Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Dot (The Dot That Couldn’t Sit Still)

Once upon a time there was a dot in the big broad universe.  One day, it gets tired of sitting still and starts to move around. The dot meets other dots and together they make shapes – squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles.  The shapes realize they can make a house. They are amazed by what they can make if they work together – highrises, the sun, the moon, and even a boy, a girl, and a cat.  The brief text is accompanied by stark black and white drawings with bright red, yellow, and orange accents.  The book is a celebration of creativity. mjw
Title: The Dot
Author: Gulnar Hajo
Illustrator
: Gulnar Hajo
Publisher
: Darf Children’s Books. London
Copyright
: 201
Original Language
: Arabic
Translator
: Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
Original Title
: Hekayat Nuqta’ala dafter abyadh
Original Publisher
: Bright Fingers Publishing House. Damascus, Syria
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-1-85077-329-0
Paperback pages
: 20
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Author’s residence
: Istanbul
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Illustrator’s residence
: Istanbul
Subjects
: Creativity, Shapes, Universe

The Forest

This beautiful book is for those who are captivated by a walk in the forest.  The open-ended mystery of what lies beyond the forest is achieved through bold illustrations, embossing, die cuts, and gatefolds.  The elaborate embossed images show first a baby, then a young child, and on through to an old, wrinkled face.  New greenery grows from lines in the landscape.  This stunning work of art is about the adventure of life. mjw
Title: The Forest
Author: Riccardo Bozzi
Illustrator
: Violeta Lopiz and Valerio Vidali
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books, New York
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Debbie Vidali
Original Title
: La Foresta
Original Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books, New York
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-218-3
Paperback pages
: 72
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Italy
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish – Lopiz, Italian – Vidali
Illustrator’s residence
: Ibiza, Spain.  Berlin
Awards
: A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2018
Subjects
: Allegory, Explorers, Forests and forestry, Metaphysical, Natural world, Paper engineering, Toy book

The Eleventh Hour

Jules and Jim are childhood friends who were born on the same day in the same town in Canada.  Jim is always a little faster and a little stronger.  In 1914, when a war begins in Europe, Canada is at war with Germany.  Jules and Jim understand that their country needs them. So they enlist in the army and sail to Europe.  On the Front, conditions are muddy and barbaric.  Jules is always lagging two minutes behind Jim.  Jim gets a medal, while Jules gets stuck doing chores.  On November 11, 1918, at 11 o’ clock the fighting is supposed to stop.  But on the battlefields, not everyone gets the message.  Jules gets shot at 10:58, two minutes before the war ends.  He is the very last Canadian soldier to die in World War I.  Illustrated in a cartoon style and inspired by true events, this picture book is a thought-provoking parable. mjw
Title: The Eleventh Hour
Author: Jacques Goldstyn
Illustrator
: Jacques Goldstyn
Publisher
: Owlkids Books. Toronto
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Anne Louise Mahoney
Original Title
: Jules et Jim: freres d’armes
Original Publisher
: Bayard Canada Livres, Inc. Montreal
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-77147-348-4
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical fiction
Book setting
: Canada, Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Montreal
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal
Subjects
: Armistice, Canadian history, Military fiction, World War I

Milky Way

In the remote mountains of Ladakh in India, Tashi is worried about his friend the roly-poly moon.  The moon always gives him “a special smile-eyes closed and no teeth showing,” But every night, the moon gets smaller and smaller until it eventually disappears.  Tashi thinks this is because the moon doesn’t get enough milk to drink.  So Tashi leaves a tall glass of milk on the window sill every night for the moon, and little by little the moon gets its full round shape back with its special smile.  Tashi’s grandma explains the phases of the moon.  Bold, colorful illustrations enhance the fun story.  A glossary of Ladakhi words and a note about Ladakh is included.  A lesson plan can be downloaded from the Yali Books website. mjw
Title: Milky Way
Author: Mamta Nainy
Illustrator
: Siddhartha Tripathi
Publisher
: Yali Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-9890615-6-8
Hardcover pages
: 44
Age range
: 4-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Ladakh, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: New Delhi
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Ahmedabad
Subjects: Buddhism, Culture, Himalayas, Moon, Tibet

The Dog Who Lost His Bark

Patrick has always wanted a dog and when his mother suggests getting one while they are vacationing at his grandfather’s, he is thrilled.  Oz the dog had been abused by his former owners and consequently lost his bark.  Patrick helps Oz to heal through the power of music.  Being rescued by his new forever family gives Patrick and Oz the chance to form a special bond and learn what true love is.  The realistic pencil drawings capture both human and dog emotions beautifully. mjw
Title: The Dod Who Lost His Bark
Author: Eoin Colfer
Illustrator
: P. J. Lynch
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0442-1
Hardcover pages
: 144
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Irish
Author’s residence
: Dublin, Ireland
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Irish
Illustrator’s residence
: Dublin. Ireland
Awards
: Both author and illustrator are former Irish Children’s Laureates
Subjects
: Animal abuse, Children of separated parents,Dogs, Grandfathers, Human-animal relationships, Music, Pets, Rescue dogs, Violins

Birdsong

In spring, Katherena and her mother pack up their belongings and move from their home in the city by the sea.  Their new home sits on a hill overlooking a field and another home.  An older woman named Agnes lives in that home.  In summer, Katherena visits Agnes, whose yard is filled with berries, flowers, and birds.  In fall, Katherena visits Agnes again and again and they talk about the moon and the seasons.  In winter, it’s harder for Agnes to get around and Katherena draws pictures.  In the next spring, Agnes has grown weaker and Katherena decorates Agnes’s room with all of her drawings.  The textured illustrations in this book were rendered in TBC.  They warmly depict the story of a young girl and an elderly woman who share their love of nature and art.  A glossary explains Cree words that are integrated into the text. mjw
Title: Birdsong
Author: Julie Flett
Illustrator
: Julie Flett
Publisher
: Greystone Books Ltd.
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77164-473-0
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 3-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Cree-Metis
Author’s residence
: Vancouver, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Cree-Metis
Illustrator’s residence
: Vancouver, Canada
Subjects
: Emotions, Indigenous, Intergenerational friendship, Nature, Seasons

Painting Everything In The World

The people from the Rathwa tribe in Gujarat, India, are preparing for the Holi festival. Everyone is busy and happy, cleaning and cooking for the night.  They feast and dance for the best Holi celebration the village has had, as long as people can remember.  But the next day, strange things happen.  Everything seems to be going wrong.  The Wise Man says that the villagers have forgotten to honor the gods with a Pithora painting.  The artists get to work.  They believe the painting will bring good fortune back to the village.  A beautiful Pithora painting folds out of this fascinating book. An extensive note provides much more information about Pithora painting. mjw
Title: Painting Everything In The World
Author: Gita Wolf
Illustrator
: Harsingh Hamir
Publisher
: Tara Books Pvt. Ltd., India
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-93-83145-48-5
Hardcover pages
: 28
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Rathwa tribe in Gujarat, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: India
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Rathwa
Illustrator’s residence
: Gujarat, India
Awards
: The artist won the Nami Concours 2019 Purple Island Award for this book.
Subjects
: Art, Artists, Gods and goddesses, Holi festival, Pithora and Pithori