#Nonfiction Monday Dr. Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System

 

Today we are featuring the fun new upper-elementary book, Dr. Maggie’s Grand Tour
 of the Solar System by Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock 
and illustrated by Chelen Écija.

What to Expect from the Tour

Space scientist Dr. Maggie guides the reader around our solar system, supported by incredible visual elements.

First up we learn what a solar system is. From there we take off, discovering how astronauts  get into space. As we look back at Earth, we encounter some weird human-made space junk that orbits the Earth, including a spatula and a camera. Cool!

What do we encounter next? Well, the moon of course. Then off to the sun for an in-depth look at our nearest star that doesn’t require eye protection.  Moving away from the sun, we visit each of the planets (and their moons) in order, plus travel through the asteroid belt. Does the tour stop at planet Neptune? No, it continues on through the Kuiper Belt to the Oort Cloud and beyond.

Curious for more?

Check out the Kane Miller Website for a peek inside the book or take a look at this wordless trailer:

What’s best about this book is that readers can read in order for a clear, logical progression or they can browse sections for specific topics of interest. The sidebars also break the text into delicious readable chunks.

Dr. Maggie’s Grand Tour
 of the Solar System will enthrall budding astronomers and astronauts alike. Pick up a copy for the ride of your life.

Suggested Activities:

Check out our sister blog, Growing with Science, for activity suggestions inspired by the book.

Visit Science Books for Kids for a growing list of children’s books about the solar system.

Ages: 8+
ISBN:  978-1-68464-034-8

Disclosure: The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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

#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.

#Cybils: 2015 Elementary and Middle Grade Nonfiction Finalists Announced

To start the New Year out with a bang, it is time to announce the 2015 Cybils Awards finalists.

Cybils-Logo-2015-Web-SmIf you have been following this blog, you will know that this year I have been serving as a round I judge in the Elementary and Middle Grade Nonfiction category. After reading over 100 children’s books, we have narrowed the list to seven finalists. The round II judges will pick the winner from this list. Winners are announced in the second week of February.

Elementary and Middle Grade Nonfiction Finalists:
(Cover images are affiliate links to Amazon)

Guts and Glory: The Vikings by Ben Thompson (reviewed at Wrapped in Foil)

Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow is middle grade nonfiction that reads like a thriller. It is fast paced and informative.

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls, tells the story of a young man who cycled 400 miles across Ghana in 2001. This in itself is a feat, but he did it with only one leg! (reviewed at Wrapped in Foil)

I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Jennifer Plecas (reviewed at Growing with Science)

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon reveals an innovative solution to a common environmental problem.

Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents by David Stabler and illustrated by Doogie Horner shows that kids who grow up to be famous have some of the same problems as regular kids.

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey is a timely biography of a pioneering primatologist.

Congratulations to all the finalists!

#Cybils Nonfiction: The Vikings Conquer

Looking for a way to get middle grade (and older) students excited to read about history? You need to go no further than our newest title nominated for the 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category, Guts & Glory: The Vikings by Ben Thompson.

As the author points out in the “Author’s Note” at the beginning of the book, the Vikings are prevalent in our popular culture, ranging from the names of football teams to characters in movies. Much of what is portrayed, however, can be misleading or downright wrong. For example, ask anyone to draw a Viking and he or she will probably draw a figure with a horned helmet, yet hard evidence shows that real Viking helmets never had horns. To correct the errors, the author has done extensive research to bring the most current understanding of Vikings history to the reader.

Ben Thompson has a distinctive voice that is incredibly fun to read. He writes about the Vikings in an authoritative, and yet loosely conversational way, using words like “cool” and “sweet.” It is somewhat reminiscent of Elizabeth Levy’s hugely popular America’s Horrible History series, which my family devoured again and again. As Ben Thompson says in this “History is Awesome” article, he writes history like he would have wanted to read it, and he has succeeded in creating something memorable.

Guts & Glory: The Vikings is a meaty middle grade title that would definitely appeal to older and reluctant readers, including young adults. History buffs will love it, and those who aren’t history buffs are likely to be inspired to find a new passion.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (June 9, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0316320560
ISBN-13: 978-0316320566

Disclosure: This book was supplied 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.