Historical Fiction Picture Books List
This year I wanted to increase the number of nonfiction books that I read. Along with The Nonfiction Detectives, I started the 2012 Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. By doing the challenge, I have kept the hunt for nonfiction books, especially picture books, in the forefront of my mind. As a result, I have found some amazing books, incredible illustrations, learned tons of new facts, and had a chance to advocate for books that may not always get the same kind of attention as a fiction picture book.
It was definitely hard to narrow down the list to only 10 from the books that I have read this year. However, this is my Top Ten Nonfiction Picture Books of 2012 (as of October 2012) in no special order.
1. Island: A Story of the Galápagos by Jason Chin
I feel like author/illustrator Jason Chin has grown and developed as an author since his first release, Redwoods. In his latest book, readers are taken from six million years ago to the present in the look at the history and evolution of the Galápagos Islands. Beautifully illustrated the pictures nearly pop from the page.
2. Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives by Gene Barretta
This is the third book that Barretta has done in the format of tying in the history of inventions with their present day connections. The format is readable with a touch of humor and lots of connections. I also loved the emphasis in the book about Edison’s belief that he learned from his failures as well as his successes.
3. The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins
You know it must be spring when you see a running theme of insects which is what I thought when I saw this book. However, if it is written by Steve Jenkins, I automatically read it. Steve Jenkins does fabulously creative books that are fascinating and well done. I learned more than I probably wanted to about beetles but it was a great read.
4. Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman
The often humorous, yet touching look at the life and habits of Lincoln, including his relationship with his wife, and how he stored notes in his hat, made this important president seem even more humble and significant. The illustrations also done by Kalman add to the feeling of the book, and I especially liked how she tied the story together at the end with the Lincoln Memorial.
5. Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World by Tracey Fern; illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Named after the circus great – P.T. Barnum, Barnum Brown was destined to have an amazing impact on life and he certainly dead. With a self-proclaimed nose for searching out bones and a bit of an eccentric personality, Brown certainly did become famous as the first person to discover a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
6. Here Comes the Girl Scouts! by Shana Corey; Illustrated by Hadley Hooper
This book came out at the very beginning of 2012 and also in time for the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary. It also introduced me to the writing of Shana Corey. I love books that come together perfectly both in text and illustrations. This one does a great job on both levels. Lots of great information about the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low and also the end notes provide extra facts for readers to learn more.
7. UnBEElievables by Douglas Florian
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And legends and bull shit stories, not 'history books'
even in the case of actual an history book from the past, we don't take them as being necessarily accurate , we try to get a picture of the past using archaeological data as well as other 'historical documents' from the past that may discuss that period. These 'historical documents' could be old stories and legends that had been written down and are useful to us in determining what happened in the past.
For instance Julius Cesar wrote a his own history of the civil war , it's a 'historical document' but we don't take that as being the gospel truth even though it pretends to be , we could look at works of fiction form the time period to see if contemporary stores corroborate his version of the past
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Authenticity and genuineness of the things recorded in the Bible. A special target of doubting critics is the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus. What are we to believe? Did Jesus actually live? Is the picture of him as presented in the Gospels authentic?
Many critics are of much the same opinion as that expressed by the late Albert Schweitzer. According to him, the kind of Jesus presented in the Gospels, one who claimed to be the Messiah, preached the kingdom of God and died to give his work its final consecration, is a literary fiction of the earliest Evangelists. Schweitzer would have us believe that Jesus was a religious fanatic preaching the imminent destruction of the universe and that there is no knowing him as a concrete historical personality
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Sunrise Novelists is a support and critique group for serious novelists seeking professional, mainstream publication. Open to literary, genre (mystery, historical, chick lit, etc.) or young adult novelists. Participants must be writing regularly, and with the goal of getting an agent or selling work to professional publishers.
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