The first one is called "Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist" by Jess Keating. I was already a big fan of Jess Keating's work (you know, Pink is for Blobfish?) AND a big fan of Eugenie Clark. I can remember reading Ann Martin's version of "Shark Lady" with a group of second graders and having one of my little girls hug the book to her chest and say "When I grow up, I'm going to be an ichthyologist". So a picture book version of this one is bound to be awesome and it is. The pictures (in my e-book advanced reader's copy version) are a bit cartoon-y but in a friendly way. You can completely feel Eugenie's energy and curiosity shining through them. The text is amazing too-with lots of little details to make you really feel like you're right there with Eugenie, swimming with the sharks. Kids are going to love this one and I think teachers are going to love it too-as a mentor text for writing narrative non-fiction as well as role models for young women. I can't wait to get this one into my library.
Here's another one my kids will love. It's called "Baking Class" by Deanna F. Cook. It's a picture book and a recipe book. Unsurprisingly, it's all about baking. The recipes are rated from one rolling pin (super easy) to three rolling pins (more complicated). There is a nice piece at the beginning that helps to develop the vocabulary of kitchen skills and tools and the recipes are organized in a way that makes finding what you want to make really easy. There are also lots of super fun ways to serve the recipes in funny and unexpected ways, like using banana bread as a base, spreading it with nut butter and decorating it to look like monkey face with fresh fruit. The recipes are very clearly written and the photographs offer excellent support. I can't wait to put this one in my library too!
This last one is a graphic novel AND a biography of Pele, the famous soccer star, so it's hard to see how this one could miss! It's a very interesting story of his life and the graphic novel presentation makes the story move along very quickly. Lots of kids will be interested in this one. The only disadvantage from my standpoint is that it's probably too big for an elementary library. There is a small amount of what my students say is "bad language" but there is also some sexual innuendo that I would not feel comfortable presenting to my little kids, who are bound to pick this up, since it's a graphic novel. Having said that, it's probably not too big for middle school and certainly, it's fairly tame for high school. The book also has a nice mix of both personal as well as historical references and if you are like me, it will send you to do some research to find out more about this very interesting sportsman.
Here's the cover.
And here's one of the pages so you can see some of the terrific artwork.