It’s nearly March and my stack of 2016 books seems not to be dwindling. So here’s a round-up of books from last year that I liked but still haven’t gotten around to writing about.

A girl pressed against an aquarium tank watches sharks swim


Beautiful, watery illustrations tell the story of a female shark researcher who followed her passion despite discrimination.

Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang, illustrations by Jordi Solano. (Whitman: 2016)




Image from a Roy Lichtenstein painting shows a living room scene



A playful look at Roy Lichtenstein’s artwork, imagining a house made of his images.

Roy’s House by Susan Goldman Rubin, art by Roy Lichtenstein. (Chronicle: 2016)



Drawing with a man next to a horse holding a paper with the letter "Z" on it


This book is long–2673 words!–so you probably wouldn’t choose it for a read-aloud, but it tells a wonderfully unexpected story of a performing horse, the trainer who worked with him, and the beginnings of the Humane Society. The extensive back matter has great historic photos.

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness, by Donna Janell Bowman, illustrated by Daniel Minter. (Lee & Low: 2016)


African American man in surgical gear


I nearly stomped my foot when I finished this book, I was so filled with indignation at the treatment Vivien Thomas received in his working life. This biography tells the story of his innovations in pediatric open heart surgery and how they were claimed by his white bosses.

Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks, illustrated by Colin Bootman. (Lee & Low: 2016)



Children with book around a globe

I participate every Wednesday in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge.