Author Archives: omnilibros

About omnilibros

Professor of Education Carthage College Kenosha, WI PhD. Children's Literature

Different: A Story Of The Spanish Civil War

DifferentSiblings, seven-year-old Socorro and nine-year-old Paco tell their story of Spain during the turbulent Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Fascist dictator Francisco Franco persecuted everyone who opposed him, and consequently, the children’s father had to flee Spain because of his political beliefs. The children and their mother remain in Spain and have to keep their secret. A letter arrives from their father in Venezuela that results in the family being reunited in Caracas, where they are still different but safe. Oil-pastel illustrations portray the worlds of the family. Based on the author’s family history, this middle-grade novel is supplemented with more information about Spain and the war, wartime refugees, a new life beyond Spain, and the lives of refugees today. A glossary of Spanish words and resources for children, young adults, and older readers are also included. mjw
Title: Different: A Story Of The Spanish Civil War
Author: Monica Montanes
Illustrator
: Evan Sanchez Gomez
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Lawrence Schimel
Original Title
: Los distintos
Original Publisher
: Ediciones Ekare. Barcelona, Spain
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5598-5
Hardcover pages
: 88
Age range
: 9-14
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: Spain, Venezuela
Author’s ethnicity
: Venezuelan
Author’s residence
: Madrid
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Awards
: 2021 White Raven, 2023 Batchelder Award
Subjects
: Brothers and sisters, Caribbean and Latin America, Emigration and immigration, Military and wars, Refugees, Spain Civil War 1936-1939, Survival, Venezuela

The Katha Chest

Katha

Asiya loves visiting Nanu’s house. It is filled with all sorts of treasures, the best being the katha chest. This is an old trunk full of quilts made from the old saris of her grandma, aunts, and mother. Each quilt has a story to tell. The illustrations are inspired by the Bengali folk art called Pattachitra – cloth paintings with simple colors, bold lines, and intricate details. Author’s and illustrator’s notes are provided. mjw

Title: The Katha Chest
Author: Radhiah Chowdhury
Illustrator
: Lavanya Naidu
Publisher
: Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1665903905
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Bangladesh
Author’s ethnicity
: Bengali
Author’s residence
: Australia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Australia
Subjects
: Aunts, Grandmothers, Memories Mothers, Quilts, Saris

Girl On The Run

Girl on the runIt’s 1933 in Berlin, and thirteen-year-old Amelie is beginning to feel the effects of Hitler’s rise to power. At school, she is picked on by her teacher for being Jewish, and her friends snub her for not joining the Aryan Youth Group. Her father remarries, and her new cruel stepmother plans to expose Amelie’s Jewish heritage to the Nazis. Amelie is a strong heroine who is also bright, courageous, and quick thinking. The novel is a real page-turner. A sequel, The Doktor’s Daughter (2022), brings Amelie back to Berlin after four years in Paris when questions arise about her father. This is another engaging read.  mjw
Title: Girl On The Run
Author: Nancy McDonald
Publisher
: Iguana Books. Toronto
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77180-517-9
Paperback pages
: 174
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Berlin, Paris
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Stratford, Ontario
Subjects
: Coming of age, Germany, Holocaust, Jewish persecution, Nazis, Stepmothers, World War II

A Story About Afiya

A Story About Afiya

Afiya has a white summer frock that becomes decorated each new day with memories of her childhood. First, sunflowers are imprinted on her frock. Then it has patterns of more flowers and butterflies. Every day the dress is cleared and ready for new images. Pigeons, tigers, and fishes also adorn Afiya’s magical dress as she dances across every page. The expressive earth tone and pastel colored art was rendered in mixed media and finished digitally. mjw

Title: A Story About Afiya
Author: James Berry (1924-2017)
Illustrator
: Anna Cunha
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
: 1991
ISBN
: 978-1-911373-33-9
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Jamaica
Author’s ethnicity
: Jamaican
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Awards
: 2021 USBBY Outstanding International Book
Subjects
: Childhood, Clothing, Dresses, Flowers, Swahili

Lands Of Belonging: A History of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Britain

