Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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

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 Mountain

The Mountain

The bear claims that a mountain is a forest full of trees and green things. The sheep says that a mountain is a meadow with flowers, herbs, fresh smells, and buzzing bees. All the animals have their own opinions in this clever story about different perspectives. The detailed artwork is very appealing and magnificent. mjw

Title: The Mountain
Author: Rebecca Gugger
Illustrator
: Simon Rothlisberger
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Marshall Yarbrough
Original Title
: Der Berg
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG. Zurich, Switzerland
Original Copyright
: 2021
ISBN
:978-0-7358-4457-5
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Swiss
Author’s residence
: Switzerland
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swiss
Illustrator’s residence
: Switzerland
Subjects
: Ants, Bears, Chamois. Forests, Octopi, Perspectives, Poin of view, Sheep, Snow hare, Tolerance

Leilong’s Too Long!

LeilongEvery morning, Leilong the brontosaurus shuttles through the city, picking up children for school. But he is longer than a tennis court, and he weighs as much as five elephants. He breaks bridges and knocks over houses. He feels awkward in the city. There are so many complaints that the school is forced to take its brontosaurus bus off the road. The children find a way to help Leilong fit in. He becomes the city’s most popular playground. The imaginative cartoon illustrations are rendered in crayon and watercolor and have a child-like quality. This book follows the bestselling Leilong the Library Bus (2021). mjw
Title: Leilong’s Too Long
Author: Julia Liu
Illustrator
: Bei Lynn
Publisher
: Gecko Press. New Zealand
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Chinese
Translator
: Helen Wang
Original Title
: Riding A Brontosaurus To School
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-77657-433-9
Hardcover pages
: 28
Age range
: 2-5
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: Taiwanese
Author’s residence
: Taiwan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Taiwanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Taiwan
Subjects
: Brontosaurus, Bus, Dinosaurs, Imagination, School bus, Transportation

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue

Bandoola

The colored pencil drawings are stunningly beautiful in this incredible true story about war veteran James Howard Williams; Bandoola, a working elephant; and Po Toke, the elephant’s keeper. They work together on a teak plantation in Myanmar (Burma), a country in Southeast Asia that was a colony of the British Empire. When World War II forces them to evacuate their home in the jungle, they lead a group of over 200 refugees and over 50 elephants across mountainous terrain to safety in Assam, India. A table of contents, a map, a wonderfully illustrated glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an author’s note add to this highly educational masterpiece. mjw

Title: Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue
Author: William Grill
Illustrator
: William Grill
Publisher
: Flying Eye Books, an imprint of Nobrow Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-83874-123-8
Hardcover pages
: 88
Age range
: 8-14
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Myanmar and India
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: London
Awards
: Author /Illustrator has won the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Asian history, Burma, Deforestation, Elephants, Green living, Jungle, Logging industry, Monsoons, Mountains, Rainforests, Timber, Timber elephants, World War II

Last Witnesses (Adapted for Young Adults)

Last witnesses

A very helpful Historical Context sets the scene for 65 short personal narratives told by those who were Russian children during World War II and survived terrifying war-time experiences. Nobel Prize-winning Svetlana Alexievich discloses the traumatic memories of children who were separated from their parents, most of them never to be reunited. This is the young adult adaptation of her masterpiece, Last Witness: An Oral History of the Children of WWII. The Russian perspective stories are fascinating as they portray terror, survival, and hope. The book also features a useful glossary. mjw

Title: Last Witnesses (Adapted for Young Adults)
Author: Svetlana Alexievich
Publisher
: Penguin Random House LLC
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Russian
Translator
: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Original Title
: Last Witnesses: An Oral History Of The Children Of WWII
Original Publisher
: Molodaya Gvardiya, Moscow
Original Copyright
: 1985
ISBN
: 978-0-593-30853-0
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 12-17
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Oral history
Book setting
: Russia
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: Soviet Union, Belarus, Western Europe
Awards
: Author has won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature. 2022 NCSS Notable Books
Subjects
: Childhood, Death, Historical biographies, Hope, Military history, Oral history, Resilience, Survival, Terror, WWII, Young adult