Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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. My plan is to read at least 100 nonfiction picture books this year.

¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado
Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest

Summary: With lyrical text in both Spanish and English, we travel to the magical world of a cloud forest in the Andes of Ecuador. We discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there as we help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito, the first new mammal species identified in the Americas since 1978. Not your usual ABC book, the alphabet works as an organizing feature and provides children with a vehicle to encounter rich vocabulary as they learn about a unique environment. Thoroughly researched and exquisitely illustrated with colorful, realistic images, the book is a visual delight while it provides a wealth of information. Backmatter includes articles about cloud forests and the discovery of the olinguito in 2013, and an extensive glossary with the scientific names of the species pictured. This is truly a unique book to treasure on many levels.

My Thoughts: The illustrations in this text are simply gorgeous. Delacre created scenes of the cloud forest using paintings and layers of mixed media. In the end notes, she explains that the "collage elements recreated the natural layers that define the forest." 

Speaking of the end notes, Delacre provided extensive notes about her research and her illustrations. She also provided more information about the cloud forest and the discovery of the olinguito. In addition, there is a glossary with images and a thorough accounting of the author's sources. I really appreciate having so much information provided beyond the text.

The text itself is rather wonderful too. Alphabet books can be marvelous and they can also feel forced and awful. Here the text is still lyrical and has substance even though she is trying to fit it into the format of the alphabet which can be quite tricky. 

This is a fantastic bilingual nonfiction text and I'm happy to add it to our collection.


  1. At least 100 nonfiction books? Awesome! I don't always see bilingual nonfiction books when I process library returns at work but it's good to know that they continue to publish books like this. The illustrations look great!

  2. I've been working on a writing project that incorporates some Spanish text--though the text is far from bilingual!--so this is fascinating to see. I stand in awe of people who do a great job with both sides of a bilingual book.

  3. I love bilingual texts because it really helps my bilingual students and is entertaining for our unilingual students. Thank you for sharing!