Nonfiction Paris About Apples

Nonfiction Pairs about Apples

Nonfiction Paris offers two nonfiction titles that can be used well together in an instructional situation. In today’s pair we look at two books about apples. Both these books are focused on the younger age groups so they would make a good pairing in a K-4 setting.

Apples A to Z by Margaret McNamara illustrated by Jake Parker

An alphabet book that looks at various aspects of apples going from A to Z. The book uses correct terms and bring a lot of information to light. It’s use of personified animals to contextualize the information also makes it unique. A brief commentary in the back gives fun facts, jokes and information on Johnny Appleseed. That information as well as the subject of apples connects this book to:

Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman by Esme Raji Codell and Lynne Rae Perkins

A very well done picture book about the legend and legacy of Johnny Appleseed by two well know authors.

Nonfiction Pairs About Leaves

Nonfiction Paris offers two nonfiction titles that can be used well together in an instructional situation. In today’s pair we look at two books that give us interesting perspectives on leaves. Both these books are focused on the younger age groups so they would make a good pairing in a K-3 setting.

Awesome Autumn: All Kinds of Facts and Fun by Bruce Goldstone

Talks about what happens in the autumn covering everything from animal hibernation to holidays, it does have a longer section on the changes that trees and leaves undergo, which connects to:

A Leaf Can Be … by Laura Purdie Salas illustrated by Violeta Dabija

A simple poem describes all the things a leaf can be, while the main text is simple it conveys a lot of meaning in a few words, then in the back there is a lot of information about photosynthesis and the role leaves play when they fall in the autumn.

Review: Just a Second: A different way to look at time by Steve Jenkins

Just a Second: A different way to look at time by Steve Jenkins

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books
Publication 2011
Pages: 32
Level: LE, UE
Personal Connection: 4
Literary Quality: 5
Obtained: Publisher

The trickiest part of nonfiction for children is taking a really big concept and condensing it enough to not only fit into a picture book but also to make it approachable for children. Without a doubt Steve Jenkins is one of the masters of this. He has taken lots of big concepts such as size and made it really approachable in the confines of a picture book. He does it again with Just A Second where he covers concepts of time from a second to a year. By using numerous facts to illustrate the each part of time he makes the whole very approachable even for young children. For kids how think that in the summer Christmas is so long away this book makes the fast and slow progression of time a very fascinating. The most fascinating fact for me was the fact that the fastest animal movement in the world is that of a trap-jaw ant who can snap his jaws shut in 1/800th of a second. As always Jenkins’ paper cut illustrations add depth and interest to the text. My only problem with this book (and it’s a small one) is that sometimes the curving of the text and its placement next to the pictures is hard to follow and read. Even with that inconvenience, that certainly won’t bother children, this is an outstanding book that makes the intangible real.

Review: unBEElievables: honeybee stories and paintings by Douglas Florian

unBEElievables: honeybee stories and paintings by Douglas Florian

Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Publication 2012
Pages: 32
Level: LE, UE
Personal Connection: 4
Literary Quality: 5
Obtained: Publisher

Lately we have seen lots of picture book nonfiction that pairs poetry with interesting tidbits of knowledge usually centered around a certain subject. One of the latest editions to that genre is unBEElievables: honeybee stories and paintings by Douglas Florian. Florian has always been one of my favorite poets and the poems in this book don’t disappoint. Every poem in the book is delightful and well crafted, something I don’t often find with these nonfiction poetry books since many people try to force the poetry to fit a predetermined mold that will convey their information. This is not a fault of this book and all the poems are simple and fun. My favorite is Bees Buzz which uses the onomatopoeia of the bees “Buzz” to play with the uzz sound. A very delightful play on rhythm and language. In addition to the poem on each page is a bee fact that connects to the poem. These facts are brief and interesting and elaborate on the theme of the poem. The poems and facts are also organized very nicely progressively building on each other until you have a whole picture of the life of bees. The great majority of children’s nonfiction is interesting and delightful to read, but when poetry is skillfully used to convey information the interest and delight is heightened. Add in the raw illustrations done in a folk art style this book is a wonderful example of nonfiction at its best.