Author Archives: omnilibros

About omnilibros

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

Amrita Sher-gil: Rebel With A Paintbrush

This beautiful, well-researched book tells the story of modern Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil’s short, but fascinating life. She was born in Hungary in 1913. Her mother was a Hungarian pianist and her father was an Indian Sikh. Amrita was raised in Hungary and trained in France. She was inspired by writers, musicians, artists, and the time she lived – world wars, the Indian freedom movement, and major changes in the art world. The set-up of the book is amazing. The text that tells Amrita’s story is woven around pictures and boxes of information. Political events and artistic movements that shaped her life are found in other boxes. Real photographs, sometimes taken by her father, are included in the margins, and reproductions of Amrita’s gorgeous paintings are also spread throughout the book. Back matter provides a section called Why Was Amritas’s Art Important? and another section of interesting references. mjw
Title: Amrita Sher-gil: Rebel With A Paintbrush
Author: Anita Vachharajani
Illustrator
: Kalyani Ganapathy
Publisher
: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Copyright
: 2018
Original Publisher:
Harper Collins Children’s Books. India
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-93-5277-473-9
Hardcover pages
: 184
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Information book, Biography, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Hungary, India, France, Pakistan
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: Mumbai
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Nilgiris
Awards
: 2020 USBBY Honor List
Subjects
: Art Biography, India, Indian freedom, Hungary, Painting

Lemon Butterfly

This abstract and artsy picture book is an amazing picture book because both the author and the illustrator have won the Hans Christian Andersen Award. A lemon butterfly searches for a field of flowers. To a butterfly, a field of flowers is the most beautiful thing in the world. The butterfly searches through real and imagined landscapes until it finally finds the water where it becomes a lemon butterfly fish.  There are many lessons along the way. Most of the illustrations are rendered in vivid colors, with a few being only black and white graphic forms. mjw
Title: Lemon Butterfly
Author: Cao Wenxuan
Illustrator
: Roger Mello
Publisher
: Reycraft Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Chinese
Original Publisher
: China Children’s Press and Publication Group. China
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-1-4788-6975-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Chinese
Author’s residence
: China
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Illustrator’s residence
: Brazil
Awards
: Both author and illustrator have won the Hans Christian Andersen Award
Subjects
: Butterflies, Fish, Flowers, Horses, Insects, Mountains, Rivers

The Bear And The Duck

 

It’s the end of winter, and when Duck plans to fly off, he crashes into a jumble of branches. The noise wakes Bear, who grumbles and emerges from his den. Duck is not afraid of Bear because Bear is old and he doesn’t have many teeth left. Bear takes care of Duck and they become friends. They swim and explore, and Duck tells stories. Duck is finally well enough to fly away and Bear misses him. Winter comes and Bear goes back to his den, thinking that he may never see Duck again. After the long winter, it’s spring and Bear wakes up to find that Duck has returned.  Woodcut engravings enhance this sweet story of friendship and the seasons. mjw
Title: The Bear And The Duck
Author: May Angeli
Illustrator
: May Angeli
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books For Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Original Publisher
: Les Editions des Elephants, France
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5555-8
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Paris
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Paris
Subjects
: Bears, Birds, Ducks, Seasons

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Catherine’s War

This teen Jewish French girl’s historical graphic novel is inspired by a true survival story. Rachel Cohen, whose passion is photography, lives at the Sevres Children’s Home outside Paris. As Hitler’s war escalates, she must go into hiding. She has to leave her friends, but she takes her camera as she is forced to move from location to location. The ink and watercolor illustrations capture beautifully the detail of the French setting. A map of Catherine’s journey through France is included, as well as photographs of the real Catherine, and an interview with the author. mjw
Title: Catherine’s War
Author: Julia Billet
Illustrator
: Claire Fauvel
Publisher
: Harper Alley, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Ivanka Hahnenberger
Original Title
: La Guerre de Catherine
Original Publisher
: Rue de Sevres, Paris
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-06-291559-7
Paperback pages
: 176
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Graphic Novel
Book setting
: France
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Awards
: 2021 ALA Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Cameras, Coming of age, Holocaust, Nazis, Paris, Photographs, World War II

