Thursday, September 13, 2012

Information Needs of Children - Non-Fiction

How You Were Born by Joanna Cole

How You Were Born is an informational book for young children about how babies are formed. While the author does mention that the egg and sperm must connect to form a baby, there is no mention of how the sperm and egg come together. Most of the book is focused on the different developments occurring at the different months during gestation. Cole also includes a note to parents on how to best use the book.

This book is likely to be “popular” with young children who are first beginning to wonder where babies come from. As an informational book it is obviously intended to be used to teach children about the subject (sex ed).

This book may be appropriate for ages 5-7.

I See the Rhythm by Toyomi Igus

I See the Rhythm is a beautiful book that combines art, poetry, and African American history. Each two-page spread has a painting, a poem, a portion of a timeline, and a paragraph explaining the meaning of the poem, certain words in the poem, or the art depicted. Each of the poems are about a different era of African American music.

This book is likely to appeal to younger African American audiences. Teachers and parents may find this book useful to teach about poems, art, or the history of African Americans or music.

This book is appropriate for ages 6-8.

The Edible Pyramid by Loreen Leedy

The Edible Pyramid is a book that attempts to explain the very basics of the food pyramid to young children. The educational information is told somewhat in story form, through the grand opening of a restaurant in a city of animals. The waiter teaches all of his new customers about the different sections of the food pyramid, what foods would be in each section, and how much of each type of food healthy "animals" should eat daily. Lastly, the waiter explains why there are steps on the food pyramid (to encourage exercise daily).

This book is likely to be “popular” with young children who like to eat! Parents and teachers would be able to use this book to teach children the names of food, and how to eat healthy. There is an endless array of food and exercise activities and crafts that could go along with this teaching.

This book is appropriate for ages 3-5.

Down the Colorado by Deborah Ray

Down the Colorado is a biography of John Wesley Powell. The story tells of his whole life, from his childhood as a PK (preacher’s kid), to growing up to serve in the Civil War (where he lost his arm). The majority of the book focuses on what Powell was most well-known for – his exploration of the Colorado River. Throughout the book there are small portions of text that appear to be short selections from Powell’s journal. At the end of the book there is a map of the expedition and a timeline listing the different locations they were at on certain dates, as well as a timeline of Powell’s life.

This book would likely be most popular with children who enjoy reading historical fiction. While this book is considered non-fiction, it does present facts in an adventure-fashion, rather than textbook-fashion. Teachers and parents may find this book useful in teaching about John Wesley Powell, biographies, the Colorado River, whitewater rafting, or the Grand Canyon.

This book is appropriate for ages 8-10.

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