The Crayon Man

  • Title: The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons
  • Author: Natascha Biebow
  • Illustrator: Steven Salerno
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Brief Summary: From Houghton Mifflin-“Celebrating the inventor of the Crayola crayon! This gloriously illustrated picture book biography tells the inspiring story of Edwin Binney, the inventor of one of the world’s most beloved toys.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –I found this lesson guide on Library Lessons With Books that uses this book as a learning tool about inventions. The activity they state to do is have children in groups and ask them to brainstorm an invention for an everyday problem.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I really liked that there is a step by step guide on how Crayola Crayons are made today, a brief biography of the real Edwin Binney, and a bibliography list.

Hey, Water!

  • Title: Hey, Water!
  • Author: Antoinette Portis
  • Illustrator: Antoinette Portis
  • Publisher: Neal Porter Books/Holiday House
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Brief Summary: From Holiday House-“Join a young girl as she explores her surroundings and sees that water is everywhere. But water doesn’t always look the same, it doesn’t always feel the same, and it shows up in lots of different shapes. Water can be a lake, it can be steam, it can be a tear, or it can even be a snowman. As the girl discovers water in nature, in weather, in her home, and even inside her own body, water comes to life, and kids will find excitement and joy in water and its many forms.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I think this book could be used to teach children about the water cycle, about the different forms of water, and even geographically, where we can find water on the earth. So I think this would be ideal for young children in elementary school. This lesson plan from Library Lessons With Books suggests this activity: forming groups after reading to designing a water conservation campaign, perhaps creating posters with art based on Portis’s illustrations. So in this way, this book could be used for multiple teachers/multiple disciplines.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –Portis’s illustrations are fast-paced; there is some level of action going on with each page flip, which I believe would keep a child’s interest. I liked that Portis subtly indicates each body of water with text that is next to the illustration, but does not overpower it, in fact, there is white space enough around the word and illustration that it does not look clumped together. I think was a great choice by the editor. I also want to note that our professor wrote this article about Hey, Water! for The Horn Book that you should read if you (as a teacher/librarian) are considering this book. Portis includes a brief note on water forms, the water cycle, and how to conserve water at the end of this book. I think this is a candidate for me for my Best 50 list.

Earth

  • Title: Earth: My First 4.54 Billon Years
  • Author: Stacy McAnulty
  • Illustrator: David Litchfield
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, a trademark of Macmillan Publishing Group
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Brief Summary: From Macmillan Publishing Company-“Prepare to learn all about Earth from the point-of-view of Earth herself! In this funny yet informative book, filled to the brim with kid-friendly facts, readers will discover key moments in Earth’s life, from her childhood more than four billion years ago all the way up to present day.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –This book could be a great resource and informational tool for a young child’s science class as it brings a lot of scientific information across easily. This resource from Stacy McAnulty’s website includes activity pages to use after reading this book.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I liked Litchfield’s humorous illustrations characterizing Earth and all the planets.

Power Up

  • Title: Power Up: Your Incredible, Spectacular, Supercharged Body
  • Author: Seth Fishman
  • Illustrator: Isabel Greenberg
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Brief Summary: From HarperCollins-“Did you know there is enough energy in your pinkie finger to power an entire city? And that everything you do—running, jumping, playing, and exploring—uses that same energy inside of you?”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –I definitely think this book would work for a science class to teach some of the basics of energy in the human body, and some of the bones and muscles in our body. I think this book could be used for older children as well as younger children. This resource from HarperCollins had some suggestions to use Fishman’s other book The Ocean in Your Bathtub (which now I want to find and read) for STEM activities for children. I also think this article was interesting because it gives a brief introduction to Fishman, his life, and his move to L.A. from Texas.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –What I found refreshing in this book is the diversity present. Unlike in The Moon Seems to Change or What Makes Day and Night that I covered in my first 100, this book has a diverse main character, and diverse characters throughout. The protagonist is not “defaulted” to a white boy. Our main character that we are following throughout our “science lesson” is an African American girl and the book is written as if her parental figure is telling her all of these scientific facts (see the first page illustration of our protagonist and her mother (or mother figure, teacher, the relationship is not defined, but can be assumed to be an older person acting as her guide). I enjoyed Greenberg’s bright, wavy, and engaging illustrations too. The author’s note at the end (which I think older children could read on their own and comprehend) explains Einstein’s E = mc2. I would include this in my Best 50 list instead of the books I mentioned above.

