All posts in Non-Fiction for Kids

Fannie Mae Hamer Book event

Meeting Voices of Freedom: The Fannie Mae Hamer Author and Illustrator

It was an honor and a thrill to meet author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Ekua Holmes of Voices of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Did you know that Voices of Freedom won:

  • 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
  • 2016 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
  • 2016 John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award Winner

Meeting Voices of Freedom: The Fannie Mae Hamer Author and Illustrator

The book also won a silver medal at the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and the Flora Steiglitz Straus Award for nonfiction from Bank Street College of Education. Read more…

Who Dream of Flying

10 Books for Children Who Dream of Flying

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Carole Boston Weatherford! Her novel in verse just came out, a stunning perspective of the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen during Jim Crow WWII America. This is a family endeavor, the dramatic scratch board illustrations are by her son, Jeffrey Boston Weatherford.

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford

… before 1940, African Americans could not become pilots in the U.S. military.

Carole Boston Weatherford’s novel in verse tells the story of the Tuskegee Airman, the pioneering African-American pilots of World War II and of life for blacks during this time. Jim Crow laws permeated the military during this time; the SS Mariposa actually had a rope to separate black soldiers from white. But it also curtailed training and leadership opportunities for African Americans, both male and female. Top brass claimed that blacks for not fit to fly.

Of the more than 400,000 pilots trained by the Civilian Pilot Training Program, only 2,000 were black; less than half of a percent. With tremendous pressure to prove their worthiness,The Tuskegee Airmen earned 900 plus medals including Distinguished Crossed, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts. Their accomplishments paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. [novel in verse, ages 9 and up]

She created a list of books for children who dream of taking to the skies … not unlike the pioneering aviators of the Tuskegee Institute. Need more books about flying? I have a list of female aviators: Fabulous Flying Females. What books about flying did we leave out? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

Jane Goodall: Women's History Month

Jane Goodall: Women’s History Month

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.

Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. National Geographic

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall was the first to discover that wild chimpanzees were capable of making and using tools, a revelation that turned the scientific world upside down. What’s amazing to me is that she didn’t have a background in science. Fifty years later, Jane Goodall’s work is more important than ever.

Gombe Forest in Tanzania

 Map from Betchart Expeditions.

60 Minutes goes with Jane Goodall back to the Gombe Forest in Tanzania for an intimate look at her chimpanzees. Join them for this inside look. Read more…

Top 10 Hispanic American Heritage Books For Kids

Top 10 Hispanic American Heritage Books For Kids

I was confused on the nomenclature of Hispanic American versus Latino American so I looked it up:

Hispanic: a person of Latin American or Iberian ancestry, fluent in Spanish. It is primarily used along the Eastern seaboard, and favored by those of Caribbean and South American ancestry or origin.  English or Spanish can be their “native” language.

Latino: a U.S.-born Hispanic who is not fluent in Spanish and is engaged in social empowerment through Identity Politics. “Latino” is principally used west of the Mississippi, where it has displaced “Chicano” and “Mexican American.” English is probably their “native” language. “Empowerment” refers to increasing the political, social, and spiritual strength of an individual or a community, and it is associated with the development of confidence of that individual or community in their own abilities.

A simple way of remembering the difference is this: though every Latino is a Hispanic, not every Hispanic is a Latino. Hispanic is the more inclusive term.

from Hispanic Economics

And now I’m ready to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with some of my favorite books for kids! How about you? What books am I missing? Thanks for sharing!

National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture.

Read more…

5 Interactive Picture Books

5 Fun Interactive Picture Books

5 Interactive Picture Books from Miranda Paul

Set down the devices—these 5 books cleverly engage your children sans screen. With a blend of traditional format and elements that directly call upon the reader, these five books easily will hold a young child’s attention.

5. Whose Hands Are These? By Miranda Paul, illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell …

(available February 1, 2016) also tackles a nonfiction subject—community occupations—through a series of rhymed riddles focused on what each person’s hands do.

