Monday, April 28, 2014

Nonfiction Monday: Nest by Jorey Hurley

When I select books for storytimes, I look for very different things in fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, I'm looking for a story, for repetition, for a hook that will draw kids in and immerse them in the book. In nonfiction, I look more for a starting point, an opening to build discussion on. While you can have good narrative nonfiction, in a storytime setting my preference is for more of a sharing experience where the book offers a basic narrative and set of facts and we expand on those.

This book, with its simple but lovely illustrations and minimal text fits well within my requirements for nonfiction.

The first spread shows a pair of robins with one egg in their nest and the matching text is "nest". The book continues with one word on each page following the robins through the seasons and showing their eggs hatching, baby robins being cared for, and finally building their own nests. The illustrations are rendered in Photoshop, but they look like simple cut paper images with the seasons showing most strongly in the changing "leaves" of the tree, represented by multiple colored ovals. An author's note expands on the first year in the life of the robin family and some additional facts about the birds.

Verdict: Use this in storytime to talk about the life cycle of birds, seasons, and to help children expand on images and make guesses, for example "The word on this page is jumping - who is jumping? (baby robin and cat) why are they jumping? Can the cat reach the robin? What season is it (spring) how can you tell? What other animals have babies in the spring?" A definite choice for your picture book or nonfiction section. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781442489714; Published 2014 by Paula Wiseman/Simon and Schuster; Purchased for the library

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