Every Monday, kidlit bloggers celebrate the fantastic non-fiction available for kids and teens.  I’m excited to be today’s Non-Fiction Monday Round Up!  Leave a link to your post about a non-fiction title in the comments, and I’ll update throughout the day.

My contribution for today is Serengeti Journey: On Safari in Africa, a National Geographic Science Chapters book. The book includes an introduction, chapters on elephants, giraffes, and cheetahs, a short summary chapter, and information on writing a report.

We’re using it as part of a unit study on African animals. My 7-year-old devoured each chapter this week and then told me fact after fact that she had learned. I loved seeing her so excited about reading non-fiction. Next week, we’ll do a writing project based on what she learned.

There are lots of titles in the National Geographic Science Chapters series, including Amazon Journey, Mysteries of the Sea, and All About Ants. We’ll definitely be using more of them in the future.

Post from around the kidlitosphere:

Read about an amaizng graphic novel about violence among children, Fist Stick Knife Gun at Pink Me.

Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff has a review of Get to Know Wedges.

Hop over to Charlotte’s Library to read about DK’s Ask Me Everything.

Abby the Librarian tells us about The Buzz on Bees.

Learn about Creative Kitchen Crafts at A Patchwork of Books

Read a review and enter a giveaway for The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories, a mix of non-fiction and folktales.

Learn about Survival at 40 Below at Wild About Nature.

Wendie Old has a review of The Little Kids First Big Book of Animals.

Get Face to Face with Wolves at Book Dads.

Learn more about Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie at Rasco from RIF.

Jupiter joins Non-Fiction Monday for the first time with Recycle This Book.

Read about Time is When at The Cat in the Hat blog.

Roberta from Wrapped in Foil shares Beautiful Oops.

Shirley Duke at Simply Science shares her own Infections, Infestations, and Diseases.

Rock out with  Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow at Bookends.

Anastasia Suen shares The Shocking Truth About Energy.

Read about Benno and the Night of Broken Glass at Maclibrary.

Michelle Markel at The Cat and the Fiddle shares a post on story arcs in picture book biographies.

Check out a few National Geographic Easy Readers (Ants and Great Migrations: Elephants) at The Reading Tub.

Another book blending folklore and non-fiction, How the Moon Regained Her Shape is the subject of today’s post at A Wrunge Sponge.

Learn about What Rot! Nature’s Mighty Recycler at Apples With Many Seeds.

Head over to Chicken Spaghetti to read about Liberty or Death, Candy Bomber, and The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.

Janet Squires joins us with a review of Math Appeal: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles.

We’re continuing our study of African animals, and lions are our focus today. Both of my daughters were fascinated by the stunning photos and cool facts in Face to Face with Lions by Beveryly and Dereck Joubert. The authors have spent 25 years studying the lions of Africa and living among them, and their passion for these amazing creatures shines through in their book. Readers learn about the impact of habitat loss and hunting on lion populations and receive information about what we can do to make the world a better place for lions and other top predators. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in big cats, predators, animals conservation, or animal life in Africa.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-up is at Capstone Connect.

Handprint Spiders

We’re taking a break from our regular work this week and making time for lots of art and an African animal study that I hope to make time to blog more about. Today, we started the day by making these adorable handprint spiders inspired by this post at Laugh, Paint, Create.

Zombie Cookies

This little ghost refuses to turn right side up no matter what I do 🙂

By accident, we discovered a simple way to make zombie cookies. The girls wanted to make gingerbread cookies and decorate them so I got out our Halloween/fall themed cutters and some sprinkles. They wanted to also use candy corn. I warned them that it would likely melt in the oven but they wanted to try it so we did. The results: the candy corns melted completely, turning a reddish orange and looking like decayed flesh. Ta da! Zombie cookies aka dead body gingerbread.


One of our favorite homeschool activities this year is our nature study time. Either on Friday or over the weekend so Brent can participate, we read about a topic in a book and/or field guides, then we take a walk, usually just around our neighborhood, looking for our subject. When we come home, we draw in our nature journal. We don’t always find what we’re looking for. The week we hoped to find lots of birds to observe, we didn’t see many that weren’t high in the trees, but we saw plenty of birds the next week when we couldn’t find any butterflies. We always see something interesting and our walks have become a favorite part of our week.

A few weeks ago, we discovered a nature park close to M’s art class and while we were exploring, we discovered lots of cool mushrooms. The girls insisted we bring their dad that weekend and have a mushroom nature study session. I searched the library for mushroom books and discovered The Mushroom Hunt by Simon Frazer. We brought it along with us and the girls loved listening to it while nestled in a pile of leaves.

The book begins with a young girl named Ruthie and her family preparing to go on a mushroom hunt in the woods. The story of their explorations is interspersed with facts about mushrooms such as their ability to grow in the dark and how a network of tiny threads spread into the soil underneath them. By following Ruthie on her family outing, the reader learns how mushrooms grow, how they differ from plants and the characteristics of many different species.

Today’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-Up is at Write About Now.

We’ve been studying Egypt over the last few weeks and doing lots of reading. Two books stuck out as particularly well-written, engaging and educational: Pharoah’s Boat by David Weiztzman and The Great Pyramid by Elizabeth Mann.

Pharoah’s Boat tells the story of shipwrights building a funerary boat for the Phaoroah Khufu (Cheops). M and I were amazed at the detail of their work and the skill with which they constructed a boat that survived thousands of years buried in a limestone pit next to Khufu’s pyramid (The Great Pyramid at Giza). The boat pit was discovered in 1954 when sand was being cleared from the side of the pyramid. Ahmed Youssef Moustafa, an Egyptologist who’d struggled as a young man to be respected in his own country, spent 15 years re-constructing it including time apprenticed to modern Egyptian shipwrights and much trail and error as attempts were made to understand how the 1224 pieces fit together. The boat now stands in its own museum next to the Great Pyramid.

The Great Pyramid begins with a short, fictional tale of a boy called to Giza to work on the pyramid which Khufu (Cheops) has ordered constructed for his burial chamber. The rest of the book tells what Egyptians believed about the after life, describes the construction of earlier, simpler tombs, and explains how such a massive structure as the Great Pyramid (2,300,000 stone blocks) could have been constructed with no wheeled vehicles.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-up is at Wendie’s Wanderings.

Both my girls enjoyed reading The Rabbit by Sally Tagholm (part of her Animal Lives series). We’re going to do a re-read when we study rabbits for nature study next week. The book follows a litter of rabbits from birth until maturity. Readers learn about rabbit family structure, challenges the young rabbits face, how they stay safe and what they eat. Since my girls are such animal lovers, I’m excited about having found another good series. I’ve got The Frog on request at the library.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-up is hosted by The Miss Rhumphis Effect.