Drawn from Nature

Drawn from Nature”

Drawn from Nature, a beautifully crafted nonfiction picture book, combines illustrative text and artwork. Travel through a year of changing seasons with Helen Ahpornsiri’s art of transformed leaves, petals, and seeds into newly hatched ducklings, nut stashing squirrels, and bud-studded trees.

 

This story promotes creative components of nature, imagination, unique, parts to whole, and combination.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  As a fan of arranging items in an unexpected way, I appreciate Helen Ahpornsiri’s ability to envision the placement of pressed flowers and leaves to masterfully create animals. Her intricate artwork combined with interesting, in-depth explanations of nature, animals, and the seasons makes for a beautifully informative children’s book.

TITLE: Drawn From Nature

ILLUSTRATOR: Helen Ahpornsiri

PUBLISHER: Big Picture Press, 2018

AGE GROUP: 6-9

THEME(S)/TOPICS: nature, seasons, shapes

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: nature, imagination, combination, unique, parts to whole

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) What is your favorite season? List 10 reasons why it’s your favorite season. Use these reasons to create a song or poem that describes your season. In your song or poem, do not use the word of your chosen season. Instead, see if someone can guess what season you are writing about.

2) 

Illustrator Artist Helen Ahpornsiri uses white space to evoke wonder within her collages. What do you imagine when you see this owl?

3) Illustrator Artist Helen Ahpornsiri uses real flowers and foliage, which are foraged or grown, then preserved with traditional flower-pressing methods to create her art. To create a collage, pick an animal that lives in or near your town. Next, choose an unusual medium such as pasta noodles, beans, or pebbles. Sort out the different shapes and colors of your medium. Sketch out your animal design. Using your medium, arrange and rearrange pieces to create your animal collage.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about illustrator Helen Ahpornsiri, visit:

http://helenahpornsiri.com

To learn more about Helen Ahpornsiri’s art process, visit:

https://helenahpornsiri.com/about/

What If…

What If…”

Samantha Berger’s rhyming picture book, What If…, celebrates creative expression. A determined girl uses paper and a pencil to create her stories. But happens when her pencil is gone. She’ll shape the leaves. What if the leaves are blown away? She’ll sculpt in snow. What if the snow melts? She’ll use sunlight and shadows. What if everything is taken away?

This story promotes creative components of imagination, persistence, resourceful, and valuing creativity.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book for three reasons. First, when the main character is faced with obstacles, she chooses to use her imagination and resources around her to find ways to express her creativity. She does not let anything stop her. Secondly, I appreciate the last page of this book which states: “As long as I live, I will always create,” a personal mantra that I try to live by daily. Thirdly, my favorite question is what if because it promotes wonder. What if the world was square? What if I lived in another country? And so I ask you, What if?

TITLE: What If…

AUTHOR: Samantha Berger

ILLUSTRATOR: Mike Curato

PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company, 2018

AGE GROUP: 4-7

THEME(S)/TOPICS: overcoming obstacles, problem solving

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, persistence, resourceful, valuing one’s creativity

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick one of your favorite things to do. List the items you need in order to do your favorite thing. What would you do if those things were no longer available? How would you do your favorite thing?

2) In what ways are you creative? What would you do if you could no longer express your creativity in the way you always have?

3) Create list of “what if” questions. Share with your friends and see how their answers differ from each other. Teachers can use these what if lists for daily writing prompts.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Samantha Berger, visit:

http://www.samanthaberger.com/about.html

To learn more about illustrator Mike Curato, visit:

https://www.mikecurato.com/about

Meet My Family: Animal Babies and Their Families

Meet My Family: Animal Babies and Their Families”

Laura Purdie Salas’ nonfiction book, Meet My Family: Animal Babies and Their Families celebrates different family systems while informing about each animal.

   

Laysan albatross chick lives with two moms.

Chinstrap penguins are raised by two dads.

An elephant calf (baby) grows up with his mama in a herd of only female elephants.

When ladybugs are born they do not  like their parents.

Just like animals have all different types of families, humans do, too!

Backmatter presents a table explaining the language used for mother and father based on the animals’ origin and a world map to locate where the animals live.

This story promotes creative components of different perspectives, nature, and diversity.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because kids can find their families in the animal kingdom while learning to appreciate other family types. Readers can see the similarities and differences of the words mother and father to compare it to their native language.

TITLE: Meet My Family: Animal Babies and Their Families

AUTHOR: Laura Purdie Salas

ILLUSTRATOR: Stephanie Fizer Coleman

PUBLISHER: Millbrook Press, 2018

AGE GROUP: 4-7

CONCEPTS: family, diversity, acceptance

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: different perspectives, diversity, nature

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) What is your definition of family? After reading the book, count the number of different family types. How is your family alike and different from the animal families?

2) Pick two animals from countries different than the country you live in. What are your animals’ families like? How would you say “family” in the language of the countries your animals live in?

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Laura Purdie Salas, visit:

http://laurasalas.com/how-laura-became-a-writer/

To learn more about illustrator Stephanie Fizer Coleman, visit:

http://stephaniefizercoleman.com/artist-info/