Monday, April 6, 2009

Non-Fiction Picture Books

Happy Nonfiction Monday! Check out the roundup at Scrub-a-Dub Tub*. (And don't forget that next week, the round up will be right here at Abby T Librarian!) I've come across several great non-fiction picture books lately, so I'm going to do a quick round-up today.

Keep On!: The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of the North Pole by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. This gorgeous picture book gives an overview of the life of Matthew Henson, from his birth up to 1909 when he, along with Robert Peary, made it to the North Pole. It's an inspiring story and an author's note gives a little more information about his struggle for recognition after the successful expedition. I especially loved the colorful pictures. Each spread radiates warm colors. Just beautiful! Pair this with I, Matthew Henson by Carole Boston Weatherford and Eric Velasquez.

Darwin by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by Mary Azarian. This picture book biography of Charles Darwin is a great overview for elementary school-age kids. It includes quotes from his letters and notebooks that enrich the text in a very organic way. Wood cut illustrations are painted with watercolors to bring a colorful depiction of Charles Darwin as he traveled, studied, and developed his theories.

What's Inside?: Fascinating Structures Around the World by Giles Laroche. Beautiful cut-paper illustrations show different architectural structures from around the world. Laroche introduces each structure and then shows you what's inside the building. How many times have you seen a picture of the Parthenon? Now, how many times have you seen what's inside? It's a great concept and the detailed illustrations have much to pore over. I wish the information about the structures was a little bigger and more obvious on the page, but it has much to offer young architects.

Mermaid Queen by Shana Corey, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. This picture book biography tells the story of Annette Kellerman, the Australian swimmer who invented water ballet and revolutionized women's bathing suits. Vibrant colors splash across every page to illustrate the story of this vivacious woman who advocated for female athletes and fought for what she believed in. Not only is it a great title for women's history, it's just a fun, colorful book. And Annette Kellerman was the inspiration for the Esther Williams movie Million Dollar Millionaire:

*ETA (7:33 PM) Aack! Sorry about having the wrong link up all day... My bad... I fixed it now! :)