My mind has been bouncing around lately with lots of thoughts...no definite conclusions have surfaced but I thought I would just share what I am thinking about in regards to children's nonfiction.
Found in Publishers Weekly.... Is Children's Nonfiction Having Its Moment? -
I am happy to hear of a rise in interest and popularity of children's nonfiction, but I hope that it lasts way longer than a moment. So, what do you think?
Some thoughts on a couple of upcoming releases:
Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo by Cassandre Maxwell (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, August 10, 2015) - The first superintendent of the London Zoo in the 1800's, Bartlett was truly ahead of his time in wanting to learn more about animals and how to best care for them while attempting to provide a comfortable home for them in captivity. This picture book biography will engage readers and have them searching for more information about Bartlett and his work.
Elephant Man by Mariangela Di Fiore; Illustrated by Hilde Hodnefjeld (Annick Press, August 18, 2015 - 1st published in Norway in 2013) - Though the back matter is strong in this picture book biography about Joseph Merrick, the author has imagined dialogue based on her research. It will likely spark an interest in learning more about Merrick.
Thinking about Nonfiction for Children...
Last week, as I was looking for new releases and as I tracked down some new releases, the issue of what is nonfiction, what is historical fiction, what is informational text, and what is simply fiction that was well researched rose to my mind. There was a twitter exchange after I mentioned that WELCOME HOME, BEAR: A BOOK OF ANIMAL HABITATS by Il Sung Na was clearly fiction. I also mentioned that I enjoyed the humor and spider facts in I'M TRYING TO LOVE SPIDERS by Bethany Barton but was sad to see that there were no back matter included with this one. Also, while at Vroman's on Saturday, I came across MUMMY CAT by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Lisa Brown, which is clearly fiction but despite most authors not wanting to give up precious page space, Ewert includes some fantastic back matter on the Egyptian burial procedures.
Marcus Ewert & Lisa Brown discuss the Mummy Cat:
All of this, along with a twitter conversation about the importance of accuracy in illustrations in nonfiction, a look at dialogue (thank you Cathy Potter for pointing out the article by Nobleman), and what makes a book fiction or nonfiction has me starting to search for more ways to better evaluate and think about nonfiction. Here are a couple of posts that I am reading and pondering.....
Reading For Perspective: Who is Telling Me This? Why? (The Uncommon Corps, July 21, 2015)
Danger! Dialogue Ahead by Marc Tyler Nobleman (Horn Book, April 23, 2013)
What Teachers Need to Know About the "New" Nonfiction by Sharon Ruth Gill (Reading Rockets)
So, what are your thoughts on any of this? Please share links to blog posts or articles that have helped you refine your thinking on this topic.
Oh, and don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews: