Author Archives: omnilibros

About omnilibros

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

When The Sakura Bloom

When the Sakura Bloom

In winter, people “hustle, bustle; hurry, dash” to work and to school. Little by little the days get longer and warmer. In spring, the Sakura (Japanese cherry) trees begin to bloom. Birds visit the brand new cherry blossoms. The people realize that something is different. They pause. The Sakura blossoms make them happy and everyone enjoys the Sakura Festival. The delicate illustrations perfectly complement the message of the importance of slowing down to appreciate the moment. mjw

Title: When The Sakura Bloom
Author: Narisa Togo
Illustrator
: Narisa Togo
Publisher
: Berbay Publishing, Australia
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Michael Sedunary
Original Title
: Sakura Ga Sakura
Original Publisher
: Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers, Inc. Tokyo, Japan
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-6489-5331-9
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Japan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Japan
Subjects
: Cherry blossoms, City life, Festivals, Sakura, Spring, Trees

I Hate Borsch!

i hate borsch

A young girl living in Ukraine hates the red, thick, disgusting beet and vegetable soup known as borsch. But all Ukrainians are supposed to love it. Even the grandmothers of Kiev cannot get her to change her mind about it. When she immigrates to the U.S., she finds that she doesn’t like American food, especially the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, flat and shiny square cheese, and the mysterious pumpkin spice latte. She then finds borsch recipes hidden in her suitcase and she is transported back home. She makes the soup and invites everyone to eat her borsch. Illustrations created with acrylic, pencils, and digital collage, with splashes of borsch-bright red add to the fun in this story of rejecting and then embracing one’s culture. An author’s note and a recipe for borsch are included. mjw

Title: I Hate Borsch!
Author: Yevgenia Nayberg
Illustrator
: Yevgenia Nayberg
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5580-0
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Ukraine and U.S.
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: New York
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Illustrator’s residence
: New York
Subjects
: Cultures, Eastern Europe, Emigration, Food, Heritage, Immigration, Picky eaters, Soup, Recipes, Sunflowers, Vegetables

Dulcinea In The Forbidden Forest

Dulcinea

It’s Dulcinea’s birthday and her father is making her pancakes with blueberries and whipped cream. However, they forgot to buy blueberries at the market. Dulcinea’s loving father knows that blueberries grow in the forbidden forest – the forest that he told Dulcinea to never go into because a witch, who is a hideous singer, lives in a castle there. He decides that nothing could happen to him in the forest, but then the witch sees him and turn s him into a tree. Dulcinea braves the dark forest, sneaks into the castle, finds the witch’s book of spells, and frees her father. The short chapters in this easy-to-read book are just right for young readers. The funny, inky black-outlined illustrations and the orange and brown palette perfectly enhance this hilarious, contemporary fairytale. mjw

Title: Dulcinea In The Forbidden Forest
Author: Ole Konnecke
Illustrator
: Ole Konnecke
Publisher
: Gecko Press. New Zealand
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Shelley Tanaka
Original Title
: Dulcinea im Zauberwald
Original Publisher
: Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH and Co. Munich
Original Copyright
: 2021
ISBN
: 978-1-776573-95-0
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Fairytale, Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Germany
Subjects
: Birthdays, Fathers, Humor, Witches

A Gift For Amma: Market Day In India

A Gift for Amma

It’s market day in the author’s hometown of Chennai, India. A young girl is searching for a treasure for her mother. She looks at saffron rice: orange marigolds; pink lotus flowers; green peacock feathers, mint, and coriander; red-hot peppers; and many more colorful items. She finally decides on rainbow bangles as the perfect gift. Back matter includes information about the unique color words in the book, facts about markets around the world, and photographs taken by the author. The gorgeous illustrations, rendered in pencils, pastels, and water-based paints make the story come alive. mjw

Title: A Gift For Amma: Market Day In India
Author: Meera Sriram
Illustrator
: Mariona Cabassa
Publisher
: Barefoot Books, Cambridge, MA
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-64686-062-3
Paperback pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Chennai, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Awards
: 2021 South Asian Book Award
Subjects
: Colors, Flowers, Markets, Mothers, Peacocks, Saris, Spices

How War Changed Rondo

How War Chaged Rondo

The Ukrainian husband and wife, author/ illustrator team created this book as a response to their experiences of war in Ukraine. The story is set in the fictional town of Rondo, which is known for its greenhouses of musical flowers. Everyone who lives there speaks to birds and plants, paints pictures, sings, and writes poetry. Rondo is perfect. The three protagonists are Danko who glows like a lantern and has a shining heart, Fabian who resembles a dog-shaped balloon animal, and Zirka who has a bird-like origami body folded from maps and newspaper articles about war. War comes to Rondo bringing its darkness and destruction. Together, the three friends rally their town to devise a plan using light, community, and song to halt war and restore peace. The stunning mixed-media illustrations undergo dramatic shifts in color when war enters and then finally leaves Rondo. mjw

Title: How War Changed Rondo
Author/Illustrator: Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books. New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Ukrainian
Translator
: Oksana Lushchevska
Original Publisher
: Vydavnytstvo Starohoo Leva (The Old Lion Publishing House) Lviv, Ukraine
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-367-8
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: Ukraine
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Illustrator’s residence
: Ukraine
Awards
: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Book
Subjects
: Death, Flowers, Nature, Peace, Music, Violence, War

Temple Alley Summer

Temple Alley SummerWhile watching a ghost story on TV one night, fifth-grader Kazuhiro Sada sees a pale figure in a white kimono sneaking out of his house. He sees the same figure in school the next day. She is Akari, a girl his classmates insist he has known since kindergarten. Then he finds out that his house sits on the exact location of an ancient temple called Kimyo. Legend has is that the name Kimyo implies the dead coming back to life. Kazu befriends Akari and they spend the summer trying to make sense of the mystery. This thrilling adventure filled with the living dead, a story-within-a-story, a meddling neighbor, and a black cat is illustrated with manga-like drawings. mjw
Title: Temple Alley Summer
Author: Sachiko Kashiwaba
Illustrator
: Miho Satake
Publisher
: Restless Books, Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Avery Fischer Udagawa
Original Title
: Kimyoji Yokocho no Natsu
Original Publisher
: Kodansha Ltd. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978-1-6320-6303-8
Hardcover pages
: 240
Age range
: 8-13
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Iwate Prefecture, Jan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Japan
Awards
: 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Award
Subjects
: Cats, Fairytales, Fantasy, Ghosts, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Supernatural, Suspense, Temple

The Words In My Hands

the words

The art journal of Deaf sixteen-year-old Piper, set in near-future Melbourne, Australia, is part coming of age story and part call to action. Piper is smart, artistic, and rebellious. Deaf since the age of three, she is told by her mother that she needs to conform, compensate and appear normal. She meets Marley, a CODA (child of a deaf parent), and a whole new world opens up for her. This is a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption. Piper is determined to build a sustainable food garden and communicate with her mom, friends, and community like she never has before. Back matter in this amazing book includes information on the Deaf community and various forms of sign language and ideas for journaling. mjw

Title: The Words In My Hands
Author: Asphyxia
Illustrator
: Asphyxia
Publisher
: Annick Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Future Girl In Australia
Original Publisher
: Allen & Unwin, Australia
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-1773215280
Hardcover pages
: 388
Age range
: 13-16
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Australia
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Australia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ausralian
Illustrator’s residence
: Australia
Awards
: 2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Teens, 2021 Childrens’ Book Council of Australia Notable Book of the Year for Older Readers.
Subjects
: Activism, Auslan, Coming of age, Creativity, Deafness, Dystopian, Finger-spelling, Future, Gardens, Problem solving, Sign language, Special needs, Sustainability

A Kind Of Spark

A Kind of SparkEleven-year-old Addie is autistic, headstrong, and smart. She thinks differently from the people around her. She is on a campaign to have a plaque erected in her Scottish hometown in memory of the victims of the witch trials which happened there hundreds of years ago. She understands what it is like to be treated as an outcast for being different. The author is neurodivergent, too, and she insightfully tells about what it is like to be an autistic girl. She believably portrays Addie’s struggles and her beautiful friendship with a girl who is understanding and supportive. mjw
Title: A Kind Of Spark
Author: Elle McNicoll
Publisher
: Crown Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-593-37425-2
Hardcover pages
: 192
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: Scottish
Author’s residence
: London
Awards
: 2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award – Middle Grade Honor
Subjects
: Autism, Bullies, Disabilities, Neurodivergency, Sharks, Teachers, Witch trials

Red Stars: The Case Of Viktor And Nadya’s Notebooks

Red Stars- The Case...

