Saturday, August 7, 2010

More Of What’s New In Nonfiction

Part III of Presentation

I’m finally getting around to writing about the last part for the Presentation blog series. These last few titles I would like to introduce range from grade levels K-6 and cover expository and narrative nonfiction.

Arggh! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. This new book, Pirates by Joanne Mattern (grades 4-6), is a great blended text that is in a graphic novel format. I love that the cover bears a female pirate—what a great discussion starter. The book is formatted so the speech bubbles have different shapes and shading to help children tell the difference between the history and the fictional story presented. I’ve included this book in several of my presentations because I think it represents a growing trend in nonfiction graphic literature.

When I think mummies, right away, I think Ancient Egypt (ok, I confess, I think The Mummy movies too). If you think your child will probably make the same connections, than introduce him/her to this book. It talks about mummies found throughout the world—even a Buddhist priest who was a self-made mummy! Unraveling The History Of Mummies Around The World by Sylvia Branzei is a good early chapter book for grades 1-3, especially to get children into reading nonfiction. This book may not have photographs, but the illustrations are just cool enough for a younger audience to make up for that.

If Nic Bishop can photograph an animal, you can be sure it’s an incredible shot. He’s already brought us frogs, spiders, butterflies and moths—now he brings us into the world of a type of animal where the ones I (I was going to use the pronoun “we,” but I didn’t want to make assumptions) really only know are the kangaroo and koala—the marsupial. I like how Nic Bishop Marsupials (grades 1-4) not only covers the basics—from an animal’s habitat, eating habits, and family—but he includes unique facts. For example, a koalas pouch is reversed, so when the baby peeks out they are upside down—you want to know why? Read the book to find out!

And to round this week off, I want to include a book from a series called Raptors. The one I talked about was entitled Owls by Julie Lundgren (grades 1-3). The books are very nice—photographs, text features that include caption boxes, bolded vocabulary, glossary, and simple paragraphs that won’t overwhelm younger readers. My mom plans on using the one about eagles with her first graders--she finds the idea of the eagle’s nest very helpful for circle time (that is her school’s mascot).

Bishop, N. (2009). Nic bishop marsupials. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Branzei, S. (2009). Unraveling the history of mummies around the world. New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap.

Lundgren, J. (2010). Owls. Vero Beach, FL.: Rourke Publishing.

Mattern, J. (2010). Pirates. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Publishing.

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