Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #80

22 Jul


I am Lucille BallI am Lucille Ball by Brad Meltzer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Lucy. Who doesn’t? I remember watching reruns after school or before bed when they were being aired on Nick at Nite. I still catch an episode or two when I need cheering up. I love this selection because it gave me a new appreciation of Lucille Ball. She fought hard to be as successful and funny as she was. Scenes from classic episodes appear here which will definitely bring the nostalgia for some readers.

Ordinary People Change the World is a biographical picture book series from Brad Meltzer, best known as a bestselling author of adult thrillers. Positive and inspiring for preschoolers. Christopher Eliopoulos’ cute illustrations just add another layer of appeal!

Introducing young readers to these ordinary people who fought against stereotypes and/or injustice, the books have tackled various well-known people and their causes including Amelia Earhart’s determination to achieve her dream of being able to fly, Abraham Lincoln’s belief in equality for all, and Rosa Parks’s refusal to let others mistreat her and others just because of the color of her skin.

In the latest title, being who you are (even if you’re not the proper type) is what will make you a hero.

View all my reviews

Those Rebels, John and TomThose Rebels, John and Tom by Barbara Kerley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve never been a history buff but reading about the relationship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson was fascinating. Opposites in both appearance and manner but similar in their basic belief that America should be independent from the rule of a tyrannical king, Barbara Kerley’s text and Edwin Fotheringham’s art recalls how these two “formed a surprising alliance, committed treason, and helped launch a new nation.” The additional information I learned about their friendship included in the author’s note makes me want to read even more about them. Also included is a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence.

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The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According To Susy)The Extraordinary Mark Twain by Barbara Kerley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love books with long titles.

I love Mark Twain.

I love Barbara Kerley and Edwin Fotheringham’s work together.

Throw all of these together, plus a fresh perspective from Mark Twain’s own daughter, and I am in heaven. Susy Clemens wrote a biography of her famous dad when she was thirteen-years-old so people could really know the man they thought they knew. Excerpts are cleverly included as mini book inserts. Absolutely delightful- and heartbreaking considering how close they were and her unfortunate death about a decade later. Barbara Kerley also includes tips on writing a biography.

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I just realized with the last two books, I had completed reading the works of duo Barbara Kerley and Edwin Fotheringham for my Reading Challenge. I wish they would write more books together. I didn’t realize they were both from the Pacific Northwest! Here are reviews of their other books together.

What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy! by Barbara Kerley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This nonfiction picture book was recommended to me by a children’s librarian. A great way to find out books you may not have heard of. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and finding out “How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!” Barbara Kerley really captured Alice’s energy and the spirit- even Edwin Fotheringham’s illustrations were exuberant!

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A Home for Mr. EmersonA Home for Mr. Emerson by Barbara Kerley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a writer/illustrator duo I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for. They always tend to find interesting subjects and the illustrations are very distinctive and appealing. An author’s note and a great classroom guide can be found at the end. The book is appropriately peppered with quotes to inspire. My favorite was: Make yourself necessary to somebody. (The illustrations were done digitally.)

View all my reviews


2 responses to “Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #80

  1. Linda Baie

    July 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Earl, all these books would go along with those I reviewed today, too! I loved the Emerson book, and still need to read What To Do About Alice, and Those Rebels… too. I think I knew about them earlier, but have forgotten. Thanks for sharing!

  2. crbrunelle

    July 22, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    What a fun group of biographies. I have read a few of them. I want to grab the one about Lucy. She made me laugh so many times when I was growing up.


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