Category Archives: White Raven

Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey Of His Life

Through a magical conversation with a young girl in a horse-drawn carriage, Hans Christian Andersen tells his life story. “The most wonderful fairytale is life itself.” He was a cobbler’s son who left his town in Denmark, with thirteen coins in his pocket, to go to Copenhagen to seek his fortune. He wanted to be an actor or a dancer, but things did not work out for him. What he really enjoyed was writing. A sheet of paper became his stage. He wrote poems, stories, fairytales, and plays. He traveled around the country meeting people who loved the theatre – people like himself. Hans goes on to tell the girl some of his stories, such as The Flying Trunk, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, Clumsy Hans, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Snow Queen. The sumptuous illustrations use graphic novel elements to tell the story. In the illustrations, there are references to well-known authors of children’s books and some famous children’s book characters, like The Little Prince, Pinocchio, and more. An author’s note tells more about Hans Christian Andersen’s life. mjw
Title: Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey Of His Life
Author: Heinz Janisch
Illustrator
: Maja Kastelic
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc., New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Hans Christian Andersen: Die Reise seines Lebens
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG> Zurich, Switzerland
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4388-2
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: Denmark
Author’s ethnicity
: Austrian
Author’s residence
: Vienna
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Slovenia
Awards
: White Ravens Award – Illustrator
Subjects
: Biography, Denmark, European history, Fairytales, Literary biography

A Boy And A House

This wordless book is the story of a boy wandering down dark Grimm Street past interesting street and window scenes.  When he gets to #34 Andersen Street, he sees a cat in an open doorway.  He follows the cat up a stairway where there are discarded drawings on the floor, which he collects.  The sepia-toned watercolor paintings are full of enticing details. The two mice on each page are especially fun.  The boy journeys through the house, drawn forever forward until he reaches a lovely surprise.  Each page in the book is more amazing than the last. mjw
Title: A Boy And A House
Author: Maja Kastelic
Illustrator
: Maja Kastelic
Publisher
: Annick Press
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Slovenian
Original Title
: Decek in Hisa
Original Publisher
: Mladinska Knjiga Zalozba
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-77321-055-1
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Wordless Picture Book
Book setting
: Slovenian townhouse
Author’s ethnicity
: Slovenian
Author’s residence
: Slovenia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Slovenian
Illustrator’s residence
: Slovenia
Awards
: White Ravens List
Subjects
: Cats, Companionship, Discovery, Houses, Stories without words, Surprises

The Boring Book

the-boring-bookOnce there was a BORING book that no one ever read. People who tried to read it fell asleep. The words in the book were tired of standing in rows, so they escape to have fun. They jump into street signs and shop signs. They dance all over the pages until the wordplay gets out of hand. Unusual and colorful graphics and three-dimensional miniature books within the book are imaginative and add to the fun. mjw
Title: The Boring Book
Author: Vasanti Unka
Illustrator
: Vasanti Unka
Publisher
: Puffin Books, New Zealand
Copyright
: 2013
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-143-50575-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-10
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s residence
: Auckland, New Zealand
Illustrator’s residence
: Auckland, New Zealand
Awards
: 2014 New Zealand Post Mahy Book of the Year, 2014 White Raven, 2016 IBBY Honor Book
Subjects
: Activity books, Books and libraries, Words

How To Be Famous


cv_how_to-be_famous

Everyone takes a trip to the zoo to see the exotic pigeons- right? At least that is what this boastful main character believes. The confident pigeon comes from generations of fame from his grandpa the sculptor to his mother the gardener. And he, the family model, is the most famous of them all. For, every time he takes a trip to the zoo, onlookers want pictures and autographs, they even show their appreciation by bowing and showering him with food. This grandiose life can not be beat, even by the King of the the Jungle… js


Title: How To Be Famous
Author: Michal Shalev
Illustrator
: Michal Shalev
Publisher
: Gecko Press. Wellington, New Zealand
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 9-781776-570300
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Author’s residence
: Israel
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Illustrator’s residence
: Israel
Subjects
: Fame, Pigeon, Vanity, Zoos

