#MentorTextMoment, Books

#MentorTextMoment: Predator and Prey

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The Book:

PREDATOR AND PREY: A CONVERSATION IN VERSE

Author/Illustrator: Susannah Buhrman-Deever, illustrations by Bert Kitchen

Publication Info.: Candlewick, 2019

Ages/Grades: ages 6 to 9

Category: lyrical, compare/contrast, expository

Overview (from the publisher):

“Who wins, the assassin bug or the spider? The bat or the frog? The ant or the honey bee? The male firefly . . . or the female? The battle for survival between predator and prey is sometimes a fight, sometimes a dance, and often involves spying, lying, or even telling the truth to get ahead. Biologist and debut author Susannah Buhrman-Deever explores these clashes in poems and prose explanations that offer both sides of the story. With beautiful, realistic illustrations that are charged with drama, Bert Kitchen captures the breathtaking moments when predator meets prey. Readers who hunger for more about the art of survival will find an extensive list of references in the back. ”

What’s noteworthy for authors and educators:

I had to take my time to savor the brilliance of PREDATOR AND PREY. Dueling poems representing the POVs of both predator and prey on each spread…it’s just magical when structure and content are so perfectly aligned.

#MentorTextMoment, Books

#MentorTextMoment: NINE MONTHS

91gi7j7qbelThe Book:

NINE MONTHS: BEFORE A BABY IS BORN

Author/Illustrator: Miranda Paul, illustrations by Jason Chin

Publication Info.: Neal Porter Books (Holiday House), 2019

Ages/Grades: ages 4 to 8

Category: lyrical, chronological expository

Overview (from the publisher):

“Join a family of three who spend nine whole months waiting, from a frosty winter through a sun-dappled summer, until finally . . . a baby is here.

A soon-to-be big sister and her parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby in the family. Alternating panels depict what the family is experiencing in tandem with how the baby is growing, spanning everything from receiving the news about the new baby to the excitement of its arrival.

In this pregnancy book unlike any other one out there, watch what’s actually happening through meticulously detailed, actual size illustrations, perfectly paired with a lyrical yet informative text, and culminating in a warm, joyful birth scene. ”

What’s noteworthy for authors and educators:

Beautiful back matter! Sparse, lyrical text paired with five pages of back matter that provides additional information line-by-line and oh so much more. It just goes to show you that you can keep your story very spare and simple without sacrificing content.

#MentorTextMoment, Books

#MentorTextMoment: SUPERLATIVE BIRDS

superlativebirds_mainThe Book:

SUPERLATIVE BIRDS

Author/Illustrator: Leslie Bulion, illustrated by Robert Meganck

Publication Info.: Peachtree, 2019

Category: Nonfiction, compare/contrast, lyrical, list structure

Overview (from the publisher): “Ever wonder which bird has the loudest voice? Which one builds the biggest nest or has the most feathers? Get to know all about the best and brightest―and smelliest!―denizens of the bird world with this collection of nonfiction science verses. You won’t need your binoculars to observe the superlative characteristics of these avian wonders.”

What’s noteworthy for authors and educators:

#Nonfiction needs multiple hooks. Leslie Bulion’s SUPERLATIVE BIRDS includes science notes (sidebars) on each page and employs multiple poetic forms, which are explained in the backmatter.

Additional Resources/Classroom activities:

On Leslie’s website, you’ll find two teacher’s guides, one from Leslie, as well as one from CLASSROOM BOOKSHELF. She also has a song poem recording.

#MentorTextMoment, Books

#MentorTextMoment: A SONG FOR GWENDOLYN BROOKS

9781454930884The Book:

A SONG FOR GWENDOLYN BROOKS

Author/Illustrator: Alice Faye Duncan, illustrations by Xia Gordon

Publication Info.: Sterling, 2019

Category: Nonfiction, biography, narrative nonfiction

Overview (from the publisher): “With a voice both wise and witty, Gwendolyn Brooks crafted poems that captured the urban Black experience and the role of women in society. She grew up on the South Side of Chicago, reading and writing constantly from a young age, her talent lovingly nurtured by her parents. Brooks ultimately published 20 books of poetry, two autobiographies, and one novel. Alice Faye Duncan has created her own song to celebrate Gwendolyn’s life and work, illuminating the tireless struggle of revision and the sweet reward of success.”

What’s noteworthy for authors and educators:

The best nonfiction has multiple hooks. Alice Faye Duncan’s A SONG FOR GWENDOLYN BROOKS shows readers the value of revision as well as telling Brooks’s life story and sharing her poems. Duncan aptly uses lyrical voice to share Gwendolyn Brooks’s story.

Additional Resources/Classroom activities:

Alice Faye Duncan has two lesson plans on her website (scroll down). One if for alliteration, assonance, and rhyme. The other focuses on sonnets.