Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more non-fiction. I am thankful that she has this challenge because I know I have read more nonfiction texts as a result.

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold
by Joyce Sidman & illustrated by Rick Allen

As I am typing this, I hear the clink of sleet on the window. It is so interesting to learn about how animals survive the bitter winter cold. I'm not sure I needed a mental image of thousands of snakes curled up together though. Eek!

There are twelve poems in the collection - each about an animal or part of nature in winter. She used a variety of poetic forms and provides a glossary that includes the nature terminology, but also explains a couple of the poetry terms. 

As always, Sidman weaves together words in a beautiful way. In "Vole in Winter," a vole describes the snow above him as "a blanket made of sky-feathers!"

And I have to say, the illustrations are gorgeous. Also, watch for the fox. He is on the cover in the middle of a leap. If you want to know what that looks like in real life, watch this video. The fox is also on many of the pages of the book. I know that children will enjoy hunting for the fox on the pages.

I had never been to Joyce Sidman's website, but it is a fantastic poetry resource. If you teach poetry or want to experiment with your own poetry, she has pep talks and suggestions. I will be visiting her site again soon.

Aside from Winter Bees, if you wish to teach about winter, there are a few other picture books I would recommend. 

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrated by Mary Azarian

Illustrations by Robert C. Kray

by Francisco X. Alarcón
Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez

It's not precisely nonfiction, but it could be argued so I'm including it anyway.
Besides, my students adore it!
Rabbit's Snow Dance by James & Joseph Bruchac
Illustrated by Jeff Newman

Here's a video with the author explaining the story:

Do you have any favorite nonfiction picture book titles focused on winter? Please share them if you do. Happy winter!


  1. I've actually thought about using books about snow in my classroom just because so many of my students know nothing about it. It would be a good building up of background knowledge for them.

    Thank you for sharing these. I knew Kate's book, but not the others :)

    1. I forget some people don't have the same winter experiences - and that is in spite of having lived in both south Texas and So. California. ;)

  2. Love this list! Rabbit's Snow Dance is a favourite in my room.

  3. Oh and forgot to mention Melissa Stewart's Under the Snow. A favourite nonfiction winter/snow title.

  4. I did not know about the last three...will need to check them out. Thanks for sharing them Crystal.

  5. I love a good theme. I enjoyed Snowflake Bentley and someone recommended Winter Bees so I'll definitely have to check that out!