Welcome teachers, librarians, homeschoolers and nonfiction writers! This blog offers innovative resources for teaching science and tips for writing nonfiction.
Monday, May 21, 2018
5 Faves: Expository Nonfiction Recommended by Catherine Flynn
available for kids today is as diverse as the world itself. Well-written texts
with full-color photographs and illustrations bring the world into our homes
and classrooms, sparking and satisfying curiosity in children of all ages.
Choosing just five books with an expository writing style was quite a
challenge! For every book on this list, there are three more just as worthy.
Sharing any of these books is sure to give everyone a better understanding and
a deeper appreciation of the world around us.
Milner's The Bee Book is chock-full of "the buzz about bees."
Want to know how many bee species there are or where honey comes from? This
book has the answer to these questions and many more. Clear, colorful
illustrations show stages in bee development, how they gather pollen and
pollinate plants that produce food we eat, and more.The
book ends with simple activities that families can engage in to help protect
wondered what all those chirps, coos, and screeches we hear each day really
mean? In clear, child-friendly language, Lita Judge explains the many different
meanings of bird calls. She also explains how birds communicate through
movement. Colorful illustrations and back matter that includes a brief
description of each bird in the book make this a perfect book for any
classroom. There is also an author's note, glossary, and a brief list of
What list of
favorite expository nonfiction would be complete without a title by Steve
Jenkins? A master of combining fascinating facts with incredibly detailed
collage illustrations, Jenkins's books engage and fascinate readers of all
ages. Living Color is one of my favorites. Organized by color, each
double-page spread explains how animals use color to camouflage themselves and
communicate with other animals. The book ends with a brief description of each
animal's size, diet, and habitat.
Birds: Nature's Magnificent Flying Machines, by Caroline Arnold, illustrated
by Patricia J. Wynne; Charlesbridge, 2003 It took people almost all of human history to solve the mystery of how to
take to the air, but most bird species are airborne before they're two months
old. Birds: Nature's Magnificent Flying Machines provides detailed
descriptions of how every part of a bird's anatomy makes this possible. From
their hollow bones to the shape of their wings and feathers, birds' bodies are
made for flight. Arnold includes fascinating details about how birds take off
and land as well as the different types of flight in understandable, concise
paragraphs. Colorful illustrations include a cross-section of a bird's body as
well as close-ups of the inside of bird bones and feather structure. This
amazing book, which includes a brief glossary and recommended bird guides,
deserves a spot on every classroom's nonfiction shelf.
Tiny Creatures:The World of Microbes, by Nicola Davies, illustrated
by Emily Sutton; Candlewick Press, 2014 Kids are fascinated by superlatives. They love
impressing their friends with amazing facts about the biggest, the most, the
heaviest. Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes turns the tables and
describes the unimaginably small organisms we call microbes. Davies's words and
Emily Sutton's illustrations work together seamlessly to help kids visualize
and get a sense of the vast quantities of microbes found throughout the world.
The essential work of microbes is explained, and readers are reassured that
there are only a "few kinds of microbes" that make us sick.
Catherine Flynn is a literacy specialist from Connecticut who is passionate about sparking
a love of learning in children. When she's not teaching, reading, or writing,
Catherine likes to knit hats, scarves, and blankets for her friends and family.
When the weather cooperates, she can be found in her garden or walking her dog,
Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 180 nonfiction books for children. Her lifelong fascination with the natural world led her to earn a B.S.
in biology and M.A. in science journalism. When Melissa isn’t writing or speaking to children or educators, she’s usually exploring natural places near her home or around the world. Website: www.melissa-stewart.com; Twitter: @mstewartscience
• AAAS/Subaru Prizes for Excellence in Science Books • ALA Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award • CRA Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award • Cook Prize for STEM Picture Book • Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List • Cybils Nonfiction Awards • NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People • NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children • NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 • YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfictionfor Young Adults