Observing nature…

Heckert, Barbara. A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E.B. White. New York: Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt and Company, 2017.
Who was the author of the classic novel Charlotte’s Web? What was his childhood like?  What challenges did he overcome? What inspired him to write children’s stories? The design of this picture book – illustrated by Caldecott winner Lauren Castillo – is unfortunately weakened by the font, which does not match the style of the pictures. Nevertheless, this biography is still recommended for curious readers 8 years old and up. 

More biographies

“There’s no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.” – E.B. White

Where do I belong?

Stevens, April. The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2018.
Figrotten loves nature. And she loves spending time outdoors on a big rock on a hill behind her house. She feels safe up there. Like she can truly be herself when she is there alone. But over the course of her eleventh year, she starts to see life differently. Maybe she can find friends at school, after all. Maybe her sister doesn’t hate her, after all. Maybe she can find a balance between being along and being with people.
This 196-page novel is beautifully written. Like poetry in prose. Highly recommended for thoughtful readers 10 to 13 years old.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”  A.A Milne

More stories of individuality

More stories of strong female characters

More stories of grief

Birdwatching

Yolen, Jane. On Duck Pond. Apex, N.C.: The Cornell Lab Publishing Group, 2017.
Herons. Egrets. Blackbirds. And seven species of ducks. Rabbits and squirrels. Raccoons and deer. Bullfrogs and turtles. And dragonflies. All are waiting to be discovered in the delicate illustrations by Bob Marstall. Young readers will enjoy the rhyming text by Jane Yolen, author of over 350 books. Older readers will appreciate the additional information at the end of the book by the Cornell Lab. Recommended for ages 4 to 14. [Ponds; Sound; Stories in rhyme] 

More stories in rhyme

Valerio, Geraldo. My Book of Birds. Toronto: Groundwood/House of Anansi Press, 2016.
Over thirty different species of North American birds are cleverly illustrated with collages and briefly described in this beautiful nonfiction book. A glossary, bibliography, and index are included, and an egg and a feather for each bird are depicted on the endpapers. Recommended for artistic readers of all ages. [Birds]

More picture books illustrated in various artistic styles

More books to increase your general knowledge

Look at it another way…

Freedman, Deborah. This House, Once. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017.
Before your house was a house, what was it? Trees. Rocks. Mud. Sand. This elegantly illustrated picture book will intrigue readers and listeners 5 years old and up.
(If you like to analyze books, notice how the colour and style of the font complement the colour and size of the illustrations, creating a reflective tone that matches the mood of the story.)

More picture books HERE.

Stories that see life from more than one point of view HERE.

Tips on critiquing books HERE.