Module 7–Informational Nonfiction

Spiders by Nic Bishop



This informational book lets readers learn about the different aspects of a spider’s life from how they kill their prey to how they mate.

Bishop, N.  (2012).  Spiders.  Scholastic:  USA

My impressions

With real life pictures to reinforce facts this is a great read for beginning readers who want to learn about spiders and their lives.  I myself am not a huge spider fan but found the book very interesting.  The short concise text will let a beginning reader get through this book with ease.  There are a few big words throughout the book, but they are in bold print and explained in the glossary in case further discussion is needed.  Nic Bishop took all of the pictures himself and at the end of the book he has the pictures labeled with the spiders name and the page location.


Striking close-up and highly magnified photos of a wide variety of spiders are the heart of this fascinating and versatile introduction to the order. From the opening page, pointing out that spiders predate dinosaurs but may be hunting in your very own basement, to the closing descriptions of the scientist-photographer’s methods, the text and pictures both intrigue and inform the young reader or listener. The simple text covers the most important points: differentiating spiders from insects, providing a physical description and describing senses and behaviors. Varied fonts signal the most important fact or idea on a page and identify each photograph. Most photographs cover a full-page or more. The design supports the subject. Where the text does not appear directly on the illustration, page backgrounds match the vibrant colors of the spiders or their world and include a subtle web design. Most remarkable is the gate-fold composite portrait of a jumping spider’s leap (and Bishop explains at the end just how he made that image). This splendid title should leap off the shelves. (index, glossary) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-10)

(2007, August 1).  Review of Spiders.  Retrieved from


This book would be great one to add to a story time as a non-fiction read with my preschool groups.  I have a cute spider craft made out of construction paper that we could make.

It would also be possible to photocopy colored pictures of the book to use in a display along with different dead spiders.  If we were able to get our hands on some live spiders that we could keep alive, that would be even cooler.

What If You Met a Pirate  by Jan Adkins



Misconceptions about pirates plague our present day world.  Jan Adkins is hoping to lay some of those lies to rest.  This book answers questions about the daily life of a pirate, how they dressed and what their ships looked like.  Weapons are discussed in detail as well as the men that would be on board the ship.  Did you know that walking the plank never actually existed?  Find out more interesting facts through this non-fiction read about pirates.

Adkins, J.  (2004).  What if You Met a Pirate?  Connecticut:  Roaring Book Press.

My impressions

I was rather impressed with this book.  While it is not a book for younger kids, the text is too long and a bit complicated for beginning readers, it is a great book for kids grades 3-5.  Set up just like an Eyewitness book, but with illustrations from the author, this was a very educational book without looking like a textbook.  My son enjoyed this just as much as I did.


Adkins rejects the conventional glamorous image of the pirate to construct a scruffier, though only slightly less romanticized, one in this sweeping history of privateers, buccaneers, freebooters, and similar nautical nogoodnicks. Though he may characterize them as “violent, wicked criminals,” he downplays the more lurid tales of their bad behavior, focusing instead on generalities about their habits, hygiene (“Most pirates had bad teeth, and not very many of them”), and seamanship. He also introduces Sir Francis Drake, William Kidd, Henry Morgan, and other piratical luminaries—often so that he can go on about their bad ends. Scattering loosely drawn but practiced vignettes of men and ships around snippets of historical fact, Adkins offers nothing new beyond a distinctly personal tone, but the topic is hot just now, and there’s enough about ships and sailing here to draw more than narrowly focused pirate fans. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)

(2004, September 1).  Review of What If You Met a Pirate.  Retrieved from


This book could be used in a class discussion on pirates.  It would be fun to do a pirate theme day at the library where we had the facts learned from this book posted around the library.  Using a scavenger hunt the kids could find and decode clues to lead to the next pirate fact.  The winner(s) get the pirate treasure!


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