#Nonfiction Monday Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood

Time to get inspired by the nonfiction picture book Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery and illustrated by Jessie Hartland.

When Mr. Tony (Tony Hillery) spotted an abandoned lot across from a school in Harlem, he had an idea. Getting help from the community, he cleaned it up and invited children to help him plant a garden. Through trial and error a farm emerged.

The colors in Jessie Hartland’s illustrations reflect the journey of the story. The first few pages capture the gray mood of the abandoned lot. As things  turn around, the background colors move through shades of green to a lively and vibrant mix. Lovely!

The benefits of gardening with children are many. From getting outside for healthy exercise, to learning patience, to appreciating the taste of fresh vegetables, gardening is a win-win-win activity. Harlem Grown is about making it happen. Share a copy today and you will be glad you did.

Related suggestions:

Although designed to accompany another book, the delightful art-based activities in this video would be fun to accompany any gardening project.

See our growing list of books for gardening with children at Science Books for Kids.

Finally, we have a bunch of gardening ideas on our Pinterest Board.

 

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Illustrated edition (August 18, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1534402314
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534402317

Disclosure: The book was provided by my 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.

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

#Nonfiction Monday Plants on the Move

Let’s take look at the new picture book, Plants on the Move by Émilie Vast, translated by Julie Cormier.

There are many children’s books about plant and seed movement, but this one is certainly unique. In a lot of ways it is from a plant’s viewpoint.

As the blurb on the back says:

Have you ever bent down to take a closer look, perhaps thinking that we don’t ever go anywhere? But we plants might surprise you. We’re more adventurous than you think…

The text is well-organized and informative. Émilie Vast  categorizes the ways plants disperse into broad groups, like “Fly”, “Creep”, “Fall”, etc. For each group she gives step-by-step details of an example plant’s journey and life cycle. Once the pattern is established, then she provides  a cluster of images of other species that use the same dispersal method, which helps young readers apply what they’ve learned.

The Illustrations are otherworldly and mesmerizing. They are crisp and clean images against a starkly contrasting white background. If you want to see –and you really should — go to  Google Books for a preview.

Plants on the Move is a fantastic resource. It is perfect for budding botanists, young gardeners and nature lovers. Pop open a copy today!

Related:

1. Try the seed dispersal activity suggestions at Growing with Science blog.

2. Read more books from our growing list of children’s books about seeds at Science Books for Kids.

 

 

Reading age : 5 – 8 years
Publisher : Charlesbridge (May 25, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1623541484
ISBN-13 : 978-1623541484

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.

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

#Nonfiction Monday STEM for Pride Month

Today we have a children’s book for Pride Month, STEM by Emilie Dufresne and designed by Danielle Rippengill.

Meet ten people from across the LGBTQIA+ community who have made an impact in STEM fields, from Polly Arnold, who is a chemist at Berkley to Alan Turing, a mathematician who was code breaker during WWII and did early work with computers.

The introduction explains the definitions of certain words, like what does it mean to have pride and what the letters LGBTQIA+ stand for.  There is a frank discussion of the differences between sex and gender. The back matter includes tips for being an ally, an extensive glossary, and an index.

STEM helps us remember being inclusive is important. When students see themselves reflected in their curriculum, they are more likely to  pursue STEM careers. STEM is also an easy-to-read introduction for those who want to learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community and being an ally — regardless of age.

About the Author and Publisher:

Emilie Dufresne Is a French-Canadian writer and poet who has written a variety of children’s books. Danielle Rippengill is a designer from the UK. Children’s publisher Booklife is also from the UK.

 

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 7 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Booklife (June 1, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1839270829
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1839270826

Disclosure: The book was provided digitally 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.

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

#Nonfiction Monday Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story

Last week was incredibly exciting and busy because our new picture book How to Build an Insect came out. Woot! Woot!

Now it is time to change gears and celebrate some wonderful picture books for National Poetry Month. Our first selection is Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Jonathan Voss.

Told in a series of haiku poems, the story follows a pair of great horned owls as they raise their owlets.

Pip. Pip. Pip. Poking
A hole. Cracking. Cracking. Out
Pecks the white owlet.

It seems like a simple premise, but in fact there is much packed into this book.

The life of the owls is not easy. Although great horned owls are predators, they also have enemies such as crows, raccoons, hawks, and foxes. The owlets are particularly vulnerable to danger.

The illustrations are gorgeous. The owlets look so soft and realistic that you want to reach out and touch them. If you look more carefully, you will see they contain much information about owl habitats in a subtle way. For example, the  nest is made of leaves, an abandoned squirrel nest. Without resorting to too many dark pages, you realize the birds hunt at night. The way Jonathan Voss controls the lighting is incredible. You can see examples in this video:

(A brief note:  care has been taken that the illustrations are not too graphic, but are realistic about owls carrying prey to their offspring. Highly sensitive children may still find some of the scenes disturbing.)

Although the text is written entirely in haiku and the emphasis on haiku in the title, it flows together so effortlessly that you get lost in the story and forget about the structure. Maria Gianferrari allows the owls to shine as the main characters.

The back matter also emphasizes the owls, giving more information about different aspects of their biology and resources for deeper research.

Whoo-Ku Haiku is a wonderful example of how to use poetry to entice readers into a nonfiction story. It is a must have for budding ornithologists, nature lovers, and poetry aficionados alike.  Enjoy a copy today!

Activity Suggestions:

We’ll be adding this to our growing list of STEM poetry books at Science Books for Kids

 

Reading age : 4 – 8 years
Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers; Illustrated edition (March 3, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 0399548424
ISBN-13 : 978-0399548420

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.

 

 

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