I’ve always been a bit of a book nerd; I love snooping in bookstores and libraries and personal collections. I’m one of those folks who flip through books (old and new) to smell them before reading, as if they were fine wines. This love took a decided turn towards children’s books and intensified when I became a mom in 2000, further still in 2006 when I became an assistant librarian in our public library’s children’s department, and in 2009 when I started homeschooling, let’s just say the love turned to diagnosable obsession.
Though I love children’s fiction, I have become particularly fascinated with non-fiction resources. In my job at the library, I manage a lot of the collection, weeding out old materials and finding new books to tempt our young readers. Over the years, I have found there are a several categories of non-fiction materials for kids. The first is comprised of books that provide collection structure – just the facts, if you please. You know these books: they’re great for research, but not something you just can’t wait to read, because they’re often pretty dull. Important, yes, but dull.
A second category of non-fiction books are for those readers who enjoy language. These are materials that aren’t peppered with illustrations but whose quality style and content creates an enjoyable and informative read. These can also be used for research, and who wouldn’t choose ’em?
A third category is quite different from the first two and has increased drastically over the last decade: these are the non-fiction materials that are both well-written and rely heavily on visual and/or comedic interest. They can be used for research, but their primary purpose is to get kids excited about the topic at hand. They normally have illustrations, many are offered up in a graphic novel format, and some are interactive, with flaps and pull-out features. Many are hilarious and offer subject material from a slightly off-kilter angle. These last two categories are the ones I have fallen in love with, and it is these that I can’t wait to share with you in my new book review vlog series.
I call it a book review vlog, but you’ll forgive me if sometimes I share games or YouTube videos and channels or project-based kits. I do get terribly excited about this stuff! I’m going to continue to update my Resources pages, but if you really want to be in the know, I hope you’ll subscribe to my YouTube channel and check out my reviews as I post them. And if you have a special topical request, be sure to let me know, and I’ll do my best to give you the episode you need.
I’ve already posted three episodes on poetry, in honor of National Poetry Month. The first one is below. Check out the others on YouTube! Episode four will be out tomorrow, and will feature awesome books to help you study William Shakespeare. Did you know that this month marks his 450th birthday?
Oh, and I know you’ll enjoy this: Ian wrote the theme music for the vlog series, and I’m the one whistling. I have husband-Jamie to thank for the intro/outro animations. And I have the equivalent of a feature-film’s worth of bloopers. Hopefully I’ll get the hang of this soon!
As always, if you like the videos, please share them with other folks you think might like them. I would love to build up an audience for this new venture! I so appreciate you guys!
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