Libraries preparing for the “Common Core” emphasis on nonfiction will find this survey of informational picture-books invaluable. In prefatory chapters, Isaacs deals with the slippery definitions of “picture book” and “informational book,” the issue of imagined elements such as dialogue, and the criteria for selection in this volume and in libraries in general. The focus is on books for children ages 3-10, published between 2005 and 2010. The 250 annotations are organized by broad themes such as “The World We Make,” with more specific subsections such as “Construction Equipment and Things That Go” and “Flight and Space Travel.” Each annotation, running approximately 200 words, includes a general description of content and approach, evaluation of strengths and/or unique aspects, other worthy titles in the series and related titles, and any honors or awards garnered by the title. The appendices include information about the various awards, honors, and lists, as well as title, subject, and author-illustrator indexes. A handy tool for teachers as well as librarians, this offers an excellent overview of a burgeoning genre that is likely to find increased demand with Common Core curricula.
Linda Perkins, Independent