Tuesday, November 05, 2013

CYBILS: Nonfiction Picture Books

I love being part of the CYBILS! It is always so wonderful to learn about and read so many books in a single category.  This year, I am part of the Elementary and Middle Grade Nonfiction Committee. I have loved discovering new books and am excited to share some on the blog.

It's Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona is one I am so glad to have discovered.  A few years ago, I created a list of books to go along with the idea of community garden and I have only found a few more since then.  This new book is one that kids will love because they will see themselves in the book.  The book is told in narrative and follows the chronology of one New Mexico elementary school's community garden.  The book begins with one person's dream of a garden and takes us through lots of ideas, stages, learning and work.  It is clear that George Ancona spent lots of time in this school, learning about how the community garden is integrated into the school community.  The gorgeous photos not only capture the content of the information, but they also capture the joy and energy of the project.

Pedal It!: How Bicycles are Changing the World (Footprints) by Michelle Mulder is another book I'm happy to have recently discovered.  The book is a short chapter book (46 pages) about the history and impact of bicycles in our world.  The beginning of the book shares some important history in the invention timeline of the bicycles. The photos and artifacts bring these events to life for kids.  (The short news article about a woman wearing bloomers on a bicycle being warned of arrest was quite telling:-)  The rest of the book goes on to tell how and why bicycles are so important today and how they are used for different purposes in different places. Again, photos are an important way that this book shares information with readers. This book is packed with interesting information about bicycles and there are many possibilities for it in the classroom.

And what kid wouldn't like Toilet: How It Works (My Readers. Level 4)?   (I didn't realize that David
Macaulay has a series of these including one on castles, jet plane, and eyes.) This is a simple explanation of the way a toilet works.  The book helps readers make sense of how the toilet work through the use of words, illustrations and diagrams.  The book takes us from the meal we eat to the end of the cycle when the water is cleaned in a large tank.  An interesting read and a complex idea told in a way that young readers can grasp!

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