Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Bison

A little girl becomes friends with a bison. She brings it food that she makes. She misses it when it has to move away from the warm weather. She knows that it will return when the snow comes again.  They settle by the fire and she tells it stories as they drink cocoa. She loves it completely.  Year after year, the bison returns. They both grow older until one winter, the bison doesn’t come back. The girl, now grown up, knows that the bison will always be with her. Charcoal and ink illustrations, enriched with blue watercolor, enhance this gentle story. mjw
Title: My Bison
Author: Gaya Wisniewski
Illustrator
: Gaya Wisniewski
Publisher
: Princeton Architectural Press. Hudson, New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Original Title
: Mon Bison
Original Publisher
: Editions MeMo
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-61689-886-1
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Belgian
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Belgian
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Bison, Healing, Loss, Love, Passage of time

Welcome To Nowhere

Twelve-year-old Omar lives in Bosra, Syria with his family.  He dreams of being a businessman and his sister wants to be a teacher. Their hopes are shattered when  war breaks out. The family is forced to flee Syria by foot to get to Jordan. This is a moving and sensitive novel with lovable characters. A Letter from the Author provides more information about the war in Syria. Also included is a section What Can You DoTo Help? that tells about the Hope School in Jordan. mjw
Title: Welcome To Nowhere
Author: Elizabeth Laird
Illustrator
: Lucy Eldridge
Publisher
: Macmillan Children’s Books
Copyright
: 22017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5098-44047-2
Paperback pages
: 329
Age range
: 9-11
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Jordan
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in new Zealand of Scottish parents
Author’s residence
: Britain
Awards
: Winner of the UKLA Book Award
Subjects
: Cerebral Palsy, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Refugees, Syria

We Kiss Them With Rain

Fourteen-year-old, pregnant by rape, Mvelo lives with abuse, poverty, and disease in South Africa, and her mother has died of HIV/AIDS. She finds resources and hope in unlikely benefactors. Wonderful characters make Mvelo’s story a joy to read. An Afterword tells of the inspiration for the novel. A Q&A with the author section offers more insight and a list of Discussion Questions would make this a thought-provoking read for high school students. mjw
Title: We Kiss Them With Rain
Author: Futhi Ntshingila
Publisher
: Catalyst Press. Livermore, California
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-946395-04-7
Paperback pages
: 160
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Durban, South Africa
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Author’s residence
: Pretoria, South Africa
Subjects
: Africa, AIDS, Coming of age, Generations, Poverty, Sexual abuse, Women’s sagas

The Pencil

Based on the author’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this story is about being responsible for belongings and community.  Susan, her sister Rebecca, and brother Peter are home with their father in their iglu. Mother has gone to help a neighbor.  The children get tired of playing games. Father brings out a pencil from the box where they keep special things. All of the children begin drawing and drawing until they start to worry about what Mother will say when she gets home. They are supposed to use things wisely. Mother just reminds them that they shouldn’t waste things because they are hard to get. They only have one pencil. But she is glad that drawing brought them such joy. The illustrations have a sketch-like quality and are done in pencil. mjw
Title: The Pencil
Author: Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula
Illustrator
: Charlene Chua
Publisher
: Inhabit Media Inc. Iqaluit, Nunavut
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77227-216-1
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Nunavut, Canada
Author’s ethnicity
: Avinngaq born in Nunavut
Author’s residence
: Both authors – Nunavut
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Hamilton, Ontario
Subjects
: Canada, Community, Drawing, Iglu, Inaktitut, Polar regions, Thrift, Writing

Letters From Bear

Bird migrates south for the winter and Bear takes a long journey to find her. Bear writes letters to record her adventures. The letters recount a trip into the scary woods, being rescued by a mermaid, escaping a battle between two human armies, a squirrel’s birthday party, and much more.  Bear finally reaches her destination only to find that Bird never received the letters.  Bird didn’t want to be separated from Bear, so she headed back north.  Bird’s friends devise a plan for the friends to be reunited. Rich paintings illustrate Bear’s adventure. mjw
Title: Letters from Bear
Author: Gauthier David
Illustrator
: Marie Caudry
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sarah Ardizzone
Original Title
: Les lettres de L’ourse
Original Publisher
: Autrement, Belgium
Original Copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5536-7
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Drome, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Drome, France
Subjects
: Birds, Bears, Desert, Forest, Letter writing, Mountains, Oceans, Seas, Seasons, Volcanoes

I Dream Of A Journey

The hotel keeper tells about the people (animal characters) from all over the world who come to stay in his small, but cozy hotel. They tell stories of places he has never seen.  He goes to bed at night and dreams of far, far away places.  He sets off on his dream journey with a big suitcase, boards a plane, and roams freely wherever he wants. Morning comes and he is still in his little hotel waiting for new guests to arrive.  One day, he just might set off on a journey of his own.  The artwork is rendered in muted color pastels and soft focus. This is a beautiful, quiet book about being curious about the world. mjw
Title: I Dream Of A Journey
Author: Akiko Miyakoshi
Illustrator
: Akiko Miyakoshi
Publisher
: Kids Can Press
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Cathy Hirano
Original Title
: Boku no Tabi
Original Publisher
: Bronze Publishing, Inc. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-525304-78-1
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Tokyo
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Tokyo
Subjects
: Animal characters, Dreams, Hotels, Journeys, New experiences, Postcards, Wanderlust

