Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Orbis Pictus Discussion Group

Tonight was my first discussion group meeting to help choose the BEST nonfiction title for 2011 for the Orbis Pictus Award. This award "promotes and recognizes excellence in nonfiction writing." Jan Kristo invited me and 8 others to be in this great discussion group and tonight we were able to browse through the many contenders and choose some to take back and "test-drive" with our students! One favorite that I think my students will love is Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrations by Bryan Collier. This story is about Dave, a 19th century slave who was a skilled potter and poet. He often carved poems into his pottery before it had dried, along with the date and his name. The back matter has a lot to offer as well. Not only do we learn he had lost a leg during his life and relied on another slave to push the pottery pedal, the author also admits there is no recorded history as to how he learned to write at a time when education of slaves was prohibited. The watercolor collage illustrations tell a story and really focus on Dave's hands. Go find this book and read it to your class-it just might be the Orbis Pictus Award winner!!


  1. Wow. I can;t believe I actually know one of the judges for this. Glad you're going to NWP.

  2. I'll be on the look out...I'm always looking for good primary non-fiction. I see Jan brought her snacks :).