ūüďöMonday Reading!ūüďĖ

I’ve got some great books to share! ūüďēA year ago I was listening to a radio interview of a person who had just won millions of dollars on Jeopardy. The interviewer asked the winner how he knew so much about so many things and he answered, “I read about 5 nonfiction picture books every day. ūüďôAll the important facts are included in picture books ~ and they’re interesting.” ¬†Of course, I may not have the exact quote, but the gist is there.

You can learn about anything. ¬†ūüďó¬†Just read a book! ¬†Here are some I think you’ll enjoy! ¬†I learned a lot from each one.

WHOOSH! ~ Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton started with a drawing activity. ¬†People attending a seminar were asked to draw a scientist. ¬†Most of them drew someone resembling Albert Einstein ~ white haired, white men in lab coats. ¬†Chris Barton wanted to change that stereotype. ¬†With a little research he discovered Lonnie Johnson, a rocket scientist who also invented the Super-Soaker. ¬†The end flap says: “Lonnie Johnson was always building things. ¬†As a kid he made rockets. ¬†As a teenager he built a robot from scratch. ¬†As an adult he worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Galileo orbiter and probe that studied Jupiter. ¬†And then one day while hooking up his latest invention to the bathroom sink … whoosh! ¬†Water shot across the room. ¬†‘This would make a great water gun,’ Lonnie thought. ” And so it began

Here’s the story of a man who was always interested in how and why things work. ¬†He was always curious and creative. ¬†He was always ¬†inventive and independent. ¬†He was always encouraged to try. ¬†He still is to this day! ¬†Lonnie Johnson’s story of innovation and creativity continues to unfold. ¬†While inventing, he always makes time to encourage the efforts of tomorrow’s scientists and engineers ~ that might be you!

Have you ever wondered where chocolate comes from?  Did you know that it begins in the rainforest?  In the rainforest, every creature from the pollen-sucking midge to the aphid-munching anole to the brain-eating coffin fly is connected to your chocolate bar.  Read No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young to discover the complex web of life that is behind that delicious chocolatey truffle melting on your tongue.

In All Different Now ~ Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, author Angela Johnson shares the story she imagined for her great grandparents. ¬†They were the people in sepia photograph she admired in her grandmother’s home in Alabama. ¬†They had been born slaves. ¬†In this book she imagines the moment of their emancipation.

E. B. Lewis, the illustrator of this story, describes it as his greatest challenge to date. ¬†He shares his process of creating reference photographs to guide his illustrations. ¬†He writes: ¬†“Arriving at a local park direct from the airport, I felt as though I’d walked into the nineteenth century. ¬†Students, teachers, parents, babies … were all dressed in clothing they had researched and provided themselves, ready to pose for their roles. ¬†After an entire day of photographing, the fun easy part was done.”

Next he translated those into images to beautifully interpret the story of a little girl who goes to sleep one day Рa day that has been just like all her other days.  She wakes in the same bed the next day to discover everything is different and nothing will be the same again.  The story is supported by a short history of Juneteenth celebrations and a timeline to help readers understand  the final outcome of the Civil War Рemancipation process.

“Fractions are at birthday parties. ¬†Fractions are at football games. ¬†Fractions are in shoe stores. ¬†Fractions are in clothing stores. ¬†People use fractions to tell time. People often use fractions. ¬†Fractions are everywhere.” ¬†If you’re not sure this is true, read Working With Fractions by David Adler. ¬†In this book you’ll learn what fractions are and how to understand them. ¬†To demonstrate that fractions are everywhere, Adler shares all the ways you can use them to describe things you find at a birthday party. ¬†You’ll be reminded about numerators and denominators, halves, wholes and equivalent fractions. ¬†Would you rather have 1/12 or 1/15 of your favorite kind of cake? ¬†Not sure? ¬†Read Working With Fractions to find out.

You can find a nonfiction picture book about everything and anything. ¬†ūüďėRead widely enough, and maybe you’ll be the next multi-million dollar winner on your favorite game show. ¬†Who knows?ūüďöWhy not!