Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

Under My Tree

When Susanne, who lives in the city, visits her grandmother, she discovers a special tree in the forest. She observes unique things about her tree, such as a family of owls, the rough bark of the tree, the fruit growing on the tree, hundreds of insects, and more. She brings her friend Max to visit her tree. She won’t see her tree much in the winter, but she knows that her tree hibernates and that it will be there when she visits next year.  Integrated into the text are facts about trees and activities that will encourage readers to learn more about trees. The warm illustrations will teach children to appreciate and respect nature. mjw
Title: Under My Tree
Author: Muriel Tallandier
Illustrator
: Mizuho Fujisawa
Publisher
: Blue Dot Kids Press, San Francisco, CA
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sarah Klinger
Original Title
: Sous Mon Arbre
Original Publisher
: Editions Grund
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-7331212-3-1
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Information book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Biodiversity, Country life, Environment, Forests, Multigenerational, Trees

The Christmas Feast

The wolf, the fox, and the weasel decide to treat themselves to a Christmas feast. Fox steals the turkey, but the turkey has other ideas. First, she wants the animals to clean their messy den. Turkey supervises the work. Next, Turkey asks what is for dinner and she scolds them when they say they have no intention of cooking. So Turkey prepares the meal.  The friends have a great evening enjoying the meal and playing cards. The next day, Turkey is very demanding about all the decorating for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, Turkey asks how they plan to cook her. They have no idea. Turkey’s solution is to wait until next year so that they will have time to fatten her up. Everyone agrees and Turkey cooks the Christmas feast herself. The playful illustrations enhance this fun holiday story. mjw
Title: The Christmas Feast
Author: Nathalie Dargent
Illustrator
: Magali Le Huche
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Original Title
: Le Festin de Noel
Original Publisher
: Editions Glenat
Original Copyright
: 2008
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5537-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Paris, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Paris, France
Subjects
: Christmas, Fox, Humorous stories, Meals, Turkeys, Weasels, Wolves

Brother’s Keeper

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live in Communist North Korea in 1950. War is coming and they need to escape.  The family plans to walk the 300 miles from their village to the South Korean city of Busan.  There is a bombing and Sora and her eight-year-old brother Youngsoo are left to get there on their own. It’s winter, and they have to face enemy soldiers, starvation, frostbite, deprivation, and other hardships as they struggle to complete their journey.  This highly engrossing story is loosely based on the author’s mother’s experiences. An author’s note, photographs of the author’s family, a glossary of Korean words, a timeline of the Korean War, and a map of Sora’s journey are included. mjw
Title: Brother’s Keeper
Author: Julie Lee
Publisher
: Holiday House. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0823444946
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Korea
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Asia, Communism, History, Korean War, Military action, North Korea, Refugees,  Siblings, South Korea, War zone, Winter

One World Many Colors

“We share one world. We share many colors.” This beautiful book explores the world and its vibrant colors. White shines and sparkles in the deserts of Oman, in icy Antarctica, and in sunny Australia. Pink blooms and brightens in the blossoms of Japan, in a Paris bakery, and in the flamingos in Kenya. Other colors can be found all over the world. A map of the journey is included that highlights all the locations and objects seen. Color words are given in seven different languages. The vivid illustrations are loaded with small details that are fun to find. A note from the author explains about colors and that we all share the same world – a world we should cherish. mjw
Title: One World Many Colors
Author: Ben Lerwill
Illustrator
: Alette Straathof
Publisher
: Quarto Publishing, plc
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-7112-4983-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book, Nonfiction, Information Book
Book setting
: The world
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Oxfordshire, England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Paris, France
Subjects
: Cities, Colors, Cultures, Fauna, Flora, Nature, Rural, Travel books, World

Ida And The World Beyond Mount Kaiserzipf

As a young girl in Vienna in 1802, Ida’s head is full of adventures.  She dreams of being a research scientist and going to the jungle to study unknown species of butterflies. Her mother thinks that this isn’t proper for girls. Ida should stay home and become a perfect young lady. Time passes and she marries and has children, but never loses sight of her dream.  After her children grow up, she packs her suitcase and journeys for months all over the world. She lands on an island that is full of mysteries.  She publishes a book about her travels and becomes the first woman to travel around the world alone and without financial support. Illustrations of bold colors and shapes enhance Ida’s story. Back matter gives more information about Ida Pfeiffer. mjw
Title: Ida And The World Beyond Mount Kaiserzipf
Author: Linda Schwalbe
Illustrator
: Linda Schwalbe
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc., New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Ida und die Welt hinterm Kaiserzipf
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG. Zurich
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4420-9
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: Vienna and around the world
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Leipzig
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Leipzig
Subjects
: Explorers, Vienna, World

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