In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
I read a post a long while ago:
http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/top-ten-picture-books-to-encourage-inquiry-by-dawn-little/ on one of my favorite blogs and loved the list of picture books to encourage inquiry. As I read the list though, I realized that most of the books would not be too relevant to my students over here in Hong Kong. I asked, “So what kind of books would promote inquiry and world awareness? What books would be exciting for children around the world vs. a small area?”
Some titles popped in my head. They reminded me that I’ve posted about this before. It isn’t a complete obsession yet, but honestly, I appreciate that I’m being guided by my students’ interests more often that I’m guided by my personal background now.
The World Is Waiting for You by Barbara Kerley, National Geographic Society – Goodreads Summary: “”What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question kids get asked over and over. But very few connections are made for kids between the present and the future. This book shows kids a pathway from their current interests and talents to a future career or interest. And in so doing, it also encourages adventure, exploration, and discovery, three core principles of National Geographic’s mission. It’s a celebration of possibility–so simple and so profound.
Jumping in puddles can inspire scuba diving. Dirty hands can lead to dinosaur bones! Backyard star-gazing inspires future astronauts. Perfectly selected photos make the connections compelling and the future real for kids, then rich back matter brings the message home with inspirational quotes from the real-life adventurers pictured in the images. Grown-ups won’t be able to resist sharing this inspirational message with kids, and kids won’t be able to resist the invitation to let their imaginations run wild.”
What the World Eats by Faith D’Aluisio, Peter Menzel – Goodreads Summary: “Sitting down to a daily family meal has long been a tradition for billions of people. But in every corner of the world this age-old custom is rapidly changing. From increased trade between countries to the expansion of global food corporations like Kraft and Nestlé, current events are having a tremendous impact on our eating habits. Chances are your supermarket is stocking a variety of international foods, and American fast food chains like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are popping up all over the planet.
For the first time in history, more people are overfed than underfed. And while some people still have barely enough to eat, others overeat to the point of illness. To find out how mealtime is changing in real homes, authors Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio visited families around the world to observe and photograph what they eat during the course of one week. They joined parents while they shopped at mega grocery stores and outdoor markets, and participated in a feast where a single goat was shared among many families. They watched moms making dinner in kitchens and over cooking fires, and they sat down to eat with twenty-five families in twenty-one countries–if you’re keeping track, that’s about 525 meals!”
Where Children Sleep by James Mollison – Goodreads Summary: ““Where Children Sleep” presents English-born photographer James Mollison’s large-format photographs of children’s bedrooms around the world—from the U.S.A., Mexico, Brazil, England, Italy, Israel and the West Bank, Kenya, Senegal, Lesotho, Nepal, China and India—alongside portraits of the children themselves. Each pair of photographs is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of each child: Kaya in Tokyo, whose proud mother spends $1,000 a month on her dresses; Bilal the Bedouin shepherd boy, who sleeps outdoors with his father’s herd of goats; the Nepali girl Indira, who has worked in a granite quarry since she was three; and Ankhohxet, the Kraho boy who sleeps on the floor of a hut deep in the Amazon jungle. Photographed over two years with the support of Save the Children (Italy), “Where Children Sleep” is both a serious photo-essay for an adult audience, and also an educational book that engages children themselves in the lives of other children around the world. ”
Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Elisa Klevin – Goodreads Summary: “This lively compilation of wishing traditions from around the world is sure to educate and inspire young readersand makes a perfect gift! Each charming custom provides insight into the cultures of lands far and near while reminding us of the similarities we all share. Includes Japan, China, Thailand, Russia, Iran, Israel, India, Australia, South Africa, Italy, Ireland,Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States.”
Throw Your Tooth Off the Roof by Selby B. Beeler, illustrated by G. Brian Karas – Goodreads Summary: “What do you do when you lose a tooth? Do you put it under your pillow and wait for the tooth fairy? Not if you live in Botswana! In Botswana, children throw their teeth onto the roof. In Afghanistan they drop their teeth down mouse holes, and in Egypt they fling their teeth at the sun! Travel around the world and discover the surprising things children do when they lose a tooth.”
Around the World Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George – 1999 -Follow a teacher as she journeys around the world. She travels for nine months to different locations. The illustrations are gorgeous. I loved how animals left their mark on the earth in some way and students are asked who use clues to determine what animal was there. Goodreads Summary: “What would you see and hear if you traveled to every corner of the world in search of wildlife in all its forms? Here is the answer — and your passport to adventure. Follow Miss Lewis as she circumnavigates the globe aboard the ship “Explorer and reports her experiences in photographs, sketches, and letters sent back to her students at home.What bird or animals has been in each habitat and left its unique trace? From Antarctica to Kenya, China to Alaska, there are natural wonders to observe and logical clues to piece together. Keep your eyes and mind open…you won’t want to miss a moment.”
