NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS

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Here are a few engaging titles on a variety of topics!

alex_the_parrotAlex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird by Stephanie Spinner

People once believed that birds were unintelligent because their brains were so small.  But scientist Irene Pepperberg changed that with her experiments with the African grey parrot, Alex, who was capable not just of repeating words and phrases but of learning and using language and completing language and math tests at the same level of intelligence of a young child.

5-11-Ballet-for-MarthaBallet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

Dancer and choreographer Martha Graham revolutionized the art of modern dance.  American composer Aaron Copland is famous for bending the rules of the nineteenth century to create unique twentieth century orchestral compositions with an American flare.  Together they collaborated on a musical suite and ballet that became a Pulitzer Prize winning sensation that is still well-loved today.

5502_LGThe Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss by Kathleen Krull

This biography of Dr. Seuss focuses on his interests as a child and what led him to choose a career as a children’s book author.

Boy-Were-We-Wrong-about-Dinosaurs-9780142411933Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! by Kathleen V. Kudlinski

Were dinosaurs dragons?  Did they slither and crawl like lizards or stand upright?  Did they have scales or feathers?  This book examines historical understandings of dinosaurs as well as the current scholarly opinions about how these great creatures looked, lived, and died.

dinosaur mountainDinosaur Mountain: Digging Into the Jurassic Age by Deborah Kogan Ray

In the late nineteenth century, dinosaur bones were discovered in America.  Thus began the Bone Wars, the race of paleontologists to the American West to try to discover and name new species of dinosaurs.  For years, Earl Douglass failed to make any big finds, until he stumbled upon an exposed dinosaur bone in a ravine in Utah.   Further excavation led to the discovery of ten different species of dinosaurs.

duelDuel! Burr and Hamilton’s Deadly War of Words by Dennis Brindell Fradin

Although many people contributed to the creation of an independent American government, not all of them got along.  Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were two of them.  Their public insults of one another’s philosophies and abilities as statesmen eventually led to a violent duel that resulted in Hamilton’s death and the end of Burr’s political career.

mutinyMutiny on the Bounty by Patrick O’Brien

On a return voyage from their trip to Tahiti, the crew of the British ship The Bounty, decided that they’d had enough of their demanding and disrespectful captain.  Led by the first mate, the sailors rebelled, taking control of the ship and leaving the captain and all of the sailors loyal to him adrift in a life boat.  Miraculously, the captain and some of his crew members survived and returned to England.  The mutineers, hiding from the British law, began a new society on a nearby island.

caveThe Secret Cave: Discovering Lascaux by Emily Arnold McCully

When a group of school boys in France were playing in a cave, they stumbled upon a cavern full of prehistoric artwork.  Their discovery was hailed as “sacred” by archaeologists and has become a great tourist attraction.

worstWorst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the True Story of an American Feud by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain

Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were best friends.  They did many things together–including helping to found an independent nation of the United States.  But when a disagreement about presidential power turned them against each other, it seemed that Jefferson and Adams had lost their friendship for good.  Could they forgive each other and resolve their differences before it was too late?

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