Chicken In The Kitchen

chicken-in-the-kitchenIt is the night before the New Yam Festival in Anyaugo’s Nigerian village. She wakes up and sees the shadow of a giant chicken heading for the kitchen. She goes to investigate, but decides she needs help from the Wood Wit, a tricky wood spirit. This fun look at the masquerade culture of West Africa is enhanced with flamboyant and vibrant illustrations. mjw
Title: Chicken In The Kitchen
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Illustrator
: Mehrdokht Amini
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing Company, Great Britain
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-9932253-0-7
Paperback pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Nigeria
Author’s ethnicity
: Nigerian/American
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Iranian
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Awards
: 2106 White Raven, 2016 Best Children’s Africana Book Award
Subjects
: Chickens, Harvest festival, Magic, Traditions, Wood spirits

Thea’s Tree

Thea's TreeA little girl named Thea lives in a city full of “houses, houses, and more houses” and longs for a tree to climb, to hide in, and to sit under and dream. A solitary, beautiful leaf floats past her window and Thea drifts off into a dream. She awakes with a seed in hand. She plants it and a tiny plant sprouts from the soil. Thea and the tree grow. Thea’s children play under the tree, and Thea’s grandchildren, too. The story’s setting is not specified, but Thea’s Papa tells about picking mangoes and guavas and neem leaves to eat. The tender, Chagall-like, ink, pastel, colored pencil, and collage illustrations are magical and portray the beauty in nature. The text is printed over delicate leaf prints. mjw
Title: Thea’s Tree
Author: Judith Clay
Illustrator
: Judith Clay
Publisher
: Karadi Tales Company Pvt.Ltd., Chennai, India
Copyright
: 2014
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-8-181-90297-9
Hardcover pages
: 28
Age range
: 4 up
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Asia
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Germany
Awards
: 2011 White Ravens List of the International Youth Library
Subjects
: Environment, Natural world, Nature, People and places, Trees

Haiti My Country

Haiti My Country

Haiti My Country is a collection of poems written by Haitian children before the county’s earthquake in 2010. The authors of these poems about Haiti are from Camp Perrin which is a small village in the southern Republic of Haiti.  It is accompanied by illustrated portraits of the book’s poets recreated from photographs by Rogé. Though Haiti is typically associated with being a nation struck by poverty and the natural disasters which have occurred in the country in recent years, these young writers paint an optimistic, heartwarming, and beautiful picture of Haiti. These young writers’ contemplative poetry demonstrates how people can learn much from observing their surroundings. Haiti My Country will make readers see Haiti from a new viewpoint through the luscious descriptions of the vibrant landscape. The authors show how hope can be found everywhere. ema

Title: Haiti My Country
Author: Poems by Haitian children with preface by Dany Laferriére
Illustrator
: Rogé
Publisher
: Fifth House Publishers
Copyright
: 2014
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Solange Messier
Original Title
: Haïtimon Pays
Original Publisher
: La Bagnole
Original Copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978-1927083239
Paperback pages
: 44
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Poetry
Book setting
: Haiti
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2011 Governor General Finalist  in Children’s Illustration Category, 2011 Lauréat Prix Saint Exupéry French Category, 2012 White Ravens Selection
Subjects: Camp Perrin, Children Authors, Haiti, Hope, Love of Country,  Nature, Poetry, Schools, School Verse, Students, Writing

Night Sky Wheel Ride

Night Sky Wheel Ride Book CoverThis happy book celebrates the first ferris wheel ride of a young brother and sister.  The brilliant, imaginative illustrations are filled with scenes of cotton candy trees, whirling ferris wheel cars, jelly bean people, and dot-to-dots with stars.  Rhymed and unrhymed poetry dances on the pages. mjw
Title: Night Sky Wheel Ride
Author: Sheree Fitch
Illustrator
: Yayo (Diego Herrara)
Publisher
: Tradewind Books, Canada
Copyright
: 2013
Original language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-896580-67-8
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Poetry
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Colombian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: Winner of the Lux Prize, 2013 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books, 2013 White Raven Award
Subjects
: Canada, Children’s poetry, Ferris wheels, North America

