Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday (11)

As part of the Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge 2012 (Twitter: #nfpb2012), my goal is to read and review as many of the new non-fiction picture books that are released this year.  Wednesdays will be my primary day to post the reviews.

This weeks, Nonfiction Picture Books seem to be centered around a nature theme - beetles, frogs, and crocodiles.  Lots of fun reading for the boys in your class and those girls who would rather be chasing the frogs in the pond than kissing one in a play.

Frogs! Strange and Wonderful
Author: Laurence Pringle
Illustrator: Meryl Henderson
Publisher: Boyd Mill Press (April 1, 2012)
Audience: Ages 8 to 11

Interested in frogs? In this picture book geared for 2nd or 3rd grade and up, author Laurence Pringle looks at frogs, their behavior, habitats, life cycle, etc. Lots of text in a much more traditional nonfiction book format.  As schools move towards Common Core Standards and seek to incorporate more nonfiction texts to the curriculum, teachers will be interested in books just like this.  The illustrations provided quite a bit of detail and helped to highlight the text.

What to Expect When You're Expecting Hatchlings: A Guide for Crocodilian Parents (And Curious Kids)
Author: Bridget Heos
Illustrator: Stephane Jorisch
Publisher: Millbrook Press (April 1, 2012)
Audience: Ages 7 to 10

Where as the book on Frogs! was done in a more traditional nonfiction format, Heos uses a more interactive and fun format in her book of What to Expect When You're Expecting Hatchlings.  I haven't read the previous book in the series, but since they stand alone it isn't necessary. I loved the smart Q & A approach to talking about crocidilian parents and their hatchlings.  It made the book very readable and increased the chance of young readers staying with the text.  The colorful illustrations just accentuated the humor that was woven into the text. This would be great for kids who might be less enthusiastic to be reading non-fiction text.

The Beetle Book
Author/Illustrator: Steve Jenkins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 3, 2012)
Audience: Ages 7 to 10

It must be spring. It seems my recent selection of new picture books have a running theme of insects and this one is no different. Steve Jenkins is amazing. His books are fascinating, and if you haven't read any of his other books, you should.  This isn't a text heavy book.  Instead, the book is filled with great illustrations and lots of little snippets of facts about beetles.  I probably learned more than I ever wanted to about beetles but it was a fascinating read.

Don't forget to add a link to your own nonfiction picture book reviews from this past week. Thanks for participating in the challenge.