Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I am late getting this posted, but wanted to share a few books that focus on fine arts.

Much like in her earlier and shorter book Hands, Ehlert shares her own art journey in this scrapbook of her life. Both books explain how her family nurtured her artistic talent. The Scraps Book, goes further into her adult art life and shows even more. Seeing her process is fascinating. Ehlert does such a good job of keeping things simple yet engaging.  

Music Everywhere! combines amazing photographs with easy to read text about instruments and music making from around the world. I appreciated the specificity when talking about the people who are in the photos or who traditionally use the instruments. Individual groups of people are named rather than simply saying something or someone is from Africa. The specific country or even tribe is given. The pictures and descriptions are likely to inspire readers to create some music of their own or hunt down examples on the Internet. At the end, there are also simple instructions for making some musical instruments too.

The other books were library books, but this final book, Summoning the Phoenix, was provided by the publisher (Lee and Low Books). I will post a full review within the coming week. The illustrations are wonderful and it includes two different sets of text. On each page, a Chinese instrument is highlighted through a poem and a few paragraphs of description. One could read the poetry all the way through or choose to read the prose or read both together. I really enjoyed the fact that traditions and legends about the instruments were included. I wanted to track down all of the instruments online and hear how they sound. 

-- Cover images are from Indie Bound


  1. The Scraps Book really intrigues me. I find her artwork to be so interesting.

  2. I loved The Scraps Book! Finding out the story behind her books is so interesting!

  3. Summoning the Phoenix looks absolutely beautiful. Will be on the lookout for that one.

    1. I enjoyed learning about the different instruments. :)

  4. I love the look of music everywhere. So many of my students play an instrument thanks to an amazing music program that offers free lessons to inner city kids - this book would be fascinating to them.