Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday- April 17, 2013

I have a new affection for nonfiction picture books and I am enjoying adding them into my weekly reading 
Here are two from last week.

by Nick Dowson  Illustrated by Patrick Benson

This book is a short, beautifully illustrated description of the migration of many fascinating arctic animals.  It starts with a polar bear and an artic fox who reside in the arctic year round. Then the story describes how the arctic changes throughout the seasons.  The migration journeys of animals that travel to the arctic in the warmer months (gray whales, caribou, narwhals, arctic terns to name a few) are highlighted as each season is highlighted.
I found it fascinating and I know kids will too.

by Wendy Towle   Paintings by Wil Clay 

I'd like to thank Laurel Parker from The Windham Public Library for suggesting this book to me.  Have you ever wondered where the phrase "the real McCoy" came from?  Well, I did and Mrs. Parker had the answer. 

Elijah McCoy was an inventor in the mid to late 1800's.  Because he was an African-American, his inventions were not often seen as valid or valuable.  After he received a degree in mechanical engineering, he was unable to find work as an engineer because of his race. He worked as a a grease man and a fire man on a steam engine train. This was back breaking work.  To make his job more efficient, he invented a self-lubricating cup for the train's axles.  Again, many were reluctant to use his invention, but it was recognized as superior to other models so the Michigan Central Railroad installed his invention in all their locomotives. As others invented imitations that did not work as well, railroads started asking for "the real McCoy".  Although Elijah McCoy started to make enough money to fund his inventions, he did not become wealthy.  Along with many influential and important African-Americans of the time, he was not fully recognized for his contributions until well after his death.  

So now you can impress your friends with the story of "the real McCoy". 


  1. Both books look really good - especially The Real McCoy since I didn't know where that expression came from. :-)

  2. These both look great! I had no idea where the phrase, "The Real McCoy," came from either. Fascinating stuff! These look like great books to read to my young kiddo. Thank you for the recommendation!

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!