#Nonfiction Monday Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World

Hungry? If not, you will be if you read the new children’s picture book Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki.

What better way to learn about new places than to explore their regional cuisine? McGinty takes the reader to breakfast from Australia to Nigeria in a series of two-page spreads. As she says,

It’s breakfast time around the world
in countries near and far.
Wake up world! It’s time to eat,
no matter where you are!

Each has dual level text, with short, bouncy rhymes for the youngest reader and a denser, detailed paragraph or two for the older reader. Suzuki’s bright illustrations bring the places and food to life.

Pancakes to Parathas will take young readers on a delicious trip around the world. Consume a copy today!

Suggested activities:

Pair a children’s book from countries around the world with a breakfast treat from the region. Find books, such as this list suggested by the Cooperative Children’s Book Council. You can also find many regional recipes online.

I chose Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge because it reminded me of a similar dish from my own childhood and because it can be made dairy free.

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, medium or fine grind
  • 2 cups plus 1 cup water (divided use)
  • 1 cup coconut milk, the beverage type (see photograph)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • vanilla, salt, or sweetener to taste

In a small bowl, whisk the cornmeal and 1 cup of cold water together until completely mixed. (This prevents lumps.) Measure the remaining two cups of water and 1 cup coconut milk into a medium to large saucepan and bring to boil. Quickly whisk cold water/cornmeal into the boiling liquid and cook, stirring constantly, for 12-15 minutes. Note:  boiling cornmeal erupts like mini-volcanoes so turn down the heat quickly and keep on a low boil throughout.

Once cooked, cool slightly and serve with fresh fruit, sweetener, and/or some cold milk. I used a small amount of brown sugar, dried blueberries, and a small amount of rice milk. Yum!

See the publisher’s website for:

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: little bee books (February 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1499807120
ISBN-13: 978-1499807127

 

Disclosure: 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 #Kidlit Do Doodlebugs Doodle?

I’m in the mood for something fun and light this morning, so let’s take a look at the picture book Do Doodlebugs Doodle? Amazing Insect Facts by Corinne Demas, Artemis Roehrig, and illustrated by Ellen Shi.


Do Doodlebugs Doodle? has a lot of positives going for it. First, there’s the engaging premise, which is to ask silly questions relating insect common names and then astonish the reader with an actual fact about that group. For example, the authors ask, “Do horseflies gallop?” The accompanying illustration shows a jockey riding a horsefly. Turning the page, the reader learns that although horseflies don’t gallop, they can fly faster than a horse can gallop. Cool!

Ellen Shi’s illustrations are just the right mix of silly fun and realistically-portrayed insects.

It also has some pedigree. Corinne Demas is an award-winning children’s author and Artemis Roehrig is a biologist who works with invasive insects. Persnickety Press is the sister imprint of the Cornell Lab Publishing Group, which is doing Jane Yolen’s wonderful bird series.

Then why wasn’t I wholly thrilled about Do Doodlebugs Doodle? As an entomologist, I know that there are millions of species of insects the authors could have highlighted. Insects that do such amazing things. Yet, out of ten insects selected, they chose two that were considered to be pests of humans, kissing bugs and bed bugs. Plus they placed the “pests” near the end, which is the “climax” of the book and where they leave a lasting impression. If their motivation is to truly encourage children to appreciate insects, something about making 20% of the insects ones that bite you (and 10% that sting) feels flawed to me. If the author’s motivation was to add an “ick” factor, then again there were many more positive choices (dung beetles, burying beetles, etc.) But that’s just my perception, and its not a major issue. If you have read it or pick it up, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.

The authors dedicate their book to budding entomologists. Check out a copy and find out if doodlebugs do indeed doodle.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Persnickety Press (March 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1943978352
ISBN-13: 978-1943978359

 

 

 

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for Cybils review. 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.

#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.

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

STEM Friday #Kidlit Truth About Dolphins, Hippos, and Bears

This month we are exploring some of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that have been nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Let’s check out the hilarious “The Truth About…” series by Maxwell Eaton III.

Don’t let the cartoon illustrations and silly comments in the speech bubbles fool you. These picture books are serious nonfiction.

The Truth About Dolphins: Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals by Maxwell Eaton III

In The Truth About Dolphins, readers learn how dolphins are different from fish and discover some of the different kinds of dolphins, like the spinner dolphin and the Atlantic white-sided dolphin. Did you know there are more than 40 species?

The back matter wraps up some more facts, like the differences between porpoises and dolphins and how long a dolphin can stay underwater. There are also lists of tucuxi-sized books and orca-sized books (isn’t that cute?)

Don’t know what a tucuxi* or ocra are? Then you should read The Truth About Dolphins!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 15, 2018)
ISBN-10: 162672668X
ISBN-13: 978-1626726680

The Truth About Bears: Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals by Maxwell Eaton III

This book features three bears, but not the ones from Goldlilocks. Instead they are the brown bear, black bear, and polar bear.

Learn about where the bears live and what they eat (there’s a cute running joke about the fact they eat rodents). Other topics include hibernation and threats to bears.

I thought the bear safety page that explains how you should behave if you encounter a bear was a good idea. You shouldn’t run seems sensible, but I didn’t know that you shouldn’t try to climb a tree either.

Don’t know what you should do if you encounter a bear? Check out The Truth About Bears.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (February 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1626726663
ISBN-13: 978-1626726666

The Truth About Hippos: Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals by Maxwell Eaton III

If I had to pick a favorite of the three, it would be this one. The text compares and contrasts the two species of hippo, common and pygmy. Because there are only two kinds, the author was able to pack in more information about them.

Do you know whether hippos can swim? Don’t guess, because the answer will surprise you. Find out by reading The Truth About Hippos.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (February 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1626726671
ISBN-13: 978-1626726673

 

* A tucuxi is a a species of freshwater dolphin found in the rivers of the Amazon Basin

Disclosure: These books were 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.

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 12/2018.