Sophisticated Picture Books

Analyze a picture book for older readers!

Qualities of a Sophisticated Picture Book:

1. Uses a variety of literary techniques.
2. Provides  information to increase the general knowledge of readers 11-years-old and up.
3. Includes an important idea about life that is relevant even to adults.

Analyze a Sophisticated Picture Book

A. Citation or bibliographic entry

Use proper format.

B. Evidence of literary techniques

Click HERE to find a list of techniques.
If your book is unpaged, write “Unpaged book.” at the beginning of this section.

C. Information to expand your general knowledge

Find the information about biology, geography, history or psychology contained in the story.
Make a list of the facts that readers can learn from this book.
Often extra information is given at the end of the story.

D. An important idea about life

You should infer the theme or central idea in the story.
Then provide evidence, paraphrased or quoted, to prove that theme.

E. Your thoughts about the idea

Write a paragraph, or several paragraphs, telling what you think about the theme.
You should provide evidence from your own life or from the lives of people you know.
You may also relate the theme to other books you have read or movies you have seen.

Selected Bibliography

Bardoe, Cheryl. Gregor Mendel: the Friar Who Grew Peas. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Barretta, Gene. Neo Leo: the Ageless Ideas of Leon da Vinci. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2009.

Berne, Jennifer. On a Beam of Light: a Story of Albert Einstein. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2013.

Brown, Don. Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004.

Brown, Don. One Giant Leap: the Story of Neil Armstrong. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998.

Brown, Don. Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Brown, Don. A Wizard from the Start: the Incredible Boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010.

D’Agnese, Joseph. Blockhead: the Life of Fibonacci. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2010.

Demi. Gandhi. Toronto: Margaret K. McElderry Books. 2001.

Demi. Joan of Arc. New York: Marshall Cavendish Children, 2011.

Feris, Jeri. Noah Webster and His Words. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

Floca, Brian. Moonshot: the Story of the Apollo 11. New York: Atheneum Books, 2009.

Gerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. New York : Square Fish, 2003.

Graham, Bob. How to Heal a Broken Wing. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2008.

Hong, Chen Jiang. Mao and Me: the Little Red Guard. New York: Enchanted Lion Books, 2008.

Hopkinson, Deborah. A Boy Called Dickens. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2012.

Hopkinson, Deborah. Sky boys: How they Built the Empire State Building. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2006.

Hopkinson, Deborah. Keep on: the Story of Matthew Henson, Co-discoverer of the North Pole.  Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Pub., 2009.

K’naan. When I Get Older: the Story behind Wavin’ Flag. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2012.

Lasky, Katherine. One Beetle Too Many: the Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2009.

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Snowflake Bentley. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

Miller, William. Richard Wright and the Library Card.  New York: Lee & Low Books, 1997.

Mortensen, Lori. Come See the Earth Turn: the Story of Leon Foucault. New York: Tricycle Press / Random House, 2010.

Nivola, Claire A. Planting the trees of Kenya : the story of Wangaru Maathai. New York: Francis Foster Books / Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2008.

Park, Frances. My Freedom Trip. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, 2010, 1998.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Duke Ellington: the Piano Prince and his Orchestra. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 1998.

Roth, Susan L. Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Rubbino, Salvatore. A Walk in London. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2011.

Ruelle, Karen Gray. The Grand Mosque of Paris: a Story of How Muslims Saved Jews During the Holocaust. New York: Holiday House, 2009.

Rumford, James. From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2012.

Rumford, James. Seeker of Knowledge: the Man who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Ryan, Pam Munoz. When Marion Sang: the True Recital of Marian Anderson : the Voice of a Century. New York: Scholastic Press, 2002.

Satoshi, Kitamura. Stone Age Boy. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2007.

Say, Allen. Drawing from Memory. New York: Scholastic Press, 2011.

Schanzer, Rosalyn. What Darwin Saw: the Journey that Changed the World. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2009.

Shulevitz, Uri. How I Learned Geography. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008.

Spinner, Stephanie. Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.

Tonatiuh, Duncan. Diego Rivera: His World and Ours. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011.

Winter, Jeanette. The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps. New York : Schwartz & Wade Books / Random House ; 2011.

Yolen, Jane. Encounter. Orlando, FL: Harcourt 1992.

Young, Ed. The House Baba Built: an Artist’s Childhood in China. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2011.


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