Category Archives: #nf10for10

Building Baby’s Library

#nf10for10

Typically the lead up to the #nf10for10 book event is filled with lots of hemming and hawing by participants as they think out loud (on Twitter) about what titles they should include. A lot of the banter surrounds how more titles than the 10 allowed can actually make people’s lists. And, of course, there’s the age-old dilemma–To buy or not to buy?

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-3-22-14-pm

Well this year, I am super motivated to buy books…especially picture books!

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-3-22-35-pm

Without hesitation, Mandy was on the case. (And my profile pic had not yet changed to include baby!)

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-2-38-46-pm

Indeed, I do have a someone special and small in my life. My first grandchild was born on January 29, 2017, and she has been born into a family of readers! That she would receive many, many books from me was never at issue. BUT having an event like #nf10for10 (and then #pb10for10) to focus my thinking about what to get her when is terrific. So without further delay, let’s begin to build a library for baby!

The foundation of a baby’s library has to be the board book. Here are 10 (plus).

614iag6xpnl-_sx496_bo1204203200_

Rule #1 in choosing children’s books is knowing the illustrator as well as the author. In Hello Baby! two perennial favourites collaborate to hook young readers (and their parents) into falling in love with text. If baby loves this book, more Steve Jenkins and Mem Fox will be heading her way!

51zoij1lbjl-_sx384_bo1204203200_

Rule #2. Include the dads. Find a book that dads will love reading to baby. I’m betting my son will return to this book often as it captures the hard work and pride that he values so much.

51vfsetdgql-_sx432_bo1204203200_

With dancers on both sides of her family, there is no side-stepping this topic. Mommy and aunties are sure to gravitate to this book and to read it to baby with passion. That’s key, isn’t it? That the parents and relatives of baby will read to her. That they will sow that seed. Baby’s library has something for everyone!

41lqkprx4yl-_sy323_bo1204203200_

A police car, pickup truck, sports car, and monster truck clang and bang and screech and vroom! This is a book that demands interactivity. It’s the best kind of read aloud because the reader can offer up his or her own interpretation of the mechanical cacophony presented on the page. This is a lively and fun book!

51e3ceuifal-_sy498_bo1204203200_

As the days and weeks and months go by, baby will be ready to name things. Colours are a great place to start because they’re everywhere! I absolutely love the illustrations and the point of view in this book. I always knew crayons were alive!

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-8-40-43-pm

512qouemh1l-_sy371_bo1204203200_

And she will begin to count.

1 is One is classic Tasha Tudor. The illustrations are of days gone by ~ bonneted girls and a boy writing on a slate; simple, natural settings with some of a whimsical nature (I especially enjoyed the “12 baby birds learning how to sing”). In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the text teaches the numbers 1 through 20 in a rhythmical way. A joy for adult and child alike!

51v2cstjcdl-_sy478_bo1204203200_

Oh my gosh! It’s Canada’s 150 birthday this year. What an awesome year to be born in! What better way to connect than with a gorgeously illustrated book all about Canada. This book has legs….in the pre-reading years, it offers wonderfully drawn images of Canada’s iconic symbols, souvenirs and events, including the Dogsled, Inuksuk, Loonie, Totem Pole and the Zamboni machine. And as baby gets older, there is depth to the content of the book like information about the provincial flags. Lots of learning to be had here!

61-2bzatdydl-_sx496_bo1204203200_

There is no way I could build baby’s library and not include something from Eric Carle. This classic is designed to help toddlers associate colors and meanings to objects. The book contains all the wonderful and simple illustrations that Eric Carle is famous for. And its repetitive story of all the animals that are found, keeps everyone engaged, reading along, and chanting until…SURPRISE!

    61imobemsql-_sx497_bo1204203200_61dasdwxi6l-_sy495_bo1204203200_161vc12bxfktl-_sy498_bo1204203200_

Ok. I cheated. I know. But I wanted to include the idea of the series in the foundation of baby’s library. I want to entice my new reader to books not just for information and not just for the illustrations. I want her to notice what authors do when they write/illustrate/create their books. And that knowledge only comes about with some deep diving into multiple texts by the same author.

What is #nf10for10 anyway?

In 2010 Mandy Robek and Cathy Mere began hosting a picture book event that celebrates participants’ most cherished picture books.  I joined the conversation in 2012 and had so much fun that I wondered out loud if a nonfiction picture book event would meet with similar success. Never one to shy away from a conversation on books, Mandy and Cathy replied with a resounding “YES!”

