Today I’m very happy to be hosting Nonfiction Monday! If you’ve recently reviewed a great nonfiction book for kids please leave a comment below and I’ll add you to this post as the day develops.
I’ve recently reviewed several books that have blurred the boundary between fiction and non fiction – Satoshi Kitamura’s Stone Age Boy, Donna Jo Napoli’s Mama Miti and Margarita Engle’s Summer Birds. Kitamura’s book is nominally fiction, but we learned as much about the stone age from it as from any of the books we found in the nonfiction section of the library. Mama Miti and Summer Birds, on the other hand, do have Dewey classification labels on their spines, but the storytelling (each a biography of an inspirational woman) and illustration is of a calibre that you more often find in great (fictional) picture books. We loved all of them and they inspired a good deal of crazy play!
Sherry from Semicolon has reviewed Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz by Beverly Gherman. It’s a beautifully produced juvenile biography, “a great tribute to a talented man”.
Sandhya reviewed We Are All Born Free, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures both at Saffron Tree, and also at A View From My Side. Sandhya comments on how this Indian edition differs from the International edition – the foreword and afterword places the declaration specifically in its Indian context.
Jojoebi from A Bit of This and a Bit of That offers us 4 astral reviews, Zoo in the Sky and Moonshot, The Planet Gods: Myths and Facts about the Solar System and 11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System, and then brings us back to earth with a review of Africa is Not a Country.
Back out to space and Beyond: A Solar System Voyage by Michael Benson is reviewed by Jennie at Biblio File. The photographic illustrations sound amazing.
Jeff from NC Teacher Stuff joins us this week with a review of Stand Straight, Ella Kate – a picture book about giantess Ella Kate Ewing.
Abby (the) Librarian has a review of Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot” by Michael O. Tunnel. It sounds like a book bound to capture the imagination of anyone who likes their sweets!
Another nonfiction book about an aspect of the Second World War is reviewed by Alex at The Children’s War – V is for Victory: America Remembers World War II by Kathleen Krull.
For a review of Enrique Esparza and the Battle of the Alamo by Susan Taylor Brown and Jeni Reeves, head on over to jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. I really love the look of the oil painting illustrations in this book.
Roberta at Wrapped in Foil has a review of a book by British author/illustrator Simon Basher called Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction – funnily enough I was looking at this in a bookshop just last week and thought it might be one to return to when my kids are a little older.
A review of Cleopatra Rules! can be found at Bookish Blather. Angela describes it as an “excellent biography of the much-maligned and misunderstood ruler of Egypt”.
At All About the Books with Janet Squires there’s a review of Graphing Habitats, written by Sarah Medina, which is “designed to explain, explore and illustrate how a variety of graphs can be utilized to organize information”.
Shirley at SimplyScience reviews Survival at 40 Below – a fascinating sounding book about animals found in the Arctic National Park
Reviews of 2 garden related books are offered by Amanda at A Patchwork of Books – Up We Grow and The Good Garden. I particularly like the sound of Up We Grow about life over a year on a farm.
Jennifer at Jean Little Library not only reviews Who Was Amelia Earhart? but also laments the state of her library’s biography collection! Jennifer – I definitely recommend Mama Miti and Summer Birds if you don’t already have them and by some twist of good fortune find the money to buy some more biographies!
We’re having very humid weather at the moment in this part of the UK and so Lori Calabrese’s review of Seymour Simon’s Tropical Rainforests was a great read for me this afternoon!
Mandy from ACPL Mock Sibert has written a great post about the blurring of boundaries between fiction and nonfiction books, particularly in light of judging books for awards where it matters whether or not a book is deemed to be (non)fiction.
To mark the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina MsMac reviews Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery over at Check It Out. In other news that will be of interest to Nonfiction Monday readers, MsMac is the organizer for the Nonfiction Picture Book category in the upcoming Cybils. If you are passionate about Nonfiction Picture Books, please contact her about being on either the round one or round two.
Robin at The Booknosher reviews a wonderful sounding (sorry about the pun…) book called We Shall Overcome: A Song that Changed the World. I defy you to read her review and not end up humming the song to yourself 🙂
Over at Apples With Many Seeds Tammy reviews Do! by Gita Wolf, Ramesh Hengadi and Shantaram Dhadpe, a handmade book from Tara Books full of illustrations based on traditional Warli tribal art from Western India.
Cindy and Lynn at Bookends have a review of All Aboard: Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine by Monica Kulling and Bill Slavin, a biography to add to your back-to-school shopping list!
As part of her Boys of Summer baseball biography series, Margo from The Fourth Musketeer has a review today of Henry Aaron’s Dream, by Matt Tavares. It focuses on the childhood and early career of baseball legend Hank Aaron, all presented in a beautifully illustrated oversized picture book.
Over in Charlotte’s Library you can find a great review of Explore Rocks and Minerals, by Cynthia Light Brown and Nick Brown. I love the sound of the 20 projects that are included in the book.
Sarah at In Need of Chocolate has reviewed A Tree Is Growing by Arthur Dorros and Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Catcus by Barbara Bash. Regular readers of Playing by the book will know that nearly all posts of mine include some music for the kids to enjoy and Sarah has given me the perfect opportunity to suggest you all listen (and dance) to I Like Cacti by Randy Kaplan.
I also want to shout out about the UK’s first National Non-Fiction Day, to be held on November 4th . This is intended to be “an annual celebration, initiated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups in partnership with Scholastic Children’s Books. It aims to celebrate all that is brilliant about non fiction and show that it’s not just fiction that can be read and enjoyed for pleasure.”
Finally, a brief mention of the interview swap you can sign up for as part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. If you’d like to interview (and be interviewed) by another book blogger during BBAW (September 13-17 2010) you still have time to sign up – click here to find out more!