Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Pumpkin Book

The Pumpkin Book, by Gail Gibbons, is a great resource for a nonfiction look at pumpkins.  We like to start looking at books like this by taking a picture walk. We enjoyed seeing the labeled illustrations of different kinds of pumpkins. Even young children can begin to develop an understanding of the growth of a pumpkin from the interesting pictures in this book. 

Ways to plant pumpkins in a patch and on a farm are described by Gibbons.  Various aspects of what is needed in nature for successful pumpkin growth is also discussed.  The book also shows the use of pumpkins at Halloween and Thanksgiving times.  

Older children could use this book to develop charts about pumpkin development.  The illustrations delightfully explain the text so that listeners/viewers/readers can all enjoy learning. We found this to be a great book to add to our autumn reading. We love reading books by Gail Gibbons and hope you enjoy this one, too!

*Which pumpkin varieties have you seen before?
*Can you explain how a pumpkin seed grows?
*What’s your favorite use of pumpkins?  Why?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Polar Bear

Polar Bear (A Day in the Life:  Polar Animals), A Heinemann Library book, written by Katie Marsico, is another great nonfiction text for young readers.  A table of contents, glossary, and index help children understand this text even more.

The many photographs included in this book enhance the text.  Inset maps and labels also clarify the reading.  We enjoyed learning more specific facts from this book.

*What did you learn about polar bears?
*Which photographs helped you understand polar bears better?
*Is there anything more you would like to learn about polar bears?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Rock is Lively

A Rock is Lively, written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long, is another book written in the style of A Butterfly is Patient.  We also highly recommend this book! Its detailed illustrations and information make it a great nonfiction read.

A Rock is ________   is how each page begins.  Some of the adjectives used in the book are lively, helpful, surprising, inventive, etc.  One aspect we enjoyed was looking at how rocks were used as tools in various cultures. 

As is true with A Butterfly is Patient, the inside front and back covers add to the enjoyment of exploring this book.  Illustrations of rocks are found in the front, while the back inside cover displays the illustrations with the rocks’ names.  It’s great fun to have children try to learn to identify rocks by using these covers.

*Which rock is most interesting to you?
*Can you name some of the different cultures and how they used rocks?
*How would you describe a rock?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

National Geographic Little Kids Ocean Counting

As children are being asked to read more nonfiction texts, it’s important to find books that capture their attention with interesting facts.  National Geographic Little Kids Ocean Counting, by Janet Lawler with photographs by Brian Skerry, is a great book for young children who are learning to count and who like ocean animals.  Primary readers will also enjoy the eye-catching photographs that accompany the text.

The reader counts to ten with examples of various ocean animals (hammerhead sharks, sea otters, pink sea star, etc.).  Each two page spread also includes a Did You Know? Box with an interesting fact about the animal.  At the conclusion of the book an Animal Facts section (home, size, food, predators, babies) are given about each animal.  A map and glossary are also included to extend learning.

This would be a great book to enjoy before and after a trip to an aquarium.  It would be fun for children to write their own counting book based on this book.  We hope you enjoy learning more about ocean animals!

*Which ocean animal is your favorite?
*Can you name 5 facts you learned by reading this nonfiction text?
*What fact surprised you?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Butterfly is Patient

We’ve been looking for more nonfiction books and were very happy to find A Butterfly is Patient, written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long.  This beautifully illustrated book begins each page with “A butterfly is…” and completes the sentence with vivid adjectives (protective, thirsty, patient, etc.).  Taking a picture walk (or several picture walks because there is so much to discover) will help the reader learn more about butterflies.

The illustrations are phenomenal in helping the reader visualize the meanings.  Maps and timelines also help the reader understand this nonfiction text.  An added bonus for us was seeing the inside front and back covers.  The front inside cover has detailed illustrations of caterpillars with their names while the back inside cover displays the butterflies with their names. 

This is a terrific book to begin a butterfly study and/or introduce young readers to nonfiction texts.  We highly recommend this book as a gift to your children!

*Which pages taught you most about butterflies?
*Which illustration do you like the best?
*How many of these butterflies have you seen?
*How would you describe a butterfly?