And #nf10for10 has been a huge success, with folks posting 10 books on dinosaurs, or 10 books on the wonder of women, or 10 books for girl readers, or 10 books on architecture and building, or …

Here are the details:

  • What: 10 nonfiction picture books you can’t live without.
  • Hashtag:  #nf10for10
  • Who:  Anyone interested — educators, media specialists, librarians, parents, and book lovers.
  • When:  Friday, February 10th
  • Where:  All posts will be linked on the 2017 #nf10for10 page of the Picture Book 10 for 10 Google Community Site.
Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under #nf10for10

#nf10for10 “Home”

I love this event because as a high school English teacher I work with many students who have keen interests, but low reading ability. I’m always on the look out for great non-fiction texts that fit the desire and the learning, and #nf10for10 definitely inspires me!

This year I want to focus on the ideas of belonging, care, change, and voice. While our young teens are trying to find themselves, they’re also trying to make sense of the world they find themselves in.

#nf10for10

When readers explore the world of non-fiction texts, their world can change. Passions are born, discoveries are made, seeds are planted. These texts connect readers to their local place and to the world at large helping them realize how much we all have in common. But to grab our young readers’ attention, the texts must be compelling. I think I have found a stack of non-fiction picture books that fit the bill exactly!

But first, let’s remember where we’re all from, and why together we need to work to protect it and all of its inhabitants.

1. “If the World Were a Village tells us who we are, where we live, how fast we are growing, what languages we speak, what religions we practice and more.”

This is a book that puts into perspective some of the harsh realities of our world that we might not otherwise understand. Of the 100 people who live in the village

30 people in the village do not have a reliable source of food and are hungry some or all of the time

14 people are severely undernourished and are always hungry.

These are numbers we can all relate to, which allows us to have concrete conversations about those very issues that seem beyond us. This book gives us a place to begin to build understanding, tolerance, and empathy.

2. And yet, we know that in this ever-shrinking world, “we can no longer dismiss conflicts on other continents and in other hemispheres as being ‘way over there.’ Whether through family, business, war, or other factors, we are all touched by them.” (Why Do We Fight?)

 This is a fantastic primer (not really a picture book, but graphic) on the issues surrounding conflicts like ‘Why do Conflicts Come Up?’, ‘Cooperation or Combat?’, and ‘Making Sense of Conflicts’.  And scattered throughout the text are inspirational quotes like this one

You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist. —Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India (1917-1984)

Beyond it’s tremendous content, the book offers all of the text features we are looking for when students need to conduct research:

  • Introduction
  • Chapters
  • Conclusion
  • Sources
  • Index
  • Maps and timelines

3. And conflict leads to altered lives. Children’s lives around the world can be different in many respects, but one thing should hold true: Play is the work of children. Yet some kids don’t have time for play; their responsibilities to the family or their work leave few opportunities for fun-filled times.

It’s for them, the world’s most disadvantaged children, that Right to Play was started. For over a decade now, this humanitarian organization has been helping to bring laughter and smiles to children all around the world. It uses sports and play to educate, to improve health, and build confident youth who want to give back to their communities.

This is what we want for all of our young people. This book does relate the stories of those impacted directly by the organization, but it goes beyond providing information (although it does that well). The book is a also a call to action!

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.  —-Margaret Mead, anthropologist and author.

4. Which is a terrific segue to my next pick! There are many ways to make a difference in our lives, schools, communities, and world. This handbook covers issues from your carbon footprint to ethical food shopping to eco fashion. It’s a bright, well-laid out highly visual text. It’s upbeat, positive, and fun!  Like Why do we fight? and When Children Play, Making a Difference offers up suggestions of how the reader can answer the call.

This text is also appropriate for learning about text features and the research process.

5. What’s a cause without a hero! Well Heroes of the Environment is a book about 12 regular folks across North America who do remarkable things to help our environment.

They build farms in the middle of cities. They invent toilet systems that clean flush water with plants. They protect wild habitats or reindeer, sea turtles, alligators, and people. The book offers the reader an annotated map of North America, photographs and illustrations that do a good job of supporting the narratives. Each of the 12 chapters can be read on their own, which is exactly how my students use the book. They gravitate to Chapter 11, “Saving the Porcupine River Caribou”, because its hero is First Nations! We are always excited to find positive stories about indigenous peoples.

6.  Those heroes of the environment are inspiring, but what about the kids?

Down to Earth: How kids help feed the world isn’t so much about changing the world as it is about understanding how it works. This is our home, and kids need to know where their food comes from. The book is chock full of fun farm facts and beautiful photographs of the animals, gardens, farms, and kid farmers. But it’s not all fun and games. Food is a political issue. As If the World were a Village taught us, not everyone gets equal share of the world’s resources.

