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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Give Thanks for NONFICTION MONDAY in Practically Paradise

Give Thanks for great friends and colleagues as we share our favorite nonfiction titles with  Nonfiction Monday here in practically paradise. Nonfiction Monday Nonfiction Mondayis a celebration of nonfiction children’s books. Kidlitosphere Bloggers with nonfiction posts will be featured here today as we host. Keep checking back & clicking Read More throughout the day as the links grow. I hope you will discover reasons to be thankful for nonfiction on this Monday.

If you have written a nonfiction post today to include, you can email me (best option) or you can leave the URL in the comments section. Just remember to leave off the http:// because the comments machinery rejects it. 

Mother Reader

The heart of a Mother.
The soul of a Reader.

MotherReader (Pamela Coughlin) is helping your holiday shopping by pairing up nonfiction books with other gifts at 


Great Kid Books:

A site to help parents learn about great books for their kids ages 4 – 14

Mary Ann Scheuer of Great Kid Books writes about resources to learn more about Wampanoag and English people living in Plimoth in the 17th century: Thinking about Thanksgiving (ages 5 – 12).


In Need of Chocolate

Books, Parenting, Homeschooling, and More Books

Sarah Neal has reviewed Pilgrims  (A Magic Tree House Research Guide) at the blog In Need of Chocolate.

Magic Tree House Research Guide #13: Pilgrims

A Patchwork of Books Amanda Snow has a review of If I Had a Hammer over at A Patchwork of Books.

Abby (the) Librarian

The blog of a semi-new public librarian posting about good books, children’s programming, and anything else library or kid-lit related.

Abby (the) Librarian reviews The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix. 


Simply Science

Using books for easy science lessons.

Shirley Duke has a post about Life in the Boreal Forest at SimplyScience 


The Book Nosher

Noshing my way through children’s literature, one book at a time 

Robin Gaphni at The Book Nosher posted about Life-Size Zoo:

Wild About Nature

A Place to Go Wild About Books and Their Creators

Heidi Bee Roemer reviews How Many Ways Can You Catch A Fly? by Steve Jenkins this week at the Wild About Nature blog:


Bedtime Booktalks:
Short, mini reviews of adult and young adult books from 2 Librarians.
Laura Warren-Gross at  Bedtime Booktalks shares her review of Go Straight to the Source by Kristin Fontichiaro which is part of the forthcoming 8-title series "Super Smart Information Strategies." 

Wendie’s Wanderings 

Wendie Old at Wendie’s Wanderings talks about Inside-Outside Dinosaurs, today.

Chicken Spaghetti:

Books for Children and the Rest of Us, Too

Susan Thomsenhas a post  
Chicken Spaghetti called "Nonfiction for Older (Kid) Readers," which is about the Cybils nominees in the Middle Grade/Young Adult Nonfiction category.


Observations on reading and writing children’s books.

Roberta Gibson reviewed Earth Scientists: From Mercator to Evans (Mission: Science) by Lynn Van Gorp at WrappedInFoil.

Pink Me Paula Willey reviewed Pam Turner’s Prowling the Seas: Exploring the hidden world of ocean predators on Pink Me today.

Prowling the Seas: Exploring the Hidden World of Ocean Predators

Seven Impossible Things

(Why Stop at Six?) ~ a blog about books.

Jules at 7 Imps is in for Nonfiction Monday today with a visit from British author/illustrator Neal Layton


Cyndi and Lynn at Bookends Blog are looking animals in the eye in their blog for Life-Size Zoo by Teruyuki Komiya (Seven Footer Kids, 2009)


Miss Rumphius Effect

The blog of a teacher educator discussing poetry, children’s literature and issues related to teaching children and their future teachers.

Trisha Stohr-Hunt takes a quick look at three science books on the Miss Rumphius Effect blog entitled What’s Under There? 

Lori Calabrese Writes! Take a captivating Safari adventure at Lori Calabrese Writes

Cover of Sounds of theWild Safari


Books With Positive Views of Fathers & Fatherhood

BookDads tell us about Hey, Daddy! an engaging nonfiction book for younger readers about the many examples of animal fathers, from penguins to insects. 

Hey, Daddy!: Animal Fathers and Their Babies Cover


Biblio File

Jennie Rothschild from Biblio File is reviewing 4 MG/YA nonfiction Cybils nominees: I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets, Episodes: My Life As I See It, Chelsey, and Emily.

Check It Out: 

Life and Books in a K5 Library School Setting

Jone Rush MacCulloch on Check It Out is doing mini-reviews for three books on Darwin: 

One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary  Adventures of Charles Darwin


For Practically Paradise’s pick nonfiction series of the day, I chose Tell me About Sports from Marshall Cavendish and written by Clive Gifford.  I’ll have to show you the Tell Me About Sports covers from their website. I’d take a photo of the book with a student, but since I first opened the box of books, they’ve been checked out. 

The door flies open and in rushes a student to tell me the boy behind him is bringing back this Football book and he wants to check it out. It has circulated so often that nearly every student into football knows the contents of that book, yet I haven’t had it in my hands long enough to add it to my computer catalog. 

I managed to snag Basketball from my 6th graders with the promise that as soon as I’m done sharing with you, I’ll deliver it to them. 

Why is this series so popular?

  • *The photographs are spot on for this series. The youth pictured are not too young for my 8th graders to accept, yet not too old to be out of reach for third graders.

* The covers are very exciting. The dramatic design of the cover photograph catches their eye. The title can be clearly read from across the room and draws the students to it.

* The content is very detailed and accessible for a student who wants to learn how to play the game. If you are a complete novice, there are details about the fundamentals with words defined in the text and in the glossary.

* While there are professional athletes pictured, the focus is on students demonstrating fundamental techniques. 

* The Where Next? section in the back has fundamental websites listed that won’t disappear overnight. 

Titles in the series include:

  • Basketball
  • Swimming
  • Baseball
  • Running
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Martial Arts

You’ll want all of this set as cross-sport interest is high. Students who have played team sports like basketball are exploring individual sports like tennis and swimming. As the publisher states: "Both individual and team sports are a lot of fun. Sports help kids meet new people, develop their skills, and maintain a healthy lifestyle." 

This fall I have been pleased to rediscover Marshall Cavendish with their expanded title list. While always a great resource for Middle School libraries, MC has some elementary titles to please this very picky librarian. I’ll be sharing more of their hits this year so you can add it to your orders before the calendar year ends.

Note: the blog wasn’t working properly today and I lost all the post two times before I called for reinforcements. (Thanks, Dan Blank!) Please let me know of any mistakes and I’ll fix them ASAP. I’m still adding beautiful graphics and fixing the html code so this is a work in progress.


  1. Lori Calabrese says:

    Take a captivating Safari adventure at Lori Calabrese Writes!


  2. Steven at Book Dads says:

    Hey, Daddy! an engaging nonfiction book for younger readers about the many examples of animal fathers, from penguins to insects.