A Good Day

The cat and the tiger are best of friends.  Every day the cat visits the tiger in the zoo.  He is very punctual.  They spend a great deal of time together and they talk about everything.  The tiger wishes he could be free to go back home to the jungle.  They devise a plan for the tiger to escape from the zoo.  The intricately detailed illustrations depict the zoo perfectly. mjw
Title: A Good Day
Author: Daniel Nesquens
Illustrator
: Miren Asiain Lora
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Spanish
Original Title
: Un Buen Dia
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5530-5
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s residence
: Spain
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Buenos Aire , Argentina
Subjects
: Cats, Freedom, Tigers, Zoos

The Village By The Sea

Thirteen-year-old Lila and her twelve-year-old brother Hari live in a small village called Thul in western India.  They also have two younger sisters.  They live with their mother, who is ill and bed-ridden.  Lila and Hari manage the family because their father is an alcoholic. Their life is hard.  Hari decides he has had enough and leaves for Bombay to find work.  He gets a job in a restaurant and befriends Mr. Panwallah, the watch repairer.  Back home in Thul, a rich family offers to help them and their mother is taken to a hospital for treatment.  And their father turns over a new leaf.  Hari returns to the village with plans to open a repair shop. Together, the whole family starts a small chicken farm. A helpful list of Indian words is included. mjw
Title: The Village By The Sea
Author: Anita Desai
Publisher
: New York Review of Books
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Heinemann. London
Original Copyright
: 1982
ISBN
: 978-1-68137-351-5
Paperback pages
: 263
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Thul and Bombay, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.A.
Awards
: 1983 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
Subjects
: Asia, Brothers and sisters, Family life, Family problems, Poverty, Rural life, Siblings

P Is For Poppadoms: An Indian Alphabet Book

This simple alphabet book introduces some Hindi words in an engaging manner.  Young readers will learn about the rich culture, delicious foods, and interesting animals of India.  The book begins with A is for Aam – mango and ends with Z is for Zaban – language.  More familiar words are also included.   C is for chai and Y is for yoga.  Whimsical digitally rendered illustrations enrich the text.  An author’s note provides background on the Hindi language. There is also a page showing how to write the Hindi words. mjw
Title: P Is For Poppadoms: An Indian Alphabet Book
Author: Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal
Illustrator
: Hazel Ito
Publisher
: Beach Lane Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-534421721
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: Kabir – New York,  Surishthna -Atlanta
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Scottish born
Illustrator’s residence
: Hawaii
Subjects
: Alphabet, India, Poetry

Child Of St. Kilda

Norman John Gilles was one of the last children born on St. Kilda, a group of islands with high cliffs off the Scottish coast.   People lived there for over four thousand years, thriving in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. They survived on sea birds, eggs, and potatoes. There was no crime or need for money.  They had no automobiles.  They trusted and cared for each other. The community came to an abrupt end in 1930 when the remaining St. Kildans begged the British government to evacuate them to the mainland. No one knows what happened. Today, the islands have become a World Heritage Site, recognized for their unique wildlife and vanished culture. The book concludes with a St. Kilda Sketchbook that provides more information and a map.  The stunning images were created by hand using monoprinting techniques. mjw
Title: Child Of St. Kilda
Author: Beth Waters
Illustrator
: Beth Waters
Publisher
: Child’s Play. Auburn, Maine. USA
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-78628-188-3
Hardcover pages
: 64 
Age range
: 4-9
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Cambridge, U.K.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: Cambridge, U.K.
Subjects
: Birds, History, Immigration, Mystery, Storms, Survival

Malo And The Merry-Go-Round

Malo is supposed to help his best friend, Poto, make pickles, but he hears that there is a new merry-go-round at the pond in the forest and that’s where he goes. Malo passes a wild boar who needs help getting a biting tick removed, but Malo is off in a rush. He meets a gang of turtles who want to play, but Malo lies to them and darts away. Next, he meets a cuckoo and again Malo is off in a huff.  Finally he slips on a dung beetle’s ball of dung, but still continues on his way. He gets to the merry-go-round and decides that it’s no fun playing alone. He should have stayed with Poto to make pickles and not hurt his friends. Malo rushes back to Poto’s house and the two best friends right Malo’s wrongs together. Bold watercolors complement this cute parable. mjw
Title: Malo And The Merry-Go-Round
Author: Maria Dek
Illustrator
: Maria Dek
Publisher
: Princeton Architectural Press, New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Original Title
: Mais ou a file Malo la musaraigne?
Original Publisher
: Helium/Actes Sud. Paris, France
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-61689-875-5
Hardcover pages: 34

Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Polish
Author’s residence
: Bialowieza, Poland
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Polish
Illustrator’s residence
: Bialowieza, Poland
Subjects
: Forgiveness, Humor, Merry-Go-Round, Parable, Pickles, Selfishness, Values

The Girl Who Stole An Elephant

Chaya is a rebellious and fearless schoolgirl.  She steals from the rich in her Serendib (Sri Lanka) village to help the poor.  One day, she goes too far and takes some of the Queen’s jewels and, consequently, gets her best friend arrested.  She and her friends, loyal Neelan and clever Nour, escape to the jungle where they have amazing adventures.  She also manages to steal the King’s elephant Ananda.  This fast-paced novel is full of gorgeous and vivid imagery and bits of interesting information about jungle flora and fauna. The book ends with a little twist. mjw
Title: The Girl Who Stole An Elephant
Author: Nizrana Farook
Publisher
: Nosy Crow Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-78800-634-7
Paperback pages
: 247
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Serendib. Sri Lanka
Author’s ethnicity
: Born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Author’s residence
: Hertfordshire, England
Subjects
: Adventure, Bandits, Elephants, Girls, Jungles, Royalty, Theft