In celebration of World Elephant Day, Grandma Elephant’s In Charge by Martin Jenkins offers a wonderful look at who is often in charge of a herd. Great information here in part story, part handy informational text box form. The focus on the playfulness and loving interactions among elephants works wonderfully with the illustrations.
non fiction picture book (dewey 599)
2nd grade and up
great for shared reading
Eleanor by Barbara Cooney
One of my favorite picture book biographies about one of my favorite people. Great introduction to Eleanor Roosevelt, specifically her childhood and growing into a confident, influential woman. This is a great mentor text for it’s fabulous opening paragraph and concise, powerful paragraphs. Such a better choice than the standard biography found more easily in the big stores.
Grades 3 and Up
Picture Book Biography
Used successfully with ESL adult learners, too.
Mesmerized. How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France by Mara Rockliff
Mara Rockliff has an easy, enjoyable reading style which manages to include a good dose of history. I particularly like how this picture book biography of Ben Franklin focuses on his use of the scientific method. The author does a great service here by explaining what this is and how Ben actually used it. The story itself is also weird and thus naturally appealing.
Grumpy gripe: I find the constant changes in font very annoying. Many kids can’t read script and struggle to read with confidence when the words aren’t printed clearly. Stick with a basic font; the writing is strong enough to keep the readers interested and the illustrations are also terrific.
Grade 3 and up
Picture book biography