Who says kids find nonfiction boring and dry? Despite what many people may think about kids and nonfiction, children’s author April Pulley Sayre knows that kids really do love nonfiction, it’s simply a matter of “letting them graze and have some input so they can pursue their interests.”
If you want to inspire students to read nonfiction, April Pulley Sayre suggests that you make sure you have titles from “passionate writers. Stock the library with Seibert winners, AAAS/Subaru/SB&F award winners, John Burroughs Award winners, and so on. Check out the many great Internet resources like the Picture Perfect Science book website, http://www.pictureperfectscience.com/.” When you’re looking for some good nonfiction titles, Sayre’s own books are a good place to start.
Sayre “loves hearing kids’ questions and responding to their curiosity about the world.” Kids are naturally curious and it’s not too difficult to bolster that curiosity. “Share what you love, whether that’s pickles or quilts or skydiving,” Sayre asserts. “Kids just want to know that somebody is enthused about learning” and then all you have to do is “get out of the way and let kids follow their interests.”
With a degree in biology and experience that includes editorial internships for the National Wildlife Federation and the National Geographic Society, it’s perhaps not surprising that many of Sayre’s works are about animals, nature, and all things science in general. There are nonfiction picture books like Woodpecker Wham!, which recently received a highly recommended rating in reVIEWS+, Here Come the Humpbacks!, and Rah, Rah, Radishes: A Vegetable Chant. For older students there are titles such as Secrets of Sound: Studying the Calls and Songs of Whales, Elephants, and Birds and the upcoming The Slowest Book Ever (2016). Her love for “delicious, lyrical language” is evident in many of her books.
Sayre appreciates all that librarians do to further kids’ learning and creativity. As she puts it, “librarians, I am so thankful to all of you, for what you do to lovingly help put the right book into a reader’s hands. I feel like we are connected, working to pass along knowledge and nourish creativity. I don’t know how many of you I will ever get to thank in person, so I want to say that while I have this little moment to do so. You rock! I will do my best to provide you with something worthy of your readers and the work you put into sharing knowledge with kids.”
For more about April Pulley Sayre, visit her website at http://www.aprilsayre.com/.