About this time last year, Melissa Stewart wrote an excellent series on children’s book preferences in which she argued that we are underserving a group of children who enjoy expository nonfiction: casting it as broccoli, when kids see it as chocolate cake.
I was thrilled to see her strong research basis for an idea that has been quietly circulating among reading specialists for years: if you have a reluctant reader, try sticking a well-photographed nonfiction book in front of them. In my own experience, I’ve seen a lot of kids become enthusiastic about books when I’ve tried this trick.
I am giving a presentation in a few weeks on this topic and wanted to point my attendees to Melissa’s blog posts, but couldn’t find a page with links to her whole series. So I’m collecting them here, for anyone who attends JCPLA day, as well as anyone else interested in matching kids with the right books. (Of course, Melissa’s entire blog is worth reading, but this is a great place to start.)
That’s Not Broccoli, It’s Chocolate Cake, Part 1
Enjoy. Preferably with cake.