2016 (Liberty Street)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
A chocolate sundae is nice. Vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. But what if you added a slice of banana. And sprinkles. Ooh, some peanuts would be good too. What about another flavor or two of ice cream? Imagine having seventeen flavors of ice cream! That’s how an almanac is an indulgence for an informational text fan. It takes some facts and adds more and more. The nice thing about this informational sundae is that you gain zero calories from reading it. There are seventeen sections to the Time for Kids Almanac 2017.
Within each of those sections, there are plenty of facts, but the beauty of this almanac is that text is presented in several different ways. For example, the geography section has a two page map with seven circles of data representing the continents and a table with information about the five oceans. The next page features informational text about the Earth in a narrative format. On the opposite side is a first person report about Antarctica by TFK writer David Bjerklie. Three different styles of nonfiction on three consecutive pages. That’s how an almanac rolls. It’s more than just lists of data. And it’s quite handy too. If you need facts about a president, it’s there. What about the flag of a particular country? Got it. Loads and loads of info that will be useful beyond this calendar year.
When I was a kid, I could count on two gifts each year: The new paperback edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and The Associated Press Almanac. I had a happy childhood! Using this in the classroom, you could sit it right next to a dictionary for reference purposes. Want to add some tech? You could also use an app like Goose Chase and add a scavenger hunt using facts from the book. There are many uses for this unique tool!
Check out more of Jeff’s posts at NC Teacher Stuff.