Non-fiction Picture Book Wednesday
Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.
Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Steve Adams
Publisher: Dutton Juveline
Publication Date: August, 2010
Genre/Format: Biography/Picture Book
People around the world know the story of Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up, but not many know the story of his creator, J. M. Barrie. Barrie’s young childhood was marked by sorrow, but also held great adventure. His adult life and relationship with the Davies family brought about a second childhood that helped him to create his lasting triumph. Masterfully illustrated by Steve Adams and using Barrie’s own words, Jane Yolen tells the story of the author and the boys who changed his life.
What I Think:
What a great picture book biography of J.M. Barrie. As the book states, I, like most, knew very little about the author of Peter Pan. His story is one of imagination, fun, love and passion. The biography begins with his childhood and how he found solace in the freedom of his imagination and continues through an adulthood where he could only find happiness within his plays.
What I Think:
Something that Jane Yolen did that I think really made this picture book special was find quotes from Barrie's work and connected it with aspects of his life. I am always a big fan when an author connects an author's life story with their life's work. It shows the reader just how much of an author's life inspires his/her work even if it is fantasy.
I loved how the illustrations of this picture book really added an extra element to the story. The full page illustrations look like a daydream come to life. They were beautiful and really worked well with the story. It made you really feel like you were part of the story and living J.M.'s life with him.
Read Together: Grades 2 to 12
Read Alone: Grades 3 to 5
Read With: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, Peter and the Starcatchers (series) by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Snatch of Text: From Peter & Wendy: "(S)he was just slightly disappointed when he admitted that he came to the nursery window not to see her but to listen to stories." connected to "In the evenings, mother Margaret sat by the hearth and the children gathered around her. There she told stories about her own growing up, and read to them books like Robinson Crusoe, which they got from the library for a penny a day."
From Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens: "He was a poet; and they are never exactly grown-up." connected with "Even as a child, Jamie was a storyteller, a gift he inherited from his mother. Whenever his favorite magazine, Sunshine, didn't arrive on time, he would write stories himself. Up on the top floor of the house, he scribbled away."
Mentor Text for: Vocabulary development, Cultivating writers, Nonfiction
Writing Prompts: Peter Pan is about a young boy who doesn't want to grow up and from J.M. Barrie's story you can see that he never really did either finding friends in children he never had. What is the element of adulthood which scares you the most? If you could stay a child forever would you? Support your answer.
Topics Covered: Imagination, Family, Death, Drama, Fame, Love, Childhood, Adulthood
I *heart* It: