Awesome books make learning fun
New knowledge is fun in these nonfiction titles
Children are curious about everything, and excellent nonfiction books provide an important avenue to learning, answering questions and generating new ones.
Interested minds need to be nourished, and when they are, interesting people emerge. Young and old alike are enriched by new information and knowledge we hadn't known before — hadn't even thought to ask. A steady diet of nonfiction provides a rich and ever-expanding base of knowledge.
Such is the case with the books reviewed today. Check out the reviewed books below and ask your local librarian to point you in the direction of others. It's up to an adult to make it happen for a child; make that adult you.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
"Around the Pond: Who's Been Here?" written and illustrated by Lindsay Barrett George, Greenwillow, 40 pages
Read aloud: age 4 — 7
Read yourself: age 7 — 8
Cammy and William are in search of wild blueberries for their mother to make a pie. Eagerly, the two set off and follow an old deer path that circles the pond. Along the way, they encounter far more than blueberries.
Clues as to which animal had been there before Cammy and William arrived are everywhere. Footprints, white feathers stuck to bark, mussel shells and a pile of branches and mud are just some of the clues. With each clue, the children wonder, "Who's been here?" Each question is followed by a double-page spread with the answer.
Beautifully illustrated and simplistically told, children will love learning about the different kinds of wildlife that can be found around a pond in the summertime.
Library: Biggs Branch, Butte County Library, 464-A B St., Biggs
Library Director: Linda Mielke
Branch Librarian: Cynthia Pustejovsky
Choices this week: "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle; "Planting a Rainbow" by Lois Ehlert; "D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths" by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaires
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstores.
"Animal 123" and "Animal Spots and Stripes" written and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup, Chronicle, 2012, 18 pages each, $12.99 hardcover each
Read aloud: age 2 — 4
Read yourself: age 6 — 7
These two sensational books take basic concepts such as learning numbers 1—10 or exploring different patterns on animals and make the experience (and learning) lots of fun. Bold colors and striking graphics combine with sturdy flaps to lift, heightening the learning experience.
In "Animal 123," children are exposed to a wide array of animals, from marching elephants to swimming hippos, creeping bears and more. In "Animal Spots and Stripes," young learners explore different animals in their habitat — those that are striped, those that are spotted and one that is both.
Engaging, informative and full of fun, these two books by Britta Teckentrup are real gems.
"Profiles: Tech Titans" by Carla Killough McClafferty, Scholastic, 2012, 144 pages, $6.99 paperback
Read aloud: age 9 — 10 and older
Read yourself: age 10 — 11 and older
The technical titans who have changed our world: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Jeff Bezos. You might know some or all of these names, but it's doubtful you know each of their stories — their childhood, how each became interested in computers, what they've accomplished and how it all has impacted our lives.
Fortunately, that information and more is precisely what you'll find in this fast-paced, fascinating book. Chock-full of inspiring, true stories, "Profiles: Tech Titans" will be hard for any reader interested in computers and technology to put down.
Kendal A. Rautzhan writes and lectures about children's literature. She can be reached at her website: greatestbooksforkids.com.