#Nonfiction Monday The Girl Who Drew Butterflies

Let’s explore some of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that have been nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

I’ve been meaning to review the middle grade biography The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman for a few months now. Why haven’t I? Perhaps I’ve wanted to keep this gorgeous book all to myself.

Maria Sibylla Merian was a woman far ahead of her time. She was an artist, a scientist, and a bold adventurer who traveled to Surinam during the 1600s all wrapped up in one. So right off the bat, this is the biography of an interesting person.

When I say this book is gorgeous, I’m not kidding. Starting with the gold lettering and border on the cover, to the menagerie of Merian’s butterfly and caterpillar illustrations in the endpapers, to Joyce Sidman’s own color photographs of insect life stages, The Girl Who Drew is a visual feast.

Even the chapter titles are creative. Each is a stage during insect metamorphosis that parallels Maria’s own development:  Egg, Hatching, First Instar, etc. It also reflects her intense interest in how animals develop from stage to stage. How clever is that?

Don’t underestimate the historical information, either. Readers learn about what life was like during the 1600s. Throw in old maps and oodles of back matter and you have a book that has lasting power.

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies is a treat for budding artists and scientists alike. Be inspired by a copy today.

Public domain artwork by Maria Sibylla Merian

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (February 20, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0544717139
ISBN-13: 978-0544717138

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.

#Nonfiction Monday Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor

Let’s explore some of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that have been nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

For Nonfiction Monday we have the picture book biography Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez and illustrated by Felicita Sala.

Fascinated by reptiles from an early age, Joan Procter found a mentor in Dr. George Boulenger who was the curator of reptiles and fish at the Natural History Museum. She became his assistant at a young age and took over his position when he retired. She mixed art and science, doing scientific research and creating exhibits at the Museum at the same time. Later, after designing a reptile house at the London Zoo, she formed a special bond with the most unlikely animal, a huge Komodo dragon.

Joan Procter was a person ahead of her time and she probably don’t get the recognition she deserved because of it. From the catchy title on in, Patricia Valdez has done her part to shine the light on this amazing woman whose passion for reptiles helped her forge new paths for women as scientists. Valdez has chosen anecdotes from Procter’s life, like taking a small crocodile to math class, that are sure to engage and thrill young readers.

Like a chameleon, Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor will fit many lessons. Pull out a copy not only for Women’s History Month, but also for a STEM lesson on reptiles or the lives of scientists. It is perfect for history buffs and budding scientists alike.

Activity Suggestions:

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0399557253
ISBN-13: 978-0399557255

Check out our growing list of biographies of women scientists at Science Books for Kids.

 

Disclosure: The book was provided by the publisher for Cybils 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.

Blog Tour for All Eyes On Alexandra Starts Tomorrow #kidlit

I’m excited to announce that next week I’m going to be part of a blog tour announcing the new picture book, All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine and illustrated by Chiara Pasqualotto.

 

What it’s about:

In All Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it’s time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel’s Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?

Young readers learn about the real crane migration.

If you can’t wait for my post on December 14 to find out about it, be sure to visit the blogs on this week of the tour:

December 3rd @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Make sure you visit WOW’s blog and read an interview with the author and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book All Eyes on Alexandra.  –Direct link to post.

December 5th @ Cassandra’s Writing World
Visit Cassandra’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 5th @ Break Even Books
Visit Erik’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about how to jog your inspiration. I’ll be sure to catch that one.

December 7th @ Coffee with Lacey
Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 8th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony Avina’s blog where he joins in the fun of celebrating and shares information about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 8th @ Christy’s Cozy Corners
Visit Christy’s blog and cozy up while you read her review of Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 9th @ Coffee with Lacey
Visit Lacey’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about designing your ideal writing spot. – I need help with this, so I’m looking forward to it.

December 9th @ Christy’s Cozy Corner
Visit Christy’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about how she decided to use crane’s in her story.

Can’t wait for more next week.

Thanks to blog tour manager Nicole Pyles for organizing this event and providing the materials.

#Nonfiction Monday #kidlit: Aim for the Skies Soars

Today we have another fantastic nonfiction children’s book that has been nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Aim for the Skies: Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith’s Race to Complete Amelia Earhart’s Quest by Aimee Bissonette and illustrated by Doris Ettlinger takes us beyond a famous person who has been the subject of dozens of biographies (Amelia Earhart) and introduces us to two equally fascinating women who aren’t household names.

Separately, female pilots Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith both dreamed of flying around the world all by themselves. By sheer coincidence, they both decided to take off within a few days of each other. Soon people turned their journeys into a competition, which is something neither of the women had intended.

Given what happened to Amelia Earhart, there is plenty of tension in this book as the women encounter problem after problem. Will they survive to finish their flights? Which one will “win”? Readers will hold their breath until they find out for sure.

Doris Ettlinger’s watercolor illustrations capture both the time in history and the feeling of soaring. They are gorgeous.

Aim for the Skies is a must have for aspiring pilots and general readers alike. Be prepared to take off on your own journey of discovery.

Activity Suggestion:

Accompany the book with a visit to an aerospace or aviation museum (See a worldwide list of museums on Wikimedia).

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (September 15, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1585363812
ISBN-13: 978-1585363810

 

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.