Nonfiction Picture Book Round Up!: The Universe in You by Jason Chin; Of Walden Pond by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by Ashley Benham-Yazdani; Polar Bear by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann; We’re Not Weird by Michael Garland; & The Science of Light by Margaret Peot

Share

The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey
Author & Illustrator: Jason Chin
Published October 18th, 2022

Summary: Caldecott Medalist Jason Chin’s companion book to the award-winning Your Place in the Universe explores the world of the very small, delving deep into the microscopic world just beneath our skin.

From Jason Chin, Caldecott Medalist for Watercress and Cook Prize winning author and illustrator of Your Place in the Universe comes The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey, a companion book about the very small, from the tiniest mammals to the intricate structures of microscopic organisms and subatomic particles that make up every human body. This deep dive into an unseen world explores the building blocks of all matter and life, demonstrating how much we have in common with everything around us.

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
Horn Book Fanfare Title
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

Review & Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Jason Chin does it again: combining impeccable illustrations with science to take the reader into the microscopic world within our universe. Chin is such a master at bringing the reader into whatever world he has decided to explore and share with us. His writing is thorough and interesting, his illustrations are detailed and labeled, and the book together is definitely the journey he promises.

Educator Guide Available HERE!

Discussion Questions: 

  • What is so special about the structure of the book? Why do you think the author set the structure up this way?
  • What is the smallest thing in the universe? How do these small particles impact us?
  • How does the author make this nonfiction book like a journey?

Flagged Passages: 

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall  


Of Walden Pond: Henry David Thoreau, Frederic Tudor, and the Pond Between
Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrator: Ashley Benham-Yazdani
Published November 15th, 2022 by Holiday House

Summary: From the award-winning author of Before She Was Harriet comes another work of lyrical beauty, the story of Henry David Thoreau and businessman Frederic Tudor–and a changing world.

Thoreau and Tudor could not have been more different from each other. Yet both shared the bounties of Walden Pond and would change the course of history through their writings and innovations.

This study in opposites contrasts the austere philosopher with the consummate capitalist (whose innovations would change commercial ice harvesting and home refrigerators) to show how two seemingly conflicting American legacies could be built side by side.

Oddball/ tax dodger/ nature lover/ dreamer/ That’s what they called/ Thoreau.
Bankrupt/ disgrace/ good for nothing/ dreamer/ That’s what they called/ Tudor.

Celebrated author Lesa Cline-Ransome takes her magnificent talent for research and detail to plumb the depths of these two history-makers. The graceful text is paired with Ashley Benham-Yazdani’s period accurate watercolor and pencil artwork. In winter, readers see Tudor’s men sawing through the ice, the workhorses dragging the ice, and Thoreau observing it all; in spring, summer, and fall, the ice continues its journey across the globe with Thoreau and Tudor writing and reflecting in their respective diaries.

An Author’s Note, which explores how Thoreau’s writings influenced such figures as Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Frost, and Mohandas Gandhi, is included.

Review & Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Lesa Cline-Ransome introduces us to another aspect of Walden Pond that Thoreau fans may not know about: Tudor’s industrial side of the pond. Cline Ransome’s verse shows us the contrast between the two lives that are tied together by the pond that they both loved, for very different reasons. Beautifully written with rhythm that yells for it to be read aloud.

Benham-Yazdani’s “period accurate watercolor” reminds me of Grandma Moses which is perfect for this story!

Educator Guide Available HERE!

Discussion Questions: 

  • What does the different fascinations with the pond show you about the two men?
  • Why do you think the author chose to write the book in verse separated by seasons?
  • What did you learn about the past of ice that surprised you?

Flagged Passages:

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall  


Polar Bear
Author: Candace Fleming
Illustrator: Eric Rohmann
Published November 22nd, 2022 by Holiday House

Summary: This companion book to the authors’ Sibert award-winning Honeybee explores the life and habitat of a majestic endangered species through dramatic text and sumptuous illustration.

April in the Arctic . . .
Cold winds send snow clouds scuttling across the sky.
Temperatures barely nudge above freezing.
But every now and again,
The cloud cover parts,
The sun shines down,
And the frozen world stretches awake.

As spring approaches in the Arctic, a mother polar bear and her two cubs tentatively emerge from hibernation to explore the changing landscape. When it is time, she takes her cubs on a forty-mile journey, back to their home on the ice. Along the way, she fends off wolves, hunts for food, and swims miles and miles.

This companion book to Honeybee and Giant Squid features the unique talents of Fleming and Rohmann on a perennially popular subject. Eric Rohmann’s magnificent oil paintings feature (as in Honeybee) a spectacular gatefold of the polar landscape.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

Review & Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Candace Fleming’s beautiful verse introduces us to the polar bear and all of the trials and tribulations she faces with her cubs in the Arctic. Within the narrative, we learn so much information about them and their habitat. The verse adds an extra poetic element to the book that just brings it to the next leve.

