In April, I did a number of "What are you reading?" posts on 2016 titles that I had missed. Now, I am working to catch up in sharing 2017 titles. Here are some of the nonfiction titles that I read recently. Here are three books you shouldn't miss.
Balderdash! John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books by Michele Markel; Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (Chronicle Books, April 4, 2017) - Though I knew some general things about John Newbery, there was much I didn't know about the man whose name graces the biggest award for Children's Literature. Learning about how Newbery really paved the way for the publishing of children's books was fascinating. A fabulous introduction to John Newbery. Carpenter's illustrations are a perfect match to Markel's lively text.
Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song by Gary Golio; Illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb (Millbrook, February 1, 2017) - I have read a number of Gary Golio's picture book biographies and I appreciate the way that he presents information about individuals with very complicated life experiences and does so in a way that is appropriate for the audience. In his most recent book, Golio puts the spotlight on jazz great Billie Holiday by focusing on her
willingness to sing a protest song and make it even a part of her contract that she would sing the song. Riley-Webb's gorgeous paintings make readers feel the music. Definitely get your hands on this book.
Since I had never heard Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit, I went in search of it on YouTube and discovered this video.
In this rare footage, Holiday performs Strange Fruit, and just wow!
Wake Up! by Helen Frost; Photographs by Rick Lieder (Candlewick Press, March 14, 2017) - Frost pairs up with Lieder for another beautiful book. Lieder's photo are framed by Frost's poetic text. I love these books for introducing young children to books written in verse. They love the photographs and are drawn to the text.
Look for each of these books at your local bookstore or public library.
Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews: