Tag Archives: henna


Nonfiction, but also some fictional, books are a great resource for those of us who are curious and want to learn more. Why do some cultures have certain traditions? How can you find a job you love? What makes people tick? And even… what if dinosaurs really existed? These books can provide answers to many questions…

Henna Is…, written by Marzieh Abbas and illustrated by Anu Chouhan, is a wonderful picture book that both delights and informs. Henna Is… is the story of how henna is actually grown, picked and ground into powder. It tells how, by adding ingredients, it is made into a paste that is used to paint designs on skin. But, through poetic text, it is also a multi layered story of how the tradition has been carried through the ages, how it has been passed on through countries and cultures and how it helps to celebrate many different occasions. Henna Is… is so much more than a joyful story about henna. Use it in the classroom to explain why some people paint temporary tattoos on their hands and use it to inspire art. ISBN 978-1-250-86266-2, Feiwel and Friends, New York.

Hooray for DNA!: How a Bear and a Bug Are a Lot Like Us

Hooray for DNA, How a Bear and a Bug Are a Lot Like Us, written by Pauline Thompson and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli is a picture book that shows how DNA makes us us. It looks at animals and other things that are alive, and how DNA turns us from a ‘thing’ into a person. But mostly it stretches how humans are alive and how – regardless of skin colour or eye colour, DNA makes us all related. The back pages have more in depth information  on the building blocks of DNA. A fun, rhyming read that encourages budding scientists to learn more. ISBN 978-0-593-42704-0, Alfred A. Knopf

The Extinct Files, My Science Project by Wallace Edwards.This is a brilliant picture book for dinosaur lovers of all ages. “Wally” Edwards is a kid in grade school who discovers that extinction of dinosaurs is just a giant coverup. He has photos and many observations to prove that dinosaurs are not extinct but have evolved to be smart and have adapted to urban civilization. The fantastic illustrations and book pages look like a child’s homework project, complete with perforations and string. The ‘photos’ are ‘taped’ to the pages to make it look like homework. However, just before handing in his project, it has been found by the dinosaurs, who undertake a security breach investigation and issue a warning to all dinosaurs to be careful. All Wally has left to show his teacher is a remaining corner of his report that was eaten by dinosaurs. A great, fun book to inspire students’ imagination! ISBN 978-1-55337-971-3, Kids Can Press

Meet Clara Hughes, by Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Mike Deas is the inspiring biography of an Olympic skater who battled mental health problems. This enlightening picturebook is part of Scholastic’s biograpies series. Not only does this book focus on Clara Hughes, an impressive athlete who won Olympic gold medals in speed skating and competed in cycling. She also struggled with mental health issues and depression. Clara created awareness of these conditions in hopes of helping others. She embarked on a Big Bike ride across Canada to raise awareness and was Canada’s flag bearer at the Vancouver Olympics. She is the only person ever to win multiple medals at both Summer and Winter Olympics.  A good read with the Olympics coming up! ISBN 978-1443197724, Scholastic Canada

See It, Dream It, Do It was written by Colleen Nelson and Kathie MacIsaac, illustrated by Scot Ritchie. The book helps to create awareness for kids about how to get the job of your dreams. What does it take to become a paleontologist? Or a basketball coach? How can you actually become a stand-up comedian or a microbiologist? The book shows kids real life situations, spin off jobs, and the kind of education or experience needed for a wide variety of jobs. It highlights a young woman who worked for the foreign service and became an Ambassador. Other young women became a pilot, a captain and cybersecurity analyst. What does it take to be a Lego designer or a male midwife? This fascinating book is aimed at young people but an equally informative read for people of all ages. ISBN 978-1-77278-288-2, Pajama Press

Margriet Ruurs is a writer in Canada who loves her job and is curious about just about anything. Book for for author talks in your school here: