Category Archives: USBBY Books List

The Elevator

downloadA girl and her dog Roco want to go on their afternoon walk. They get on the elevator on Floor 4 and the girl pushes the down button, but the elevator goes up. It stops at Floor 7 and Ms. Paula gets on. She is afraid of dogs. She presses the down button, but the elevator goes up again. On Floor 8, old Mr. Miguel gets on with his walker. He presses the down button and the elevator stops on Floor7 and Cora and the twins in their stroller get on. After pressing the button again, the elevator stops between Floor 5 and Floor 4. Then Ms. Paula opens the box that she is carrying and gives everyone a slice of birthday cake that she was planning to give to her friend. Next, Mr. Miguel tells a story called Who Cares? about a bear that always said he didn’t care when he really did. All of a sudden the elevator starts to move, though no one pushed the button. It stops at Floor 4 and everyone gets off and has tea at the girl’s apartment. At the end of the book, in a real envelope, there is a surprise mini-book titled Who Cares? The playful black, white and red illustrations were created with drawing, collage, and photography all assembled digitally. The tall and slender format of the book resembles an elevator. mjw
Title: The Elevator
Author: Yael Frankel
Illustrator
: Yael Frankel
Publisher
: Tapioca Stories. Huntington, New York.
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Kit Maude
Original Title
: El ascensor
Original Publisher
: Limonero, Argentina
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-7347839-0-2
Hardcover pages
: 44
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Argentinian
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Argentinian
Awards
: 2021 Outstanding International Books USBBY, 2020 White Raven Award
Subjects
: Apartment buildings, Dogs, Elevators, Pets, Twin

Amrita Sher-gil: Rebel With A Paintbrush

This beautiful, well-researched book tells the story of modern Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil’s short, but fascinating life. She was born in Hungary in 1913. Her mother was a Hungarian pianist and her father was an Indian Sikh. Amrita was raised in Hungary and trained in France. She was inspired by writers, musicians, artists, and the time she lived – world wars, the Indian freedom movement, and major changes in the art world. The set-up of the book is amazing. The text that tells Amrita’s story is woven around pictures and boxes of information. Political events and artistic movements that shaped her life are found in other boxes. Real photographs, sometimes taken by her father, are included in the margins, and reproductions of Amrita’s gorgeous paintings are also spread throughout the book. Back matter provides a section called Why Was Amritas’s Art Important? and another section of interesting references. mjw
Title: Amrita Sher-gil: Rebel With A Paintbrush
Author: Anita Vachharajani
Illustrator
: Kalyani Ganapathy
Publisher
: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Copyright
: 2018
Original Publisher:
Harper Collins Children’s Books. India
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-93-5277-473-9
Hardcover pages
: 184
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Information book, Biography, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Hungary, India, France, Pakistan
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: Mumbai
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Nilgiris
Awards
: 2020 USBBY Honor List
Subjects
: Art Biography, India, Indian freedom, Hungary, Painting

Thukpa For All

Young Tsering can’t wait to taste his grandmother’s thukpa – noodle soup.  On his way home, he invites many friends, neighbors, and family members to join him.  Just as his grandmother is preparing the soup, the power goes out. Tsering helps with the soup-making steps by identifying spices and other ingredients by their smells. The power comes back on and everyone can enjoy the thukpa.  Told from a blind child’s perspective – Tsering is blind – this story is enhanced by beautiful illustrations that teach about the Ladakhi culture which is not often depicted in picture books.  Alliteration and onomatopoeia make it a fun read.  A Glimpse into Ladakhi Life gives information about the culture and geography of Indian Ladakhi. A glossary and a recipe for thukpa are also included. mjw
Title: Thukpa For All
Author: Prada Ram and Sheela Preuitt
Illustrator
: Shilpa Ranade
Publisher
: Karadi Tales. Chennai, India
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-81-9338-898-3
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Ladakhi, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Mumbai
Awards
: 2019 IBBY Catalog of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Blind, Cooking and food, Culture, Diversity, Family life, Grandmothers, Sense and sensations, Special needs

