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04 May 2012 @ 09:43 am
nonfiction picture books  

WRITE ON MERCY: THE SECRET LIFE OF MERCY OTIS WARREN by Gretchen Woelfle with illustrations by Alexandra Wallner (Calkins Creek 2012) is a must have picture book to fill in gaps in textbooks, especially gaps about the contributions of women and other underrepresented populations in terms of contributions to history, science, and the arts. Mercy Otis Warren wrote about politics but did so mostly in secret. In the 1700s, women were not permitted to have a clarion voice. Warren's family and friends knew her as a published author, but it was some time before her identity was known to the general public. <229>

SILENT STAR: THE STORY OF DEAF MAJOR LEAGUER WILLIAM HOY by Bill Wise with illustrations by Adam Gustavson (Lee and Low 2012) tells the story of how William Hoy managed to rise from back lots to the major leagues despite a childhood illness that caused him to lose his hearing. As a matter of fact, because of Hoy's deafness, coaches began to use the now commonplace hand signals for batters. <230>

Connie Nordheim Wooldridge's JUST FINE THE WAY THEY ARE with illustrations by Richard Walz (Calkins Creek 2011) is subtitled FROM DIRT ROADS TO RAIL ROADS TO INTERSTATES. It presents information in a bouncy narrative about how transportation has progressed over time as well as how some folks were happy with things the way they were. Pair this with Gail Gibbons' NEW ROAD. <231>

I, GALILEO by Bonnie Christensen (Knopf 2012) tells the story of Galileo as if it were an autobiography. Galileo tells of his discoveries and how he was castigated by the church for daring to contradict their teachings despite his scientific observations to the contrary. Tie this one to Peter Sis' STARRY MESSENGER. <232>

BON APETIT: THE DELICIOUS LIFE OF JULIA CHILD by Jessie Harland (Schwartz and Wade 2012) tells of the life of one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century. From her childhood to her adolescence and finally her adulthood, Hartland presents the story of Childs' life and her eventual passion with French cuisine and with writing cookbooks. Recipes, maps, and all manner of information crowd around illustrations giving readers plenty to chew on. <233>

If A BLACK HOLE IS NOT A HOLE (Charlesbridge 2012), then what is it exactly? Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano answers this central question in clear language with plenty of illustrative examples (courtesy of illustrator Michael Carroll) served with a healthy dollop of humor as well. Despite the rather complex science behind black holes, this text will be accessible to many readers. Science teachers will want to add this to their collections. <234>