Orbis Pictus Award
Titles Owned by the Kathryn A. Martin Library

"NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), through the Committee on the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, has established an annual award for promoting and recognizing excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children. The name Orbis Pictus, commemorates the work of Johannes Amos Comenius, Orbis Pictus--The World in Pictures (1657), considered to be the first book actually planned for children." The award information was retrieved from the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award website. PDF's of the awards at: Orbis Pictus 2010 - Present Winners, Orbis Pictus 2000-2010, Orbis Pictus 1990-2000.pdf


Fleming, Candace. (2014). The family Romanov : murder, rebellion & the fall of Imperial Russia. New York : Schwartz & Wade Books. 947.08 F597f 

From the acclaimed author of Amelia Lost and The Lincolns comes a heartrending narrative nonfiction page-turner--and a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards. When Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew into the Russian Revolution. Deftly maneuvering between the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia's peasants and urban workers--and their eventual uprising--Fleming offers up a fascinating portrait, complete with inserts featuring period photographs and compelling primary-source material that brings it all to life.


Bryant, Jennifer. (2013). A splash of red : the life and art of Horace Pippin. (Illustrated by Melissa Sweet ). New York : Alfred A. Knopf. 921 P6658br

Presents an illustrated introduction to the life and work of artist Horace Pippin, describing his childhood love for drawing and the World War I injury that challenged his career.


Schubert, Leda. (2012). Monsieur Marceau : actors without words. (Illustrated by Gérard DuBois). New York : Roaring Brook Press. 792.3 S384m

A visual profile of the iconic mime combines lyrical text with artwork to offer insight into the man behind hi famous "Bip the Clown" character and the artistry that enabled him to communicate wordlessly and vibrantly.


Sweet, Melissa. (2011). Balloons over Broadway : the true story of the puppeteer of Macy's Parade. Boston, MA : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. 921 S2451sw

Tony Sarg loved figuring out how to make things move. At age 6, he created a chicken feeder he could run from his bed so he didn’t have to get up at 6:30. When he grew up, he started making puppets that were so lifelike people were amazed! Tony moved to New York City where Macy’s department store asked him to design a "puppet parade" for the holiday windows. All day long people stared at the mechanical marionettes. Then Macy’s had a bigger job: could Tony design a parade based on the carnivals from all around the world? Tony could and the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade wound from Harlem to Herald Square in 1924. Next live animals in the parade were replaced by marionettes made of helium-filled balloons, which got bigger so they rose above the crowd and everyone could see Tony’s "puppets."


Greenberg, Jan, & Jordan, Sandra. (2010). Ballet for Martha : making Appalachian Spring. (Illustrated by Brian Floca). New York : Flash Point. 784.21 G798b

Tells the story behind the creation of "Appalachian Spring," describing Aaron Copland’s composition, Martha Graham’s intense choreography and Isamu Noguchi’s set design.


Bass, Hester. (2009). The secret world of Walter Anderson. (Illustrated by E. B. Lewis). Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press. 921 A5529ba

Residents along the Mississippi Gulf Coast thought Walter Anderson was odd, rowing across twelve miles of open water in a leaky skiff to reach Horn, an uninhabited island without running water or electricity. But this solitary artist didn’t much care what they thought as he spent weeks at a time on his personal paradise, sleeping under his boat, sometimes eating whatever washed ashore, sketching and painting the natural surroundings and the animals that became his friends. Here Walter created some of his most brilliant watercolors, work he kept hidden during his lifetime.


Tanaka, Shelley. (2008). Amelia Earhart : the legend of the lost aviator. (Illustrated by David Craig). New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers. 921 E122ta 

Ever since Amelia Earhart and her plane disappeared on July 2, 1937, people have wanted to know more about this remarkable woman. Amelia Earhart follows the charismatic aviator from her first sight of an airplane at the age of ten to the last radio transmission she made before she vanished. Illustrated with original artworks, contemporary photographs, quotes, and details, this is a great introduction to the famous pilot.


Bolden, Tonya. (2007). M.L.K. : journey of a King. (Photo editor, Bob Adelman). New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers. 921 K535bo 

Through period photographs and text introduces readers to Martin Luther King, Jr.


Montgomery, Sy. (2006). Quest for the tree kangaroo : an expedition to the cloud forest of New Guinea. (Photographs by Nic Bishop). Boston : Houghton Mifflin. 599.2 M788q

Follow a group of explorers and scientists as they travel to Papua New Guinea to find a type of kangaroo that lives in trees.


Freedman, Russell. (2005). Children of the Great Depression. New York : Clarion Books. 305.23 F853c

Life was hard for children during the Great Depression . Many families couldn't afford new clothes, shoes, sometimes electricity or heat. Some children had to work while others had no home at all. Even so, life had some bright spots like favorite games and radio shows. Illustrated with photographs by notable artists.


