Book Reviews: Informational

These books are perfect for reading aloud to your child. Check out the books listed below for some fun informational books. 

Every book listed can either be found in the Powers' Library or at the Beloit Public Library.



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Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre




Illustrator:

Sayre, April Pulley


Nelson’s Stars (Out of 5):

4


Recommended Grades:

K-3


Summary:

This letter to Earth thanks her for all she has given us--stones, patterns, plants, things that crawl and so much more.


Why Read This Book?

What a great book to celebrate Earth Day! It is filled with lovely photographs and simple phrases. Consider having your child write a thank you letter to Earth.


Year Published:

2018




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Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes by Lesa Cline-Ransome



Illustrator:

Ransome, James


Nelson’s Stars (Out of 5):

4


Recommended Grades:

2-5


Summary:

Germs. Where did they come from? How can we protect ourselves from getting sick? Are any germs "good"? These questions and more are answered in this interesting text.


Why Read This Book?

Have fun teaching your kids about germs--and maybe getting them to wash their hands more often too!


Year Published:

2017



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Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton


Illustrator:

Barton, Bethany


Nelson’s Stars (Out of 5):

4


Recommended Grades:

K-3


Summary:

Yes it is true, bees can sting. But did you know the important role bees play in our lives? Not only do they make honey, but they also pollinate many of the foods we eat. Without bees, we might be very hungry!


Why Read This Book?

This easy to read book, filled with fantastic graphics helps explain the importance of bees in our lives.


Year Published:

2017


Reading Level

*But Always Remember That Reading To Children Is Just As Important As Children Reading To Adults*

M


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Her Right Foot by Eggers, Dave Eggers




Illustrator:

Harris, Shawn


Nelson’s Stars (Out of 5):

5


Recommended Grades:

2-5


Summary:

This book gives the history and symbolism behind the Statue of Liberty. The tidbits of information and the illustrations, bring to life one of America's greatest symbols of freedom.


Why Read This Book?

This is a great way to introduce the Statue of Liberty to young children.


Year Published:

2017


Reading Level

*But Always Remember That Reading To Children Is Just As Important As Children Reading To Adults*

Q





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Margaret and the Moon by Dean Robbins




Illustrator:

Knisley, Lucy


Nelson’s Starts (Out of 5):

5


Recommended Grades:

1-3


Summary:

Margaret Hamilton helped to save the Apollo 11 moon landing by the computer code she had written. Because of her intelligence and her hard work, she is a scientist who will be recognized for centuries to come.


Why Read This Book?

Margaret Hamilton's name is one that should always be connected when one thinks of NASA. This book introduces Ms. Hamilton to budding scientists.


Year Published:

2017



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Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating



Illustrator:

Alvarez Miguens, Marta

Nelson’s Stars (Out of 5):

5

Recommended Grades:

2-6

Summary:

As a young girl, Eugenie became captivated with sharks. Through her life, she studied and became a scientist who focuses on sharks. Even though she was told that she couldn't have her dreams, she beat those limitations to become a world-renowned scientist.

Why Read This Book?

Not only does this book talk about science, and not only does this book teach us about sharks, but it also features a strong and intelligent female who deserves to be remembered.

Year Published:

2017

Reading Level

*But Always Remember That Reading To Children Is Just As Important As Children Reading To Adults*

N


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What's Your Favorite Color? by Eric Carle and Friends


Illustrator:

Carle, Eric and Friends

Nelson’s Stars (Out of 5):

5

Recommended Grades:

4K-5

Summary:

Eric Carle and other famous illustrators share and explain their favorite color. This book has beautiful illustrations with famous artists from all over the world.

Why Read This Book?

It is so cool to see the different illustrations from a variety of illustrators! Use this book to do a text study on various illustrators and to find more books with beautiful pictures.

Year Published:

2017

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"Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights" by W.H. Beck




Summary: The first impression of this book will probably be, "Wow! These pictures are amazing!". This book focuses on animals that glow. It has two options when reading the book--either read the large text for a more basic version of how animals glow or read the small print for a lot of interesting details concerning glowing animals. Every single person will get something out of this book, be it new information, interesting vocabulary, or a stunning sense of wonder through the pictures.

Beck, W.H. (2016). Glow: animals with their own night-lights. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. 
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Currently, my favorite author of informational books for children is Julie Murray. She has dozens of books on a variety of subjects. Most of her books are part of a theme. The themes include anything from farm animals to transportation to professions. Each of her books has a table of contents, glossary, and some other extension at the end of the book.



"Chickens" by Julie Murray

Summary: Children will learn about chickens and the role they play on farms. In addition, they'll read about the different names for male and female chickens, and learn terms such as "wattle" and "comb". This fun book has beautiful photographs to accompany the subject described on each page.

Murray, J. (2016). Chickens. Minneapolis, MN: Abdo Kids. 

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"Machines on the Farm" by Sian Smith

Summary: This book looks at the farm from a unique perspective--the machinery used to run the farm! Everything from tractors to combines to planting machines are explained in the book. Each page highlights key words in bold text and has beautiful pictures with arrows to point out important parts of the machine. Children who are interested in trucks, farming, or food would be interested in this text. At the end of the book, there is a picture glossary that explains words such as bale, harvest, and pesticide in both written terms and pictures.

Smith, S. (2014). Machines on the farm. Chicago, IL: Capstone Global Library, LLC.

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"Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems" by Bob Raczka



Summary: Sometimes we shy away from poetry because it might seem confusing (or boring!) to us. This book of poetry for children is unique in that in takes a word, makes it into art, and then creates a short poem to go along with the word. This is a great way to get your young poet to start learning the craft. As an extension activity, consider asking your child to create poetry in pictures and words as it is seen in the text. 

Raczka, B. (2016). Wet cement: a mix of concrete poems. New York, NY: Roaring Brook Press.


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"Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers' Market" by Irene Latham



Summary: One of my favorite things about Beloit is our wonderful farmers' market we have from May through October every year! This book of poems reminded me of all that our farmers' market has to offer. The farmers' market is an experience--one that is fun and a learning experience. Each poem in this book displays an aspect of the farmers' market from when the tents are first set up, to the various items you can purchase at the market, to when it is time to go home.

Latham, I. (2016). Fresh delicious: poems from the farmers' market. Honesdale, PA: WordSong.

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Recommendations for Older Students

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Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey




Illustrator:

Phumiruk, Dow


Nelson’s Starts (Out of 5):

5


Recommended Grades:

3-6


Summary:

Maya Lin was a young, Asian, woman whose design was selected for the Vietnam War Memorial. This did come with controversy as she was young, Asian, and a woman--after many hearings her design was approved for construction.


Why Read This Book?

It shows determination of a young, minority woman during changing times. I always love true stories that focus on people overcoming barriers. I would also recommend this book at later grades--when talking about the Vietnam War.


Year Published:

2017


Reading Level

*But Always Remember That Reading To Children Is Just As Important As Children Reading To Adults*

M

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