Lands of BelongingPublished for the 75th anniversary of the Partition of India, this engaging book is an exploration of the history, achievements, and culture of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Britain. “This book aims to piece together how South Asian and British history are connected. You might find it interesting, surprising, and sometimes very sad – but for the people of South Asia, and for South Asians in Britain, the future is full of hope and excitement.” The book not only provides historical details but it also spotlights Indian cuisine, traditions, festivals, dances, sports, famous people, language, and more. Included are a table of contents, a calendar of celebrations, a timeline of events, a glossary, and an index. Glorious artwork brings each page to life in this beautiful information book. mjw
Title: Lands Of Belonging: A History Of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Britain
Author: Donna and Vikesh Amey Bhatt
Illustrator
: Salini Perera
Publisher
: Nosy Crow, London
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-83994-468-0
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 7-12
Genre
: Nonfiction, Information Book
Book setting
: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Britain
Author’s ethnicity
: East African (Vikesh)
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Sri Lanka
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Subjects
: Ancient empires, East India Company, Festivals, Food, Games, Holidays, Independence, Partition, World War I, World War II

Madani’s Best Game

Madani's Best Game

Madani is the neighborhood soccer star, who plays on his bare feet. Everyone watches when he plays and wonders what he could do if he only had a proper pair of cleats. Madani is saving money, but not for soccer shoes. Instead, he buys a new sewing machine for his mother. The story is narrated by one of Madani’s teammates. The author explains that the story was inspired by his work with immigrant families. The beautiful, smudgy illustrations, created with pencil, gouache, and colored pencil, capture the city neighborhood and the movement of the soccer games. mjw

Title: Madani’s Best Game
Author: Fran Pintadera
Illustrator
: Raquel Catalina
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Lawrence Schimel
Original Title
: La mejor jugada de Madani
Original Publisher
: Ediciones Ekare. Barcelona, Spain
Original Copyright
: 2021
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5597-8
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture book, Sports fiction
Book setting
: Spain
Author’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Author’s residence
: Spain
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Subjects
: Immigrant life, Love, Poverty, Sewing machines, Shoes, Soccer, Teamwork, Values

Our Own Little Paradise

Our Own Little Paradise

On the last day of sixth grade, all of Nora’s classmates tell about their exciting summer plans – Italy, Croatia, Florida, Denmark, Paris, Portugal, and Spain. Nora lies and tells the class that she is going to the tropics. She keeps the lie growing through social media. The problem is that a new boy, Wilmer, has moved into the neighborhood and finds out that she has not gone to the tropics. Nora and Wilmer secretly build their own “tropics” in an abandoned apartment. By the end of summer, her whole class finds out that she lied, but the resolution is satisfyingly happy. This wonderful middle age story, with short chapters, addresses the struggles of trying to fit in, finding true friends, and different social classes. mjw

Title: Our Own Little Paradise
Author: Marianne Kaurin
Publisher
: Arctis Books. Stamford, CT, USA
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Olivia Lasky
Original Title
: Syden
Original Publisher
: H. Aschehoug and Co. (W. Nygaard) AS
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-64690-018-3
Hardcover pages
: 300
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Norway
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Oslo. Norway
Translator’s ethnicity
: US
Translator’s residence
: Oslo, Norway
Awards
: 2021 German Youth Literature Prize
Subjects
: First love, Holidays, Lies, Peer pressure, Relationships, Social media, Summer, Vacations

It’s So Difficult

It's So Difficult

A child leaves the house and everything is so difficult. The school day is overwhelming. Counting things or calculating relaxes him. His mother tells him not to rush, that someday words will happen. But the noise makes everything so difficult. The book was inspired by the author’s experiences as a secondary school teacher in Spain. Interesting line illustrations created with collage, pencil, gouache, and digital media enrich this look at anxiety and overstimulation. mjw

Title: It’s So Difficult
Author: Raul Nieto Guridi
Illustrator
: Raul Nieto Guridi
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Lawrence Schimel
Original Title
: Lo Dificil
Original Publisher
: Tres Tigres Tristes
Original Copyright
:  2020
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5584-8
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Author’s residence
: Spain
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Subjects
: Anxiety, Math, Overstimulation, Special needs