Mexique: A Refugee Story From The Spanish Civil War

On May 27,1937, 456 children sailed on the Mexique from Spain to Morelia, Mexico, to escape the violence of the Spanish Civil War. It was supposed to be a short trip, but they stayed for a long time and many never returned to Spain because of Francisco Franco’s dangerous dictatorship after the war. The haunting, dark, images in the book are based on photographs of the “Children of Morelia” and the ship that brought them to Mexico. mjw
Title: Mexique: A Refugee Story From The Spanish Civil War
Author: Maria Jose Ferrada
Illustrator
: Ana Penyas
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Elisa Amado
Original Title
: Mexique: El nombre del barco
Original Publisher
: Alboroto Ediciones, Mexico
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5545-9
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Spain, Mexico
Author’s ethnicity
: Chilean
Author’s residence
: Chile
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Madrid
Subjects
: Displaced people, Francisco Franco, Mexico, Refugees, Ships, Spain, Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

Ritu Weds Chandni

Young Ayesha can’t wait for her cousin Ritu’s wedding. She is excited about dressing up and dancing in the baraat – the wedding procession. Ayesha’s mother thinks that not everyone will be pleased seeing Ritu leading the lively procession that the groom usually leads. Ritu is marrying her girlfriend Chandni and some people do not understand that kind of love. The vivid illustrations are filled with details, like the lovely red lehengas of the brides and their henna-decorated hands. A helpful glossary explains Hindi words used in the text and an author’s note tells that same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in India. mjw
Title: Ritu Weds Chandni
Author: Ameya Narvankar
Illustrator
: Ameya Narvankar
Publisher
: Yali Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-949528-94-7
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Subjects
: Bigotry, Gay weddings, Hindi, Hinduism, Intolerance, Prejudice, Weddings

Sandcastle

A young girl builds a fantastic sandcastle with domes and turrets and a crocodile moat. It has large windows with an ocean view. It is fit for hosting diverse royalty from all over the world and the dining hall serves ice cream  24/7 – all flavors.  But at breakfast, the troubles begin.  Sand gets in the royal strudel, in the Triathlon of Knights’ suits of armor, and even in the King’s daily fig milk bath. Everyone is so angry. The illustrations in this fun book were created digitally and are very detailed and whimsical. Medieval knights play Twister, a Rapunzel-like character wears unicorn slippers, and a tiny swimsuit-clad mouse is hidden throughout. The book jacket even has a sandy tactile feel to it.  This absurd book will certainly engage young readers. mjw
Title: Sandcastle
Author: Einat Tsarfati
Illustrator
: Einat Tsarfati
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Hebrew
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-1143-6
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Author’s residence
: Israel
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Illustrator’s residence
: Israel
Subjects
: Beach, Beachgoers, Imagination, Royalty, Sandcastle

Bear And Fred: A World War II Story

This is a touching true story of a Jewish boy hiding during World War II, as told by his teddy bear. He is Fred’s bear and he is very happy. He and Fred do everything together. But one night there is a soft knock at the door.  It is a warning that they would be forced to leave their home. They flee to Amsterdam where Fred goes into hiding, apart from the rest of his family. After the war, Fred and his family are reunited and they move to the United States. An author’s note tells how the bear ended up in the Yad Vashem Museum – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel. A photo of the real bear is included. This endearing story is illustrated digitally with beautiful drawings. mjw
Title: Bear And Fred
Author: Iris Argaman
Illustrator
: Avi Ofer
Publisher
: Amazon Crossing Kids, New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Hebrew
Translator
: Annette Appel
Original Title
: Ha Doobi Shel Fred
Original Publisher
: Hakibbutz Hameucchad. Israel
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-1-542018234
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 6-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Holland and U.S.
Author’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Author’s residence
: Israel
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Awards
: Vad Vashem Prize in Israel, Giovanni Arpino Proze for Children’s Literature in Italy.
Subjects
: Holocaust, Jewish people, Nazi party, Prejudice and racism, Teddy bear

