#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

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#Nonfiction Monday #kidlit Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre

For Nonfiction Monday, we have the beautiful picture book by April Pulley Sayre, Bloom Boom!

As with some of her earlier books, April Pulley Sayre combines her gorgeous nature photographs with sparse, lyrical text.

From woodlands to gardens —
ready, set, go!
Nature is preparing
a flower show…

On the cover is a photograph of brilliantly-colored poppies, which sets the tone for what is to come inside.  Every spread is filled with vibrant color, either in sprawling landscapes or detailed close ups of flowers and growing plants.

California poppies

With only a few words on each page, Sayre manages to introduce children to botanical terms and concepts. She also uses alliteration and repetition to keep young readers interested. Besides learning about plants, the book is also a great way for little ones to learn about color (see activity below).

After you’ve gasped at the final spread, don’t forget to check out the back matter. In “The Bloom Boom” section, Sayre explains how to find areas where masses of flowers bloom all at once. In “A Bit More About Blooms” you can find thumbnails of each spread with accompanying details about the flowers in each.

Bloom Boom! is a visual feast, sure to enthrall young nature lovers.  Explore a copy today!

Activity Suggestion:

Color Picker:

Gather paint sample cards with a variety of hues and shades (from home supply stores or friends who recently decorated). Challenge children to find colors that match the samples in the book.

To extend the activity, go on a nature hike or visit a botanical garden when flowers are in bloom. See if the children can find matching colors in the plants around them.

Bring along a field guide or plant identification app to learn more about what you discover.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (February 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1481494724
ISBN-13: 978-1481494724

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.

Lupines

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

Dreaming Big and Small #Kidlit for #NationalPoetryMonth

National Poetry Month is my favorite time of year and a perfect time to share the poetry collection Dreaming Big and Small by Sara Holbrook, Michael Salinger, and illustrated by Scott Pickering.

As the authors explain up front, this is a collection of ekphrastic poems. Instead of writing poems and hiring an artist to illustrate them, the authors used Scott Pickering’s creative and playful illustrations to inspire their poetry.

Topics ranges from Kangaroos

…They wear a front facing backpack
as they bounce across the outback …

to socks:

Socks on the table
Socks in my drawer
Socks in my pocket
Socks on the floor…

As with any poetry collection, it can be read in pieces or all at once. Readers will likely want to return to their favorites again and again.

What I love the most is the message in the front encouraging readers use art to spark their own poetry.

Dreaming Big and Small is a delightful little book that packs a big wallop. Get inspired by a copy today!

Age: Middle grade +
Publisher: Streamline Publishing (2019)
ISBN-10: 1732519129
ISBN-13: 978-1732519121

 

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.

#Nonfiction Monday National Geographic Kids Guide to Genealogy

Exploring their ancestry and relatives is a great way for kids to learn more about themselves and also about history, but how to go about it isn’t always clear and most resources are geared for adults.  National Geographic Kids Guide to Genealogy: Tips and Tricks on How to Uncover Your Roots and Build Your Family Tree! by T.J. Resler gives middle grade students the tools they need to become successful genealogists.

The main section in each chapter explains how to do a particular aspects of the search, from getting started, to places to find clues, to how DNA has changed genealogy. In addition each chapter also includes expert tips, suggestions for hands-on activities (like putting together a time capsule or a family cookbook!), case files, and best of all, how to solve problems. Researching genealogy can be difficult at times and the book gives kids a realistic view of what the stumbling blocks might be and how to avoid getting discouraged.

The book is illustrated both with stock photographs and archival images from the Library of Congress. The information is organized in attractive chunks, with plenty of sidebars to make the pages visually interesting.

Although this book is geared for kids, adults who are interested in exploring their roots might also find it to be a useful place to start. I took notes when I read it and found myself saying, “That’s a really good idea” on almost every page. I also liked that the author emphasized how to preserve and organize information, and also how to keep accurate citations so others can follow their trail.

National Geographic Kids Guide to Genealogy is a wonderful choice for young history buffs and budding genealogists, or anyone embarking on an investigation into their ancestry. It is the kind of resource that readers will want to return to again and again. Dig up a copy today!

Suggested Activity:

Consider touring a cemetery, preferably an older one or one where some of your ancestors are buried. Visit Find A Grave and/or BillionGraves websites to locate one.

If you haven’t visited a particular cemetery, check in advance that it is a safe place to visit. Carry along supplies to take photographs, do rubbings, and/or take notes about significant or interesting tombstones. Also, talk to little ones about cemetery etiquette so they don’t climb tombstones or disturb others.

If you or a family member develops an interest, consider becoming a volunteer for one of the cemetery websites and upload information for others to use to locate their own relatives.

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.