My Name Is Bana

my name is bana

Seven-year-old Bana, a Syrian girl from Aleppo, took to Twitter to describe her war-torn home. In this picture book memoir, she offers her perspective on the war and being a refugee. She explains the origin of her name. Bana is a tall bushy tree that grows in Syria. Her father and mother wanted her to be strong just like the tree – being kind to others, standing up against injustice, and being brave in the face of fear. She also shows her strength by bringing joy to her brothers amidst bombings, starting over in a new country, and speaking to world leaders on behalf of Syrian refugee children. The illustrations rendered in acrylic paint and finished in procreate are emotional and bright. Arabic words are smoothly integrated into the text. An author’s note tells that the book is based on a true story. mjw

Title: My Name Is Bana
Author: Bana Alabed
Illustrator
: Nez Riaz
Publisher
: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1534412484
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book, Autobiography
Book setting
: Syria and Turkey
Author’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Author’s residence
: Turkey
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Pakistani
Illustrator’s residence
: Boston, MA
Awards
: 2022 NCSS Notable Books
Subjects
: Autobiography, Biography, Children’s writings, Human rights, Refugee children, Syria – Civil War, Trees

It’s Up To Us: Building A Brighter Future For Nature, People, and Planet

It's up to us

This beautifully illustrated book is introduced by King Charles. His call to action for our planet is divided into four sections –Nature, People, Planet, and Terra Carta. The Terra Carta is a plan of action for the Earth created by HRH the Prince of Wales, now King Charles. The text is included in the book. Thirty-three award-winning artists from around the world have contributed wonderful artwork. Profiles of the illustrators are included as back-matter. The story tells how Nature operates and how People have damaged it. Information about the Prince’s Foundation and an index/glossary are also provided. mjw

Title: It’s Up To Us: Building  A Brighter Future For Nature, People, and Planet
Author: Christopher Lloyd
Illustrator
: 33 artists from around the world
Publisher
: What On Earth Books
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-9137505-6-5
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture book, Information book, Nonfiction
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: 33 illustrators from around the world
Subjects
: Climate change, Conservation, Earth, Environment, Global community, Green living, Prince of Wales, Recycling, Sustainability. Terra Carta, Values

Fly

FLYFourteen-year-old Felix Landon Yarrow – F.L.Y., or Fly has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. He carries around his father’s worn copy of Don Quixote to prove that there is a brain inside his uncooperative body. His first-person narrative in engaging free verse tells of his fascination with knighthood and chivalry. He fears that Carter, the school villain, is a danger to his crush/damsel in distress, Daria. Using his cleverness and invisibility – his superpower – he constructs a plan to save Daria. Fly is a courageous, kind, and funny character on a “quest/ for a noble life.” mjw
Title: Fly
Author: Alison Hughes
Publisher
: Kids Can Press Ltd., Toronto
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1525-305-832
Hardcover pages
: 197
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Fiction, Novel in verse
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Edmonton, Alberta
Subjects
: Cerebral palsy, Courage, Don Quixote, Free verse, Poetry, Wheelchairs

The Library Bus

The Library Bus

Author Bahram Rahman grew up in Afghanistan during the civil war and Taliban regime of 1996-2001. His story was inspired by the first library bus in Kabul that brought books to girls in remote villages and refugee camps who had no other access to education. Five-year-old Pari is starting her first day as her mother’s helper on the library bus. The girls in the villages and camps are learning English, but Pari cannot even read or write in Farsi yet. She is lucky that she will attend school next year. Her mother had to learn in secret because not long ago, girls were forbidden to read. The captivating watercolor and digital media artwork portrays the girls’ smiling faces, the rich landscape of Afghanistan, and the power of education. Included are notes about refugee camps and the author’s experiences in Kabul. mjw

Title: The Library Bus
Author: Bahram Rahman
Illustrator
: Gabrielle Grimard
Publisher
: Pajama Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-101-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Kabul, Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: born in Kabul, Afghanistan
Author’s residence
: Ontario, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: born in Montreal
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award, 2021 Middle East Book Award Winner, 2021 Sout Asian Book Award – Highly recommended book
Subjects
: Books, Education, Libraries, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Reading, Refugees