7. Once our students become passionate about their cause, Political Activism: How you can make a difference, might find its way to the top of their TBR list.

Don’t let the seriousness of the title scare you off! This book is about pre-teens and teens, and it is accessible for grade 4 and up. It’s value is that it explains the process of going from learning about an issue to taking action.

  • Chapter 1: Driven to make a difference
  • Chapter 2: What’s the problem?
  • Chapter 3: Get the facts
  • Chapter 4: Plan of action
  • Chapter 5: Take the action

It also has relevant resources for further research.

8. and 9. Bicycles.

These two books take us in a different direction when we think about making a change. Sometimes our young readers think that change is a sudden, immediate happening. These two books look at a favourite past time of many readers through the lens of change. Pedal It! is a beautifully photographed history of the impact that bicycles have had and continue to have in the world. It is a very accessible text, loaded with sidebars, pullout quotes, and historical images.

The Wheels of Change is also an historical text illustrating how bicycles helped change the lives of women.

With an astonishing number of primary source research gems, a lively narrative, and a keen sense of history. Sue Macy will guide you through the evolution of the bicycle, its surprising impact on women’s place in society, and some ill-fated bumps along the way. So, hold on to your handlebars!     Wheels of Change cover

If you have girls who want to learn about women’s history, this is a dynamite book!

If you are teaching critical literacy, this is a dynamite book!

If you are teaching biography writing, this is a dynamite book!

10. For those of you who know me, you know that I work in a First Nations high school. In Canada, right now, there is (finally) a move by the Canadian government and its people towards reconciling the past harms done to First Nations people. There is much work to be done. And one of the first things that we need to begin to do from our hearts and souls is to listen. I think this is true of any society on the journey towards true inclusion. This is change too. And it’s all around us, isn’t it? My collection of books is about how each one of our readers can make a difference in the world by taking care of our home and each other.

The writers and artists in Dreaming in Indian made it home, to ourselves, to our medicines, to our beliefs, to our stories, to our art, and to our music, and we did so with extraordinary alacrity, strength, resilience, and awesome talent. We braided the art of the external to our won. We dug inside the depths of our rage until peace, love, and  struggle were born. We scraped together our music, scrabbled for language that would express our deepest sentiments, our strongest desires, and we expressed them.    Lee Maracle, editor

Dreaming In Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices 

That’s it! 10 titles to frame conversations about how we are in this world together! Have a great day of reading everyone!

Thanks, as always, to Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek for their dedication to literacy for all!

4 Comments

February 19, 2016 · 6:18 am

Nonfiction Picture Book Event: #nf10for10

#nf10for10

In 2010 Mandy Robek and Cathy Mere began hosting a picture book event that celebrates participants’ most cherished picture books.  I joined the conversation in 2012 and had so much fun that I wondered out loud if a nonfiction picture book event would meet with similar success. Never one to shy away from a conversation on books, Mandy and Cathy replied with a resounding “YES!”

And #nf10for10 has been a huge success, with folks posting 10 books on dinosaurs, or 10 books on the wonder of women, or 10 books for girl readers, or 10 books on architecture and building, or …

One year, I wrote about a collection of 10 nonfiction picture books about indigenous people. Another year, I focused on 10 titles around the themes of dignity, human rights, and social justice.

But you can’t read them.

Tragically, they are gone. Lost, somehow…possibly to the most deadly of all dangers— post migration.

On the upside, I am looking forward to revisiting those titles as I consider my #nf10for10 post of 2016.

Let’s get to the details!

You choose 10 nonfiction picture books to share. You can share via the twitter community, #nf10for10, and you can add your nonfiction link in the Google Community. Just look for the 2016#nf10for10 tab! We also suggest that you leave the link on one of our blogs in the comment section, just in case we have to move again.

Here are the details:

  • What: 10 nonfiction picture books you can’t live without.
  • Hashtag:  #nf10for10
  • Who:  Anyone interested — educators, media specialists, librarians, parents, and book lovers.
  • When:  Friday, February 19th
  • Where:  All posts will be linked on the 2016 #nf10for10 page of the Picture Book 10 for 10 Google Community Site.

It’s nonfiction picture book time!

Which titles are popular in your class? Which nonfiction books are best for read alouds? Who is your favourite illustrator?

There are many ways to approach this event, so come on! Join us on February 19th as we rummage around each other’s nonfiction book shelves!

Feel free to grab the #nf10for10 button and spread the word.

1 Comment

Filed under #nf10for10