Nonfiction Picture Books – Cybils 2012

Welcome to the last of our first triplet of posts about the 2012 Cybils panels. From now through September 30, 2012 we will publish a post about one of the eight seven remaining Cybils categories as we count down toward October 1, opening day for Nominations!

We are working our way backwards through the alphabet, so today’s featured Category is Nonfiction Picture Books and our new chair Jennifer Wharton.

Category: Nonfiction Picture Books
Category Chair: Jennifer Wharton
Jennifer blogs at Jean Little Library and Flying Off My Bookshelf
She isn’t on Twitter … yet (mwhahahaha!)

I am the Youth Services Librarian of the Matheson Memorial Library in Elkhorn. I specialize in programming for preschool through middle school and am passionately interested in helping children explore the world through books and experiential programs!

My personal library, over 2,000 books, is named after Canadian author Jean Little. My library is open for viewing on LibraryThing, along with thousands of other books I have read but do not own.

Round 1 Panelists

Janssen Bradshaw, school library training, parent
Everyday Reading and @everydayreading
Janssen is my real name. Everyday Reading chronicles my favorite things in life: books, food, and the occasional successful outfit. My daughter, Ella, and husband, Bart, make intermittent appearances, through no fault of their own.

Amy Broadmoor, teacher, librarian, parent
Delightful Children’s Books and @delightchildbks
My name is Amy. I have three young children ages seven, five, and two. I spend my time teaching and learning from my children, running, and searching for great picture books. As a parent, I also seek out books about subjects that I want to teach my children about. I search for books about nature, the arts, and countries around the world. I search for stories that help my kids develop empathy and other social skills.

Susan Murray, librarian, parent
From Tots to Teens and @semurray
I was a children’s and teen librarian for many years, and have reviewed picture books and nonfiction for School Library Journal for 12 years. I have two little girls – Frances, age 5 and Gloria, age 3 (not their real names – to protect the innocent!). I currently work for the MT Office of Public Instruction.

Deb Nance, teacher, librarian, parent
Readerbuzz and @debnance
I read. That’s what I love to do. But I am also crazy about my guitar, drawing, writing, puppets, traveling, Scrabble, gardens, and walking….and let’s not forget serendipity and paradox….

Karen Terlecky, teacher, parent
Literate Lives and @karenterlecky
I have been teaching for more than 28 years (how did that happen?!!), the last six of which were spent teaching, reading and writing with 5th graders. Outside of my school identities, I am a wife, and a mother of two daughters; one who is a junior in college and the other who currently lives in the Washington DC area. I love to read, golf, vacation, knit, swim, take long walks outside, spend time on my screened porch, and spend time with friends and family. In addition to blogging, I also write for the Choice Literacy website from time to time.

Laurie Thompson, author, parent
Laurie and @lauriethompson
I write nonfiction for kids, believe in youth empowerment, and am a sucker for underdogs. When I was about 9 years old, I secretly took the Institute of Children’s Literature’s “aptitude test” that appeared every week in our Sunday newspaper. When they sent back a full-blown application, I was thrilled. I slaved over it for a whole week (maybe two!) and sent it back, hopeful. When they replied saying they wanted me to pay several hundred dollars to take their course, I was overjoyed! — right up until my parents said that was definitely not an option. “But I have aptitude!” I cried. Still no. So I pursued other interests like horseback riding, reading (definitely an option heartily supported by my parents–thanks mom and dad!), and playing Dungeons and Dragons. Eventually, I went to college and got a respectable career as a computer programmer, something for which I also had aptitude but, sadly, no great passion. Thankfully, after having children of my own, I finally found my way back to children’s books and writing.

Ellen Zschunke, teacher, librarian, parent
On the Shelf 4 Kids and @ontheshelf4kids
I am a school library media specialist in a K-5 Elementary School.

Round 2  Judges

Shirley Duke, author
SimplyScience and @slduke
I am a children’s writer, science content editor, blogger and presenter. I taught science and ESL in elementary, middle school, and high school for 25 years and then began to write  for children. I’ve written 21 books for the trade and educational market and 8 books for an individual. I’ve written freelance for publishers, book packagers, and individuals. This work includes books,  magazines, Booklinks, tests, teacher guides, flashcards, workbooks, ghostwriting, my college alumni bulletin, and blogs.

Jen Fukuyama, parent
Perogies and Gyoza and @perogies_gyoza
Raising Canadian kids in small city Japan is hard. It’s not just the language, it’s the culture, the snow we don’t get, the diversity, and the food. I was not only having trouble connecting my kids to their Canadian roots, I couldn’t connect myself. When I moved to Japan I immersed myself. I read Japanese books, I studied Japanese, I had Japanese friends, I worked in an all- Japanese environment. I felt like I had become a different person from the Canadian girl I had been. Which wasn’t much of a problem unless I wanted my kids to connect with Canada, their relatives and my friends. 

Roberta Gibson, parent, author
Wrapped in Foil and @RobertaGibson
Roberta Gibson both a scientist and a writer.  She expresses her scientific side at her Growing with Science blog. In November 2008, she was a participant in the National Novel Writing Month, where thousands of writers tried to write 50,000 words in a month. Quite a few succeeded. She did not. One of the reasons may have been that she was having almost as much fun writing a blog about her experiences as actually writing the novel. Check out what she wrote at  My NaNo Writing Blog. That helped give rise to this blog.

Mandy Robek, teacher, parent
Enjoy and Embrace Learning and @mandyrobek
I am currently teaching kindergarten. My 19 years in education have included k,1,2, and 3. I began this blog when I returned to teaching kindergarten last year. Teaching kindergarten is different than any other position. My students come full days M/W or T/Th and every other Friday. So, within two weeks of life we spend 5 days together (per class). I enjoy following blogs and my friend who keeps a blog suggested I do one too, here I am sharing books I find and some my thinking along the way. I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, being outside, at the beach, spending time with my family, sewing, walking our dog, trying to be a runner, the zoo, and trips to any ice cream store. I hope you enjoy and embrace learning. My One Little Word this year is – change.

Amy Uptain, teacher, librarian, parent
Hope is the Word and @HopetheWordBlog
Hi!  Welcome to Hope Is the Word, my blog in which I review the books I read, as well as record as thoughts on home education, parenting, and living a bookish life.  My name is Amy, and I am married to Steady Eddie.  We have two girls:  Lulu, born 5/04, and Louise, born 11/05.  We are also parents of a baby boy, whose online name is The DLM, who was born 6/10.  I am a teacher and librarian turned stay-at-home, home-educating mother.  Hope Is the Word is the home of Read Aloud Thursday, which is a weekly meme in which bloggers share their families’ read-alouds of the week.   I’d love for you to join us some time!

As you might expect, this panel is rife with teacher, librarian and nonfiction author bloggers! There are many pathways to encouraging and hooking kids with books and reading.

Nonfiction for kids – especially nonfiction picture books – is especially great. Unlike other picture books they read front-to-back, nonfiction picture books (generally) allow kids to explore the images and content in whatever order piques their curiosity and the lure of the “oh gross” factor.


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