Tag Archives: Arts

The True Tale Of A Giantess: The Story Of Anna Swan

This historical non-fiction children’s book follows the rich life of acclaimed Nova Scotia Giantess Anna Swan. Anna grows up feeling (figuratively and physically) out-of-place in her hometown and yearns for  a life of travel and adventure. She decides to join P.T. Barnum’s Gallery of Wonders and meets other people who are unique like she is. Being a part of the Gallery opens up doors for Anna and she is able to have all the adventures she dreamed about as a little girl. She meets and befriends Queen Victoria and falls in love with fellow giant Martin Van Buren Bates. Her life story emphasizes the value of individuality and creating one’s own world to fit into if such an environment is not provided. The illustrations in mixed media and Photoshop include a spectrum of shaded grey, blue, and olive-green pastels and feature soft round-faced characters with blush faces.    mm
Title: The True Tale of a Giantess: The Story of Anna Swan
Author: Anne Renaud
Illustrator
: Marie Lafrance
Publisher
: Kids Can Press, Toronto
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77138-376-9
Hardcover pages
:  32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Biography, Picture Book
Book setting
: Nova Scotia, New York, England
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Westmount, Quebec
Illustrator’s ethnicity
:  Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal, Quebec
Subjects
: Biography, Circus, Giants, Nova Scotia, Performing arts, Women

The Truth Commission

Normandy Pale is a high school junior at the Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design.  This is the year she is supposed to come into her own and come out from under the shadow of her brilliant older sister Keira, who as a teen became a best-selling graphic novelist.  Normandy turns to her writing, her needlework, and the “truth commission.”  Her friends have started the project because they believe the theory that the truth can heal.  So they begin asking people truths about things that other people already suspect. Things go well until it leads straight back to Keira and her dysfunctional family.  The book is Normandy’s “narrative nonfiction” project at school, complete with footnotes, drawings, and notes to her creative writing teacher.  The characters are real and the language is witty. mjw
Title: The Truth Commission
Author: Susan Juby
Illustrator
: Trevor Cooper
Publisher
: Penguin Teen, Canada Books, Inc.
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Razorbill.  Toronto, Canada
Original Copyright
: 2105
ISBN
: 978-0-14-318916-9
Paperback pages
: 320
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Narrative Nonfiction
Book setting
: Vancouver Island
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Awards
: Sheila A. Egoff Award for Children’s Literature, Amy Mothers Teen Book Award
Subjects
: Art students, High school, Humor, Siblings, Values and virtues, Writing

The Red Ribbon

Fourteen-year-old Ella is a seamstress in the Upper Tailoring Studio at Auschwitz-Birkenau, a sewing workshop inside the Nazi Concentration camp.  Her job is to make couture dresses for the wives of the camp’s Nazi overseers and the female SS officers.  Ella meets Rose and the two do their best to survive.  Ella dreams of opening a fancy dress shop after the war. The wonderful and surprising writing offers a different view of the Holocaust. mjw
Title: The Red Ribbon
Author: Lucy Adlington
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0104-8
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Auschwitz Birkenau, Poland
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Fashion Holocaust, Sewing, Survival

Inkling

Ethan’s dad is a comic artist with writer’s block and Ethan has a graphic novel project at school that is giving him trouble.  When an ink blot from his dad’s sketchbook comes to life, it makes quite an impact on Ethan’s family and friends.  This is a funny and interesting story.  How can an ink blot be such a lovable character? mjw
Title: Inkling
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Illustrator
: Sydney Smith
Publisher
: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5247-7282-6
Hardcover pages
: 256
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Awards
: Both author and illustrator have won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. The illustrator has won the Kate Greenaway Award.
Subjects
: Books, Creativity, Drawing, Humor

Feather

 

Paulina lives with her dad and her three rough and clumsy, older brothers. She plays the piano and they call her Feather, but she is tough and tenacious. She takes up boxing so that she can stand up to her brothers. When she proves her point, she goes back to her beloved piano. Gorgeous poster-like illustrations show Feather’s home life and training. mjw
Title: Feather
Author: Remi Courgeon
Illustrator
: Remi Courgeon
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books, New York
Copyright
: 20117
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Claudia Zoe Bedrick
Original Title
: Brindille
Original Publisher
: Editions Milan
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-210-7
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 6-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Awards
: A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2017
Subjects
: Boxing, Housework, Music, Piano, Self-esteem, Siblings, Sports

One Fun Day With Lewis Carroll: A Celebration Of Wordplay And A Girl Named Alice

 

This wonderful picture book is part Lewis Carroll biography and part word game. Nonsense words and phrases take readers through Carroll’s fantasy world. Along the way readers learn about Carroll’s life as a mathematician and his friendship with the Liddell family and the real Alice. The frabjous illustrations breathe new life into the famous characters. A glossary explains the words and ideas invented by Carroll and reveals that nearly two hundred of them appear in the Oxford English Dictionary. A closing note gives more information about Carroll. mjw
Title: One Fun Day With Lewis Carroll: A Celebration Of Wordplay And A Girl Named Alice
Author: Kathleen Krull
Illustrator
: Julia Sarda
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0544348233
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 6-9
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: England
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain 
Subjects
: Authors, Books, Charles Dodgson, Language, Literature, Imagination, Wordplay

Old Hat

 

Harbet’s favorite hat is the colorful one with pompoms and earflaps that his nana knit for him when he was a puppy. Unfortunately, his friends wear Carmen Miranda fruit bowl hats and mock him, “OLD HAT!” He tries a new hat like theirs, but it is already outdated. They cry, “OLD HAT!” He tries a traffic cone, a saucepan, a pink work boot and many more, but he cannot win. Finally Harbet takes off his hat to reveal a surprise and his friends are filled with envy. Harbet discovers how much more fun it is to stop following others and to think for yourself. The pencil, watercolor, and acrylic ink illustrations of the hats are cheerful and hilarious. mjw
Title: Old Hat
Author: Emily Gravett
Illustrator
: Emily Gravett
Publisher
: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English 
Original Publisher
:
Original Copyright
: Macmillan Children’s Books. Great Britain
ISBN
: 978-1-5344-0917-0
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Brighton, England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: Brighton, England
Subjects
: Fashion, Hats, Peer pressure, Self esteem, Self respect, Teasing