach the lowest point, is a surprising two-gatefold spread.

Otis and Will Discover the Deep is a suspenseful tribute to two brave men. It will appeal to budding marine biologists and engineers alike. Dive into a copy today.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (June 5, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0316393827
ISBN-13: 978-0316393829

Disclosure: Otis and Will book was provided by our local library and Flying Deep was provided by the publisher. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can share with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.Opens in a new window Note: this is a new link as of 10/2018.

2018 #Cybils Shortlists Announced

If you have been following this blog, you know for the last few months I have been a round I judge in the 2018 Cybils Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category.

After reading some 140+ books in about two months, we have picked out 7 elementary finalists and 7 middle grade finalists. Today the shortlists were announced on the Cybils blog. Congratulations to all the authors and illustrators whose books made the cut.

Although all the children’s and young adult books on the nomination lists have merit, the books on the shortlists have a little something extra that caught the attention of our experts.  During the next few weeks they will be read and assessed by another set of judges and the overall winners will be announced on or around February 14, 2019.

Here are the lists from the nonfiction elementary/middle grade categories (numbers on list are random, I just needed to make sure I got all seven):

Elementary Nonfiction (Picture Books)

1. Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez and illustrated by Felicita Sala.

A picture book biography with an important “It’s okay to be different” message. Reviewed here.

2. Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker’s Story by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes

This picture book biography about the incredible history of one of the Navajo code talkers whose contributions during World War II were kept secret for decades.

3. Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible Alvin by Michelle Cusolito and illustrated by Nicole Wong

Review will be posted for STEM Friday this week.

4. Saving Fiona: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Baby Hippo by Thane Maynard

The story of the premature birth and fight to save this tiny hippo oozes adorable.

5. A Frog’s Life by Irene Kelly and illustrated by Margherita Borin

Reviewed at Growing With Science (with activity suggestions)

6. What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton and illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

You can hear Barbara Jordan’s voice in the rhythm of Chris Barton’s brilliant text. Reviewed here.

7. The True Tale of a Giantess: The Story of Anna Swan by Anne Renaud and Marie Lafrance

This picture book biography explores the life of one of P. T. Barnum’s Gallery of Wonders.

Middle Grade Nonfiction

1. Maya Lin: Thinking With Her Hands by Susan Goldman Rubin.

Not everyone knows, but the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. C. was designed by a young student of Chinese descent. The architect Maya Lin has gone on to shape many more breathtaking buildings and outdoor spaces. Reviewed here.

2. Dog Days of History:  The Incredible Story of Our Best Friends by Sarah Albee

Reviewed at Growing with Science.

3. The Hyena Scientist by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop

Another fabulous title in the Scientists in the Field series. Reviewed at Growing with Science.

4.  Frenemies in the Family: Famous Brothers and Sisters Who Butted Heads and Had Each Other’s Backs by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Maple Lam

  Kathlenn Krull takes the reader on a raucous ride through the history of some famous sibling rivalries.

5.  Death Eaters: Meet Nature’s Scavengers by Kelly Milner Halls

The cover shows it all in this book about decomposers and decomposition,

6. Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson

The premise is to try to figure out which stories are facts and which are fakes.

7. The Ultimate Book of Sharks (National Geographic Kids) by Brian Skerry

This middle grade title is chock full of gorgeous photographs and fascinating facts.

If you are resolving to read more in 2019, here’s a great list of books to start with.

Disclosure: These books were mostly provided by our local library, although some were provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

#Nonfiction Monday Dream Big and a Reading Challenge

Tomorrow is a big day.

First, all the shortlists for the 2018 Cybils awards will be announced. We’ll have more about that in our next post.

Plus, tomorrow is the beginning of a brand new year. Let’s celebrate with a picture book that has a great New Year’s message, Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination by Dave McGillivray and Nancy Feehrer, and illustrated by Ron Himler.

When I was little, I was little.
Really little.
But my dreams? They were BIG.

So starts Dave McGillivray’s autobiographical picture book.

Dave really wanted to be an athlete, but his small size kept him out of many sports. But he didn’t let that stop him. On his twelfth birthday he started running. By the time he was 17, he decided to give the nearby Boston Marathon a try. The first year wasn’t the success he had hoped, but he has managed to run every Boston Marathon for the last 45 years. The best part is that not only is he a world-renowned athlete, but also he’s the race director.

Included in the back is a timeline of Dave’s first successful race, plus Dream Big activity suggestions (see more about that below).

Dave’s Dream Big attitude is infectious. Check out a copy and get inspired today!

Activity Suggestion:

To accompany the book, Dave McGillivray suggests running 26 miles, reading 26 books, and performing 26 acts of kindness all over over the span of 26 weeks.  There’s a guide to download at his website.

Reading 26 books in a year is a good challenge, too.

Other Reading Challenges:

Reading challenges are great ways to discover new passions, learn new skills, and try new things. Just make sure the goals are enjoyable and reasonable.

Brightly has monthly reading challenges that are a fun mix of activities and suggested books at the bottom. Check out this one for January. (I’m thinking about doing some of these.)

Feed Your Fiction has a monster list of reading challenges, including some kidlit ones (scroll down).

Please let us know about any others.

Age Range: 7 – 12 years
Publisher: Nomad Press (March 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9781619306189
ISBN-13: 978-1619306189
ASIN: 1619306182

 

Disclosure: The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.