One World by Michael Foreman – 1990 – Quiet, peaceful appreciation of earth with a little action included for helping clean up the earth. Goodreads Summary: “Stunning watercolours illustrate this magnificent book about the threat of pollution to our environment, particularly the seashore. The children create their own tiny marine world in a bucket at the seaside and, with its wildlife, shells, oil and even a tin can, it is a microcosm of the bigger world outside.”
Lifetimes: The Amazing Numbers In Animals Lives by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal – Goodreads Summary: “In one lifetime, a caribou will shed 10 sets of antlers, a woodpecker will drill 30 roosting holes, a giraffe will wear 200 spots, a seahorse will birth 1,000 babies. Count each one and many more while learning about the wondrous things that can happen in just one lifetime. This extraordinary book collects animal information not available anywhere else—and shows all 30 roosting holes, all 200 spots, and, yes!, all 1,000 baby seahorses in eye-catching illustrations. A book about picturing numbers and considering the endlessly fascinating lives all around us, Lifetime is sure to delight young nature lovers.”
Seymour Simon’s Extreme Earth by Seymour Simon – Goodreads Summary: “Imagine exploring the most extreme parts of our amazing planet—trekking though the driest desert, climbing the snowiest mountaintops, and diving to the deepest regions of the ocean floor. Seymour Simon, the dean of children’s science nonfiction, investigates Earth’s biggest, smallest, deepest, and coldest environments, animals, plants, and most severe weather. These mind-bending facts and photographs invite readers on an exciting, and sometimes unbelievable, scientific expedition of Earth’s most amazing records!”
How Much Poo Does an Elephant Do? by Mitchell Symons – Goodreads Summary: “Did you know that squirrels can’t see the colour red? That Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse, was afraid of mice? That only 30% of humans can flare their nostrils? Or that every year the average person eats 438 bugs by mistake?”
Sunlight Series by Molly Bang, illustrated by Penny Chisholm:
Goodreads Summary: “LIVING SUNLIGHT shows children, teachers, and parents the remarkable magic of what makes us human.This informative yet dramatic book will mesmerize readers and help further a child’s understanding of the energy we share with all living things in nature. We are all dancing sunlight.”
Goodreads Summary: “What are fossil fuels, and how did they come to exist? This engaging, stunning book explains how coal, oil, and gas are really “buried sunlight,” trapped beneath the surface of our planet for millions and millions of years. Now, in a very short time, we are digging them up and burning them, changing the carbon balance of our planet’s air and water. What does this mean, and what should we do about it?” – released Sept. 2014.
Goodreads Summary: “In this timely book, award-winner Molly Bang uses her signature poetic language and dazzling illustrations to introduce the oceanic world. From tiny aquatic plants to the biggest whale or fish, Bang presents a moving, living picture of the miraculous balance sustaining each life cycle and food chain deep within our wondrous oceans. On land or in the deep blue sea, we are all connected–and we are all a part of a grand living landscape.”
World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky – Goodreads Summary: “Mark Kurlansky, beloved author of the award-winning bestseller “Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World,” offers a riveting new book for kids about what s happening to fish, the oceans, and our environment, and what, armed with knowledge, kids can do about it. Written by a master storyteller, “World Without Fish” connects all the dots biology, economics, evolution, politics, climate, history, culture, food, and nutrition in a way that kids can really understand. It describes how the fish we most commonly eat, including tuna, salmon, cod, and swordfish, could disappear within 50 years, and the domino effect it would have oceans teeming with jellyfish and turning pinkish orange from algal blooms; seabirds disappearing, then reptiles, then mammals. It describes the back-and-forth dynamic of fishermen and scientists. It covers the effects of industrialized fishing, and how bottom-dragging nets are turning the ocean floor into a desert.
The answer? Support sustainable fishing. “World Without Fish” tells kids exactly what they can do: Find out where those fish sticks come from. Tell your parents what s good to buy, and what s not. Ask the waiter if the fish on the menu is line-caught And follow simple rules: Use less plastic, and never eat endangered fish like bluefin tuna.”
All of my favorite non-fiction picture books- whether they are by Margriet Ruurs, Barbara Kerley, or another amazing author, here’s the link for my thoughts on those books:
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post). I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.
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© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.