Look Where We Live! by Scot Ritchie (Kids Can Press, 2015) is a great nonfiction book for learning about building up a community. Beginning with a map of town, Look Where We Live! shows all of the ways that workers, families, and children are connected within a community, and how they can all sustain one another.
Each two-page spread highlights a different place in town, along with the helpers. Five children (who are given names) go about their festival activities through the book, and some pages are even “seek and find” pages to find those kids. In the book, we learn about community gardens, small community businesses that contribute to a fundraising effort (with a plug for the need to buy local!), the traditionally expect community helpers in the library, fire station, and so forth.
The text on each page appears in two parts: one to explain what the child or children at that page in the town, as well as how it is an important part of the community. Below that is another bolded paragraph to prompt the young reader to consider their own communities. Because of this amount of text on each page, it doesn’t feel like a group read-aloud. That said, it would work well for reading aloud individually to children and it would be a fun nonfiction book to read alone for comfortable readers in second and third grade.
This is the type of nonfiction picture book I love. It is clear and full of educational content for a young reader, but both the text and the illustrations are child-friendly and encourage reading and even re-reading.