Events · Ramblings

My Experience at the SCBWI Adventures in Nonfiction Conference

(This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you click on it and make a purchase. Thank you!)

Last year I learned a lot at the SCBWI Adventures in Nonfiction Conference, and I was excited when it was announced that there would be another nonfiction conference this year: Adventures in Nonfiction Part II.

Adventures in Nonfiction Part 2

The conference featured Senior Editor Carolyn Yoder and authors Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Miranda Paul. To prepare for the conference, I read multiple nonfiction books (and fiction books) written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Miranda Paul.

The night before the conference, I had the opportunity to go out to dinner with some other conference attendees/authors including Miranda Paul. It was a wonderful experience being able to speak with authors from Wisconsin, Illinios, Minnesota, and Iowa whom I had never met before.

Preconference Dinner

During the conference, I had the pleasure of introducing authors Miranda Paul and Jacqueline Briggs Martin before listening to their presentations.

I came home with a lot of information, multiple pages of notes in a notebook, and a few handouts. I was also really excited to purchase a signed copy of the book Adventures to School: Real Life Journeys of Students from Around the World for my daughters who don’t have quite the adventure getting to school as some of these kids since they are homeschooled!

Adventures to School

It is amazing how much research and work goes into creating books! Miranda and her husband Baptiste Paul worked on Adventures to School together. She mentioned they had an entire room devoted to the research of this book with pictures and notes taped to the walls for each of the countries listed. They had to talk to a lot of people, listen to interviews, find translations, do online research, and more to accurately portray the characters listed in the book.

Even though Adventures to School states “the scenarios in this book are composites and the narrators’ voices are fictionalized…”, it is classified as nonfiction by the Library of Congress. This is actually something Miranda Paul discussed at the conference – how books are classified as nonfiction or fiction.

If you look at the copyright page and it says “juvenile literature”, then it has a nonfiction classification. If it says “juvenile fiction”, then it has been classified as fiction. Interestingly, some libraries don’t follow this classification, and the same book may be located in different areas in different libraries.

At the end of the conference, we had a draw name raffle for attendees to win books written by authors who were present and gracious enough to offer their published books as prizes. There was also an illustrator who graciously gave an illustration of hers as a prize.

SCBWI Conference Book Prizes

The prize books included:

All of the conference attendees had their names placed in a box for a chance to win one of the autographed books. And I won…

I Am Farmer

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon, which is another book Miranda Paul worked on with her husband, Baptiste Paul. The two of them actually travelled to Cameroon while doing research for this book!

During the conference, Miranda Paul showed us a great video about Farmer Tantoh that was filmed in Cameroon. You can also watch Meet Farmer Tantoh: Grassroots Environmentalist from Cameroon. Make sure to watch the video all the way to the end for a little chuckle. It’s amazing what Farmer Tantoh has been able to accomplish, and it is wonderful that Baptiste and Miranda Paul took the time to find the truth and write the story.

Here are some more things discussed at the conference by our speakers, who did an outstanding job:

  • what to include in a cover letter
  • bibliographies
  • examples of unique takes on famous subjects or topics
  • differences between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources
  • contacting experts in a field
  • page counts
  • making sure the world is relevant to the character in the story
  • how long it may take for manuscripts to become books
  • different types of nonfiction books
  • how books are classified by Library of Congress
  • format, structure, and style of nonfiction books
  • nonfiction books should not be boring
  • learning how to put our own manuscripts into categories
  • writing multiple versions of the same manuscript until it sounds right
  • self-editing tips
  • back matter
  • age of audience and their developmental milestones
  • hook and hold interest
  • comparable titles
  • who is responsible for cost of research (most of the time, it’s the author)
  • keeping records of sources
  • using all five senses in a book
  • creating a pitch for your manuscript
  • telling the story you are passionate about
  • places to find accurate information
  • how to research
  • having a through-line to your story
  • points of view in nonfiction
  • beginnings of nonfiction
  • biographies

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go to this nonfiction conference. It gave me some ideas for a manuscript I am currently working on that is technically fiction but has a lot of educational components to it, so I am going to do some additional research, write a bibliography, and create some back matter for it.

What are you doing to learn more about a particular topic?

Themed Books

The Truth About…Children’s Book Series

A local picture book group had a meeting recently to discuss nature themed books. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the meeting, but I still read the books that had been included on the list to discuss.

My favorite book from the list was The Truth About Bears, which I was really excited to find is part of a series. Of course, I had to see if the library had the rest of the series for me to read.

And they did have most of them! Here are the books that are part of The Truth About… book series.

The Truth About…Books

The Truth About Bears

Read this book to learn interesting facts about bears in a fun format. I think it is a common misconception that polar bears and penguins live in the same area, so I really liked the page where the polar bear is trying to show a penguin where he lives on a globe and the penguin says “Never heard of it.” The book also points out the fact that koalas are not bears in a fun way. The part about what bears eat made me laugh. What are rodents? The last few pages include facts on bear safety (again in a fun tone) and additional information.

The Truth About Crocodiles

Read this book to find more information about crocodilians including crocodiles, aligators, caimans, and the gharial in a fun format. Did you know “some crocs put sticks on their snouts to attract birds building nests”? Pretty clever! There is some information about how to stay safe in croc territory and additional facts included in the back of the book.

The Truth About Dolphins

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to check this one out from my local library, but I am assuming it talks about dolphins (or porpoises) in a fun format.

The Truth About Elephants 

Learn about the largest animals on land, how to tell the difference between Asian elephants and African elephants, what elephants use their trunks for, how many teeth they have (I was surpised by this fact), who is in their herds, how they communicate long distances, what they do when threatened, and why humans are their biggest threat all while reading this book.

Just a side note: I know that not everyone agrees the earth is millions of years old, so I just wanted to say that one page does state “elephants evolved over millions of years with similar (now extinct) animals.”

The Truth About Hippos

Read this book to find fun facts about hippos told in a fun format. Learn the difference between a common hippo and a pygmy hippo, how much they weigh, what they eat, how far they can open their mouths, a “fun fact” about what they do when they go to the bathroom, and more. Also, did you know “hippos can’t actually swim”? Additional facts about hippos are included in the back of the book.

What other animal would you like to see as a part of this series?

 

For more themed books, check out:

14 Children’s Books About Flowers

14 Children’s Books About Teachers

14 Children’s Books About Seeds, Plants, and Gardening

Nonfiction Picture Books for Kids

Themed Books · Writing Appearances

21 Children’s Books About Apples

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

Earlier this year, I created a course for Schoolhouse Teachers called Foods and Food Production, which included information about 26 different foods and how they are grown, harvested, processed, and used.

Foods and Food Production

One of the sections included in the course is a great theme for this time of year. Apples!

Within the apple section, I provided the following:

  • introduction questions for students to answer
  • links to videos that show a tour of an apple orchard, how apples grow, how apples are harvested, and how they are packed in a facility
  • a list of apple books to read
  • information about apple seeds and the life cycle of apple trees
  • a link to an apple coloring book
  • a list of the top ten apple producing countries and states
  • links to videos that show how apple sauce, apple juice, and apple cider are made
  • three recipes that include apples as an ingredient
  • closing questions for students to answer as a recap of what was learned throughout the lesson

Today, I am sharing some of the books about apples that are listed within the course. These are all books I was able to check out from my library.

children's books about apples

Nonfiction Books about Apples

These are the books about apples I found in the nonfiction section of my library.

An Apple Tree’s Life Cycle by Mary Dunn

This book discusses the number of apple tree kinds, the life cycle of an apple tree starting with a seed and progressing through the different seasons, and pollination by bees.

Apple Harvest by Calvin Harris

Simple text talks about how apples are ready to be picked in the fall, how the apples are picked, treats apples can be turned into, and asks what other signs show the season of fall.

Apple Harvest by Jenna Lee Gleisner

Simple text talks about apples being picked in the fall and the treats apples can be turned into. There is a recipe for Apple Pizza at the end of the book.

Apples by Gail Gibbons

This book discusses the history of apples, John Chapman, the parts of an apple, the parts of a flower, pollination, the process of apples growing, products that can be made with apples, some common apples found in North America, how to care for an apple tree, an apple pie recipe, how apple cider is made, and some apple facts without a lot of text.

