#Nonfiction Monday #kidlit Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre

For Nonfiction Monday, we have the beautiful picture book by April Pulley Sayre, Bloom Boom!

As with some of her earlier books, April Pulley Sayre combines her gorgeous nature photographs with sparse, lyrical text.

From woodlands to gardens —
ready, set, go!
Nature is preparing
a flower show…

On the cover is a photograph of brilliantly-colored poppies, which sets the tone for what is to come inside.  Every spread is filled with vibrant color, either in sprawling landscapes or detailed close ups of flowers and growing plants.

California poppies

With only a few words on each page, Sayre manages to introduce children to botanical terms and concepts. She also uses alliteration and repetition to keep young readers interested. Besides learning about plants, the book is also a great way for little ones to learn about color (see activity below).

After you’ve gasped at the final spread, don’t forget to check out the back matter. In “The Bloom Boom” section, Sayre explains how to find areas where masses of flowers bloom all at once. In “A Bit More About Blooms” you can find thumbnails of each spread with accompanying details about the flowers in each.

Bloom Boom! is a visual feast, sure to enthrall young nature lovers.  Explore a copy today!

Activity Suggestion:

Color Picker:

Gather paint sample cards with a variety of hues and shades (from home supply stores or friends who recently decorated). Challenge children to find colors that match the samples in the book.

To extend the activity, go on a nature hike or visit a botanical garden when flowers are in bloom. See if the children can find matching colors in the plants around them.

Bring along a field guide or plant identification app to learn more about what you discover.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (February 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1481494724
ISBN-13: 978-1481494724

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.

Lupines

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#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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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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