What’s New in Nonfiction for Ages 2 – 12 (2019)

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I really can’t wait for you to learn about some of these books — especially My First Book of Haiku Poems and Alphabreaths and … well, I’ll let you peruse the reviews and see for yourself.

What’s New in Nonfiction for Ages 2 – 12 (2019)

My First Book of Haiku Poems: A Picture, a Poem and a Dream
by Japanese Haiku Masters, translated by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen, illustrated by Tracy Gallup
I love everything about this book: the stunning haikus about nature, the luminous illustrations, and the deep-thinking food for thoughts notes. Are you a fan of haiku yet? These are poems from the masters — I’m talking about Basho and Shiki and more. Run out to buy this — it’s an essential addition to your home and classroom libraries. It’s SO impressive!
Just being alive,
the poppy flower
and I.

Yummy Yoga: Playful Poses and Tasty Treats
by Joy Bauer, photographs by Bonnie Stephens
What an adorable book! Yummy Yoga features yoga posed by fruits and vegetables as well as kids. Do the pose then lift-the-flap for a delicious kid-friendly recipe such as a berry-banana smoothie or a corn on the cob recipe. Poses include triangle, lotus, plank, warrior II, tree, cat, downward dog, and forward bend.
Added to: Best YOGA Books, Videos and Games for Kids

Discovering Architecture
by Eduard Altarriba and Berta Bardi I Mila
An excellent reference book for libraries, this interesting illustrated book shows famous buildings like the classical Greek architecture, the Pantheon with its arches, domes, and geometry, Japanese houses, and more as well as famous architects like Antoni Gaudi and Le Corbusier.

Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing
by Christopher Willard and Daniel Rechtschaffen, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
Learn about breathing deeply with motions and visuals starting with A for Alligator Breath.Open your arms wide like alligator jaws on the in-breath. Snap them shut on the out-breath.” It continues with every letter of the alphabet like the Butterfly Breath, Cake Breath, Flower Breath, Ninja Breath, and Yawning Breath. We like to do one per day. Read, practice, and assimilate. Discuss which breaths you like the best.
Added to: Best Books for Kids About Mindfulness

My First Book of New York
by Ingela P. Arrhenius
You don’t have to be from New York to love this beautiful oversized book featuring the many famous locations in the city. Read about each place or area in a two page spread with illustrations and vocabulary words. For example, the Rockefeller Center shows the people ice skating. On the opposite side see labeled illustrations of The Rockettes, Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, pastrami on rye, cheesecake, Top of the Rock observation deck, and the Museum of Modern Art. I’ve only visited NYC once so I can’t evaluate the book’s choices of destinations but it seems like a good variety. (Brooklyn, Chinatown, Bronx, The Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, Grand Central Terminal, Harlem, …)

Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island
by Jennifer Thermes
I couldn’t put this down! It’s the history of the island of Manhattan starting with the Lenape people and continuing to the present day with subways and bridges and 1.6 million people. You might not know that when settlers organized into a city, the city’s long-term plans meant that homes and farms were relocated and destroyed which also happened when Central Park was later created. That’s when eminent domain forced an entire African American community called Seneca Village to move, disappearing forever. This book is packed with information about the city including the ecosystem, fires, and slavery. Gorgeous illustrations and readable informative writing, this oversized picture book will interest all readers, especially those who like American history or live in the New York area. Highly recommended.

It’s a Round Round World!
by Ellie Peterson
Read understandable arguments to prove that the earth is round with darling illustrations! I loved it! For example, you’ll see what the horizon would look like if the world was flat versus what we see because the world is round.

Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum illustrated by Andrew Joyner
Not really about horses, but about this is a book about the artists who’ve captured the horse in artwork... Using Seuss-inspired style of illustrations, follow children as they learn about art — from different styles, mediums, and periods as well as famous artistic horse pieces. It might be a helpful book in art classrooms but because of the cartoony illustrations, it feels younger than the demographic it is written for.

Big Book of Jokes
by Michael Dahl
I love the large type size and grin-worth (groan-worthy?) jokes! My kids call these “dad jokes” because there are a lot of puns and plays on words. Want an example? “What kind of fruit is never lonely? Pears.” or “What is a swimmer’s favorite game? Pool.

So You Want to Be a Viking!
by John Haywood, illustrated by Takayo Akiyama
Fun, narrative banter with appealing cartoon illustrations, this is a well-designed book about Vikings that will actually teach readers a good deal of factual and historical information.

So You Want to Be a Roman Soldier?
by Philip Matyszak, illustrated by Takayo Akiyama
Like the book above, this is a kid-friendly somewhat irreverent guide to being a Roman starting with an example entrance exam and application form. Learn how to train, collect weapons, prepare for war, and even storm a city.

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