Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday-October 8, 2014

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website. 

Agate: What Good is a Moose? 
by Joy Morgan Dey
Illustrated by 
Nikki Johnson
Published 2007 by Lake Superior Post Cities Inc. 
Picture Book
32 Pages
Obtained from public library

Summary from Goodreads 
Agate is a moose with low self-esteem. He feels inadequate and plain, like an ugly brown rock, especially when he compares himself to his beautiful friends who are named after birthstones. These friend help Agate to see that just like his namesake, true beauty lies within. Stunning original watercolors, a witty, positive message about self image plus bonus pages with birthstone and agate facts. Perfect for reading aloud.

My Thoughts
Although this book is categorized as fiction, I am sharing it here on Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday because it is filled with facts about the animals. 

I like how each animal is named after a birthstone and beautifully painted using the respective watercolors. The message is not new, but one that bears repeating with children: everyone is unique and should be valued for their own talents and gifts. The author weaves in facts that work very naturally with the story. She does not shy away from using more complicated vocabulary, within the rhyming, poetic text, such as disjointed, scarcely, malcontented and self-conscious making this book a perfect read aloud for ages 5-10. Along with enjoying the story, there are many curricular connections that can be made.

Use this book...
*as part of a poetry unit. 
*as a read aloud during a unit about animals.
*early in the year to build community-everyone is unique. 
*as a mentor text for context clues. 
*as a mentor text for facts vs. opinions. 
*as a mentor text for summarizing-somebody, wanted, but, so, then.


  1. I love books that are fuzzy in their genres. ;-) The elephant pages you shared are gorgeous!

  2. This sounds like a beautiful book. Thanks for sharing. It looks like one that could be used in so many ways for the classroom or simply enjoyed for itself.

  3. I love when the text and the illustrations go together so beautifully! Thanks for sharing the book.

  4. This looks beautiful. It's great that within nonfiction, there are also subcategories.

  5. Love how you have shared all of these ideas. Looks like a gorgeous book.

  6. It's the first time that I'm hearing of this book. Sounds lovely! Thank you also for your detailed recommendations on how this book can be used.

  7. It looked SO interesting to me that I went online and found lots of additional info and excerpts at:

    Great book find!

  8. I have had this one on my to read list. Really need to find it. Thank you for sharing it.