Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

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.

I haven't been participating lately because the end of the school year happened. My library is completely dismantled now and packed away - really - in storage waiting for our amazing new space. Summer vacation has begun.

I was able to stop in at the Rochester Public Library in Minnesota today. Here are the nonfiction books I quickly read and enjoyed before my parking meter expired.

The first book I grabbed was this beautiful book about families. The text and photos highlight how there are many ways that a family can be - many people or few, living together, living apart, and with many different compositions too. Wonderful diversity here.

Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly

Goodreads summary: Celebrate diversity with a picture book for very young children about the many faces of contemporary families. Big or small, similar or different-looking, there are all kinds of families. Some have one parent, some have two, and many include extended family. This inclusive look at many varieties of families will help young readers see beyond their own immediate experiences and begin to understand others.

There were two inspirational books that caught my eye. Both encourage readers to try new things.

Sweep Up the Sun by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder

Goodreads summary: Baby robins, open-beaked in their nest. Mallards winging to a new clime. Whether chickadees or cardinals, sparrows or starlings, here are commonly seen birds in their natural settings, captured in photographs of rare beauty and grace. In perfect synchrony, a lyrical narrative evokes images of play and flight, perseverance and trust. At the end, readers will find profiles of the featured species. This stunning book is an ideal gift for bird lovers of all ages, graduates, or anyone embarking on an adventure.

Wild Ideas by Elin Kelsey - Illustrated by Soyeon Kim

Goodreads summary: From the creators of You Are Stardust comes a new informational picture book that brings the big ideas of their first book down to earth. Wild Ideas looks deep into the forests, skies and oceans to explore how animals solve problems. Whether it’s weaving a safe place to rest and reflect, blowing a fine net of bubbles to trap fish, or leaping boldly into a new situation, the animals featured (including the orangutan, humpback whale and gibbon) can teach us a lot about creative problem solving tools and strategies. Like You Are Stardust, this book uses lyrical text grounded in current science alongside wonderfully detailed art to present problems as doorways to creative thinking. Wild Ideas encourages an inquiry-based approach to learning, inviting readers to indulge their sense of wonder and curiosity by observing the natural world, engaging with big ideas and asking questions. An author’s note at the end delves deeper into the research behind the text.


  1. Sweep Up the Sun is another winner from Helen Frost, and Wild Ideas piques my interest.

  2. I really loved Wild Ideas. Such a beautiful book that leads to so much discussion! The book on families looks terrific.

  3. I love Helen Frost's lyrical voice and the book cover of Wild Ideas caught my eye. Will have to find both books.