Additional Note To Parents: This book does state that apple trees have been in existence for two million years.

Apples by Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed

This is a level one reader book that simply states the variety of colors apples can be, how apples grow, when they are picked, and a couple of treats apples can be used in.

Apples by Jacqueline Farmer

This book has quite a few words. It discusses how apples are grown, the parts of an apple blossom, pollination, when apples are ready to harvest, some varieties of apples, how apple cider is made, the difference between apple cider and apple juice, how to store apples, nutrition of apples, and the history of apples including information about Roman beliefs, the folktale of William Tell, and the true story of Johnny Appleseed. The end of the book includes a recipe for apple pie and more apple facts and records.

Additional note to parents: Under the apple history section, it states “most apple historians believe that sweet apples were cultivated…around 6500 BCE.”

Apples by Ken Robbins

This book also has quite a few words. It discusses how apples are grown, picked, and used as an ingredient in a variety of recipes. At the end, it shows nine different apple varieties.

Apples, Apples Everywhere! by Robin Koontz

This book shows a family visiting an apple orchard and seeing the different colors of apples, the different sizes of apples, workers picking and storing apples, apple worms (moth caterpillars), an apple game, and apple cider. There are directions at the end of the book for making a dried apple wreath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bite into an Apple by Lynn Brunelle

This book has quite a bit of text. It talks about where apples come from, why apples bruise, how apples must be stored, different varieties of apples, how apples are transported to stores, how apples are processed into applesauce, how to use acid such as lemon juice to keep an apple from browning quickly, difference between apple juice and apple cider, how apples are packaged, what to do with a bruised apple, how apples are tested, how apples are picked, a technique for ripening apples faster once picked, how to prevent bugs from eating apple trees, how to keep apple trees healthy, how apples form, pollination, grafting, Johnny Appleseed, and more apple facts.

Additional note: This book does not include a link because I couldn’t find it on Amazon, but I was able to find it at my local library.

From Apples to Applesauce by Kristin Thoennes Keller

This book talks about applesauce, where apples are grown, how apples are picked by hand, how apples are packed and sent to factories, how apples are processed into applesauce and sealed into containers at the factories, where applesauce can be found, and grafting. There is a recipe for homemade applesauce at the end of the book.

How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro

This book is part of the Let’s-Read-And-Find Out Science series and is a detailed explanation of how fertilization takes place to create apples. It talks about the blossoms, how flowers become apples, animal helpers such as bees, the different parts of the flowers, how the flowers are fertilized, what is inside of an apple, a few varieties of apples, and picking apples.

Additional note: If you want to read this book but can’t find it in your library and don’t want to purchase it, you can watch and listen as it is being read in this video (7:57).

Let’s Cook with Apples!: Delicious & Fun Apple Dishes Kids Can Make by Nancy Tuminelly

This book has some apple history, cooking safety, cooking basics, measurements, cooking terms, what kinds of apples to use for different recipes, tools in the kitchen, ingredients, and some apple recipes to try including an apple-wich, apple sundae, pickled apples, apple chips, apple salsa, and more.

Life on an Apple Orchard by Judy Wolfman

This book has quite a bit of text. It is told from the point of view of a girl who lives on an apple orchard with her family. The book discusses the apple trees, working on the orchard, planting seedlings, the process of grafting (without saying “grafting”), helpful and not-so-helpful bugs, bees, blossoms, pollination, picking apples, grading apples, storing apples, and fun facts about apples.

Out and About at the Apple Orchard by Diane Mayr

This book is about a group of kids going on a field trip to an apple orchard. Before going, they put together a list of questions they would like to answer. While on the field trip, they learn when apples ripen, why there is so much space in between the apple trees, honeybees, what trees need to grow, what compost is, how to prevent pests and what pests are, how apples are picked, packed, and stored, the differences between apple cider and apple juice, products apples can be made into, and fun facts about apples. There is also a floating fruit experiment at the end of the book.