Whose Hands Are These Anyway? Cover Reveal

 

 

Read more…

Top 10 Rainforest Books for Kids

Top 10 Rainforest Books for Kids

I’ve traveled to the island of Kauai in Hawaii and Costa Rica, but I’ve never been to the rain forest areas of those regions. Like Annie in The Magic Tree House, I don’t relish the bugs. Her brother Jack persuades her to take a trip to the Amazon by saying, “… the rain forests are being cut down. Don’t you want to see one before it’s too late?”

rainforests of the world

Rainforests of the World. Image from A Level Geography

Is it going to be too late soon? Is there anything we can do to prevent this catastrophe. In reading these children’s books, it’s a relief to find that there are simple choices you and I can make every single day to help save the rain forests!

Layers of a Rainforest

Layers of a rainforest. Image from A Level Geography

Margarita Engle in Orangutaka tells us that Orangutans are critically endangered because their forests are being logged to plant oil palms. Palm oil is a substitute for butter used in candies, pastries and other processed foods. If you avoid buying processed foods that use palm oil, you help protect Orangutans.

How about you? Have you visited a rain forest? What are your favorite books about the rain forest? Please share! Thank you! Read more…

Zoology Books and Activities for Kids

Zoology Books and Activities for Kids & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Zoology for Kids books and activities

Now that summer is here and it’s easier to get the kids outdoors, I wanted to share some great non-fiction books to introduce kids to Zoology. Zoology is the study of animals making it perfect for kids who naturally gravitate to animals, pet stores, and zoos. They are the ones who want to rescue any animal they find. Zoology is one of many career paths for kids who love animals and being outdoors! Others mentioned in Zoology for Kids include:

zookeeper: A zookeeper is a person who manages zoo animals that are kept in captivity for conservation or to be displayed to the public, and are usually responsible for the feeding and daily care of the animals.

aquarist: An aquarist is responsible for the care of fish and marine mammals kept in captivity.

veterinarian: a professional who practices veterinary medicine by treating disease, disorder, and injury in non-human animals.

wildlife researcher: zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems. They study the physical characteristics of animals, animal behaviors, and the impacts humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.

ecology professor: teaches and conducts research on the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.

conservation careers: saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks.

zoologist: A zoologist is someone who studies the behaviour, origins, genetics, diseases and life progression of animals and wildlife. There are a variety of different ways that a zoologist can specialize and there are many diverse jobs in this field.

Zoology Books and Activities for Kids

I am probably having way too much fun on Flipagram making small videos set to music off my iPhone which can be posted on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or even texted or emailed to friends and family. I’m trying to showcase books that I’m posting on such as these on Zoology.
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Arctic Egg Science: Books, Experiment and Videos

Arctic Egg Science: Books, Experiment and Videos

Now that the snow is gone after Boston’s Snowmaggedon, I can finally appreciate the cold again so I’m combining some newly published non-fiction science picture books with some videos on the artic. I hope you are ready to face the cold again too!

Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern 

Two guiding thoughts about the Artic today: protection and eggs. Here’s how they all tie together …

A Children's Guide to Arctic Birds eggs

Bird Eggs from A Children’s Guide to Arctic Birds
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Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

This is Part 2 of the 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society Award, for middle grade readers ages 8 and up. I haven’t read them all so I’ll use book jacket blurbs with age range to make this list more helpful for parents and teachers looking for books for kids.

Many of these chapter books deal with difficult themes like genocide, racism, and violent civil wars. Will kids and parents actually put themselves through these kinds of experiences where the protagonist goes through unimaginable hell? I hope so. These are important stories that haven’t received the attention they deserve and if kids are aware of the mistakes made by their elders in the past, perhaps this is our best hope they will not be repeated in the future.

Part I from the list of picture books are here. I will post on the best young adult books from this list at the next Kid Lit Blog Hop. Read more…