#Nonfiction Monday #Kidlit: Ocean Waves for All

Today we are featuring the nonfiction picture book, Ocean! Waves for All by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield. This book is part of the Our Universe Series published by Henry Holt and Co.

As with the other books in the series, Ocean! is narrated in the first person. The tone is lighthearted and conversational, including words like ‘bro’ and ‘righteous’.

Dude, I am Ocean.

The tone might be light, but the facts are deep. For example, did you know that more people have visited space than the deepest parts of the ocean?

David Litchfield’s illustrations are as big and vibrant as the ocean itself. They are packed full of emotion and creativity. To coincide with the first person voice, the ocean has a floating face with eyes, nose, and mouth.

The back matter includes a note from the author, a discussion about how the ocean is really global — the names don’t reflect real boundaries, “Ocean by the Numbers,” a Q-and-A with Ocean, a list ways to be a friend to Ocean, and “Sources.”

Overall, Ocean! represents a new “wave” of picture books that push the boundary between fiction and nonfiction in interesting ways. Get on board and check out a copy today!

Related:

Check out this interview with the author and illustrator. They are energetic and fun.


Note:  Stacey’s latest, Mars! Earthlings Welcome (Our Universe, 5)  comes out February 23, 2021.

Growing with Science Blog has a week of Ocean science books and activities for kids.

Want more information? Try our growing list of Children’s STEAM books about the ocean at Science Books for Kids.

 

Reading age : 4 – 8 years
Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (May 5, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1250108098
ISBN-13 : 978-1250108098

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 We Are Water Protectors

For Nonfiction Monday I have a picture book that has been included on a number of best of 2020 lists, We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade.

Why has it landed on “best of” lists?

Important message

Living things need clean water to survive. That is a fundamental fact. We Are Water Protectors is a call to action to protect the Earth’s precious water resources while we still can.

Distinct, Individual Voice

Author Carole Lindstrom is tribally enrolled with the Turtle Mountain Band of the Ojibwe. She uses her unique, passionate voice to explain the issue and share historical perspective about the Indigenous-led protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Gorgeous Illustrations

Michaela Goade’s watercolor illustrations are exquisite. What  better medium than watercolor for a book fundamentally about water? In addition, she captures the emotions of each scene with her palette and includes culturally-relevant symbols. Words can not describe how beautiful her illustrations are.

Because this book is written like a story, including having a refrain, there may be some confusion about what genre it falls in and whether it qualifies for Nonfiction Monday. After all, Google Books calls it fiction. Responsive Reads calls it historical fiction. Looking at the amount of information in the text, one could easily argue the genre might be closer to creative nonfiction or informational fiction. In fact, in an interview at Two Writing Teachers blog, Carole Lindstrom considers her work to be lyrical nonfiction. If you have read it, what do you think?

We Are Water Protectors offers a lot to consider. It is likely to challenge young readers and to stimulate discussion. Educators should download the activity guide and read the back matter to be prepared.

Bottom Line:

The best books stay with you long after you have read them, which is likely why this one is landing on so many lists.

Related:

PDF Activity guide to download from Roaring Brook Press

See our growing list of children’s books about water and the water cycle at Science Books for Kids.

In this video you can see Carole Lindstrom read the book, then give a detailed explanation of the events that inspired it, plus what came after.

Reading age : 3 – 6 years
Publisher : Roaring Brook Press; Illustrated edition (March 17, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1250203554
ISBN-13 : 978-1250203557

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.

#Nonfiction Monday Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit

Let’s take a look at a picture book biography, Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit* by Linda Elovitz Marshall and illustrated by Ilaria Urbinati.

Beatrix Potter is a beloved children’s book author and illustrator, best known for her book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit*, but she did much more. In addition to writing and illustrating 23 books, she also studied fungi, designed tea sets and toys, became an astute business woman, and later in life took up farming.

Linda Marshall’s biography covers highlights of Potter’s entire life in chronological order, but emphasizes the later years when Beatrix turned her efforts to preserving open land in England’s Lake District. All in all, Beatrix Potter donated over four thousand acres to the National Trust so that they could be preserved for future generations. That’s an amazing accomplishment.

The illustrations do a good job of paying tribute to Beatrix Potter’s artistic side without copying her style. They are at turns playful and serious, setting just the right tone.

At her website and in her “Author’s Note” in the back matter, Linda Marshall reveals she was stirred to write about Beatrix Potter after visiting the Lake District during a children’s author tour of England. Now Marshall’s rousing biography is likely to inspire and encourage her readers, as well.

Saving the Countryside is a wonderful choice for women’s history month, for budding artists and writers, and for those interested in conservation issues. Read a copy today and see how it stirs you.

Related activities:

1. Read The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and some of her other books.

2. Make a blackberry and apple upside down cake and read a review with an extensive look at the interior of the book at Jama’s Alphabet Soup blog

3. Learn more about Beatrix Potter’s years studying fungi (with activity) at Growing With Science blog

Grade Level : Preschool – 3
Publisher : little bee books; Illustrated Edition (January 28, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1499809603
ISBN-13 : 978-1499809602

Disclosure: The book was provided electronically for review purposes.

*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.

#Kidlit RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

What happens when an award-winning author and illustrator pair decide to tell the story of a larger-than-life, awe-inspiring woman? The answer is a sublime picture book biography,  RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Frank Morrison.

Aretha Franklin was an astounding singer who led an amazing life. Her early training was in gospel music, where she honed her unique sound. When she switched to rhythm and blues her career took off, spanning many years with a long series of hits. Aretha’s incredible voice makes you want to stand up, to cheer, to dance, and to take action.

The creative format of the book both captures and celebrates her spirit. Each double-paged spread shouts out one word that encapsulates an idea from Aretha Franklin’s life by spelling it out in capitals the same way she spells out the word in her song R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The word is followed by two lines of rhyming text that tell her story.

G-R-O-O-V-E
Aretha finds her groove when she’s rocking R&B.
No woman of her time has more cart-toppers than she.

As for the illustrations, Frank Morrison’s use of a warm color pallet reflects the loving , admiring tone of the text. You get the idea in this book trailer.

 

In the back matter (of course there is back matter!), an extensive “Author’s Note” delves more deeply into Aretha’s life and there’s also a list of her hit titles.

RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul introduces young readers to an incredible singer and person. It will appeal to budding musicians and history buffs alike. E-N-J-O-Y a copy today!

Activity suggestion:

After reading the book, listen to some of Aretha Franklin’s music, for example like in this video from YouTube.

Grade Level : Preschool – 3
Publisher : Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Illustrated Edition (August 25, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1534452281
ISBN-13 : 978-1534452282

Disclosure: The book was provided electronically 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.