Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more non-fiction.
We just finished up a Scholastic Book Fair last week and a few nonfiction titles caught my eye. Two by Sandra Markle stood out - What if You Had Animal Hair? and What if You Had Animal Teeth?
Aren't the covers just fantastic? They scream, "Check me out!" I grabbed a copy of both for our library. Each two page spread features a large and small photo of the actual animal and then one full page illustration of a child as they might look with that critter's hair. The illustrations of the children are often humorous. Aside from the illustrations there are facts about the animal's hair type and notes about it's purpose. There is also a note included about what it would be like for the child to have that hair.
I am loving the creativity of these pairings and know that this is just the kind of book to hand a child or adult who believes that nonfiction isn't their thing. It would also be a great mentor text or springboard for creating your own pairing. I can just see students researching hair types of different animals and illustrating what it would be like on their own head. They could also move onto other feathers like skin or feet.
The author prepared some interesting activities to use and shared them on her blog here: Big Hairy Deal: The Perfect Activities to go with What if You Had Animal Hair?
When writing about hair, I can't help but think of a few fiction picture books that could be paired here. One in particular that stands out in my mind is Dalia's Wondrous Hair/El cabello maravilloso de Dalia.
I haven't had a chance to closely read What if You Had Animal Teeth? but it looks like another winner. The illustrations are fun and the text seems engaging. I appreciate that the illustrator used a diverse cast of children too. I can't wait to share these with students.