Friday, September 06, 2013


Out of all the fall fruits, apples are my favorite.  I know it's nearly the official start of fall when the apples start appearing at the farmers market.  With September being Apple Month, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to chat up our outstanding children's books about this tasty treat:

For nonfiction books designed for young students, it's hard to beat Gail Gibbons's work (Anne Rockwell is also excellent, for even younger children).  There's lots to learn in her Apples book: a brief description of the apple's history in the United States, parts of the apple, how apples grow, varieties of apples, and how apples get to consumers.  Although it covers a wide area of topics, this could work as a read aloud to a captive audience of students.  Illustrations are created in Gibbons' traditional bright cartoonish style.

I am National Geographic's biggest fan: I love their magazine for adults (you can check it out in print format or through Zinio....the digital magazine is packed with extra audio and visual enhancements), I love their website, and I especially love their books and magazines for children.  They publish outstanding nonfiction every season, and I've never been disappointed (so far) with their work, whether it's biography, joke book, travel guide (more travel guides for kids, please, NGK!), board book, history, poetry, or nonfiction easy reader.  Jill Esbaum has written several fine seasonal books for National Geographic for its Picture the Season series.  Apples For Everyone has engaging text (suitable for a read aloud) and big beautiful pictures of apples and people enjoying apples (exactly what you'd expect from National Geographic).  

I reviewed One Red Apple back in 2011.  It still remains one of my favorite apple picture books for very young children; sophisticated yet child-friendly language and gorgeous illustrations make this one of my go-to favorites for "fall books" recommendations.

I can't let an apple books post end without including at least one book about Johnny Appleseed (or John Chapman, as he was officially named).   After imparting the few official statistics known about Chapman, Codell defines the lessons that we can learn from Chapman's life experience, such as "Respect nature" and "Use what you have."  If you have a captive audience (i.e. a classroom), this would be a lovely read aloud for elementary school students. Chapman's interactions with Native American communities is touched upon, which is an intriguing addition.  Lynne Rae Perkins's illustrations are folksy without being saccharine.

You MUST subscribe to Wowbrary if you are a Fauquier County patron. Well, it's not a requirement, truthfully, but you are missing out if you aren't a subscriber! Subscribers got a sneak peek at the new children's Halloween/Thanksgiving books (I also included a Hanukkah-themed picture book by the great Uri Shulevitz in that order due to Hanukkah starting the day before Thanksgiving) in last week's newsletter, and the next Wowbrary edition will include all these amazing and fantastic books coming our way for September. Cannot. Wait.

(Not only is September Apple Month, but it's also Library Card Sign Up Month! I blogged about "library books" on the ALSC blog--out today!)

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