We don’t write this phrase often as adults but…I am so proud of myself! This is my second Nonfiction Monday post.
Last week I admitted to my bias against nonfiction. My hope was that Nonfiction Monday would force me out of my comfort zone and so far, so good.
In making this realization, I’ve also noticed that my girls actually enjoy reading some nonfiction. I’ve equated it to my shock upon finally understanding that my daughters like orange popsicles. A few years ago, we were at the pool and the boy at the snack shop told us that the only flavor they had left was orange. As someone who only eats red or purple frozen treats I started to turn away when Caroline said, “Great!” and then proceeded to devour the orange popsicle. Imagine the discovery that your children are independent thinkers who might enjoy things that you don’t…
So not only has Nonfiction Monday opened my mind to a whole new genre but it has allowed my daughters to get a taste of something new that they enjoy.
Last night I introduced the girls to Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors.
I learned about this title a few weeks ago when I was lucky enough to attend Dr. Peggy Sharp’s, What’s New in Children Literature conference. I left this day poorer in money thanks to a well stocked book seller but much richer in information. My list of books to share grew and grew with each word out of Dr. Sharp’s mouth. It is truly amazing how many books are published each year and how many of them go relatively unnoticed.
Fortunately, Ubiquoitous is a title that is being noticed. Each page features an aspect of nature that is everywhere but often under appreciated. What makes this nonfiction title unique is the combination of poetry and facts sprinkled throughout the book. For each ubiquitous piece of nature, the reader can discover information through both poetry and a straight forward factual presentation. The beauty of this book is it’s ability to tap into reader’s different preferences and strengths. My older daughter asked on each page for the poetry to be read while my younger daughter clamored to learn tiny tidbits of information buried in the paragraphs.
Our favorite poem was “Shark” where each letter of the word ‘shark’ was drawn out of words that described the creature. We read,
“Rubber mallet snout bristling teeth. Gills, gills, gills, dense sleek, chain mail. Flexible cartilage frame, shark, shark, shark!”
And then our favorite paragraph was the one in which we learned that the following about ants: “There are more ants than other animal in the world. Some scientists estimate that the total weight of all ants on the planet equals the total weight of all humans.”
Amazing the things you can learn when you begin to read nonfiction….