See it Grow: Apple by Dawn Bluemel Oldfield

This book has simple text that shows the parts of an apple tree as it grows starting from a seed, how the apples change as they ripen, the parts of an apple, and some apple facts.

The Life and Times of the Apple by Charles, Micucci

This book is very detailed. It talks about the life of an apple, the parts of an apple, how apple trees are planted, cross-fertilization, grafting, apple blossoms, parts of the blossom, honeybees, how honeybees pollinate apple flowers, how apples grow, how and when apples are harvested, types of apple trees, uses of apples, the amount of apples grown each year, some of the apple varieties, history of apples, Johnny Appleseed, and more apple facts.

Additional note to parents: This book states “apples have been growing on earth for over two and a half million years” and shows a time line depicting millions of years.

The Zieglers and Their Apple Orchard by Alice K. Flanagan

This book talks about the jobs a couple has on their apple orchard, the stages the apple trees go through, honeybees, spraying with chemicals, mowing the grass, checking the trees and apples, having guests visit the orchard, and selling apple items. Some of the pages are a little hard to read due to the color of the text on the pictures.


Who Was Johnny Appleseed? By Joan Holub

This book is part of the Who Was series and tells the true story of John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed.

Fiction Books About Apples

These are the books about apples I found in the fiction section of my library.

Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter

A Daddy decides to move from Iowa to Oregon with his large family, so he loads a large box filled with dirt, little plants, and trees on to the back of a wagon. Along the way, there are many challenges (such as a river, bad weather, and a hot desert). Other people think the plants will never make it across the long journey, but Daddy is determined (and maybe a little obsessed) to make it. With the help of the entire family, the plants safely arrive in Oregon and are planted. There is a map at the beginning of the book that shows the progress from Salem, Iowa to Milwaukee, Oregon. The Author’s Note includes information about a real pioneer who travelled a great distance with hundreds of plants and young fruit trees.

Apple Picking Day! by Candice Ransom

This is a Step 1 Step Into Reading book that shows a family traveling to an apple orchard, taking a tractor ride, picking apples, sorting apples by color, and seeing some items made from apples.

Fancy Nancy Apples Galore by Jane O’Connor

This is a Level 1 I Can Read book about Fancy Nancy taking a field trip to an apple orchard with her class. Her friend, Lionel, continuously pretends that something is wrong forcing Ms. Glass, the teacher, to come to his aid and “reprimand” him. When Lionel gets stuck in a tree, other kids think it is another one of Lionel’s jokes, so Nancy finds a ladder to help Lionel. Ms. Glass comes to help Nancy get Lionel out of the tree when she sees what is happening, and Lionel is disciplined for not listening.

Will you read any books about apples today?

For more themed children’s books, check out these posts:

Ramblings · Writing Appearances

Breadmaking and a Balloon Experiment at Home

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

My daughters and I recently completed the Breadmaking Devotional on Schoolhouse Teachers, which we enjoyed. We didn’t make all of the recipes included within the course, but we did watch the videos, read the lessons and Bible verses, conducted the experiments, and baked a lot of different recipes.

Schoolhouse Teachers Breadmaking Devotional

Find more information about Schoolhouse Teachers here.

One of the experiments included in the Breadmaking Devotional involved putting a packet of yeast and 1 cup of warm water into three separate empty water bottles. Then, we added 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in the first bottle, 2 teaspoons of honey in the second bottle, and 2 teaspoons of white sugar in the third bottle.

Once the bottles had all of the required ingredients, we secured a balloon over each of the openings and waited. After some time, we were able to see how the ingredients affected the growth of the yeast by how inflated the balloons were.

Bread Making Devotional Balloon Experiment

Check out this Crazy Fun Balloon Activity Race Kids Love for more fun with balloons.

Speaking of experiments, my family tried another grand pumpkin experiment this year and attempted to grow pie pumpkins in the bucket part of a wagon similar to this one under our deck. The wagon had been dismantled, so we saved the top part as a large pot.

We successfully grew two pumpkins!

pie pumpkins on deck

Last year (when we did our grand pumpkin experiment) we made our own pumpkin puree using pie pumpkins my grandma had given to us, so we were really excited about the idea of making some fresh pumpkin puree using our own grown pie pumpkins.

