#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.

#MentorTextMoment, Books

#MentorTextMoment: BEWARE OF THE CROCODILE

Dear blog readers,

I’m back! First, my apologies if you are subscribed to my blog via email. You are going to get many, many emails over the next couple of days, as I move my archive of #MentorTextMoment posts from Instagram to this site for better searchability. I promise in about a week, you won’t get more than an email every week or two from me. Now, on to content.w204

The Book:

BEWARE OF THE CROCODILE

Author/Illustrator: Martin Jenkins, illos. by Satoshi Kitamura

Publication Info.: Candlewick, 2019

Categories: Nonfiction, expository, humorous voice

What’s noteworthy for authors and educators:

How do we deal with difficult topics in #nonfiction. Martin Jenkins deals with death offstage in BEWARE THE CROCODILE. In other words, it happens between the pages, and the reader doesn’t see it. Instead, Jenkins muses, “What happens next is rather gruesome. In fact it’s so gruesome that we should skip the details. Let’s just say there’s a lot of twirling and thrashing, and then things go a bit quiet.” The reader gets the suggestion of death with humor and without the gory details.

#MentorTextMoment, Books

#MentorTextMoment: PLANTING STORIES

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The Book:

PLANTING STORIES: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre

Author/Illustrator: Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrations by Paola Escobar

Publication Info.: Harper Collins, 2019

Category: Nonfiction, biography, narrative nonfiction

What’s noteworthy for authors and educators:

Anika Denise and Paola Escobar do a masterful job of carrying the idea of planting stories from beginning to end of this #picturebook biography. First Pura arrives with the seeds of stories carried from Peurto Rico. A factory job doesn’t provide “fertile ground” for Pura’s stories to take root. But by the end of the book, seeds become a “lush landscape” and plants take over the page in Escobar’s illustrations.

Additional Resources/Classroom activities:

A teacher’s guide is available on the Harper Collins website, here.

Why not try planting your own garden after reading this book? Here’s a cool ziploc bag activity from Mad In Crafts.

#MentorTextMoment, Books

#MentorTextMoment: Birds of a Feather

Birdsofafeathergraphic

The Book:

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Author/Illustrator: Susan L. Roth

Publication Info.: Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, 2019

Category: Nonfiction, compare/contrast

What’s noteworthy for authors and educators:

Written in first person POV, this compare/contrast nonfiction picture book features the author/illustrator, Susan Roth as the narrator. In each spread, she compares the work of a collage artist with that of a bowerbird, a species from Australia/New Guinea that builds bowers to attract mates. She discusses their purpose for creating, tools, and much more. This book would make a great read aloud and the perfect jumping off point for classroom collage art.

Additional Resources:

Learn more about Susan’s process on her website.

 

Books

Book Review: Tasty Desserts (Little Chef Recipes)

TITLE: Little Chef Recipes: Tasty Desserts

AUTHOR: Mercedes Segarra

ILLUSTRATOR: Rosa M. Curto

PUBLICATION INFO: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4644-0465-8

SOURCE: Publisher-provided copy

INTENDED AUDIENCE: kindergarten through third grade

GENRE: how-to

SYNOPSIS: Are you hungry for some delightful desserts? From staples like brownies and cheesecake to new foods like “watermelon soup,” children will learn how to make delicious desserts with a parent’s help.

THEMES/TOPICS: how-to, cooking, baking

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: You would not believe how difficult it is to create a good cookbook for the youngest children, but Segarra and Curto have done it. This book is much more than a collection of recipes, but a good overview of how to become a “Little Chef.” The book includes a “Before You Start Cooking” section with sound advice on preparing to cook, like washing hands, donning an apron and reading the recipe thoroughly. “Words to Know”  in the back uses pictures to show children what key kitchen terms mean, for example “separate” (eggs) or “line” (a baking sheet). It also shows children pictures of kitchen equipment that they might not be familiar with.

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Best of all, each recipe includes an illustrated ingredients list and step-by-step instructions. Finley, who can’t read yet, was able to look at the recipe, point to each picture, and describe what we would do in that step. I can’t wait to check out the other recipes in the series: Fun Party Foods, Pizza and Pasta, and Yummy Snacks.