Monday, May 5, 2008

Nonfiction Monday -- See How It's Made



See How It's Made
DK Children Publishing
September 17, 2007

I was intrigued by this book before I ever opened it to see what was inside. The neon orange cover grabbed my attention -- I just had to pick it off the shelf of my favorite bookstore, Cover to Cover, to see what goodies might be inside. I think my students will be equally attracted to the cover.

Opening the book was equally enjoyable. This is an entire book that explains how everyday things are made -- how cool is that for the inquiring mind! Some of the topics that are covered are sausages, plastic blocks, skateboards, cotton t-shirts, rope, and much, much more!!

The layout for each topic is similar. The first two pages talk about the topic, sharing both historical details of the product as well as lesser-known, but quite interesting facts. Then, the next two pages have two cleverly done sequences of how the product is made. At the top of these two pages is a "At a Glance" sequence done with pictures and brief captions. Then the bottom two-thirds of these two pages are the sequence of the product being made in much more thorough detail. It starts with "Start Here", and then, using between 10 - 12 steps (depending on the product), uses a numbered picture sequence chart with more detailed explanations under each photograph.

The visual appeal of this book is wonderful -- I absolutely love it! Some of the reasons it appeals: it's bright, it's colorful, it uses photographs that are quite appealing to the eye (and for the food products -- the stomach as well!), it uses the bottom borders of the pages to share even more information about the given product, it uses a lot of speech and thought bubbles that help with the understanding of information, just to name a few.

I will also be using this book as a model text for literary nonfiction in our writing. The organizational structures in this book are definitely worth having a conversation about, and seeing if they would work in my students' own nonfiction writing pieces.

See How It's Made
will be another important edition to my nonfiction collection. I was fascinated by how much I learned when I read this book. This is one my new favorite nonfiction books for kids.

Head on over to Picture Book of the Day for more Nonfiction Monday reading.

2 comments:

  1. This sounds like the kind of book that will really inspire kids to create things on their own -- what a great way to make reading applicable to the "real world"!

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  2. My students love this book! And it's a great example of a different structure of nonfiction writing -- numbered steps.

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