Unfortunately, one of the pumpkins had grubs in it, so we ended up composting that one. I didn’t know if it would even be possible for us to successfully grow any pumpkins in a pot, so I was still happy we were able to get three cups of pumpkin puree from the remaining pumpkin.

Since we had recently been given a pumpkin bread recipe and completed the Breadmaking Devotional course, my one daughter was really eager to make some homemade pumpkin bread. It tasted pretty good, although it probably could have stayed in the oven a little longer.

pumpkin bread

And we still have two cups of pumpkin puree to make a homemade pumpkin pie with. Yum!

Will you be baking any bread soon?

 

For more posts about baking and cooking, check out:

Pickle Making During National Pickle Month

Quick Fresh Salsa

Our Grand Pumpkin Experiment

10 Cookbooks for Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramblings · Themed Books

Nonfiction Picture Books for Kids

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

Last year, I attended an SCBWI nonfiction conference and learned quite a bit about writing nonfiction books for children.

This year, I’m excited for the opportunity to attend another SCBWI Adventures in Nonfiction conference featuring Senior Editor Carolyn Yoder and authors Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Miranda Paul.

Adventures in Nonfiction Part 2

You can find more information about the upcoming nonfiction conference on the SCBWI Iowa website here. Registration is now open for it!

Just like I did last year, I decided to read some books written by the authors who will be presenting at the conference. Even though Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Miranda Paul have published many books, these are the books I was able to check out from my local library.

Nonfiction Books by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Jacqueline Briggs Martin will be discussing picture book biographies at the conference. Here are some of the nonfiction picture books written by her that I was able to find at my local library.

Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious (Readers to Eaters, 2014)

This is a picture book biography about Alice Waters who was on a mission to make delicious meals to share with others using fresh foods. She started Chez Panisse, had the opportunity to cook for a U.S. president, won the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Chef of the Year”, started the Edible Schoolyard Project, and wants others to learn about growing fresh food for themselves.

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix (Readers to Eaters, 2017)

This is a picture book biography about Chef Roy Choi who calls himself a “street cook”. Roy Choi was born in Korea but has spent most of his life in Los Angeles. Searching for his path in life wasn’t easy for him, but he finally discovered his passion and joy by cooking for others out of a truck. His Korean barbecue in a taco was a success! He started Kogi, opened cafes, and opened a soulful fast food restaurant called Locol. He wants to show others the deliciousness of cooking with love.

Creekfinding: A True Story (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

This is a true story about a man named Michael Osterholm who was on a mission to find a creek that had been covered with fields in Iowa. Through much work, dedication, and time, he was finally able to restore the creek. Now, instead of a field, the creek is flowing and filled with lots of wildlife.

I found it interesting that this true story took place less than an hour away from where my family once lived.


Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table (Readers to Eaters, 2013)

This is a picture book biography about Will Allen who went from playing professional basketaball in Belgium to becoming a farmer in the middle of the city of Milwaukee. He started Growing Power farm, and he now grows many fruits and vegetables, raises red wigglers, and shows others how they can farm in cities. Thousands of people each year continue to visit his farm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to “tour the greenhouses, watch goats, snack on greens, and go home planning to start a farm on a city lot, rooftop, or abandoned highway.”

This was another book that I found interesting due to the location of the story because I lived in southeast Wisconsin for quite a few years and was just in that area again recently.

Snowflake Bentley (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998)

This picture book biography is about photographer Wilson Bentley (who became known as “Snowflake Bentley”) who lived from 1865 to 1931. He was intrigued by snowflakes and wanted to find a way to capture their beauty to share with others. His “parents spent their savings and bought the camera” Wilson Bentley wanted in order for him to pursue his dreams. Through a lot of patience, dedication, and creativity, Wilson Bentley discovered ways to capture the beauty of snowflakes on film. He enjoyed showing others his photographs and even had a book published with his snowflake photos.

