It has been a long time since I’ve blogged. But the challenge for my Top 10 Non-fiction picture books will hopefully get me back into it. This was so hard to do for various reasons. First, there are too many great choices. But my ultimate challenge was I left to the last minute and am now on “Spring Break” (but tomorrow’s temperature in Regina, SK CAN – a balmy -30C) and don’t have access to my library or library system. So I am doing this by memory. Hopefully I don’t forget about too many of them.
#1 – How To Build A City Park (Grade 3 Students of W.S. Hawrylak School)
I have to include this one because it was written by Mrs. Brown’s Grade 3 class from my school. The students did so much research with engineers, designers, landscapers, and the city to help put this book together. They also had help from a local author and illustrator to put it together. It is such a great thing to have a book in the library written by students from the school!
#2 – I am Jazz (Herthel and Jennings)
I’ve included this book because discussions surrounding Transgender students are popping up in every school. This is a great book to introduce to students what Transgender is and how it’s not just adults that go through feeling not right in the bodies they were given. This book is not on the shelves (I don’t need any shocked parents) but it is available to teachers who may need or want to address gender and family life.
#3 – Squids Will Be Squids (Scieszka)
I love this book when teaching about Fables. It contains Fractured Fables and has the students howling!
#4 – How Many Jelly Beans: A Giant Book of Giant Numbers (Menotti)
This book is great for teaching about what 1 000 000 looks like. It’s great for visualizing what big numbers look like. But make sure you have a table ready for when you pull out the page with 1 000 000 Jelly Beans!
#5 – The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus (Bryant)
So great to see a book about choosing the right words and how learning can be so fun!
#6 – If the World Were a Village (Smith and Armstrong)
Although some of the numbers are outdated, it’s still a great book to see just how small we are in a giant world. I like using it to make graphs with students to represent the numbers.
#7 – Gus and Me: The Story of the Granddad and My First Guitar (Richards and Richards)
This is a great story about how Keith Richards was introduced to music. I love how he wanted so badly to play the guitar on top of the piano and had to wait until he grew tall enough to reach it. Such a great book about how the greats came from the same place as us!
#8 – As Long As The Rivers Flow (Loyie and Brissenden)
In Canada, we deal with a long time of mistrust between the Gouvernment, the Church and the First Nations people. Larry Loyie has written so many beautiful stories, but this one is about his last days with his family before being forced to go to Residential School. He tries to understand why he must leave and tries to maintain as much of his culture with his family before he leaves.
#9 – Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall (Yerxa)
This is a beautiful poem about a First Nations child and his father hunting before winter hits. The illustrations and lyrical words show a natural beauty in the forest.
#10 – This is My Land (Littlechild)
Although meant for older students, this book is full of poetry about the way things were, the meetings with the Europeans and the injustices that befell the First Nations people of Canada. It is a very honest and poignant book that needs to have some background knowledge to truly understand.