Time to catch up on sharing nonfiction picture book reading over the last few months. As usual, historical biographies and nature books dominated my choices.
Bird lovers and more will enjoy Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart. Stewart highlights the many accomplishments of bird feathers from providing shade and warmth to more obscure dissolving bristle feathers of the American bittern or the forklift behavior of the lovebird’s tail feathers. A great introduction to the tools of bird life with well-executed illustrations by Sarah S. Brannen.
Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle is the inspiring picture book biography of a slave woman who successfully challenged the writers of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. Using information drawn from the autobiography of her lawyer’s (Theodore Sedgwick) daughter, Woelfle gives a glimpse into Elizabeth Freeman’s difficult life as a slave as well as her groundbreaking fight for freedom. Alix Delinois deftly illustrates the strength of Mumbet’s convictions and character with the bold strokes and vibrant colours.
I’ve been meaning to read Cokie Roberts’ Founding Mothers (original adult version) since it first came out in 2004. This summer, I cheated and read the children’s adaptation, a Cliff’s Notes version if you will. A decent roundup of both well-known spouses like Martha Washington and women who impacted history independent of the men in their lives such as Deborah Sampson.
Malcolm Little by sheds light on the childhood of Malcolm X. The strong family foundations and the role that racial hatred played in destroying his loving family.
Butterfly farming in Costa Rica is handled beautifully in Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey by Loree Griffith Burns. By presenting an unique angle to both farming and butterflies’ stages of growth through gorgeous photographs and clear text, this book will have every child wanting to raise a butterfly. Highly recommended.