A Good Trade

A Good Trade Book CoverKato, a young Ugandan boy, carries two jerrry cans of water every day from the village well to his family.  He passes cattle fields, soldiers standing guard, and an aid worker’s truck that is filled with colorful shoes.  He finds a white poppy in the field and trades it for brand new shoes.  The poppy is a symbol of peace and goodwill.  Bright, geometric digital collage pictures provide a snapshot of Kato’s war-torn village life. mjw
Title: A Good Trade
Author: Alma Fullerton
Illustrator
: Karen Patkau
Publisher
: Pajama Press
Copyright
: 2012
Original language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-9869495-9-3
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Uganda
Author’s residence
: Canada
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2014 Bank Street Best Books List, 2013 White Raven Award
Subjects
: Canada, Children and war, Eastern Africa, Poverty, Social issues, Uganda, War

The Bathing Costume Or The Worst Vacation Of My Life

The Bathing Costume or the Worst Vacation of my Life Book Cover Parisian eight-year-old Ronnie, short for Myron, visits his grandparents and rowdy older cousins in England, while his parents move apartments. It is his first vacation away from his mama. There is a competition to see who can shower the least, a wild bike ride without helmets, the family tradition of jumping off the ten-foot diving board, and the shame of having his bathing suit slip off in the pool. This touching, funny story of Ronnie’s growth from timid mama’s boy to confidence and independence is written in journal format with energetic, expressive watercolor images. mjw
Title: The Bathing Costume Or The Worst Vacation Of My Life
Author: Charlotte Moundlic
Illustrator
: Oliver Tallec
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books
Copyright
: 2013
Original language
: French
Translator
: Claudia Zoe Bedrick
Original title
: Le Slip de Bain ou les pires vacances de ma vie
Original publisher
: Flammarion
Original copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-141-4
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: England
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Awards
: 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor, 2014 USBBY Outstanding International Books List,  2013 White Raven Award
Subjects
: Adventure, England, Europe, Grandparents, Holiday, Humor, New experience, Western Europe

My Village: Rhymes From Around The World

My Village Rhymes from Around the World Book Cover Twenty-two nursery rhymes from around the globe are presented in English, the original language, and the original alphabet when appropriate. New Zealand, China, Australia, Norway, Ireland, Tonga, Jamaica, Japan, Zimbabwe, Fiji, Indonesia, Denmark, Iran, Germany, Samoa, Switzerland, Russia, Brazil, France, Holland, Iceland, and India are illustrated in bright collage and mixed-media artwork. Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen introduces the collection. Source notes are provided, but the name of the original language is not always given. mjw
Title: My Village: Rhymes From Around The World
Author: Danielle Wright
Illustrator
: Mique Moriuchi
Publisher
: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Copyright
: 2010
Original language
: English
Translator
: Aida Nofrita, Andrea Gardi, Anjana Mani, Carim Portella, Farideh Khalatbaree, Genia Gurarie, Hallberg Hallmundsson, Katrien Vander Straeten, Lisa Yanucci, Monique Palomares, Mavis Kumbala-Mutisi, Nora Yao, Paul Selver, Rob Amery, Sereima Lumelume, Wanda Cowley, Wilma van den Bosch, and Winifred Mahowa
Original publisher
: Gecko Press
Original copyright
: 2008
ISBN
: 978-84780-086-2
Hardcover pages
: 53
Age range
: 3-6
Genre
: Poetry
Author’s residence
: New Zealand
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Awards
: 2009 White Raven Award
Subjects
: Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Children’s poetry, Europe, New Zealand, Nursery rhymes, Oceania, South America