Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Non fiction books

Yesterday, I looked at one of my favorite websites for finding kids books, The Non-Fiction Detectives. Louise and Cathy work really hard at reviewing great non fiction books for kids and they do an AWESOME job. Click here if you want to check out their blog. So I was looking for some of the books they suggested. Of course, it's never that easy to just go to the bookstore and find the exact 12 books you were looking for (they only had a few of the ones I wanted) and there were several that caught my eye that I didn't even know I should be looking for so here are the best ones I saw today. The first one was "Eye to Eye", by Steve Jenkins. Steve Jenkins is a great author. He wrote another book that I really liked called "What do you do with a tail like this?" "Eye to eye" is a similar kind of book that focuses just on animals eyes. You can find out a lot about different kinds of eyes and how eyes have evolved. The pictures are really beautiful too. The only thing that might slow you down is the vocabulary. There is a lot of specific vocabulary, but I think it's worth having to look up a few words get to experience this book.
The second one was called "Scraps" by Lois Ehlert. You're probably familiar with Lois's beautiful,graphic style of art work that she created with cut out paper and water color. This book is a memoir as well as a celebration. It tells about how she started off creating beautiful works of art and then wanting to take the art work and tell a story. That's how she became a writer as well as an artist. This is going to be a great book for inspiring writers AND artists. Here's a book trailer that can show you more. The third one is called "Gravity" by Jason Chin. It is (unsurprisingly) about gravity. It doesn't have a ton of information but the pictures are very fun and super detailed. If you need to do research on gravity, this book probably won't be helpful but if you want a fun book with a science concept and lots of funny pictures, this might just be the book for you.
The last one would be near and dear to Montessorians' hearts. It's called "Grandfather Ghandi" by Arun Ghandi and Bethany Hegedus. It tells Arun's story about how he went to live at the compound where his grandfather was living as a small child. He struggled with feeling that he was not accepted (he didn't speak the local language), some of the kids teased him, he didn't always do well in school but he really wanted to be close to his grandfather. However, his grandfather was very busy and there always seemed to be lots of other people around. Arun does get some good lessons, the most important being that you can choose how you solve a problem. You can either be angry and strike out, or you can turn your anger and look for other solutions. The pictures are nice too... lots of energy and bright colors. I think this would be a great book to start the year with or to use during community meetings to help the conversation about problem solving. Here's a book trailer about it.

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