Add to that Rohmann’s illustrations, and this stunning picture book sucks in the reader through word and pictures. Backmatter adds even more information through shared research and fun facts.

Educator Guide Available HERE!

Discussion Questions: 

  • Why do you think that author chose to write the book in verse?
  • What does the gatefold add to the experience of reading Polar Bear?
  • What are the biggest threats to polar bears?
  • Why does the back matter include the statement “I’s All About the Ice?”

Flagged Passages: 

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall  


We’re Not Weird: Structure and Function in the Animal Kingdom
Author & Illustrator: Michael Garland
Published January 3rd, 2023 by Holiday House

Summary: Meet nature’s most extraordinary looking creatures. But they aren’t weird!

Birds with blue feet, fish that walk, unicorns in the sea, and more! Learn how these animals’ quirks help them survive. Perfect for budding naturalists who are always ready to share a cool (or gross) animal fact.

Very hard scales protect me, and my long tongue is perfect for eating ants. When I feel threatened, I roll myself into a ball. I am a Pangolin.

See these animals’ amazing body parts in vibrant and detailed woodcut illustrations, from the thorny dragon’s spiky skin to the star-nosed mole’s twenty-two feelers. Read how these creatures’ unique traits help them thrive and survive in their environments. Learn where they live, what they eat, how they protect themselves, and more.

With easy-to-read text vetted by an expert, this book aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards on adaptation, structure, and function for kindergarten through 3rd grade. With supplementary information on each animal’s habitat and diet.

Review: This book introduces the reader to so many different unique animals (20 of them!), featuring what makes them different than others. The text in the book is written in 1st person with interesting facts and an introduction to the animal. Additional info on each animal is on in the back matter giving even more information about the animal including their habitat and diet.

Discussion Questions: 

  • Which of the animals would you like to learn more about? Why?
  • Choose your own animal to research and write an introduction, in 1st person, highlighting the animal’s uniqueness and interesting facts.
  • What is similar about all of the animals’ unique features?

Flagged Passages: 

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall  


The Science of Light: Things that Shine, Flash, and Glow
Author & Illustrator: Margaret Peot
Published December 6th, 2022 by Holiday House

Summary: With a striking glow-in-the-dark cover, this intriguing science book invites young readers to find light all around.

Sun shines.
Stars twinkle.
Aurora borealis glimmers.

Dramatic paintings of lightning, fire, fireworks and more introduces the sources of light–both natural and manmade–and encourage children to look around and observe.

Kids will gasp in surprise at the beautiful glow-in-the-dark cover, and the bold spreads within. Margaret Peot’s distinctive art style captures the elusive nature of light. Bioluminescent squid, fireflies and phytoplankton reveal light sources in living things. Fireworks and light bubbles sparkle on the page.

This foundational science book will kindle curiosity in physical science and the natural world. The simple text makes science accessible to all ages.

Toddlers will delight in the colorful art at storytime. As they grow, kids will return to this nonfiction favorite and discover new ideas each time. Science vocabulary and definitions are included in the back of the book.

An Orbis Pictus Honor Book

Review: This beautifully illustrated book with sparse text gives an introduction to light in science including natural sources of light, bioluminescence, and artificial light. All of the animals, nature, and items in the book are tied together by the light that they make.

The author’s backmatter adds even more depth to the text by sharing more information on the different types of light, a bibliography, and websites to learn more.

Discussion Questions: 

  • What are the differences between the three types of light shared in the book?
  • Which of the types fascinates you the most?
  • How does bioluminescence work?

Flagged Passages: 

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall 


Signature

**Thank you to Sara at Holiday House for providing copies for review!**

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 1/30/23

Share

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

Bold_line

Thursday: Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Bold_line

Kellee

This is my week off! I will return next week!

To learn more about any of these books, check out my read bookshelf on Goodreads.

Ricki

I REREAD Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley because I am teaching it this week. I’ve read this book three times now, and it holds up each time!

My oldest son and I really love these Unsolved Case Files books by Tom Sullivan. We can’t wait for the third one to come out! It was a lot of fun read Escape at 10,000 Feet. I wasn’t aware of this historical story, but my partner told me it is famous. I guess I missed it somehow!

My middle son loves this book, Thunder Cluck: Smart vs. Strong by Jill Esbaum. It’s a fun story, and I love early readers in the graphic novel form!

My book club reads adult (rather than young adult) books, so I get looped into an adult book every month now. This month, we read Pip Williams’ The Dictionary of Lost Words. I wish I’d known it was somewhat based on a true story before I started reading it! The author’s note at the end was great. I loved the book, but admittedly, it took me some time to get into it.

