Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lena, The Sea, And Me

Lena, The Sea, and Me

In this sequel to the OmniLibros post Waffle Hearts (Adventures With Waffles in the U.S.), Trille and Lena are growing up in Mathildewick Cove in Norway, where they have another year of adventures. They hoist Trille’s little sister up a flagpole, sail into a fjord on a flimsy raft, and go caroling during a hurricane. Trille becomes interested in a new girl in town and Lena plays soccer and takes music lessons. There is a smattering of Norwegian culture, which is interesting and lovely. mjw

Title: Lena, The Sea, And Me
Author: Maria Parr
Illustrator
: Lara Paulussen
Publisher
: Candlewick Press. Somerville, Massachusetts
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Guy Puzey
Original Title
: Keeperen og havet
Original Publisher
: Det Norske Samlaget. Oslo, Norway
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-5562-0772-9
Hardcover pages
: 304
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Norway
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Norway
Subjects
: Best friends, Family life, Grandparents

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 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

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

The Speckled Feather

The speckled FeatherjpegThree birds named Ade, Emem, and Nuru live on the back of an elephant in the savanna. They are friends until one day a beautiful speckled feather blows into their midst. Ade grabs the feather and claims it as his. The birds fight over the feather. The elephant stamps his foot and says, “Enough!” But the birds keep quarreling into the night. Suddenly, a wild dog attacks the birds and the elephant swings his trunk to bang on the dog’s chest and hurls the dog away. The birds thank the elephant and promise, “No more quarreling” and “No more speckled feathers.” The colorful illustrations appear to be hand-drawn and are stunning. mjw
Title: The Speckled Feather
Author: Johanna Ries
Illustrator
: Johanna Ries
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Die Fleckenfeder
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG, Zurich
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4447-6
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 40
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: African savanna
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Germany
Subjects
: Birds, Elephants, Greed, Loyalty, Savanna, Theft, Vanity, Wild dogs

Ninos: Poems For The Lost Children Of Chile

On September 11, 1973, a military coup in Chile led to a 17-year dictatorship. An Introduction to the book explains that 3197 people were killed and 34 were children under the age of 14. Thirty-four poems provide an homage to these children. The titles of the poems are the names of the children who were killed during General Pinochet’s regime. Four-year-old Soledad liked the sound of raindrops. Elizabeth wanted to be a teacher. Raul liked his mother calling him “little bird.” Many of the poems are about the natural world. This beautiful, heartfelt collection of poems is a touching memorial to the lost children of Chile. Backmatter includes every child’s full name and age. The soft, pastel-toned illustrations were created with watercolor, graphite pencil, charcoal, and colored pencils. mjw
Title: Ninos: Poems For The Lost Children Of Chile
Author: Maria Jose Ferrada
Illustrator
: Maria Elena Valdez
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Lawrnece Schimel
Original Title
: Ninos
Original Publisher
: Alboroto ediciones, Mexico
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5567-1
Hardcover pages
: 76
Age range
: 7 up
Genre
: Picture Book, Poetry
Book setting
: Chile
Author’s ethnicity
: Chilean
Author’s residence
: Chile
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Studied art in Caracas, Venezuela
Illustrator’s residence
: Barcelona, Spain
Subjects
: Democracy, Dictatorships, Nattural world, Poetry, Political violence

Sleep Like Me

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A little boy goes for a walk because he cannot go to sleep. He asks ten different animals for advice. The giraffe suggests resting his head on his back, but that doesn’t work. A bird offers, “Tuck your head under your wing,” but that doesn’t work either. A sloth, otters, sperm whales, a horse, koalas, bats, some ducks, and an albatross all give their ideas for falling asleep. Meanwhile the boy is feeling tired. He goes to bed and falls asleep. This delightful bedtime story is whimsically illustrated with acrylic and digital materials. mjw

Title: Sleep Like Me
Author: Tatia Nadareishvili
Illustrator
: Tatia Nadareishvili
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: German
Original Title
: Schlaf gut
Original Publisher
: Baobab Books, Basel, Switzerland
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5566-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Georgian
Author’s residence
: Tbilisi, Georgia in Eastern Europe
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Georgian
Illustrator’s residence
: Tbilisi, Georgia
Subjects
: Animals, Bedtime story, Dreams, Sleep

Now That Night Is Near

Now that Night is Near

It’s bedtime and everyone is settling down to sleep. Little children are tucked into bed. The cows and calves are sleeping in the fields. The foals, piglets, rabbits, lambs, and birds are going to sleep, too. A cat wanders through the fields. He is not ready for bed until the last page of the book, where he finally curls up on the child’s bed. The hand-painted gouache, ink, watercolor pencil, pastel, and acrylic illustrations are beautiful and filled with secret animals curled up in their beds. mjw

Title: Now That Night Is Near
Author: Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002)
Illustrator
: Marit Tornqvist
Publisher
: Floris Books
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Swedish
Translator
: Polly Lawson
Original Title
: Alla Ska Sova
Original Publisher
: Raben & Sjogren
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-178250-675-1
Hardcover pages
: 24
Age range
: 3-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Sweden
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Sweden
Subjects
: Bedtime story, Cats, Earth, Nature, Sleep