MONDAY FUNDAY: August 28, 2017


Welcome back, friends! It’s another Monday – can you believe we’re nearly into September? While I’m not ready for the return of the rainy season, I do have a soft spot for September, with its crisp air and blue skies and promise of fresh starts (though it’s been THREE YEARS now since I was last a student).

I’m currently up to my ears in nonfiction in preparation for my new nonfiction book club program, so here are a few titles that I’ve been reading recently.



If you’re on the hunt for engaging nonfiction for your students, I highly recommend swimming to your local library and grabbing a copy of this stunning nonfiction picture book, which perfectly highlights just how beautiful an informational text can be.

A young girl finds a book on coral reefs at her local library and is swept away on a beautiful adventure through a vivid and vibrant underwater ecosystem. Chin’s illustrations are highly detailed and carefully researched, and readers will feel just as immersed in this world as our young protagonist.

Coral Reefs is a fantastic title for nonfiction sceptics, as Chin’s straightforward text manages to be both informative and accessible, while effectively complementing the stunning illustrations. It’s absolutely worth diving into!



In Gravity, Jason Chin turns his attentions to the impact this mysterious force exerts on everything from the smallest children’s toy to the very planets themselves.

Image result for Gravity Jason Chin images

This is a much shorter text, perfect for younger budding scientists. Purists might frown at some of the text’s oversimplifications of complex scientific principles, but there is an afterword that provides additional information on gravity and other forces.

Image result for Gravity Jason Chin images

Gravity would pair beautifully with a unit on space, and would lend itself naturally to some classroom experiments on gravity, which is what I’m planning to do with my book club participants. It’s also, like all of Chin’s work, simply a joy to experience.


My name is Jane, and I am a trivia addict. I just can’t help it! I love facts and figures, I love lists, and I love, love, love random trivia. This wondrous National Geographic Kids title, which now has two sequels, would have set my heart ablaze as a child. Incredible trivia meets incredible photography in this absolute winner of a book for budding Jeoprady stars.

Image result for national geographic kids 5000 facts

This book really has something for just about everyone – facts about plants and animals, cars, sports, history, and so much more! It’s so very nerdy, and that’s what makes it so wonderful!

Teachers, parents, librarians – please don’t discount nonfiction when reaching out to “reluctant” readers! Many children don’t dislike reading so much as they cannot connect to fiction, and a book of facts and figures might be just the ticket for kids who crave information, rather than fantasy. Books that are broken down into handy sections like this can also be less intimidating for readers who might baulk at the thought of tackling a novel.

Have you read any of these titles? Do you have favourite nonfiction titles you might suggest for my book club? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And have a great week, everyone!

Previous Post Next Post


  • Reply Pussreboots

    Coral Reefs and Gravity both look great. Come see what I’m reading.

    August 28, 2017 at 4:05 am
  • Reply Melinda

    Oh, I’m going to have to check out Gravity for my son. He LOVES space!

    August 28, 2017 at 4:12 am
  • Reply Greg Hill

    Coral reefs are so incredibly colorful and full of life- looks like this book captures that pretty well! And I can’t believe it’s almost September! Yikes!!

    August 28, 2017 at 9:08 am
  • Reply readerbuzz

    I love those Jason Chin nonfiction titles. Enjoy!

    I may have to take issue with your blog title….I’m afraid my city, Houston, may turn your title over to me after this hurricane.

    August 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Yikes! Hope you’re keeping safe and well with all the crazy weather!

      August 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply cweichel

    Jason Chin is one of the finest authors in nonfiction picture books. I’ve just put a hold on Coral Reefs.

    August 28, 2017 at 6:39 pm
  • Reply Rebecca Herzog

    I will have to check out Gravity. My daughter has been asking how gravity works, so this would be perfect!

    August 28, 2017 at 6:46 pm
  • Reply Jana Eschner (@JanaTheTeacher)

    Nonfiction picture books have always been very popular with my students, especially books about ocean animals!

    August 28, 2017 at 8:52 pm
  • Reply lindabaie

    I love Jason Chin’s books, will look for Gravity, Jane. The others sound good too. I enjoy books about coral reefs.

    August 28, 2017 at 9:37 pm
  • Reply Michele

    Jess Keating’s books are a favorite with my readers! It seems like it’s always checked out!
    I’m reading Chin’s Grand Canyon for bookaday next week to go along with their rock unit. Love finding nonfiction for read alouds!

    August 28, 2017 at 10:51 pm
  • Reply Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione)

    Jason Chin’s books are absolutely gorgeous. Redwoods is my favorite of his.

    August 28, 2017 at 11:17 pm
  • Reply lauramossa

    Gravity and Coral Reefs would both be great nonfiction additions to my picture book collection. Love how the young girl takes an adventure underwater in Coral Reefs.

    August 28, 2017 at 11:35 pm
  • Reply kimbacaffeinate

    Coral Reefs looks fantastic, I am going to order for Sophia and Clayton, even though it is geared for those a little older, she will watch documentaries on sea life.

    August 29, 2017 at 12:51 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      The images are so beautiful – even if kids aren’t quite ready for the text, the illustrations alone are worth a look, they’re just so colourful and lovely!

      August 29, 2017 at 6:39 pm
  • Reply Mystica Varathapalan

    These are certainly educative in a very fun way.

    August 29, 2017 at 11:15 am
  • Reply crbrunelle

    Jason Chin’s art is so fabulous. I heard a podcast with him recently and enjoyed hearing about his process for his Grand Canyon book

    August 30, 2017 at 3:47 am
  • Reply annettepimentel

    I’m really curious about how you structure your nonfiction book club. Is it like a storytime, where you read the books? Or do the kids come to the meeting having read books that are pre-assigned? Or something totally different?

    August 30, 2017 at 3:18 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      At each club meeting the librarian reads a book aloud, and then book talks a number of books on the same theme, which kids can check out after the program. We talk about the book, what we learned, what the best part was, etc. Then, we do a related craft or activity! We wanted to make the program as barrier-free as possible, so there’s no registration, and kids can just drop in, which is good for kids whose living situations can be unpredictable. We also have a real range of language levels, with a high number of newcomer kids, so we wanted the program to be really accessible. We already do a similar program with fiction titles, but my colleague and I are giving it a nonfiction twist this fall!

      August 30, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Share Your Thoughts

    You may also like