Blumberg, Rhoda. (2004). York's adventures with Lewis and Clark : an African-American's part in the great expedition. New York : HarperCollins Publishers. 921 Y615b

Relates the adventures of York, a slave and "body servant" to William Clark, who journeyed west with the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806.


Murphy, Jim. (2003). An American plague : the true and terrifying story of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. New York : Clarion Books. 614.5 M978a

It's 1793, and there's an invisible killer roaming the streets of Philadelphia. The city's residents are fleeing in fear. This killer has a name--yellow fever--but everything else about it is a mystery. Its cause is unknown and there is no cure. This powerful dramatic account by award-winning author Jim Murphy traces the devastating course of the epidemic. An American Plague offers a fascinating glimpse into the conditions in American cities at the time of our nation's birth while drawing thought-provoking parallels to modern-day epidemics.


Ryan, Pam Muñoz. (2002). When Marian sang : the true recital of Marian Anderson. (Illustrated by Brian Selznick). New York : Scholastic Press. 921 A5485r

An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change.


Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. (2001). Black potatoes : the story of the great Irish famine, 1845-1850. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. 941.5 B292b

Black Potatoes is the story of the men, women, and children who struggled through the Great Irish Famine, a five-year period when one million people died from starvation and disease and two million more fled from Ireland.


Stanley, Jerry. (2000). Hurry freedom : African Americans in Gold Rush California. New York : Crown Publishers. 979.4 S788h

Recounts the history of African Americans in California during the Gold Rush while focusing on the life and work of Mifflin Gibbs.


Bridges, Ruby. (1999). Through my eyes. (Articles and interviews compiled and edited by Margo Lundell). New York : Scholastic Press. 379.2 B851t

Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement, as a six-year-old, in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960.


Armstrong, Jennifer. (1998). Shipwreck at the bottom of the world : the extraordinary true story of Shackleton and the Endurance. New York : Crown. 919.8 A736s

Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition when, after being trapped in a frozen sea for nine months, their ship, Endurance, was finally crushed, forcing Shackleton and his men to make a very long and perilous journey across ice and stormy seas to reach inhabited land.


Pringle, Laurence P. (1997). An extraordinary life : the story of a monarch butterfly. (Paintings by Bob Marstall). New York : Orchard Books. 595.78 P957e

Introduces the life cycle, feeding habits, migration, predators, and mating of the monarch butterfly through the observation of one particular monarch named Danaus.


Stanley, Diane. (1996). Leonardo da Vinci. New York : Morrow Junior Books. 921 D2592s

A biography of the Italian Renaissance artist and inventor who, at about age thirty, began writing his famous notebooks which contain the outpourings of his amazing mind.


Murphy, Jim. (1995). The great fire. New York : Scholastic Inc. 977.3 M978g

An account of the Chicago fire of 1871.


Swanson, Diane. (1994). Safari beneath the sea : the wonder world of the North Pacific Coast. (Photographs by the Royal British Columbia Museum). San Francisco : Sierra Club Books for Children. 574.9 S972s

Examines the strange plant and animal life of the north Pacific ocean.


Murphy, Jim. (1993). Across America on an emigrant train. New York : Clarion Books. 828 M978a

Combines an account of Robert Louis Stevenson's experiences as he traveled from New York to California by train in 1879 and a description of the building and operation of railroads in nineteenth-century America.


Stanley, Jerry. (1992). Children of the Dust Bowl : the true story of the school at Weedpatch Camp. (Illustrated with photographs). New York : Crown. 371.96 S788c

Describes the plight of the migrant workers who traveled from the Dust Bowl to California during the Depression and were forced to live in a federal labor camp and discusses the school that was built for their children.


Burleigh, Robert. (1991). Flight : the journey of Charles Lindbergh. (Illustrated by Mike Wimmer). New York : Philomel Books. 629.13 B961f

Describes how Charles Lindbergh achieved the remarkable feat of flying nonstop and solo from New York to Paris in 1927.


Freedman, Russell. (1990). Franklin Delano Roosevelt. New York : Clarion Books. 921 R7811f

Photographs and text trace the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt from his birth in 1882 through his youth, early political career, and presidency, to his death in Warm Springs, Georgia, in 1945.


Fritz, Jean. (1989). The great little Madison. New York : Putnam. 921 M1826f

Traces the life and contributions of the sickly child with the small voice who grew up to become the fourth president of the United States.


For more information, contact:
Tom Ambrosi, Reference Librarian
Email: tambrosi@d.umn.edu
Phone: 218-726-7861
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

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Revised and updated 12/21/15

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