Thank you everyone for participating each week in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge (#nfpb2015). It is one of my highlights of the week to see all of the books that everyone has read and included in their posts. Today's post is a mixture of mini reviews of some previously released titles and upcoming releases. - Happy Reading!
Mumbet's Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfe; Illustrated by Alix Delinois (Carolrhoda Books, January 1, 2014) - Mumbet is a perfect story for both Black History Month and Women's History Month. Mumbet was a slave in Massachusetts in the 1700's. She believed the words that she heard that said that "All men are born free and equal." In an effort to test those words and fight for her freedom, she found a lawyer to help represent her in court. Though I was not as familiar with Mumbet's story, Woelfe provides readers with a way to learn about Mumbet and her courage in fighting for her freedom.
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; Illustrated by Frank Morrison (Lee & Low Books, April 1, 2014) - This is another picture book biography featuring an African American woman, but in a completely different time period. Little Melba was a talented musician and made a name for herself as a jazz musician. Not only did she need to compete amongst men but faced the same racial discrimination as other black musicians of the time. If you are not familiar with Little Melba, Russell-Brown provides readers with an engaging introduction to this fascinating woman. Little Melba recently won a Coretta Scott King Honor Medal for illustrations.
The Case for Loving: The Fight For Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko; Illustrated by Sean Qualls & Selina Alko (Arthur A. Levine, January 27, 2015) - Living in an area where there are many interracial families, I forget that even today in some areas, communities are not always accepting of interracial relationships. It was also not very long ago that interracial marriage was illegal. Alko tells the story of Mildred and Richard Loving who lived in Virginia in the 1960's, fell in love, and wanted to live together as a married couple. Despite crossing state boundaries to marry, the Lovings were still considered to be illegally co-habitating in their home state. In 1967, the Supreme Court heard their case, and ruled in favor of the Lovings. Definitely a book to add to a classroom, or school library collection.
Look for these books coming out later this spring:
Elvis: The Story of the Rock and Roll King by Bonnie Christensen (Henry Holt & Co., April 21, 2015) - It was somewhat bittersweet when I picked up this advanced copy of a picture book biography of Elvis. Bonnie Christensen passed away last month from ovarian cancer. I have read and appreciated a number of Christensen's book and enjoyed her take on the early life of Elvis Presley. Though Christensen avoids some of the challenges and struggles Elvis had with alcohol and drugs, she chooses instead to focus on his gifted voice and family struggles as a child, teen and young man. A timeline at the end of the book provides readers with additional information along with an author's note and some other information.
How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz by Jonah Winter; Illustrated by Keith Mallett (Roaring Brook Press, June 16, 2015) - Winter has written dozens of picture book biographies of famous people, politicians, sports figures, artists, and musicians. In his latest picture book biography, he tells the story of Jelly Roll Morton and his contribution to the world of jazz musician. Maybe due to Morton's early life in New Orleans or colorful claims about his influence on jazz, Winter has taken a more creative storytelling approach to this story. Though an enjoyable read, I would supplement this with some additional facts about the famous musician.
The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea by Brenda Z. Guiberson; Illustrated by Gennady Spirin (Henry Holt & Co., June 16, 2015) - Though I would love everyone to read all of the titles featured this week, I would recommend placing this one high on your TBR list. Sadly, you have to wait until the middle June in order to pick this one up. However, I anticipate this one being a huge hit with children. Guiberson uses a first person narrative to describe why each creature should be considered the most amazing creature in the sea making this book both a perfect read aloud, and also one that teachers can use as a mentor text. Spirin's illustrations further draw in readers. Definitely a must buy.
Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews: