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Let Me Introduce...8 Picture Book Biographies

Do you collect fossils? Maybe you're more interested in cooking. Been brave enough to travel to faraway places alone? Meet people who do all of these things and more when you pick up one of these books!

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World

By: Tracey Fern
Illustrated by: Boris Kulikov
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Even as a child, Barnum Brown started collecting fossils. This boy from Carbondale, Kansas, grew up to be one of the 20th century's premier dinosaur hunters. He provided the American Museum of Natural History in NYC with its first tyrannosaurus Rex and more. Illustrations add wit to the informal telling; an author's note rounds out the presentation.

Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child

By: Jessie Hartland
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

She wore a size 12 shoe, was a spy during World War II, and her name became synonymous with classic French cooking. An informal, engaging, and surprisingly comprehensive biography of Julia Child is presented though a format that is reminiscent of both a scrapbook and a comic book. The result is sure to engross sophisticated young foodies again and again.

Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team

By: Audrey Vernick
Illustrated by: Steven Salerno
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

..[B]ack in the 1920s and '30s, twelve of sixteen Acerra children played baseball (the girls back then didn't play sports). This upbeat look at one close-knit, longtime baseball-playing family is jauntily illustrated. An author's note reveals her inspiration and an update on the Acerras (including their induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame).

Heroes of the Surf

By: Elisa Carbone
Illustrated by: Nancy Carpenter
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

En route to New York City from South America in 1882, the Pliny runs aground in rough water. In a riveting imagined first person account, Anthony's voice brings to life the rescue of passengers from a British ship, with evocative descriptions. Dramatic illustrations enhance the detail. An afterword provides additional historical detail.

Leopard and Silkie: One Boy's Quest to Save the Seal Pups

By: Brenda Peterson
Illustrated by: Robin Lindsey
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Join Miles, a young Seal Sitter at the Salish Sea (aka Puget Sound) in Seattle, Washington, as he works to help Leopard until his mother returns from finding food. How the baby seal named Leopard grows with a bit of help (but no interference) from humans is revealed in full-color photographs and crisp text. An author's note provides additional information.

Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants

By: Tony Johnston
Illustrated by: Stacey Innerst
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Early miners' pants couldn't hold up as they dug for gold when the California gold rush started — until a man named Levi Strauss headed west with a "DANG!" good idea! This tall tale version of how Levis (jeans) came into existence is told with verve and humor in both textured illustration and lighthearted text, ideal for reading aloud. It fills in what little is known about the real man.

Magritte's Marvelous Hat

By: D.B. Johnson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Meet Magritte who "One bright day in the dark of the night," saw a "marvelous hat" that became his inspiration and friend. Johnson's illustrations are inspired by the 20th century surrealist painter Rene Magritte (though here the artist is a canine). This visually sophisticated book introduces young artists to a unique master.

Mrs. Harkness and the Panda

By: Alicia Porter
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ruth Harkness continued her husband's work after his death. She traveled alone to China alone, unusual for a woman in the 1930s. She found an abandoned panda cub, brought it back to the United States to begin "panda-monium." Handsome illustrations evoke the period and places of Mrs. Harkness' travel. An author's note provides more information.

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges