Monday, November 20, 2017

5 Faves: Expository Nonfiction Recommended by Kurt Stroh

I’m very honored to have been asked to contribute a post to Melissa’s blog. When thinking about five expository books that I wanted to highlight, I went back and forth between the five most circulated expository texts in my library last year and the five expository texts I was most excited to share with students this fall. Because I couldn’t quite choose, I decided to do a combination of the two...the three most circulated expository titles and the two expository titles I am most excited about right now! (Win-Win!!)

Top three circulated expository texts for the 2016-17 school year.

Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Infographics by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)
Combine animals and “world record” style information displayed in visually appealing and varied charts, graphs, and tables and you have a recipe for a book that will be well-loved by kids. The excitement level and conversations prompted by this book are incredible.

Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals by Jess Keating with illustrations by David DeGrand (Knopf/Penguin Random House, 2016)
A whole new way to see pink, Jess Keating’s book grabs readers from the minute they see the cover (Ewww!) Photographs, descriptions, and facts are included in each spread showcasing some of the world’s most interesting creatures while dispelling the myth that all things pink have to be soft and pretty.

Snakes by Nic Bishop (Scholastic, 2012)
Nic Bishop’s books are always loved by my students. The amazing photography gives students an “up close and personal” look into the world of snakes. In addition to the interesting facts provided, students are captivated by the large, detailed color photographs.

The following two expository texts are new books that I’ve been excited to share this year.

Can an Aardvark Bark? by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, 2017)
This playful, rhyming text is sure to delight children as they explore the various sounds made throughout the animal world. Jenkins’ signature artwork is combined with Stewart’s text, that in addition to sharing the variety of sounds animals make, explains the reasons these animals might make these particular sounds. This book is sure to be a hit with young animal lovers!

What Makes a Monster?: Discovering the World’s Scariest Creatures by Jess Keating, illustrations by David DeGrand (Knopf/Penguin Random House)
The second book in the World of Weird Animals series, Keating and DeGrand return with another book sure to create excitement for young science lovers. This time the book focuses on animals that appear to be “monsters” and even an animal that appears to be sweet is actually somewhat “monster-like.”  Each spread includes stunning photographs, interesting facts, and cartoon drawings.  

Kurt Stroh is a teacher-librarian from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now in his 28th year of teaching, Kurt feels privileged to share his passion for reading with his students. You can follow Kurt on Twitter at @strohreads or on his blog Kids Talk Kid Lit. (

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