Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Random Shelf: Nonfiction

When I pulled I Can Be a Musician from the 700s section, I immediately recognized the series. I remember reading this careers series when I was in elementary school. This book, naturally, focuses on what musicians do and what they do in order to become musicians. As is ideal for beginning readers of nonfiction, everything is clearly labeled: violins, banjo, marching band, etc. A glossary at the end of the book defines terms used in the book (“record” definitely needs to be defined for today’s children!). Readers also read about the role of a conductor and the differences between an orchestra and a marching band. For beginning readers that are more interested in nonfiction than fiction, I Can be a Musician (and other titles in the series) is a fine choice.

In the vast sea of alphabet books, there are many ABC books that are centered around a unique concept. Agave Blooms Just Once is centered around plants and animals of the desert, from agave (which “blooms just once, then dies”) to the zebra-tailed lizard (“gulping insects and flower shoots”). This is obviously not a beginner’s ABC book, but a primer to southwestern flora and fauna. A glossary in the back further explains these interesting plants and animals.

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