The book states: “By 1926 he had spent $15,000 on his work and received $4,000 from the sale of photographs and slides.” That seemed like a lot of money for 1926, so my daughters and I Googled what that would be equivalent to in 2019 dollars. According to this inflation calculator, $15,000 would be equivalent to $217,070.34 and $4,000 would be equivalent to $57,885.42.

My family also watched this Youtube video after reading Snowflake Bentley to see some of Wilson Bentley’s beautiful snowflake photographs. It is quite amazing what he was able to do with the technology of that time!

The Chiru of High Tibet (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010

This is a true story about trying to save the chiru species. Chiru are animals that “look like antelope” and live in “the northern plains of Tibet”. They had once been very plentiful in that area but their population was significantly depleted when people started killing them to make shawls. For many years, no one knew where the chiru birthing ground was located. A man named George Schaller and four mountain climbing men took the initiative and (more than) one journey to find the location and ask the Chinese government to protect that land from hunters.

Nonfiction and Informational Fiction Books by Miranda Paul

Miranda Paul will be talking about creative nonfiction and informational fiction picture books at the upcoming conference. Here are the nonfiction and informational fiction picture books by her that I was able to find at my local library.

Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students from Around the World (Little Bee Books, 2018)

This nonfiction picture book written with Baptiste Paul describes the journeys children from thirteen different nations must take in order to get to school along with additional information about each of the nations.

It’s amazing to read what some of these children must endure in order to get to school. My daughters are truly blessed to be able to simply walk down the stairs to start school each morning.

Are We Pears Yet? (Roaring Brook Press, 2017)

This is an informational fiction picture book. Two pear seeds perform a play about the life cycle of pear seeds. The young pear seed is eager to become a pear but learns it first needs soil, rain, sun, and long naps (more than 2 years of naps) to grow into trees at which point the pear seeds need a costume change. Pears finally appear on the trees and an x-ray reveals two pear seeds within one of the pears. Extra facts about pears are given at the end of the book.

Nine Months Before a Baby is Born (Holiday House, 2019)

This picture book told in a poetic style goes through the process of a baby forming and growing before birth. Backmatter offers more information about the different stages of development.

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia (Millbrook Press, 2015)

This nonfiction picture book tells the story of how a young woman named Isatou Ceesay took the iniative to make Njau, Gambia beautiful again after plastic bags had accumulated in the area causing unwanted water, mosquitoes, disease, and dying goats. With help from some other women, the bags were cleaned and transformed into beautiful hand-crocheted purses, which could be sold to others.

Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle (Roaring Brook Press, 2015)

I found this book in the fiction section at my library, but it is informational since it discusses the water cycle in poetic form. The backmatter found at the end of the book offers additional information about water including words like evaporation, condensation, precipitation, seepage, and more.

Fun Fiction Picture Books by Miranda Paul

Here are the some fun fiction picture books written by Miranda Paul that I found at my local library.

10 Little Ninjas (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2016)

Told in the same fashion as “10 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”, this picture book has 10 little ninjas, 9 tiny astronauts, 8 rapid racers, 7 prowling tigers, 6 rowdy cowboys, 5 hungry reef sharks, 4 thirsty firefighters, 3 quiet pirates, 2 sleepy dragons, 1 little cuddlebug, and finally 10 sleeping kids.

The Great Pasta Escape (Little Bee Books, 2017)

This fiction picture book filled with humor and pasta puns is about noodles in a factory that were content following the rules until they discovered they were made to be eaten. After examining all of the evidence and confirming this was true, they strategized an escape plan together.

Mia Moves Out (Alfred A. Knopf, 2018)

Mia decides the obvious solution to her brother taking over her room is to move out. So, begins her journey of finding a new place to stay. The bathroom, basement, and cupboard prove to be bad choices. She finally finds a place she likes but realizes it’s missing something (really someone – her brother). That’s when she comes up with the idea of creating a fort for her and her brother to enjoy together outside.

Trainbots (Little Bee Books, 2016)

This rhyming picture book is about trainbots becoming hero-bots to get rid of the evil badbots, so they can deliver toybots to kidbots. How a-bot that description?

Reading all of these books makes me really excited for the upcoming SCBWI Adventures in Nonfiction Conference. Which book is your favorite?