Lubna And Pebble

Lubna lives with her father and brothers in a world of tents.  Her best friend is a shiny, smooth, gray pebble.  She draws a happy face on it and keeps it warm wrapped in a tea towel in a shoebox.  She tells the pebble about home, the war, and that she loves it.  Soon, a little boy arrives.  At first, he has no words.  He coughs, sneezes, smiles, and says his name is Amir.  Lubna and Amir become friends.  One day, Lubna’s daddy announces that they are leaving because they have found a home.  Lubna feels happy, then sad.  Amir cries. Lubna gives Amir her pebble.  He needs it more than she does.  Larger-than-life, stunning illustrations complement this powerful story. mjw
Title: Lubna And Pebble
Author: Wendy Meddour
Illustrator
: Daniel Egneus
Publisher
: Dial Books for Young Readers. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-052-5554-165
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Middle East
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Athens, Greece
Awards; 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Refugees

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
Awards: 2020 ALA American Indian Literature Award, 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Emotions, Indigenous, Intergenerational friendship, Nature, Seasons

Vanishing Colors

In this haunting story, a young girl and her mother take shelter in their roofless house to sleep. The mother tells the story of a large bird that flies from the mountains to protect them.  Dark illustrations show that the city is ravaged by war.  The bird reminds the girl of happy memories and colors that were there before.  The girl and her mother can leave when the girl sees all the colors in the rainbow, which makes a bridge across the sky.  The book ends with the mother and child walking on, holding hands, under a rainbow. They will stay together and help each other. mjw
Title: Vanishing Colors
Author: Constance Orbeck-Nilssen
Illustrator
: Akin Duzakin
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Kari Dickson
Original Title
: Fargene som forsvant
Original Publisher
: Vigmostad & Bjorke
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5518-3
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Eastern Europe
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Norway
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Turkish-Norwegian
Illustrator’s residence
: Norway
Awards:  2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Destruction, Emigration and Immigration, Homelessness and poverty, Migration, Parents, Refugees, Social issues

Marwan’s Journey

Marwen is a young boy and refugee who flees from starvation, poverty, and war. Along with thousands of other refugees, he takes an incredible journey across the desert and away from his homeland and culture. Marwen hopes to return to his home in the future and create a place that is safe, happy, and filled with hope. Brown, black, blue, red, and yellow watercolors combine in variations to establish scenes that reflect the ups and downs of Marwen’s journey. mm
Title: Marwan’s Journey
Author: Patricia de Arias
Illustrator
: Laura Borrás
Publisher
: Michael Neugebauer Publishing ltd
Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-988-8341-55-9
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Author’s residence
: Brazil
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Awards: 2019 USBBY Honor List of Outstanding International Books
Subjects
: Family, Hope, Refugees

The Moose Of Ewenki

The Ewenki people live in the forest of Greater Khingan, in northern China, and they live on hunting and raising reindeer. The old hunter Gree Shek hunts a mother moose by mistake. She leaves a young moose.  He feels terrible because Ewenki hunters would never hunt a female moose that was raising a baby.  The motherless baby follows Gree Shek back to the campsite where Gree Shek feeds the hungry moose.  He names it Little Moose. The moose and the man form a bond and go on adventures together.  As Little Moose grows older and bigger, Gree Shek knows he must return the moose to the forest.  Beautifully detailed paintings complement this touching story, which highlights the traditional and vanishing way of life of the Ewenki people. mjw
Title: The Moose Of Ewenki
Author: Gerelchimeg Blackcrane
Illustrator
: Jui Er
Publisher
: Greystone Kids Books
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77164-538-6
Hardcover pages
: 68
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Inner Mongolia
Author’s ethnicity
: Chinese
Author’s residence
: Hulunbuir Grassland in Mongolia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Chinese
Illustrator’s residence
: Beijing, China
Awards:  2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Asia, Caribou, Deer, Global studies, Moose, People and places, Reindeer

A Year In Our New Garden

a year in our new gardenAnna and Benjamin’s family has moved into a new house in the city and they have big plans for their garden. They draw maps of their garden plots, gather their garden tools, and get straight to work, digging and planting. They plant flowers and vegetables, and learn about birds and insects. They make lemonade and leaf and acorn jewelry and toys. A recipe and directions are included. Also provided are gardening tips. Benjamin even writes a poem. This seasonal story is accompanied by beautifully detailed watercolor and ink illustrations. Young readers will be inspired to explore their own gardens. mjw
Title: A Year In Our New Garden
Author: Gerda Muller
Illustrator
: Gerda Muller
Publisher
: Floris Books, Edinburgh
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: German
Original Title
: Ein Garten fur Kinder in der Stadt
Original Copyright
: 1988
ISBN
: 978-1-78250-259-3
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Author’s residence
: Paris
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Illustrator’s residence
: Paris
Awards: 2017 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Birds, Gardens, Seasons, Wildlife

