Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

Soul Lanterns

Soul Lanterns

Set 25 years after the bombing of Hiroshima, twelve-year-old Nozomi discovers that the long-term emotional and physical effects of the bombing continue. Her art class project is to learn more about the experiences of students’ families on August 6, 1945. Book chapters focus on individual heartbreaking narratives told by survivors. This powerful story from a Japanese perspective shows the impact on the city and emphasizes the message of peace. mjw

Title: Soul Lanterns
Author: Shaw Huzki
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Emily Balistrieri
Original Title
: Hikari no utsushie Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Hiroshima
Original Publisher
: Kodansha, Ltd. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2013
ISBN
: 978-0-593-17436-4
Hardcover pages
: 175
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Kamakura, Japan
Subjects
: Art, Atomic bomb, Ceremonies, Grandparents, Hiroshima, Lantern floating ceremony, Peace, World War II

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

Castle In The Clouds

Castle in the CloudsSeventeen-year-old Sophie Spark works as an intern and babysitter in an old grand hotel known as Castle in the Clouds in the Swiss Mountains. Many interesting international guests arrive for the Christmas holidays. There are missing diamonds, possible kidnappers, spies, a famous author, a bodyguard, and two handsome boys who all liven up Sophie’s life. She plunges into a Nancy Drew type of investigation that makes her stay at the hotel everything, but boring. mjw
Title: Castle In The Clouds
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher
: Henry Holt and Company. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Romy Fursland
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-250-30019-5
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction. Mystery
Book setting
: Switzerland
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Subjects
: Hotels, Kidnapping, Mystery, Resorts, Romance, Theft, Thriller, Young Adult

Walking For Water: How One Boy Stood Up For Gender Equality

Walking for WaterVictor and his twin sister Linesi have turned eight years old and now Linesi no longer goes to school with Victor. Linesi, like other girls in her village, has to make the five daily walks to the river to collect water so that their mother has more time for farming. Victor has begun learning about equality in school and sees that boys and girls are not treated equally. So Victor comes up with a plan to help. Based on a true story, this important book shows how one person can make a big difference in the lives of others. An Author’s Note tells about water availability in Malawi and provides resources where readers can learn more about water scarcity and gender equality in Malawi and other countries. Also included is a glossary of Chichewa words. Chichewa is one of the many languages spoken in Malawi. The attractive artwork was rendered in Photoshop and Procreate. mjw
Title: Walking For Water: How One Boy Stood Up For Gender Equality
Author: Susan Hughes
Illustrator
: Nicole Miles
Publisher
: Citizen Kid – Kids Can Press. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1525302-497
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book, inspired by a real event
Book setting
: Malawi
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto, Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Originally from the Bahamas
Illustrator’s residence
: West Yorkshire, U.K.
Subjects
: Activism, Africa, Education, Gender equality, Girls and women, Schools, Siblings, Twins, Water scarcity

Hello Earth! Poems To Our Planet

Hello Earth Poems. . .

This beautiful, over-sized poetry book is a love letter to the Earth. There are poems about volcanoes, earthquakes, continental drift, the moon, jungles, mountains, deserts, ocean currents, rainbows, and more. The stunning paintings were created with watercolor and acrylic. They are packed with incredible detail. Included are six pages of additional information about all the topics covered in the poems, resources about climate change, ways kids can help, science projects, and a list of books for further reading. mjw

Title: Hello Earth! Poems To Our Planet
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator
: Miren Asiain Lora
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Spanish
Original Title
: Versos de la Tierra
Original Publisher
: Ediciones SM, Madrid
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-0802855282
Hardcover pages
: 68
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book, Poetry
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Awards
: Author has won the American Library Association Newbery Medal
Subjects
: Earth, Earth Science, Ecology, Ecosystems, Human impact, Jungles, Oceans, Plate tectonics, Water cycles

The Story Of Bodri

The Story of BodriHedi and her friend Marika spend their days playing in the park with Hedi’s dog Bodri. Hedi is Jewish and Marika is Christian, but that doesn’t stop them from being friends. All is well until Adolf Hitler ’s frightening voice is heard on the radio saying that he hates Jews. His soldiers come and round up Hedi’s family and all the other Jews and put them onto a train for the camps. Bodri is left behind. Hedi dreams of Bodri for the many months that she and her sister are separated from Bodri and their parents. They are cold and hungry in the camp. Their heads are shaved and they have to wear dirty uniforms and hard shoes. The sisters survive and they are reunited with Bodri. Carefully chosen language tells this difficult story. The author, who was born in 1924, is a Holocaust survivor who experienced the horrors of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and several work camps. The illustrations, which were created with watercolor, ink, and digital media, evoke the time and place perfectly. mjw
Title: The Story Of Bodri
Author: Hedi Fried
Illustrator
: Stina Wirsen
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Swedish
Translator
: Linda Schenck
Original Title
: Historien om Bodri
Original Publisher
: Natur & Kultur. Stockholm, Sweden
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5565-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture Book. Historical Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish-Hungarian
Author’s residence
: Stockholm, Sweden
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Stockholm, Sweden
Subjects
: Concentration camps, Dogs, Germany, Adolf Hitler, Holocaust, Jews