Boyds Mills Press Nonfiction Picture Books: Fearless Flyer by Heather Lang, Dorothea’s Eyes by Barb Rosenstock, and Fresh Delicious by Irene Latham
Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!
Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine
Author: Heather Lang
Illustrator: Raúl Colón
Published March 1st, 2016 by Calkins Creek
Goodreads Summary: On November 19, 1916, at 8:25 a.m., Ruth Law took off on a flight that aviation experts thought was doomed. She set off to fly nonstop from Chicago to New York City. Sitting at the controls of her small bi-plane, exposed to the elements, Law battled fierce winds and numbing cold. When her engine ran out of fuel, she glided for two miles and landed at Hornell, New York. Even though she fell short of her goal, she had broken the existing cross-country distance record. And with her plane refueled, she got back in the air and headed for New York City where crowds waited to greet her. In this well-researched, action-packed picture book, Heather Lang and Raúl Colón recreate a thrilling moment in aviation history. Includes an afterword with archival photographs.
My Thoughts: I love Ruth. She just doesn’t care if anyone tells her she cannot do something. She just goes about it her own way. Law is definitely a woman who should be taught about in schools because she really embodies someone that is not going to let lower expectations for women get in her way of doing exactly what she wants to do. And even next to flying, Law goes against everything that is stereotypical about women because she is also mechanical. (Also, interestingly enough, there is a flying book called Flying Solo which is about another Ruth pilot.) Ruth Law will definitely be added to my “Biographical Picture Books about Strong Women” update post when I do it.
Author: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrator: Gérard DuBois
Published March 1st, 2016 by Calkins Creek
Goodreads Summary: After a childhood bout of polio left her with a limp, all Dorothea Lange wanted to do was disappear. But this desire not to be seen helped her learn how to blend into the background and observe others acutely. With a passion for the artistic life, and in spite of her family’s disapproval, Dorothea pursued her dream to become a photographer and focused her lens on the previously unseen victims of the Great Depression. This poetic biography tells the emotional story of Lange’s evolution as one of the founders of documentary photography. It includes a gallery of Lange’s photographs, and an author’s note, timeline, and bibliography.
My Thoughts: Friends and family of mine know that art is dear to me because my father is an art museum director, and photography is especially dear to me because my mom is a photographer. Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother is one of the most famous photographs ever taken but not Dorothea Lange herself isn’t often talked about. Her life is fascinating, and I love the messages that she focused on in her artwork. I definitely would love to team this book up with Photos Framed because it is the biography behind the photo.
Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers’ Market
Author: Irene Latham
Illustrator: Mique Moriuchi
Published March 8th, 2016 by Wordsong
Goodreads Summary: In these vivid poems, blueberries are “flavor-filled fireworks,” cucumbers are “a fleet of green submarines in a wicker sea,” lettuce tastes like “butter and pepper and salt,” but sometimes “I crunch into a leaf the very same flavor as rain.” The unexpected, ingenious imagery and enticing artwork in this collection will inspire the imaginations of young readers, and show how poetry can be as fresh and delicious as the farmers’ market produce it celebrates.
My Thoughts: I love poetry anthologies that make poetry accessible yet is still well written, and Fresh Delicious definitely fits this bill. Latham has done a very nice job at making each food’s poems unique and fit the topic. I love that it also brings personality to vegetables. As a mom to a son that doesn’t eat them, maybe seeing them in this light will make him want to try them again. Many of the poems also include figurative elements that can be taught through the poems. such as alliteration in “Blueberries:” flavor-filled fireworks, teeth and tongue, and best thing about blueberries, and similes in “Tomato:” smooth like a balloon and red like a fire truck.
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