Monday, March 29, 2010

Nonfiction Monday - Remembering Patricia Lauber

When I began teaching in the 80's, Patricia Lauber books were a staple in my classroom. In working with preservice teachers she's always been one of the authors I highlight as a "must know." Just yesterday I heard the sad news that Lauber died at her home in New Canaan, CT on March 12.

Lauber wrote nonfiction that showed both an understanding of the natural world and the sensibilities and interests of children. Her books (more than 125 titles) spanned topics from trees to mummies and just about everything in between. Her writing made even seemingly mundane topics interesting. I saw a number of my elementary and middle school students turned into nonfiction lovers once they became absorbed in her writing.

If you haven't read a book by Lauber, you're really missing something. You might want to check out her book Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens, which was awarded a Newbery honor medal in 1987. You'll find titles for younger readers in the popular Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. Finally, I recommend titles in the Around-the-House History series like What You Never Knew About Fingers, Forks, & Chopsticks and What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms, & Pajamas.

I'm happy to be serving as your host for this week's installment of Nonfiction Monday. Leave me a note about your post and I'll add it to the list.
Kim Hutmacher at Wild About Nature has a review of The Blues Go Birding Across America.

Mary Ann Scheur of Great Kid Books shares two books that tell the Passover story: Miriam's Cup by Fran Manushkin, and Wonders & Miracles, by Eric Kimmel.

Zoe of Playing by the Book shares a review of The Planet Gods: Myths and Facts About the Solar System, along with an idea for making your own revolving planets.

Anastasia Suen of Picture Book of the Day shares a review of Whose Nest is This? by Heidi Bee Roemer.

Paula of Pink Me shares a review of The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) by Barbara Kerley.

In Need of Chocolate shares a review of Adventures in the Ice Age by Linda Bailey.

Mandy of Enjoy and Embrace Learning reviews a series of life cycle books by Camilla de la Bedoyere, published by QEB Publishing Co, and sold through Scholastic.

Abby (the) Librarian reviews An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin.

Sarah Campbell shares an interview with Joseph D'Agnese, author of Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci.

Jeannine Atkins shares a review of Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert.

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan of the Booklist blog Bookends share a review of The Cutest Critter by Marion Dane Bauer.

Amy O'Quinn shares a review of Shutting Out the Sky by Deborah Hopkinson.

Camille of Book Moot highlights a number of manga drawing books.

Wendi O. of Wendie's Wanderings shares a review of A New Baby Arrives! by Nicola Barber.

Shirley Duke of the SimplyScience blog shares a review of Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter, as well as some great activity ideas.

Sally Apokedak of Whispers of Dawn shares a review of The Heroine of the Titanic, written by Joan Blos and illustrated by Tennessee Dixon.

Anamaria of Books Together shares an interview with Margarita Engle, author of Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian.

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews shares a review of Girl in the Know: Your Inside-and-Out Guide to Growing Up by Anne Katz.

Amy Graves of The Art of Irreverence shares her take on The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) by Barbara Kerley.

Amanda of A Patchwork of Books shares a review of the Is That a Fact? series.

BooksforKidsBlog shares a review of Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl by Albert Marrin.
Happy reading folks. Be sure to join us next week for the round up at Lerner Books Blog.


  1. I can't wait to look into these books. Thanks so much for the recommendations.

    I'm sharing two books that help tell the Passover story: Miriam's Cup by Fran Manushkin, and Wonders & Miracles, by Eric Kimmel.

    thanks for hosting!

  2. Wow Tricia, you've been REALLY busy this weekend what with the carnival and now hosting nonfiction monday! I hope you've got some nice cake and coffee (oh, and a good book!) to relax with now :-)
    Anyway my contribution to today's nonfiction monday is:
    A review of The Planet Gods: Myths and Facts about the Solar System by Jacqueline Mitton and Christina Balit and how we made our own revolving planets!

  3. Thanks for hosting, especially after putting together a wonderful carnival! I've reviewed Adventures in the Ice Age:

  4. The Wild About Nature blog has a review of The blues Go birding Across america by Carol L. Malnor and Sandy F. Fuller.

    Thanks for hosting this week!


  5. I've found a great series about lifecycles for many levels. Thanks for hosting.


  6. Tricia, I will definitely check out some of her books! Thanks for hosting today. At Abby (the) Librarian, I have a review of An Unspeakable Crime by Elaine Marie Alphin.

  7. I'll definitely look for Lauber's books. Today, I have an interview with Joe D'Agnese. His new book Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci debuts on Tuesday.
    This is my first Nonfiction Monday post. I hope to offer more.
    Thank you for hosting.

  8. Tricia, Thank you for the tribute to Patricia Lauber, whose work was a part of my daughter's childhood.

    I wrote about Feeding the Sheep, a new picture book by Leda Schubert illustrated by Andrea U'Ren at

  9. Thanks for hosting and for your wonderful comments about Patricia Lauber. Today Cindy and I on Bookends are featuring Cutest Critter by Marion Dane Bauer.

    Lynn Rutan
    Bookends @http://

  10. This is my first time participating, but I have reviewed Deborah Hopkinson's book, Shutting Out the Sky, at:

    I'm really enjoying reading all the great contributions.
    Amy O.

  11. Hi Tricia!

    Pink Me is in with Barbara Kerley's bio of Mark Twain and his daughter Susy:

    The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According To Susy)

    I put Barbara Kerley in the same category as Lauber - readable, diverse, always finding a new point of view.


  12. Wendie Old at Wendie's Wanderings has reviewed A New Baby Arrives, part of THE BIG DAY! series.

    (I've always loved Patricia lauber's Mt. St. Helen's book. So sorry to learn she has died.)

  13. Thank you for all your hard work! Today I have Bugs and Bugsicles at SimplyScience.


  14. Thanks for hosting. And Patricia's books sound great--I've never read them.

    I posted today at Whispers of Dawn on The Heroine of the Titanic, written by Joan Blos and illustrated by Tennessee Dixon.

  15. Thank you for hosting (not to mention putting up the carnival, too)! I interviewed Newbery Honor-winning author Margarita Engle about her first picture book, Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian (illus. by Julie Paschkis; Henry Holt, 2010). The post is here:
    Thanks again!

  16. I'm in with a review of Girl in the Know by Anne Katz.

  17. Hm...I have another post about The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According To Susy)...

    The more the merrier, I suppose. Thanks for hosting!

  18. I have a review of the Is That a Fact? series over at A Patchwork of Books:

    Thanks for hosting this week!

  19. At my blog, Full of Grace, I post a review of several picture books from around the world:

  20. We went for simple to read but fun to look at today:

  21. Thank you so much for catching my post, my friend! Great list today! How wonderful that you featured Patricia Lauber today!

  22. Sorry for the lateness, had some things crop up...

    Nice tribute to Patricia Lauber.

    I found a treasure today at Wrapped in Foil

  23. I don't always follow Non-Fiction Monday, so I didn't see this when it first came out. I loved Clarence the TV Dog when I was a kid (mid-'60s) - read it several times, and found one of the sequels when I was in high school. I also read Famous Mysteries of the Sea, which my sister had bought for me, several times. (It was an on-line search for that book, in fact, which led to my discovering this post of yours today.)