Non-fiction

All posts tagged Non-fiction

Dogs and Cats, by Steve Jenkins

Published August 4, 2013 by Dagmar

dogsandcatsDo you prefer dogs or cats? Many people have strong preference for one or the other.  Well, here’s the book for you.  Whether you prefer dogs or cats, here’s a great opportunity for you to learn more about both.  This book is a “flip book”.  Start reading about dogs, then flip the book over and read about cats – or visa versa.

This book provides loDogs and catsts of great information dogs and cats, including  the number of breeds, their origin, behavior, their expressions, how they grow and other interesting facts.  On each dog page in the corner, there is a fact about cats that relates to the information on the page and visa versa.  There is even a page on how dogs and cats interact in the wild and in a home.

The beauty of this book is the way it presents information in small, digestible amounts.  If you know a child that loves animals, this might be a great choice for them.

Story Painter, The Life of Jacob Lawrence by John Duggleby

Published May 10, 2013 by Dagmar

Story_PainterI love to read books about artists to my students.  This book is a particularly wonderful book about African-American artist, Jacob Lawrence.  I used this book for grades 1 through 6 during African-American History month.  It was wonderful to show my students Lawrence’s beautiful art depicting the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, The Great Migration, and Toussaint L’Overture’s battle to liberate Haiti.

This book is also a jumping off point to talk about important points in history.  Like many African-American artists, Lawrence lived in Harlem.  His Theater series illustrates the shows in Harlem’s famous entertainment halls, like the Cotton Club, and the Apollo. Jacob Lawrence was also a part of the Easel Project, a government art program stated in the 1930s to help artists.  Jacob Lawrence was paid to paint and was paid more than many jobs during the Great Depression.

Jacob Lawrence painted on paper and cardboard using tempura paint.  Remarkably, Jacob Lawrence would create series of paintings about a subject, sometimes as many as 40 paintings, by painting one color at a time.  He would put up all the sheets of paper for the series on his wall and then would move among the panels until he had painted all the colors.

This book is really a non-fiction book, but the color panels of his paintings are so dramatic and beautiful in this book that it makes a wonderful book to use as you would a picture book with groups of students.

This book is won the Carter G. Woodson Book Award granted by the National Council for the Social Studies, an award given to books that “encourage the writing, publishing, and dissemination of outstanding social science books for young readers that treat topics related to ethnic minorities and relations sensitively and accurately.”