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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Category Archives: nonfiction monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday! Created by Picture Book of the Day, it’s where book bloggers feature a nonfiction book for kids.  

Wendie’s Wanderings hosts the roundup this week.

Today I’ll be reviewing a title sent to me by Capstone Publishers, Animal Rights: How You Can Make a Difference by Rhonda Lucas Donald.

This is an excellent book for any child or classroom interested in animal rights.  It’s not just a guide to how others make a difference, it emphasizes how anyone can.   Throughout the book, there’s several stories of teens who saw an injustice to animals and fought to right it.   As the book opens, we learn the story of Haley, who lost her dog due to antifreeze poisoning, and fought to get her home state of Tennessee to require manufacturers a bitter chemical. Her campaign paid off, and the bill she proposed became a law.

Each chapter of Animal Rights illustrates a step towards activism. This format makes it a great classroom addition, as it goes through all the parts required for such a campaign: brainstorming, research,  mapping out a plan, etc.  Keeping its young audience in mind at all times, the book asks the reader to consider the reliability of any website (such as looking for university and government websites first), book, etc,  to look out for bias and stereotyping.  Also, when discussing online communication for their cause,  it does remind children to use caution online and never reveal private information.  Finally, the resources section of Animal Rights offers the Capstone Facthound service, where readers simply plug in the book’s unique ID number in the Facthound website, and will receive quality and kid-safe websites on the topic.

With a kid-friendly approach towards a complex issue and a helpful guide for their campaign, Animal Rights is a must-have.  Slim but loaded with information, plus tips, a glossary, and additional resources, it’s the perfect introduction to giving children a voice for a concern.

Animal Rights: How You Can Make a Difference is part of Capstone’s Take Action! series.  Learn more about the series at the publisher’s website

Copy for review provided by the publisher.

Title: Animal Rights
Author: Rhonda Lucas Donald
Date: 2009
Publisher:  Capstone Publishers
Pages: 32
Format: Hardback


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I didn’t know what Seneca Falls was until I was in college.  If I had this book when younger, I think I’d have a much better appreciation for women’s rights than the two paragraphs offered it in my sixth grade.
For Nonfiction Monday, I’m reviewing Women’s Right to Vote by Terry Collins, published by Capstone Press.
Moms Inspire Learning hosts Nonfiction Monday this week.
I hesitate to call Women’s Right to Vote a graphic novel, as the events inside are factual. It’s an illustrated history book.
Women’s Right to Vote is divided into chapters,  each a pivotal point in women’s suffrage. “Colonial times”, “the 19th Amendment,” etc.  The first page starts off with the image of the modern teenager, cell-phone in hand, being told “to remember to vote!” It acknowledges that sometimes the decision will be hard, but the choice is the voter’s alone.    I like this, because too often, when younger, I heard that the right to vote was hard fought and was told my voice was important, but nobody clarified exactly why.
The images inside are cartoons depicting various points in history. John Adams working on The Declaration of Independence, and Abigail Adams reminding him to “remember the ladies!”  New Jersey as the one state that allowed women’s rights, after the passing of the Constitution.   Every page has a sidebar of a term such as abolition, suffrage, and others.
As the pages continue, they reflect the changing climates in women’s history.  Sojurner Truth’s “Ain’t It a Woman?” speech is referenced as is a the Declaration of Sentiments.  The opposition of women’s suffrage is also represented, and finally, we end at a look at women in government today, with Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton.
There’s a lot of information packed in this slim volume of women’s history. With eye-catching humorous cartoons and facts presented in a whimsical manner, Women’s Right to Vote offers a nice primer on women’s suffrage.  If a reader wants to learn more, there’s an additional reading list. My only complaint is I felt the additional reading resources could’ve been an entire page, but Capstone Press books are linked to Facthound, their child-safe research database, and that will yield plenty of information.
Copy for review provided by the publisher.
Title: Women’s Right to Vote
Author: Terry Collins (illus. by Brian Bascle)
Date: 2009
Publisher: Capstone Press
Pages: 32
Format: Hardback

It’s Nonfiction Monday! Created by Picture Book of the Day, it’s where book bloggers feature a nonfiction book for kids.

This week’s Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Wendie’s Wanderings

This week’s pick is Sea Soup: Zooplankton by Mary M. Cerullo, featuring photography by Bill Curtsinger.

Sea Soup: Zooplankton introduces readers to the various forms of the organism.  From the moment you open this book, stunning underwater images greet you.  The layout is very attractive, and catches your eye immediately. There’s splashes of color, vibrant photos in bubbles, but it still flows well, so you get all the information at an easy pace.

The opening starts off as if fiction and the letters cascade down the side of the page, a visual representation of a diver’s descent down below:
The moment they dropped into the dark,alien world, the searchers knew they were not alone. – (p.2, Sea Soup: Zooplankton)

The book talks directly to the reader, asking questions, inviting the reader to explore the world of the zooplankton.  On one page, it’s stark white, and in the middle, a bright colorful photo of a a jellyfish and the text, “Who’s who in a zoo plankton zoo?” or “Are there zooplankton you don’t ever want to bump into?”  The corresponding pages then answer the question. This theme continues throughout the book, always engaging the reader into a discussion.

Reference wise, Sea Soup: Zooplankton packs a lot into a thin book.   Sizes, their diets, the life cycles, and the various types of zooplankton are covered. Prior to reading this book, my plankton knowledge involved Spongebob Squarepants, and this book definitely filled in the gaps.     There’s a glossary and even an additional teacher’s guide available from the publisher, for those who want more information.

Copy for review provided by the publisher.

Title: Sea Soup: Zooplankton

Author: Mary Cerullo

Date: 2001
Publisher: Tilbury House

Pages: 40

Format: Hardback

It’s Non Fiction Monday! Created by Picture Book of the Day, it’s where book bloggers feature a nonfiction book for kids. This is my first time participating, and first up is Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World by Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress.

An Audubon book, Saving Birds features five stories of birds nearing extinction, and the efforts mounted by ordinary people to save them.   

The strongest point of the book is the variety of birds featured, the species aren’t common birds and the bright photographs alongside the text really educate the reader on the birds.  From Black Robins in New Zealand, to Common Murres in California, a worldwide view of threatened species, and the varying attempts to preserve their numbers.
Readers travel worldwide, to locations such as Israel, where the number of Lesser Kestrel pairs is below a thousand, or China, where the Black Necked Cranes’ wetlands are dwindling.
Particular favorite: The story of the Quetzals of Chiapas, Mexico, and Oswoldo Contreras and Gonzalo Del Carpio, who put on school productions educating children about the bird, who was once worshipped by the Mayan and Aztec Indians. The two pass out coloring books after their puppet shows, and children write letters pledging their support.

This is a great title that demonstrates to kids and adults that everyone has the power to help wildlife.  One minor thing: The font on the back cover is in red, and is hard to read when paired with the dark green background color.

Copy for review provided by the publisher.
Title: Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World
Author: Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress
Date: September 2005
Publisher: Tilbury House
Pages: 40

Format: Trade paperback