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Nonfiction Wednesday

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!

farm animals

Farm Animals
Author: Catherine D. Hughes
Photographs from National Geographic
Published February 9th, 2016 by National Geographic Children’s Books

Goodreads Summary: Young readers will meet their favorite farm animals and learn more about them through simple, age-appropriate language in this colorful board book.

rascally

Rascally Rabbits! And More True Stories of Animals Behaving Badly!
Author: Aline Alexander Newman
Photographs from National Geographic
Published February 9th, 2016 by National Geographic Children’s Books

Goodreads Summary: These bunnies may look adorable, but there’s more than meets the eye! In Rascally Rabbits, meet some rabbits that cause nothing but trouble, a rescue pup who will eat ANYTHING, and a sneaky bear with a taste for treats. Readers won’t stop laughing as they read these hilarious–and completely true!–stories. Filled with engaging photos, fast facts, and fascinating sidebars, readers won’t want to put this book down.


Kellee’s Review: What I like so much about National Geographic Kids books are that they really do take nonfiction to the next level. First, they have nonfiction for all ages. The Look & Learn series are for kids ages 1-4 then move to their Readers Series which is an early reader then to Chapters that is primary level. Each level adds more text but continue to include interesting facts and photographs. Once you get up to Chapters, the text even includes sidebars, an index, and a bibliography. 

Farm Animals was a favorite with Trent immediately. One of his stations at school is all about animals and they spend their time there talking about the different animals, what color they are, and what sound they made, so Trent loved telling me all of the animals’ names and the sound they make. I loved that there were animals facts and sidebars in addition to just the animal photographs and sounds.

Rascally Rabbits! is a perfect first chapter book because it is quite funny (these animals do some crazy things), it is educational because it teaches about the animals as well, and it splits up the stories into nice sections.

Ricki’s Review: I completely agree with Kellee. I much prefer narrative nonfiction, so I always hesitate to pick up informational nonfiction. The National Geographic books remind me just how wrong my assumptions are. I am not crazy about leveling, particularly with nonfiction, but I think that some parents really like it. And I think the leveling in these books is far more accurate than in fiction texts. 

I knew Henry would love Farm Animals the second we got it in the mail. Like most kids, he loves animals. He immediately began singing “Old McDonald” as we started reading the book, and he was bouncing up and down as we went through each of the brightly colored pictures.

Rascally Rabbits! is a bit challenging for him, but he loved the pictures. I opted to read selected text to him aloud, and I read the entire book on my own. Kids who are interested in rabbits will absolutely adore these books. I still remember reading dozens of books about poodles when I was younger. Because I was so interested in the content, I didn’t realize how much I was learning! The book is organized very well, and they did a really nice job with this one.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: National Geographic Kids’ books should be a go to for a teacher’s informational nonfiction section. Students will love reading and learning from these texts. Farm Animals and other Look & Learn books are perfect for read alouds and helping young children learn about different parts of our world. Rascally Rabbits! and other chapter books can be used for read aloud, independent reading, or even within a lit circle/jigsaw. For example, with Rascally Rabbits! each group could read about each of the different animals who made a mistake then go group with one person from each of the other groups to share what they read.

Discussion Questions: (Farm Animals) What product do each of these animals give to us?; What other farm animals do you know? What sounds do they make?; (Rascally Rabbits!) What are some things that Babbity does to make Flopsy’s life tough?; What makes bears get near humans?; Why was Neil afraid something bad might happen with Moose? Did something bad happen? Was it Neil’s fault?

We Flagged: “Moo! Cows eat grass. A group of cows is called a herd. People drink milk that comes from cows. Guess What? One cow can give enough milk in a day to fill 400 glasses.” (Farm Animals)

“Did You Know? The best way to pet a rabbit is to gently scratch its forehead and between its eyes.” (Rascally Rabbits!, p. 9)

“A young black dog ran without purpose along a forest road in Lewis County, New York, U.S.A. Rain was pouring down and freezing on the ground. Tiny icicle hung from the dog’s ears and chin. He had a wild-eyed look on his face.” (Rascally Rabbits!, p. 71)

Read This If You Loved: Nonfiction animals books

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you Karen from Media Masters Publicity for providing copies for review!**

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8 Responses to National Geographic Kids: Farm Animals & Rascally Rabbits!

  1. Jane says:

    A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, which is one of the reasons why I love National Geographic kids nonfiction books so much! They’re just so eye-catching and engaging, definitely not your typical boring old informational text!

  2. I really appreciate what National Geographic has done for nonfiction reading. I like narrative nonfiction too, it’s what I would prefer to read, but we need to have texts like this to show kids that nonfiction doesn’t have to be dry!

  3. Linda Baie says:

    I noticed the wide array of n-f books at the National Geographic booth at a conference several years ago, and they are terrific. I love that they are created for various ages, too. As for the rascally rabbits. The damage they’ve done to the wires in my car have been very hard to stop, but I finally did after several attacks. Cute to see, but they don’t please everyone with their antics.

  4. Crystal says:

    I am more and more a fan of the Nat. Geo. books. Their images are fabulous, but they do a good job providing nf for a wide range of readers.

  5. Fats Suela says:

    I love books by National Geographic. I’ve always read their books for older kids and adults but have never tried picking up their books for the little ones. These sound like good books to start!

  6. Kellee says:

    I agree with all of you! They do such a good job, and they are reputable!

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