#Nonfiction Monday Young, Gifted and Black

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

Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson and illustrated by Andrea Pippinsis is a middle grade title that celebrates the lives of visionaries who also happen to be people of color.

Author Jamia Wilson has gathered the stories of 52 amazing people and condensed them into must-read single page summaries. Readers will learn about astronauts, athletes, entertainers, mathematicians, poets, and a president.

Although Wilson celebrates each person’s triumphs, she also doesn’t shy away from each person’s struggles. For example, both Stevie Wonder and Sidney Poitier were born prematurely, which caused Stevie Wonder to lose his sight. Madame C. J. Walker lost her parents when she was seven. When children read how others overcame challenges to become successful, hopefully they will be inspired to keep trying and dream big for themselves, too.

Andrea Pippinsis’s illustrations are so vibrant. They capture the energy and vitality of these strong personalities with bold lines and shapes that suggest movement.

The back matter includes a “Hall of Fame” with a photograph (or illustration if predated cameras) of each person in a colorful frame. It is mesmerizing. I found myself returning to it again and again.

Young, Gifted and Black is a perfect choice for both Black and Women’s History Months. Pick up a copy and inspire a child today.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions (February 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1786031582
ISBN-13: 978-1786031587

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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#Nonfiction Monday The Things That I LOVE about TREES

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

The Things That I LOVE about TREES by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Charlotte Voake is a wonderful picture book for winter and for all seasons.

 

Combining facts about how useful trees are with a narrative tour of how trees change from season to season, Chris Butterworth’s gentle prose is relaxing and enlightening.

Summer trees are shady
and so full of leaves that
when the wind blows.
they swish like the sea.

Voake has an obvious affinity for trees and her watercolor and ink illustrations are mesmerizing. With a few strokes she can create the feel of an ancient forest or a swaying sapling.

This is not a loud, shouting book with illustrations filled with bright primary colors. It is more of a “hear the quiet rustling of a pale gray squirrel in the tree above” kind of book. In fact, because the text and illustrations are so serene, it is easy to disregard it as lightweight. That would be, however, a mistake. Butterworth and Voake have packed in a great deal of information about trees, if you only take a minute to look for it.

The Things That I LOVE about TREES is a delightful book. It might not be for everyone, but for youngsters who love nature and want a comfortable, quiet book, this is a good choice. Curl up with a copy today.

Related activities

Check the many activity suggestions in the back matter.

This time of year it can be fun to do a bark rubbing.

Hold a piece of paper firmly against a tree trunk and rub back and forth. You can use crayon or charcoal.

Compare the patterns from different kinds of trees.

If you want to read more books about trees for children, check our growing list at Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Candlewick (February 28, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9780763695699
ISBN-13: 978-0763695699
ASIN: 0763695696

 

 

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.

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.

#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.