Author Archives: omnilibros

About omnilibros

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

Buried Beneath The Baobab Tree

Based on interviews with young women who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, this powerful novel tells the story of young YaTa and her dreams that became nightmares.  The terrorist group attacked her village and killed most of her family.  Before the abduction, she had a promising future of getting a university scholarship and becoming a teacher.  The book is written in poetic vignettes that tell how the girls were forced to follow their captors’ radical beliefs.  The narrator was forced to marry a man who used her for her body. But she refused to be brainwashed.  An enlightening afterword by Italian journalist Viviana Mazza gives more information about the kidnapping.  References and resources are also included. mjw
Title: Buried Beneath The Baobab Tree
Author: Adobe Tricia Nwaubani
Publisher
: Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-06-269672-4
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Nigeria
Author’s ethnicity
: Nigerian
Author’s residence
: Abuja, Nigeria
Subjects
: Africa, Girls, Human rights, Prejudice and racism, Survival, Violence

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, A Changing India And A Hidden World Of Art

Nek Chand was born in the village of Berian Kalan in the Punjab region near the Himalayas.  He grew up listening to stories and building a small world of his own out of sticks, clay, and rocks.  In 1947, with the Partition of India, the Punjab was divided into India and Pakistan.  His Hindu family no longer belonged where they lived and they resettled in Chandigarh, a modern city in India.  Nek found a job as a government roads inspector, but never felt like he belonged.  He found an abandoned forestland and, using natural materials, started building a secret kingdom.  He worked for sixteen years creating this secret garden of art from his imagination.  The gouache and watercolor illustrations are very detailed and there is a foldout of photos of the actual garden and sculptures.  An author’s note gives more background information about Chand’s life and the Nek Chand Foundation.  The book concludes with an extensive bibliography.  mjw
Title: The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, A Changing India, And A Hidden World Of Art
Author: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrator
: Claire A.Nivola
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-7475-5
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book, Biography
Book setting
: Chandigarh, India
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Subjects
: Asia, Biography, Green living, Imagination, Mosaics, Partition, Recycling, Rock garden, Sculptures, Storytelling, Visual arts

Mangoes, Mischief, And Tales Of Friendship: Stories From India

This book includes eight original trickster tales inspired by traditional Indian folktales. Ten-year-old Prince Veera and his best friend, Suku, are given the opportunity to preside over King Bheema’s court.  They have to deal with a greedy merchant who charges people for enjoying the smells of his sweets. They also have to settle a dispute between a man and his neighbor to whom he sells a well – but not the water in it. Veera and Suku manage to outsmart the King’s trickiest subjects and how to be wise and just. The clever, black and white illustrations are done in acrylic, poster color, and watercolor. mjw
Title: Mangoes, Mischief, And Tales Of Friendship: Stories From India
Author: Chitra Soundar
Illustrator
: Uma Krishnaswamy
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Title:  A Dollop Of Ghee And A Pot Of Wisdom
and A Jar Of Pickles And A Pinch Of Justice
Original Copyright
: 2010 and 2016 in the U.K.
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0067-6
Hardcover pages
: 192
Age range
: 6-9
Genre
: Fiction, Folktales, Short stories
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Chennai, London 
Subjects
: Asia, Bravery, Folktales, Justice, Myths, Royalty, Short stories, Trickster tales

Toshi’s Little Treasures

toshis-little-treasuresIn this search-and–find information book, young Toshi and his grandmother explore six of their favorite places – the riverbank, the city, the forest, the country, the park, and the beach. Toshi finds treasures to add to his growing collection in his new backpack. He finds a pussy willow branch, a dog whistle, a partridge feather, a glittery rock, a coin, and much more. Each scene is featured in a double-page spread, followed by matching activity pages where readers can identify Toshi’s treasures and match them to related items. Answers at the back of the book give additional interesting facts. The animals they find are also presented. Charming, delicate watercolor art adds to the fun. mjw
Title: Toshi’s Little Treasures
Author: Nadine Robert
Illustrator
: Aki
Publisher
: Kids Can Press
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Yvette Ghione
Original Title
: Le grand livre des petits trésors
Original Publisher
: Comme des Geants, Inc.
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-77138-573-2
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Montreal, Quebec
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Paris, France
Subjects
: Grandmothers, Habitats, Nature, Natural history

Snow

Walter de la Mare’s gentle poem has illustrations of a family preparing for Christmas, done in screen prints with a limited, muted palette.  The family decorates their home, goes to bed, and waits for Santa Claus to arrive.  The children wake up to presents, going sledding, and making a snowman.  The text is perfect for the illustrations.  The book makes a beautiful winter bedtime story. mjw
Title: Snow
Author: Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)
Illustrator
: Carolina Rabei
Publisher
: Faber & Faber
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Faber & Faber, Bloomsbury House. London
Original Copyright
: 2014.  The poem “Snow” was first published in Peacock and Pie in 1924
ISBN
: 978-0-571-31219-1
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5 up
Genre
: Poetry
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Moldova
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Christmas, Santa Claus, Snow, Weather

The Truly Brave Princesses

Princess Anita is a physician who loves running in the rain and drinking hot chocolate. Eleven-year-old Princess Rita, who has braces, wants to be an actress when she grows up.  Princess Beatrix is a single mom and a hairdresser.  Eighteen diverse princesses are introduced in this catalog of interesting princesses.  Many do not fit with the traditional conception of a princess. Imaginative illustrations perfectly match each princess and invite readers to dream about females who might be princesses even though they may not be wearing crowns.  mjw
Title: The Truly Brave Princesses
Author: Dolores Brown
Illustrator
: Sonja Wimmer
Publisher
: Nube Ocho
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Spanish
ISBN
: 978-84-17123-38-3
Hardcover pages
: 44
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: born in Germany
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Subjects
: Diversity, Equality, Feminism, Occupations, Self esteem and self respect, Values, Women’s rights

A Dog Named Haku: A Holiday Story From Nepal

In Kathmandu, Nepal, courageous dogs are honored on Divali, the Hindu holiday called the Festival of Lights.  Brothers Alu and Bhalu have been searching in the earthquake ruins for a stray dog, a kukur, to celebrate. They finally spot a small black dog, who is in need of a home.  The illustrations that were created with a combination of hand drawing and digital imagery add to the simple text.  A glossary of Nepali words, a list of sources to learn more about Nepal, and another list of suggested activities are included.  mjw
Title: A Dog Named Haku: A Holiday Story From Nepal
Author: Margarita Engel with Amish Karanjit and Nicole Karanjit
Illustrator
: Ruth Jeyaveeran
Publisher
: Millbrook Press. Minneapolis
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1512432053
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Kathmandu, Nepal
Author’s ethnicity
: Engel – Cuban, Karanjit – born in Nepal
Author’s residence: San Francisco, CA
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Zambia, Africa to Indian parents
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: Engel is the 2018  United States Young Peoples Poet Laureate
Subjects
: Brothers Divali. Dogs, Holidays. Nepal