Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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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

The Lady With The Books: A Story Inspired By The Remarkable Work Of Jella Lepman

This story was inspired by true events and is the fictionalized retelling of how Jella Lepman brought a collection of international books to Germany after WWII in 1946.Anneliese and Peter wander the ruined streets of Munich and discover a great hall filled with books and they meet the lady who set it up. Jella Lepman founded the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and the International Youth Library. This book includes further information about Lepman and her work, and photos of her, the exhibition, and the library. The library in Munich today holds over 60,000 books in more than 130 different languages. The artwork in the book, mostly in blues and grays, was rendered in graphite pencil and colored digitally. mjw
Title: The Lady With The Books: A Story Inspired By The remarkable Work Of Jella Lepman
Author: Kathy Stinson
Illustrator
: Marie Lafrance
Publisher
: Kids Can Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-525301544
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal, Quebec
Subjects
: Books, European historical fiction, Girls and women, International children’s books, Libraries, Reading, World War II

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The Suitcase

A strange, tired, sad, and frightened animal arrives one day pulling a big suitcase. When a bird asks what’s in the suitcase, the animal replies that there is a teacup, a chair, and a kitchen in a wooden cabin. The animal takes a rest and the other animals, who don’t believe him, break open the suitcase and find a broken teacup and an old photograph. When the animal wakes up, he can’t believe what the other animals have done.  They then fix his suitcase the best they can. The strange animal exclaims that it is perfect, but that they don’t have enough teacups for everyone. This powerful story about migration, hope, kindness, and trust, with a lovely ending, is illustrated in pen, ink, pencil, and watercolor. mjw
Title: The Suitcase
Author: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Illustrator
: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Nosy Crow. Great Britain
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-358-32960-2
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Emotions, Friendship, Kindness, Suitcase, Teacups, Trust

Everest: The Remarkable Story Of Edmund Hilary And Tenzing Norgay

After a brief introduction, a section called Why Climb Everest? describes why Hillary and Tenzing’s achievement was so remarkable. Two very different, yet equally determined, men battled frost-biting temperatures, icefalls, snow, wind, and death-defying crevasses to climb to the top of the world’s highest mountain, Everest. The narrative is captivating and the digitally created, breathtaking illustrations are very detailed and loaded with fascinating information. A Table of Contents lists the four parts of the book: The Story of Two Very Different Childhoods, The Race for Everest, Hillary and Tenzing Climb Everest, and Their Stories Continue after Everest. The book is exciting and engaging. mjw
Title: Everest: The Remarkable Story Of Edmund Hilary And Tenzing Norgay
Author: Alexandra Stewart
Illustrator
: Joe Todd-Stanton
Publisher
: Bloomsbury Children’s Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Great Britain
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-5476-0159-2
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Picture book, Biography
Book setting
: New Zealand, Tibet, Nepal
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Asian history, Mountain climbing, Sherpas, Yaks, Yetis