#Kidlit Rosa’s Animals: Biography of Rosa Bonheur

Today let’s highlight a middle grade marvel, Rosa’s Animals:  The Story of Rosa Bonheur and Her Painting Menagerie by Maryann Macdonald.

Rosa’s Animals by Maryann Macdonald

Have you ever heard of Rosa Bonheur? She was a Realist painter and sculptor from France in the mid 1800s known for her dynamic paintings of animals.  Trained by her father at a time when women were not encouraged to be painters, Rosa broke with convention to become a popular and revered artist.

The illustrations include paintings not only by Rosa Bonheur, but also some of her contemporaries to show context for her work. The backmatter is quite extensive, consisting of an author’s note and references.

I don’t know how I missed Rosa’s Animals because it got starred reviews in all the right places when it first came out. If you’ve overlooked it too, perhaps now is the time to seek out a copy.

Activity Suggestion:

Rosa is known for her amazing ability to paint realistic fur and also her use of light. She is a good artist to introduce to middle grade students. Find some images of Rosa Bonheur’s works on the internet to share and discuss. (WikiArt has a collection). Encourage students to try their hand at drawing and painting animals.

 

Public domain image of a Rosa Bonheur painting from Wikimedia.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (June 5, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1419728504
ISBN-13: 978-1419728501

Disclosure: The book was provided by our local library. 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.

STEM Friday #Kidlit To Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing

Saturday July 20, 2019 is the 50th  Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. To celebrate, let’s check out a new middle grade book about the moon.

Luna: The Science and Stories of Our Moon by David  A. Aguilar

 

Beginning with how the moon is thought to have come about and how the moon compares with Earth, Aguilar then takes the reader on a ride through other moons, as well as moon myths and hoaxes, before settling down for a detailed discussion of moon features. Perfect for the lunar landing anniversary is a section about what the Apollo astronauts discovered.

The pluses:  The book is filled with fantastic illustrations by David A. Agulilar. Also there are three hands-on activities in the back: making a 3D model of lunar craters with Plaster of Paris, using a small telescope to explore the moon, and directions for drawing the moon.

Slight minus is that the thin shape and design of the book give it a picture book look, and middle grade readers might hesitate to pick it up. For example, the children shown on page 34 are obviously younger than the 10-12 year old target range.  The density of the text and vocabulary level, however, put it firmly into the middle grade level.

Luna is arriving on shelves just as interest in the moon and lunar landings is peaking. Explore a copy today!

Related:

Anastasia Suen’s Apollo 11 Booklist artiicle

Want to read more? See our growing list of books about the moon and lunar landings at Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (June 11, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1426333226
ISBN-13: 978-1426333224

Disclosure: This 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.

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 1/2019.

Slimy #kidlit: The Slug by Elise Gravel

Thanks to my cousin Karen’s recommendation, today we are highlighting The Slug, part of the Disgusting Critters series by Elise Gravel. What fun!

Combining accurate information with  silly cartoon illustrations and hilarious asides, Elise Gravel has come up with a winning formula for making nonfiction “slide” down easily.

See for yourself (although use caution if you are easily grossed out by mucus.):

Perfect for nature or STEM story times!

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Tundra Books; Reprint edition (July 5, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1770496564
ISBN-13: 978-1770496569

Ready to learn more about slugs and snails? Visit our growing list at Science Books for Kids.

#kidlit Haiku Riddles: Lion of the Sky by Laura Purdie Salas

Laura Purdie Salas has long been one of my favorite children’s picture book authors (see previous reviews for Water Can Be… and A Leaf Can Be…) In her newest, Lion of the Sky:  Haiku for All Seasons (illustrated by Mercè López) she travels though the seasons with 24 delightful haiku riddles. Fabulous!

What is a haiku riddle? It is a haiku that gives clues to an object or activity — in this case associated with a season — and encourages the reader to guess what it is. Many of the riddles are written in the first person point-of-view, voiced by the object itself.

The illustrations are expressive and add just the right number of additional clues to help the reader figure out the answer. If you get stuck on one, however, the answers are given in the back matter.

Let’s see some examples:

  1. Listen to  Laura Purdie Salas read from the book.

 

2. You can also see an excerpt at the Lerner website or via Google Books:

Aren’t those fun?

Lion of the Sky encourages young reader to look closely at the world around them and think creatively. Get caught up in a copy today!

Related Activity:

Encourage children to come up with their own riddles, haiku or not. Watch out, though, because it can be addicting.

Here is mine:

My leaves are lion teeth
Yellow flower feeds honey bees
Not a weed to them

See the photograph below for a clue.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press TM (April 2, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1512498092
ISBN-13: 978-1512498097

dandelion inspired by Laura Purdie Salas