Tuesday: Nonfiction Picture Book Round Up!: The Universe in You by Jason Chin; Of Walden Pond by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by Ashley Benham-Yazdani; Polar Bear by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann; We’re Not Weird by Michael Garland; & The Science of Light by Margaret Peot

Bold_line

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

 Signature andRickiSig

Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Share

Promise Boys
Author: Nick Brooks
Published: January 31, 2023 by Macmillan

Goodreads Summary: The Hate U Give meets One of Us Is Lying in Nick Brooks’s Promise Boys, a trailblazing, blockbuster mystery about three teen boys of color who must investigate their principal’s murder to clear their own names—for fans of Jason Reynolds, Angie Thomas, and Karen McManus.

“A brilliant pulls-no-punches mystery with bruised hearts at its core.” —Adam Silvera, #1 New York Times bestselling author of They Both Die at the End

“Thrilling, captivating, and blade-sharp. Promise Boys will stay with you long after the last page.” —Karen M. McManus, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying

The Urban Promise Prep School vows to turn boys into men. As students, J.B., Ramón, and Trey are forced to follow the prestigious “program’s” strict rules. Extreme discipline, they’ve been told, is what it takes to be college bound, to avoid the fates of many men in their neighborhoods. This, the Principal Moore Method, supposedly saves lives.

But when Moore ends up murdered and the cops come sniffing around, the trio emerges as the case’s prime suspects. With all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. But is the true culprit hiding among them?

Ricki’s Review: After reading this book, I adopted it for my young adult literature class this semester. This required me to a) change my book order–which makes several people annoyed, b) adjust my syllabus and move sections around, and c) message the campus book store that, yes, I know that the book isn’t out yet, but I still want them to pre-order it.

I say all of this to demonstrate how much I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It reminded me of Monster by Walter Dean Mayes a bit in the topic. Three teenage boys are all suspected of murdering their principal. The book is written from the different perspectives and allows the reader to explore any biases they might hold about teenage boys of color. It is set in a very strict school that thinks that hyper discipline will fix kids. This is an important book. I am so glad it exists, and I can’t wait to discuss it with my students.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Teachers might use this book for students to analyze the rules that come with their schools and within other systems. They might then write narratives related to the rules that they perceive.

Discussion Questions: 

  • When you were reading the book, who did you think did it?
  • Why does the school use discipline? What are their assumptions?
  • What did you learn from this book?

Flagged Spreads: “Rumor has it a student brought a gun to school the day of the murder. You didn’t hear that from me.”

Recommended For: 

readaloudbuttonsmall classroomlibrarybuttonsmall

RickiSig

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 1/23/23

Share

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

Bold_line

Tuesday: Everybody Counts! by Matt Esenwine, Illustrated by Emma Graham

Thursday: Play Like a Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Misty Wilson, Illustrated by David Wilson

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

Bold_line

Kellee

This is my week to post, but the weekend got away from me–I’m sorry!

To learn more about any of these books, check out my read bookshelf on Goodreads.

Ricki

I’ll see you next week.

Thursday: Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Bold_line

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

 Signature andRickiSig

Play Like a Girl by Misty Wilson, Illustrated by David Wilson

Share

Play Like a Girl: A Graphic Memoir
Author: Misty Wilson
Illustrator: David Wilson
Published: September 22, 2022 by Balzer + Bray

Goodreads Summary: Debut author Misty Wilson chronicles her seventh-grade experience as the only girl on her town’s football team in this empowering graphic memoir about teamwork, friendship, crushes, and touchdowns.

Misty never shies away from a challenge, on or off the field. So when the boys tell her she can’t play football, there’s only one thing to do: join their team and show them what she’s got.

But the training is rougher than she thought—and so are the other guys, who aren’t thrilled about having a girl on their team.

Middle school isn’t so easy, either. Misty wants to fit in with the popular kids, but they think a girl playing football is “weird.” Even her best friend doesn’t get it.

Can Misty find a way to score points with her teammates, make new friends, and show everyone—including herself—what it means to play like a girl?

“I am a huge fan of Misty and her courageous journey of staying true to herself. Readers will love her!” —Terri Libenson, New York Times bestselling author of the Emmie & Friends series

“This is the book I wish I’d had as a kid. Misty’s passion for football and her fight to play in a male-dominated sport while balancing friendship and crushes makes for a winning read!” —Dr. Jen Welter, first female NFL coach, first female running back in men’s pro football, and founder of Grrridiron Girls.