The Herd Boy

The Herd Boy CoverReaders experience a typical day of the courageous and bright Malusi who is responsible for protecting a herd of sheep in South Africa. Malusi dreams of becoming president despite his friend’s doubts. Expressive illustrations of the lively landscape, a special appearance by Nelson Mandela, a glossary of words from South Africa, and a note from the author describing the inspiration for the book are featured. ema
Title: The Herd Boy
Author: Niki Daly
Illustrator
: Niki Daly
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2012
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Janetta Otter-Barry Books, Frances Lincoln Books
Original Copyright: 2012
ISBN: 978-0802854179
Hardcover pages: 32
Age range: 6-10
Genre: Picture Book
Book setting: South Africa
Author’s ethnicity: South African
Author’s residence: Cape Town
Awards: 2012 Junior Library Guild Selection, Poetry Center at Passaic County CC, 2013 Paterson Prize for Young People Honor Book, United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), 2013 Outstanding International Books
Subjects: African People, Animals, Baboons, Family, Food, Friends, Herders, Language, Leaders, Nelson Mandela, Presidents, Sheep, South Africa, Xhosa, World Leaders

I Have The Right To Be A Child

I Have A Right To Be A ChildInspired by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, I Have The Right To Be A Child is a picture book that makes young readers ponder about rights of  children. The simplistically beautiful acrylic illustrations perfectly accompany the book’s first person narration. This moving picture book explains the types of rights children around the world should be entitled to. It is important to note that at the end of the book, there is an explanation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This explanation details the specific rights the states who sign the agreement must uphold. There is also a list of states who are party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. There are only three members of the UN who are not party to the Convention. These three countries are Somalia, the United States, and South Sudan. I Have The Right To Be A Child is a perfect book to teach about peace and human rights. It illustrates the type of world we hope to live in and challenges readers to advocate for children’s rights. ema
Title: I Have The Right To Be A Child
Author: Alain Serres
Illustrator
: Aurélia Fronty
Publisher
: Groundwood Books House of Anansi Press
Copyright
: 2012
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Helen Minster
Original TitleS’ai le droit d’être un enfant
Original Publisher: Rue du Monde 
Original Copyright
: 2009
ISBN
: 978-1-55498-149-6
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range: 4-7
Genre
: Non-Fiction Picture Book 
Book setting
: Around the World
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Paris
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Awards
: IRA Notable Books for a Global Society List, Selected for Children’s Literary Assembly, 2013 Notable Children’s Books, and USBBY Outstanding International Booklist
Subjects: Activism, Children’s Rights, Disabilities, Diversity, Education, Families, Friends, Gender, Human Rights, Peace, Race, United Nations, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Shackleton’s Journey

Shackleton's JourneyThis large-format picture book tells of the rewards and trials of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 landmark expedition across Antarctica on the “Endurance.” The very detailed story includes the names of the dogs and all the crew, and quotations from crew members. Inventories of supplies, maps, and plans of the anatomy of the ship help to communicate this extraordinary journey. The unique, meticulous colored-pencil drawings in mostly blacks, blues, and browns evoke the adventure and excitement of the expedition. The ample use of white captures the snow and ice of the polar region. Included are a Table of Contents, and a Glossary of bolded words that appear in the text, such as crow’s nest, glacier, and sledge. mjw
Title: Shackleton’s Journey
Author: William Grill
Illustrator
: William Grill
Publisher
: Flying Eye Books, an imprint of Nobrow Ltd., London, New York
Copyright
: 2014
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-909263-10-9
Hardcover pages
: 80
Age range
: 7-11
Genre
: Picture Book, Nonfiction, Information
Book setting
: Antarctica
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: London
Awards
: 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, AOI Illustration New Talent Award Winner, 2014 NY Times Best illustrated Children’s Book Award, 2015 USBBY Outstanding International Book,  Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2014.
Subjects
: Antarctica; Biography; Exploration and discovery; Explorers; Polar regions; Shackleton, Ernest Henry, Sir (1874-1922); Ships