Greetings and welcome to Nonfiction Monday! Every Monday, kidlit bloggers celebrate nonfiction books for kids, and today is my day to host. So bloggers, please post your links in the comment section and I will update periodically throughout the day.
Below the list of Nonfiction Monday posts, you will find my review of Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life's Song.
1. Jeff Barger posted a review of The Secret Life of a Snowflake at NC Teacher Stuff:
2. Angela Craft reviewed I Am an Emotional Creature
3. Shelf-employed reviewed Janice Weaver’s biography of Henry Hudson, due on shelves next month. http://shelf-employed.blogspot.com/2010/08/hudson.html
4. At Madigan Reads, there is a review on Orangutans are Ticklish
5. Scope Notes reviewed Ideas that Changed the World at
6. The Wild About Nature Writers have a review of Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration by Marianne Berkes .
7. Jennifer at Jean Little Library has a review of Old Abe, the story of a Civil War mascot http://jeanlittlelibrary.blogspot.com/2010/08/nonfiction-monday-old-abe-eagle-hero.html
8. Rasco from RIF posted a review of Fractions, Decimals and Percents at http://www.rascofromrif.org/?p=12061
9. Roberta at Wrapped in Foil has a review of the pop-up book Wild Alphabet by Dan Green at http://blog.wrappedinfoil.com/2010/08/wild-wild-alphabet/
10. Amanda at A Patchwork of Books has a review up of The Bat Scientists: http://apatchworkofbooks.blogspot.com/2010/08/non-fiction-monday-bat-scientists.html
11. Shirley at Simply Science reviewed Chemistry--Getting a Big Reaction.
The Deep. Amazing deep sea creatures beautifully photographed.
13. Three Turtles and their Pet Librarian has two new books from Lerner's "Best Dogs
Ever" series at:
14. The Cat and the Fiddle offers a post on setting in picture book biographies. http://michellemarkel.blogspot.com
15. At Picture Book of the Day I have a booktalk and a giveaway for Astro: the Stellar Sea Lion
16. Over at Wendie's Wanderings, they're exploring Symbiosis with How to
Clean a Hippopotamus, a Look at Unusual Animal partnerships by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page.
17. Today at The Fourth Musketeer I'm reviewing Candace Fleming's biography of P. T. Barnum!
18. Here's one from Chris Barton Charles Darwin & James Bond: The
Intersection Between Fiction and Nonfiction
Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life's Song
Written and illustrated by: Ashley Bryan
Photographs by: Bill Meguinness
Recommended Ages: 9 and up
This beautiful autobiography about three-time Coretta Scott King award winner Ashley Bryan is worth spending some time savoring over. It's a kaleidoscope of colors strung together by his inspiring life story. For kids and adults who want to understand how one artist overcame many obstacles and remained true to his calling, this is an important and stimulating book.
Ashley Bryan was born to Antiguan immigrants and grew up in the Bronx. His parents were creative people themselves, and kept their small apartment filled with flowers, song and birds. He writes, "at one time I counted over one hundred birds: canaries, finches, warblers, and parakeets." They encouraged Ashley to draw and paint, and since his dad was in the printing trade, there was never a shortage of paper.
When Ashley was sixteen, he graduated from high school. He wanted to go on to an art institute, but it was not an easy task for a Black in those days. He writes, "I remembered my parents saying that if you are doing something creative and constructive, don't let anyone or anything ever stop you." Someone told him about Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering, where the evaluators didn't view the artists. He was accepted, and was the only Black in his class.
Ashley goes on to chronicle his life, including time spent in the army during WWII, an internship spent up in Maine, his time at Columbia University, France and later as a Fulbright scholar in Germany. His autobiography is written with an open-heartedness that makes you embrace both him and his artwork. When he talks about slowing down and picking up "tide-smoothed stones," and sea glass, it makes you want to slow down too. His appreciation for everything that surrounds us is abundant and contagious, and reminds us to turn an appreciative eye towards the natural world. Highly recommended.
BookNosher Tidbit: Bryan is the illustrator or author of more than 30 books, and has won many awards:
- Coretta Scott King Award Winner for outstanding illustration in Beat the Story Drum, Pum-Pum
- Coretta Scott King Award Honor for outstanding illustration in I'm Going to Sing: Black American Spirituals
- Coretta Scott King AwardHonor for outstanding author in Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales
- Coretta Scott King Award Honor for outstanding illustration in Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales
- Coretta Scott King Award Honor for outstanding illustration in What a Morning! The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals
- Coretta Scott King Award Honor for outstanding illustration in All Night, All Day: A Child's First Book of African American Spirituals
- Coretta Scott King Award Honor for outstanding illustration in Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry
- Coretta Scott King Award Winner for outstanding illustration in Beautiful Blackbird
- The Atlanta literary festival was named for him.
- Coretta Scott King AwardWinner for outstanding illustration in Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals
- 2009 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for substantial and lasting contributions to children's literature
BookNosher Activity: I think you will be inspired to take a walk on the beach, or in the woods or just in a city park and look for the treasures that are always there. Start a collection of something. I know my own family has kept jars of sea glass for years, and it never fails to enthrall us.