Shark Lady

  • Title: Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist
  • Author: Jess Keating
  • Illustrator: Marta Alvarez Miguens
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Brief Summary: From Sourcebooks-“Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary—and they didn’t think women should be scientists. Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname “Shark Lady.” Through her accomplishments, she taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that women can do anything they set their minds to. “
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –This book could of course be used in a science class, or in a history class when talking about diversity/sexism in the field of science. I think this book can be for younger readers and older readers.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I like that there is an author’s note, two pages on sharks, a timeline of Eugenie Clark’s life, and a bibliography. Miguens illustrations are colorful, with blues and greens abounding, really connecting the reader with the sea. I think my favorite illustration is of a young Eugenie Clark pretending to have gills and swim in the aquarium and imagining fish swimming with her.

Honeybee

  • Title: Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
  • Author: Candance Fleming
  • Illustrator: Eric Rohmann
  • Publisher: Neal Porter Books/ Holiday House Books
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Brief Summary: From Holiday House Books-“A tiny honeybee emerges through the wax cap of her cell. Driven to protect and take care of her hive, she cleans the nursery and feeds the larvae and the queen. But is she strong enough to fly? Not yet!”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – This could definitely be used in a science class to teach children the importance of bees to our environment and our daily food intake.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –Rohmann’s illustrations are luminous, making the bees look real. I also like that Fleming included a dictionary of words, a summary of why bees are important to our environment, and a diagram of the bee. The acknowledgement at the top of the book shows that Fleming and Rohmann gathered their research from doctors, and researchers.

What Makes Day and Night

  • Title: What Makes Day and Night
  • Author: Franklyn M. Branley
  • Illustrator: Arthur Dorros
  • Publisher: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication year: 1986
  • Brief Summary: From HarperCollins-“Read and find out about what makes day and night in this colorfully illustrated nonfiction picture book.
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – Much like The Moon Seems to Change, I’m not sure based on the copyright that this would be in a current school library. However, if it were to be used it could be in a school setting, it could be used in a science class, and also could be used for older children.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I do think this book, and The Moon Seems to Change are informational for children, but not certain that with the copyright this would be in circulation.

The Moon Seems to Change

  • Title: The Moon Seems to Change
  • Author: Franklyn M. Branley
  • Illustrator: Barbara and Ed Emberley
  • Publisher: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
  • Publication year: 1987
  • Brief Summary: From HarperCollins-“This clear and appealing science book for early elementary age kids, both at home and in the classroom, introduces basic information about the moon.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I am not sure what the current market is for science picture books, but I am not sure if this book, while obviously used in the public library setting, would still be in circulation in a school library. However, I do think that this book would be excellent as a visual representation of the phases of the moon that could also be used for older children. The activity in the book would also be something that could be done as a class.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – Because I am not sure that this would even be in circulation in a school library, I don’t know that I recommend this one.

Prehistoric Actual Size

  • Title: Prehistoric Actual Size
  • Author: Steve Jenkins
  • Illustrator: Steve Jenkins
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
  • Publication year: 2005
  • Brief Summary: From Houghton Mifflin-“What is it like to come face-to-face with the ten-foot-tall terror bird? Or stare into the mouth of the largest meat eater ever to walk the earth? Can you imagine a millipede that is more than six feet long, or a dinosaur smaller than a chicken? In this “actual size” look at the prehistoric world, which includes two dramatic gatefolds, you’ll meet these awe-inspiring creatures, as well as many others.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – This book would be great for young children to get familiar with prehistoric animals. This book could be used in a science class also. I also think that this book could be used for older children too, not just young children.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I think children who are interested in science, or young children who are fascinated by dinosaurs will find this picture book interesting. I like the colorful, some full-size illustrations as well.

Moonshot

  • Title: Moonshot
  • Author: Brian Floca
  • Illustrator: Brian Floca
  • Publisher: A Richard Jackson Book, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
  • Publication year: 2009
  • Brief Summary: From Simon & Schuster-“Simply told, grandly shown, and now with eight additional pages of brand-new art and more in-depth information about the historic moon landing, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure and discovery—a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –Much like in Locomotive, I think this book could be used in a social sciences class, in history class, or of course in a science class. This book is great for introducing children to the first steps on the moon and giving an great overview of the different steps to space.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I liked the instructional panels in the front of the book that shows the different parts of the spaceship. Floca’s use of different text, much like in Locomotive, I feel this would keep children’s attention.