Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Upcoming Releases

As part of the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge, one of my favorite things is to round-up as many new quality nonfiction books for children about once a month to share them with readers of this blog.  Some months, I miss the release of books and add them to the next month's post.  Since I have not seen every book listed, I cannot always confirm if they are truly a nonfiction book or more of an informational fiction text or a bit of historical fiction.  Here are some that I am looking forward to reading.

Previous Nonfiction Release Post: January | February | March | April | June

Alexander Graham Bell Answers the Call by Mary Ann Fraser (August 15th 2017 by Charlesbridge Publishing)

I Like the Farm by Shelley Rotner (August 15th 2017 by Holiday House)

John Deere, That's Who! by Tracy Nelson Maurer; Illustrated by Tim Zeltner (March 28th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.)

Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing by Leda Schubert; Illustrated by Raúl Colón (June 13th 2017 by Roaring Brook Press)

The Man Who Loved Libraries: The Story of Andrew Carnegie by Andrew Larsen; Illustrated by Katty Maurey (August 15th 2017 by Owlkids)

Newton's Rainbow: The Revolutionary Discoveries of a Young Scientist by Kathryn Lasky; Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (April 18th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Quest for Zee: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon by Greg Pizzoli (June 13th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers)

Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! by Andrea J. Loney; Illustrated by Keith Mallett (June 15th 2017 by Lee & Low Books)


Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared by Alison Wilgus; Illustrated by Molly Brooks (May 23rd 2017 by First Second)

Science Comics: Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield by Falynn Koch (August 29th 2017 by First Second)

Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became the Strongest Man on Earth by Don Tate (August 22nd 2017 by Charlesbridge Publishing)

What Makes a Monster: Discovering the World's Scariest Creatures (The World of Weird Animals) by Jess Keating; Illustrated by David DeGrand (August 8th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Wolf Pups Join the Pack by American Museum of Natural History (June 6th 2017 by Sterling Children's Books)

The World is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter (August 22nd 2017 by Beach Lane Books)

Look for these at your local indie bookstore or community library. 

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: What Are You Reading?

It seems that my life is going to be incredibly hectic for awhile. But one thing that continues to be constant is that a stack of picture books and some time to read is incredibly restorative and that even when things are simply out of control, I need to find time to sit down and center myself with a stack of books. 

This past weekend, I went through a large stack of picture books and here were some of the nonfiction titles that popped out....

Cat Tales: True Stories of Kindness and Companionship with Kittens by Aline Alexander Newman (April 11th 2017 by National Geographic Society) - I am a sucker for a good cat story and this book provides you with some feel good stories of cats and their owners. 

Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey; Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (May 2nd 2017 by Christy Ottaviano Books) - I was very much touched by the story of how the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial was created. Definitely a picture book biography that I would recommend. 

Women In Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky (July 18th 2017 by Ten Speed Press) - Ignotofsky's follow up to Women in Science is just as good. Even if you haven't read the first one, go pick up this one. 

Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville; Illustrated by Brigette Barrager (August 29th 2017 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers) - I had never heard of Mary Blair and the illustrations in this book celebrated the life of color that was the trademark of Blair and her work. 

Dangerous Jane by Suzanne Slade; Illustrated by Alice Ratterree (September 1st 2017 by Peachtree Publishers) - I really appreciate multiple biographies on the same character. Though I knew some things about Jane Addams, this biography shines a light on some things I did not know about her. 

Look for all of these at your local indie bookstore or community library.

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews? 

#Road2Reading Challenge: Comics, Adventure and Fables

When considering books for early readers, I often look for other types of books that would appeal to this audience. Many young children see older siblings or friends reading graphic novels and they want to read these books too. Here are two books that I read recently that should appeal to readers who have developed some vocabulary and skill but still depend on pictures and a shorter length. 

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt
by Ben Clanton
Tundra Books (May 2, 2017)
Fiction * Comics * Friendship
Audience: Ages 6 to 9
IndieBound | WorldCat

About the bookHappy-go-lucky Narwhal and no-nonsense Jelly find their inner superheroes in three new under-the-sea adventures. In the first story, Narwhal reveals his superhero alter-ego and enlists Jelly to help him figure out what his superpower is. Next, Narwhal uses his superpower to help a friend find his way back home. In the third story, Jelly is feeling blue and Narwhal comes to the rescue. Ben Clanton showcases the joys of friendship and the power of believing in yourself and others through this irresistible duo.

Last year, I fell in love with Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea and couldn't wait for the next book to come out. I just picked up a copy at my local indie bookstore and had so much fun reading it. 

Narwhal and his friend Jelly are back and they have transformed into super heroes. However, it wouldn't be a Narwhal book without a twist and some humor. Of course, being a super hero requires super powers but Narwhal's powers are quite unique. 

For readers that are unfamiliar with graphic novels and frames and how to proceed through the story, it may be helpful to read the book together and share some simple tips for navigating the story. 

Where's Halmoni?
by Julie Kim
Little Bigfoot (October 3, 2017)
Fiction * Fables * Multicultural
Audience: Ages 6 to 9
Indiebound | WorldCat

About this bookWhere's Halmoni? is a picture book in a graphic novel style, which follows the story of a young Korean girl and boy whose search for their missing grandmother leads them into a world inspired by Korean folklore, filled with mischievous goblins (dokkebi), a greedy tiger, a clever rabbit, and a wily fox. 

Two young children pay a visit to Halmoni (grandmother in Korean), only to discover she's not home. As they search for her, noticing animal tracks covering the floor, they discover a pair of traditional Korean doors, slightly ajar, new to their grandmother's home. Their curiosity gets the best of them, and the adventure begins when they crawl through and discover an unfamiliar, fantastical world. As they continue to search for their grandmother and solve the mystery of the tracks, they go deeper into the world of Korean folklore and experience their cultural heritage in unexpected ways, meeting a number of Korean-speaking characters along the way. 

Translations to Korean text in the story and more about the folktale-inspired characters are included at the end.

The next book that I discovered recently had a mix of folktale, graphic novel format, and bilingual text. This was super exciting and I look forward to sharing it with students. 

I love being able to introduce readers to another culture through folktales and fables. Also, having the Korean characters included in the book introduce students to another alphabet system and style of writing. 

The siblings in Where's Halmoni? are whisked into an unexpected adventure when they go in search of their missing grandmother. The author's note at the end provide readers with further understanding of the origin of the folktale and the inspiration for the book.

While you wait for Where's Halmoni? to come out, you can enjoy reading the two Narwhal books. Happy reading!

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

Each week, Michele Knott and I post about new early readers and transitional chapter books. Don't forget to pop over to Michele's blog to check out her post as well.