Posted by: nancyisanders | March 24, 2016

NF PB Journey

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 3.28.33 PM

Mosquito Bite
by Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel
Photographs by Dennis Kunkel
Published by Charlesbridge in 2005

What a great book this is! It’s great for kids. It’s great for parents, teachers, librarians, and educators. And it’s a great mentor text for children’s authors who are serious about science and teaching science to kids.

If you want to write nonfiction for Charlesbridge¬†or nonfiction picture books in general, hop on over to Amazon and take a peek inside the book. The text is engaging and very well done. The fresh unique approach to include microphotographs is brilliant. I just can’t say enough great things about this book.

Per our discussion in my last post, I evaluated it using my INFORMATIONAL TEXT PICTURE BOOK RUBRIC. Why? Because even though it teaches the life-cycle of the mosquito, it includes a make-believe story arc about children playing hide-and-seek when one boy gets bit by the mosquito.

I’m not saying this is wrong. Not at all. It’s just that I belong to various online nonfiction writing groups and have been involved with various groups that discuss fiction/nonfiction and this book definitely is not pure nonfiction even though it’s categorized in my local library under nonfiction.

In Charlotte Huck’s Children’s Literature (tenth edition) by Barbara Z. Kiefer, Mosquito Bite is even used as an example of nonfiction on page 505 in the author’s Chapter 11: Nonfiction Books. It is included under a subheading called “STYLE.”

I just want to point this out because as a nonfiction children’s writer, I couldn’t classify this book and others like it as nonfiction. I prefer using the term informational text, which as Kiefer points out, has been a standard and accepted term in the children’s publishing industry for years.

And as some of you have commented, our awareness of this as writers can actually help us understand more clearly just how the lines between fiction and nonfiction are drawn in today’s publishing world. And knowing this can help us become better writers and improve our own nonfiction manuscripts.

Here’s my rubric for you to see:

Mosquito Bite






  1. Great job in clarifying informational as compared to nonfiction!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: