Focusing on nonfiction picture books



Yet again, it’s nearly Monday (how does that happen?) and that means its time to take a look back over the week past and check out what I was reading. Each Monday Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers host their version of the meme originally hosted at Book Journeys by Sheila, where folks can chime in with their recent reading adventures. Go check out the link and add your voice, it’s fun.

This week had a focus, an intentional focus, which never happens. I tend to read randomly, especially as things cross my desk during moments of cataloging. But, I was feeling like I hadn’t been reading nonfiction, especially for the younger set and wanted to catch up with some biographies and a few others that I had seen floating around the library.


Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear and illustrated Julie Morstad. This one is a charming story about a little girl and her friend who decide that adults move too fast, pay attention too little and so they slow things down by creating a beautiful feast. This one is purely fictional, but it is inspired by the spirit of Julia Child and her strong belief in the power of food, and her playfulness.

20578698Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Hayelin Choi. Continuing with the famous chefs and food theme, this one is a more straightforward biography of Alice Waters, that highlights her early exposure and love of good food, moves quickly through her years establishing Chez Panisse and then finishes with her work around school lunches and the creation of school gardens.

18197197Albie’s First Word by Jacqueline Tourville and illustrated by Wynne Evans. Another fictional biography, the author was inspired to write this one when she read about Albert Einstein not talking until the age of three, and she wondered what that might have been like for both young Albert and his family. It’s a sweet, funny story. I shelved it in picture books, but was tempted to put it in biography just so people interested in him might find it. This spate of fictional biographies are confusing to the cataloger in me.

20613500Lifesize Rainforest by Anita Ganeri, illustrated (photographed?) by Stuart Jackson-Carter. I love this one. The photographs are gorgeous. Rainforest critters such as bats, bugs and a variety of reptiles are shown here full-sized, taking up sometimes a full double page spread. Short, informational paragraphs are included. Perfect for browsing and sharing.

There was some other reading as I’m still trying to finish The Churchill Club that I mentioned a week or two back, reading If I Stay by Gayle Foreman purely for my own enjoyment, and lots and lots of blog posts.



4 thoughts on “Focusing on nonfiction picture books

  1. Kay Mcgriff March 9, 2015 / 9:39 am

    I enjoy those books that mix fact and fiction, but they are hard to classify or catalog. The one about Albert Eintsein looks especially good.


    • runawaylibrarian March 9, 2015 / 5:51 pm

      It was probably the best of the bunch. It feels like there has been quite a few of these factionalized biographies over the past couple of years.


  2. Tammy and Clare March 9, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing all of these titles. We are interested in Albie’s First Word and want to compare it to biographies by Albert Einstein. It might be interesting for kids to think about fact versus “inspired fiction”


    • runawaylibrarian March 9, 2015 / 5:48 pm

      I was thinking it would pair nicely with Odd Boy Out for a read-aloud/discussion.


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