Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

Book Discoveries this Week: Non-Fiction Picture Books October 18, 2012

Filed under: Books — kirstenjoyhill @ 1:12 pm

We’ve read quite a few interesting picture books from the non-fiction section recently, so I thought I would share a few on a hodge-podge of topics today.  🙂

We had a “Fraction Fun” day yesterday (look for a post coming soon about that!), but I wasn’t really on top of requesting any thematically-appropriate books from the library.  So, we read a different math picture book instead!

Mr. E and Miss M both really enjoyed You Can, Toucan Math by David Adler.  Each page features a math problem written in rhyme with an illustration that gives clues to the solution.  My kids like “story problems” (as I remember calling them when I was a kid!), but our math curriculum (RightStart) doesn’t use as many of these as do some curricula.  Books like this make a fun supplement!

Most of the math operations were in the “easy and fun” category for Miss M (3rd grade), while some were a bit over the head of Mr E, but he figured out the answer to a good many of them (He’s in Kindergarten, but is advanced in math).

I’ve mentioned the American Story series of picture books in some of my recent posts about our history studies, but I think they bear mentioning again.  This seven book series of American History picture books by Betsy and Guilio Maestro covers the time period from the era before Europeans arrived to about 1815.  These books are fairly detailed, but not so much that Mr. E can’t follow it.  Even Mr. K (age 3.5) will sit and listen — especially if fighting is involved.  🙂  The pictures are really gorgeous in these books.   Even though they are picture books, they are not “too young” for Miss M by any means.  I even learned a lot from reading  Struggle for A Continent, a about the French and Indian wars (a time period I had never learned very much about!).

We find a lot of interesting science books in the non-fiction section — some are more memorable than others.  One series I actually  like is the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library.  Now before you throw tomatoes for liking something that seems a bit inane, hear me out.  🙂  Okay, yes these are not classic Dr. Suess by any means, but I really admire how they work a ton of information into rhyming format in this series.  I would much rather put up with a few slightly off kilter rhymes than some of the dull sentences I’ve read in other science non-fiction books.   We read three of these books in conjunction with our science studies in the past few weeks:  Is a Camel A Mammal, Oh Why Oh Why Are Deserts dry and Safari So Good. These books are a good read aloud for my Pre-K and K’er, and even my 3rd grader really enjoyed reading them on her own.

From the Biography section a recent favorite was Wanda Gag: The Girl Who Loved to Draw, by Deborah Kogan Ray.  Wanda Gag has always been a bit of a favorite of mine since she hails from a town I called home for about four years a child — New Ulm, Minnesota.  This book does a great job telling Gag’s life story, Miss M read it several times, Tony read it aloud to the boys…then I just had to read it to myself!

Finally, just one fiction selection for this post (to go along with the previous non-fiction selection).  You may have already read Millions of Cats or the ABC Bunny — two of Gag’s most well-known picture books.  But have you read, The Funny Thing?  I really love this story.   An old man named Bobo is horrified by a strange creature (an “aminal”) that eats the dolls of children.  Playing on the creature’s vanity, Bobo convinces him to eat “jum-jills” instead.   Very tasty, these jum-jills!  (A phrase that fills your head after reading this book!).  🙂

I’m linking up with Read-Aloud Thursday @ Hope is the Word.

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