Piglettes

This laugh-aloud coming-of-age story tells of the bicycle road trip across France to Paris of three teenage girls, Mirielle, Astrid, and Hakima. The girls were voted by their classmates on Facebook to be the ugliest girls in their school. They take off on their bikes, accompanied by Kader, Hakima’s wheelchair-bound older brother. Their goal is a garden party with the French president. They pull a trailer along with them and sell sausages to make money for the trip. The girls, known as the Piglettes, become stars of social media and television. The story is told through the eyes of funny, philosophical, and awkward Mirielle. This is a powerful book for self-conscious teens. mjw
Title: Piglettes
Author: Clementine Beauvais
Publisher
: Pushkin Press
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Clementine Beauvais
Original Title
: Les Petites Reines
Original Publisher
: Editions Sarbacane. Paris
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-1782691204
Paperback pages
: 287
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: France
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: U.K.
Awards
: Prix Sorcieres in France
Subjects
: Bicycles, Bullying, Coming of age, Cyber-bullying, Feminism, Girls and women, Paris, Racism, Roadtrip, Sausages, Teens and young adult fiction, Ugly girls, Wheelchair

Five Sisters

An old couple cares for the woods they live in and desperately wants a family. The old man is given a magic branch from a great white oak tree from which he carves five beautiful Matryoshka dolls – Russian nesting dolls. The dolls come to life, paddle in the stream, and play in the trees. The old woman loves the dolls as daughters. One evening, the old man goes deep into the woods to thank the great white oak for its gift. While he is gone, a wolf stalks up to the cottage. The old man returns in time to rescue the dolls and he takes them to the hollow heart of the oak tree where they are replaced by a real and true daughter. The old couple receives the joy they had always longed for. Striking, traditional illustrations enhance this tale of heartache, hope, and love. mjw
Title: Five Sisters
Author: Stephanie Campisi
Illustrator
: Madalina Andronic
Publisher
: Familius LLC
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-64170-1570
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-8
Genre
: Picture book, Folktale
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Romanian
Illustrator’s residence
: Puglia, Italy
Subjects
: Folktales, Matryoshka dolls, Myths, Wolves

Festivals And Traditions In Switzerland

This fascinating book takes you on a journey through a year in Switzerland. Starting with the New Year’s Mummers Procession in Appenzel Ausserrhoden with the Uglies, Pretties, and Pretty-Uglies costumes, which are made only of material from nature and ending with Christmas traditions like Yule log cakes,  bell-ringing, giant top hats, frankincense, and Christmas decorations. This amazing book thoroughly describes the many celebrations that occur throughout the year. On the journey, you’ll encounter brass bands, terrifying masks, shepherds, men dressed as trees, fast pigs, bareback riders, and much, much more. The illustrations are colorful, detailed, and entertaining. An Afterword explains even more. A section of Information and Tips provides dates and even times for travelers going to Switzerland. Also included is a list of customs and celebrations according to cantons, or states. mjw
Title: Festivals And Traditions In Switzerland
Author: Barbara Piatti
Illustrator
: Yvonne Rogenmoser
Publisher
: NorthSouth
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Mary Carozza
Original Title
: Feste & Brauche in der Schweiz
Original Publisher
: Nordsud Verlag
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4416-2
Hardcover pages
: 96
Age range
: 4-12
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Picture book
Book setting
: Switzerland
Author’s residence
: Basel, Switzerland
Illustrator’s residence
: Zurich, Switzerland
Subjects
: Celebrations, Holidays, Switzerland

The Little Wolves

Four little wolves venture out of their cave alone, while their mother is off hunting. They sniff the forest-scented darkness and see the towering pine trees. They come to a lake and are puzzled by their reflection in the water. They befriend a hedgehog and they even escape a hunter. The wolf babies finally hear their mother’s howl and find the opening to their cave. Mother Wolf is worried sick about her babies. The four little wolves lower their heads and put their tails between their legs and soon all is forgiven. The watercolor illustrations are truly magical. mjw
Title: The Little Wolves
Author: Svenja Herrmann
Illustrator
: Jozef Wilkon
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Wolfskinder
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG. Zurich, Switzerland
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4397-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Zurich, Switzerland
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Polish
Illustrator’s residence
: Warsaw, Poland
Subjects
: Baby animals, Wolf, Wolves