My Favorite Read-Aloud Books Right Now: May 2017

My favorite read-alouds this month. Image credit: Ariane Coffin
My favorite read-alouds this month. Image credit: Ariane Coffin

I don’t know how I ended up with so many nonfiction favorites this month. Happy coincidence! We discovered some new and old library books featuring many brave women, oh, and also slugs.

Amelia to Zora. Image credit: Charlesbridge
Amelia to Zora. Image credit: Charlesbridge

Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World, written by Cynthia Chin-Lee and illustrated by Megan Hasley and Sean Addy, is a nonfiction picture featuring women who changed the world in many different ways. They included a little bit of everything, from artists, activists, writers, to scientists. Each page includes a couple of paragraphs about one woman, followed by a quote. These mini-biographies are not long, but it adds up quickly enough that you probably won’t be reading this book in one sitting. Nevertheless, I liked that the author made a point to include an anecdote about each woman’s childhood to help children relate to these great achievers.

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science. Image credit: Simon & Schuster
Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science. Image credit: Simon & Schuster

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer, written by Diane Stanley and illustrated by Jessie Hartland, is another nonfiction picture book featuring an awesome lady. The book talks about Ada’s life and her work that eventually brought her to Charles Babbage and his Analytical Engine, the first programmable digital computer for which Ada created programs.

The Slug. Image credit: Tundra Books
The Slug. Image credit: Tundra Books

The Slug by Elise Gravel is a short, humorous nonfiction picture book about land slugs. In fact, this author-illustrator has a whole series of them, called The Disgusting Critters series. They are quick to read and quick to make you laugh. So fun!

This House, Once. Image credit: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
This House, Once. Image credit: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

This House, Once by Deborah Freedman is a picture book about a house, more specifically what that house is made of. The text is sparse, which isn’t usually my jam, but it’s just a beautiful fit with the gentle watercolor and pencil illustrations. “This door was once a colossal oak tree about three hugs around and as high as the blue.” Such lovely imagery.

The Journey. Image credit: Flying Eye Books.
The Journey. Image credit: Flying Eye Books.

The Journey by Francesca Sanna is a picture book about refugees leaving their home and escaping their country to find a safer place to live in a far away land. While it would have been easy to overload this type of story with details about a specific country or war, it was left beautifully simple. The images provide a little more context for an adult to catch some subtleties, but the text is vague enough to present the subject as a concept rather than a specific event. Just have tissues nearby, because it’ll tug at all your heartstrings. All of them.

Have you picked up any good books at the library lately?

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Ariane is a programmer married to another programmer. Together they have two little girls who don't stand a chance against their nerdy lineage. Ariane can also be found writing about STEM travel at Geekling's Guide to the Galaxy.