Ricki’s Review: I loved this graphic memoir. It felt very real to me, and the scenes really packed a punch. I especially loved the football scenes, which were full of great plays and amazing strategies. I wish I’d had this book when I was a middle school girl. In the scenes where the boys were rude, I remembered a similar comment when I was in 8th grade taking tech ed.

The book does a particularly good job depicting middle school. It’s a tough time and a struggle for a lot of kids, and I think middle schoolers will find solace in this book. There are great themes of identity and friendship.

I’ve already recommended this book to several young people, and I am so glad it exists!

Kellee’s Review: Misty Wilson’s memoir starts with “I wish someone had told me middle school would be so hard.” As a middle school educator, I felt this and knew that this books as going to hold some middle school truths. And it did: growing up, figuring out who you are, finding and keeping friends, navigating crushes, and more. All of this is so tough in middle school, so having a book to read about it really helps middle schoolers navigate it all.

I really loved reading Misty’s story. I, too, was a tomboy who didn’t do make up, would love to play a sport more than anything, and just couldn’t figure out how to be a good friend with the people who I thought I should be friends with. So much of middle school is fighting who you really are versus who everyone else and society wants you to be (and ignoring the mean comments along the way). This story was refreshing and will definitely find readers in middle school.

Play Like a Girl will add to the books I can recommend to Telgemeier fans, and it has the extra topic of football which will lend itself to finding even more readers!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book is a great tool for teachers who are teaching memoir. It demonstrates how illustrations can depict a story richly and realistically. 

Discussion Questions: 

  • What struggles does Misty experience?
  • What words would you use to describe Misty, and why?
  • What did you learn from this book?
  • Is this a book that is just for girls? Why might all kids learn from this book?

Flagged Page: 

Recommended For: 

 classroomlibrarybuttonsmall closereadinganalysisbuttonsmall

RickiSigand

**Thank you to Katie at HarperCollins for providing us with copies of this text for honest reviews!**

Everybody Counts! by Matt Forrest Esenwine, Illustrated by Emma Graham

Share

Everybody Counts!
Author: Matt Forrest Esenwine
Illustrator: Emma Graham
Published January 1st, 2023 by Little Fig

Summary: “Everyone is helpful, in large and small amounts. Everybody matters. Everybody counts!”

So begins Everybody Counts!, a creative foreign-language counting picture book. Get a taste of diversity as you explore this far-reaching festival of food and count your way to a full plate of fun.

 Everybody Counts! makes learning numbers fun as young ones discover new foods and languages from around the world. Explore favorite foods from twelve countries. Illustrations highlight the animals and numerical symbols that represent each country.

Review: Esenwine’s Everybody Counts shows the ties between us all as it counts through 12 different languages along with animals from that country sharing now only the language with us but also food and culture of each country. Each spread is so thoughtfully created with colorful illustrations of each animal and their favorite food fill the spread.

Learn more about the book and its creation at Matt Forrest Esenwine’s Cover Reveal Blog Post.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Everybody Counts is created for the classroom with opportunities to learn different languages as well as a guide to share each students’ favorite food and more!

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Counting books, Books about food, Books about different countries

Recommended For: 

classroomlibrarybuttonsmall

Signature

**Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!!**

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 1/16/23

Share

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

Bold_line

 

Tuesday: You So Black by Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D., Illustrated by London Ladd

Sunday: Author Guest Post by Kimberly Behre Kenna, Author of Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

Bold_line

Kellee

It’s my off week this week, so I’ll see you next week! To learn more about any of these books, check out my read bookshelf on Goodreads.

Ricki

My youngest son and I have read Pretty Perfect Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale and Leuyen Pham at least thirty times in the last week. This book brings him so much joy.

My oldest son (age 9) and I read Who Were the Navajo Code Talkers? by James Buckley Jr. together, each alternating chapters for our read-aloud. I know a lot about the code talkers, but this book offered me more details and was very engaging.

My book club read this book, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. I loved the integration of science and women’s rights.

My son and I read Jailbreak at Alcatraz by Tom Sullivan. I didn’t know much at all about this moment in history, and I found this book to be fascinating. The illustrations are very well done, and I was hooked. I told my son we would read it across three nights, and we stayed up past his bedtime to finish it.

How Old is Mr. Tortoise by Dev Petty, illustrated by Ruth Chan is a cute, silly story about a tortoise who can’t remember how old he is, and it’s his birthday!

After reading Promise Boys by Nick Brooks, I adopted it for my young adult literature class this semester. I have so much to say about this incredible book, and I will share more in a review next Thursday!

Bold_line

Ricki

I am listening to The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams.

I am reading In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

Bold_line

Tuesday: Everybody Counts by Matt Esenwine, Illustrated by Emma Graham

Thursday: Play Like a Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Misty Wilson, Illustrated by David Wilson

Bold_line

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

 Signature andRickiSig