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Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #31

06 Aug
The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge is hosted by Alyson over at Kid Lit Frenzy.

The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge is hosted by Alyson over at Kid Lit Frenzy.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by John O'Brien [***]

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by John O’Brien [***]


A delightful read with wonderful illustrations. Anyone who loves reading as much as Thomas Jefferson did and who was unselfishly devoted to promoting literacy is a great person. I liked that the author’s notes did mention he owned slaves throughout his life so that’s an opportunity for discussion. How do you measure the goodness of a man or woman? Can biographies be fair if they just focus on one person’s interest? Does there need to be a disclaimer of sorts to try and be inclusive?

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, Illustrated by Christian Robinson [***]

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, Illustrated by Christian Robinson [***]


Spunky is how I would describe Josephine Baker. I think I may end up recommending this book to people who are looking for general (or slightly longer) picture books with a female lead character. At least, this one was real! Told in powerful words through verse and images that matches Josephine’s personality, her life practically jumps right out at you. Full of struggles and determination, hardships, successes, downfalls, and triumphs, hers is a name worth remembering.

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6 responses to “Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #31

  1. thelogonauts

    August 6, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Will look into these, thanks! Curious about your discussion question, “Can biographies be fair if they just focus on one person’s interest?” Isn’t the general point of a biography to focus on one person and their perspective? I think it’s important not to sanitize a biography, but it is still one person limited to their own POV.

     
  2. Elisabeth Ellington

    August 6, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Josephine has been sitting on my shelf for awhile. Need to read it this week. I love Christian Robinson’s art–and also appreciate that this is a longer book but still with manageable text amount for younger readers.

     
  3. Linda Baie

    August 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I loved the Jefferson book, and am glad it included some other things about him, but focused on the library. I also just loved the illustrations-beautiful! I still need to read Josephine. It looks and sounds good! Thanks Earl!

     
  4. Michele

    August 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    You brought up the question about is a biography fair if it focuses on one person’s interest. The way I look at it is it’s focusing on one topic. It’s narrowing the topic down instead of giving just a little bit of information over the person’s entire life. Sometimes I think picture book biographies put too much in, so that you really don’t learn a lot. And if they put in a lot, they are usually too long for young readers to stick with. I like some of the “narrow” topic books. But that’s my opinion 🙂

     
  5. alybee930

    August 6, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I think your question is a good one about biographies. Since it is a picture book format, I give authors the freedom to focus on one aspect rather than every element. Not enough pages to do justice to comprehensive looks at someone’s life.

     
  6. Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye)

    August 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I ditto Michele and Alyson.
    I didn’t know either of these books, so thank you for the intro!

     

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