Thursday, February 19, 2015


Today is one of my all-time favorite days of the year- Nonfiction Picture Books 10 for 10. Thanks to Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek for inventing this fabulous (and very expensive) event. You can read all of the NF 10 for 10 posts here.

Apparently I missed the boat last summer, because I did nonfiction picture books during the Picture Book Ten for Ten last summer too. Oops! Oh well, you can never have too many nonfiction picture books in your collection, right? Anyway, I served as a CYBILS judge on the elementary nonfiction committee this fall, and had the privilege of reading 108 fabulous new nonfiction picture books. Almost all of these are from that list. Many of them I have reviewed on my blog,  I tried to link those to the more complete reviews. 

Everyone knows about Ruby Bridges, not nearly as many know Sylvia Mendez who paved the way for Hispanic children in California approximately ten years before Bridges. I love FEATHERS: NOT JUST FOR FLYING, the book that won the CYBILS this year,  but SEPARATE was my personal CYBILS winner. 

If:  A Mind Boggling New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David Smith
Each page in this book could pretty much be its own stand-alone spread. I lent this one to a sixth grade teacher at our school and don't think I'll ever see it again. 

This was my, "Darn it, I really wanted it to make the finals list for the CYBILS," this year. SHARKS is Roy's first picture book, and it's a really unique blend of picture book, and heavier text pages. Her diagrams are perfect for a nonfiction text features lesson. 

This one the CYBILS this year.  Beautiful, beautiful language (perfect for any mini-lesson on how writers use language, and lovely nature journal-like illustrations). 

Beetle Busters-Loree Griffin Burns
 OR Chasing Cheetahs OR Sea Turtle Scientists
I pretty much love any book in the SCIENTISTS IN THE FIELD series. 
This year there has been a bumper crop.

When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca L. Johnson
Gross photographs, fascinating factual information, terrific format!

Biography about the inventor of the ferris wheel. Perfect for a unit on inventors or on perseverance!

The power of narrative! I love the quotes about how people can use anger to bring good or to destroy. I copied them down in my journal and have shared them more than once. The illustrations in this one are fabulous!

Had to include my favorite Colorado nonfiction illustrator on the list somewhere! 
Jennifer Ward's text and Jenkin's illustrations are a terrific combination. 

Water Can Be- Laura Purdie Salas
I couldn't have a nonfiction list without at least one poetry selection, and no one does it better than Laura Purdie Salas. This book is actually part of a series, there are two more- A Leaf Can Be has been out for a year or two and A Rock Can Be will come out in March. 


Linda B said...

I need to get When Lunch Fights Back & the bio about Mr. Ferris, but haven't yet. I've loved the others, sometimes finding them from your reviews, Carol. Wow, you read so many. It must have been hard to choose! A favorite is Mama Built A Little Nest-very cute!

Carrie Gelson said...

What a list! Many of my favourites here. Being a judge would be very challenging. I have a hard enough narrowing down my list to 10 titles!

elsie said...

Great selection of books! I want to find If. I understand the idea of absconding with a favorite book. I never have, but have been tempted.

laurasalas said...

Honored to be on your list, Carol. I haven't seen IF, but I love many of the others you shared!

Cathy said...

Your list made me open up our local library page so I could request titles. I think I requested most everything here. When Lunch Fights Back seems disgustingly hard to resist! Thank you for sharing your expertise in nonfiction. I learned a lot just stopping by to read.


Tara said...

Why have I not known of "If"? I must correct that, Carol. So happy to see Laura's beautiful book on your list!

Mandy said...

I'm so happy you could join us today and you are right you can never have too many books. I saw If just this month somewhere and didn't pick it up. Many other great titles to explore too.

Karen said...

First of all, let me say how very much I missed not being on a Cybils panel this year; the conversations about great books is pretty amazing.

So, thanks for sharing your great finds for this year from that work. I am dying to get Neighborhood Sharks - that front cover is the best.

Thanks for your list!