Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Who Likes The Wind?

Who Likes The Wind by Etta Kaner, illustrated by Marie Lafrance.

The Plot: At first I thought this was a picture book:

Who likes the wind?
I like the wind because it pushes my boat. I wonder why the wind blows.
I like the wind because it blows the leaves onto the ground. I wonder why leaves fall from trees.

Lift the flap of the page, and it's no longer a picture book. Rather, its a short, sweet, simple scientific answer that tells just enough to answer the question, complete with pictures.

The Good: Because of the mix of story and science, and the small size of the book, this wouldn't work as a storytime book. What it does nicely is work for reading aloud to a small group of kids; and it's a nice book to use to introduce complex subjects (why does the wind blow?) in an understandable way.

Kids like to know the why of things; and this book does a great job of that. I have to say, most parents I see at the library head straight for the children's fiction section, and rarely look at nonfiction section. There are many, many non-fiction picture book gems in the library and bookstore that can be read just for fun. Sometimes I think I should do a display with a sign, "Non Fiction: It's Not Just For Homework!"

Oh, and did you know that leaves have small holes in them? That let in ice? So the tree grows a cork-like wall at the end of leaf stem to protect itself. And then the leaf cannot hold, and it falls.

You knew it? Well, I guess I may have learned it in third grade, but I liked learning it again, along with some of the other things (like why I smell bread....which is kind of cool until you realize hey, this may also apply to some not so nice smells.)


christine M said...

It's easier to head for picture books - because at least in our library - nonfiction in the children's section is everything from picture books up to for eighth graders - much harder to find something in the stacks that way. - But, I'll have you know - that since the Magic Tree House Reference Guides - Stephen has been known to say "I love nonfiction"

Becky said...

And yet kids' nonfiction, especially on science and history subjects, is like crack, erm, chocolate for homeschoolers lol. If you ever put up that sign, underneath you can add, "Psst, home educators, check THIS out"!

Thanks for the title again -- I'm going to see if I can get this via ILL. My youngest son would love it...

Chris Barton said...

Lisa Westberg Peters and Ted Rand did a great pair of books that would seem to fit right in with this one -- Water's Way and The Sun, the Wind and the Rain. Both are stories that could easily fit into the fiction picture book section, but between them they explain the water cycle and erosion better than anything I've read yet.