Diary entries, maps, drawings, and historical photos tell this story of Viktor and Nadya, twelve-year-old twins who were evacuated from Leningrad when Hitler declared war on the Soviet Union. They were separated when they were put on trains that were meant to take them to safety. The story is told in three voices, alternating between Viktor (printed in red), Nadya (printed in dark blue), and an offstage voice of a Soviet Secret Police officer. His handwritten comments are written in the margins. Viktor’s train makes it to Moscow, where he is expected to do hard labor on a kolkhoz (farm). It is rumored that Nadya’s train was bombed with no survivors. Viktor doesn’t believe this and sets off through cold and harsh conditions to find Nadya. They eventually find each other and unravel a mystery of treason and betrayal at the highest level of Soviet leadership. mjw

Title: Red Stars: The Case Of Viktor And Nadya’s Notebooks
Author: Davide Morosinotto
Illustrator
: Simone Tso
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Denise Muir
Original Title
:  La Stolgorante luce di due stelle rosse
Original Publisher
: Mondadori, Milan
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-9848-9332-1
Hardcover pages
: 432
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Soviet Union
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Italy
Subjects
: European historical fiction, Evacuation, Germany, Hitler, Leningrad, MIlitary fictioon, Siblings, Trains, World War II

The Crow And The Peacock

The Crow and the PeaockCrow sets off on a journey to find happiness. He first meets a gentle dove. Dove says that he thought he was the happiest bird alive until he heard Nightingale. So Crow goes to hear Nightingale, who says he thought he was happy until he heard Rooster. Crow then visits Rooster and is told that Swan must be the happiest bird alive. Finally he is encouraged to see Peacock, who truly must be the happiest bird in the world. Peacock says that once he was happy, but the emperor put him in a cage and all he wanted then was to be free to fly like a crow. So Crow flies back to the woods knowing that he is happy with his life and that all he wants is to share his happiness. This beautiful fable about happiness is illustrated in glorious, joyful colors. mjw
Title: The Crow And The Peacock
Author: Jo Fernihough
Illustrator
: Jo Fernihough
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher:
Oxford University Press. Oxford, England
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5568-8
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book. Fable
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Author’s residence
: Cambridge, England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: Cambridge, England
Subjects
: Birds, Fables, Happiness

Soul Lanterns

Soul Lanterns

Set 25 years after the bombing of Hiroshima, twelve-year-old Nozomi discovers that the long-term emotional and physical effects of the bombing continue. Her art class project is to learn more about the experiences of students’ families on August 6, 1945. Book chapters focus on individual heartbreaking narratives told by survivors. This powerful story from a Japanese perspective shows the impact on the city and emphasizes the message of peace. mjw

Title: Soul Lanterns
Author: Shaw Huzki
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Emily Balistrieri
Original Title
: Hikari no utsushie Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Hiroshima
Original Publisher
: Kodansha, Ltd. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2013
ISBN
: 978-0-593-17436-4
Hardcover pages
: 175
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Kamakura, Japan
Awards: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Art, Atomic bomb, Ceremonies, Grandparents, Hiroshima, Lantern floating ceremony, Peace, World War II

Christmas Is Coming: Traditions From Around The World

Christmas Is ComingAn international collection of legends, histories, traditions, and celebrations from around the world is included in this beautifully illustrated and detailed book. Thirty-nine brief sections take readers from Greece to Ethiopia, explaining many diverse perspectives. The book is organized by topics listed in the table of contents. Intriguing stories include Why do we decorate Christmas trees?, Why are there so many Christmas markets in Germany?, How the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree originated?, and much more. A glossary lists the words for Merry Christmas and Santa Claus in many different languages. mjw
Title: Christmas Is Coming: Traditions From Around The World
Author: Monika Utnik Strugala
Illustrator
: Ewa Poklewska Kozietto
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Polish
Translator
: Antonia Lloud-Jones
Original Title
: Ida swieta!
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG, Zurich
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4443-8
Hardcover pages
: 136
Age range
: 7 up
Genre
: Information Book, Nonfiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Polish
Author’s residence
: Italy
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Polish
Illustrator’s residence
: Poland
Subjects
:  Celebrations, Christmas, Customs, Traditions