Tag Archives: Arts

How War Changed Rondo

How War Chaged Rondo

The Ukrainian husband and wife, author/ illustrator team created this book as a response to their experiences of war in Ukraine. The story is set in the fictional town of Rondo, which is known for its greenhouses of musical flowers. Everyone who lives there speaks to birds and plants, paints pictures, sings, and writes poetry. Rondo is perfect. The three protagonists are Danko who glows like a lantern and has a shining heart, Fabian who resembles a dog-shaped balloon animal, and Zirka who has a bird-like origami body folded from maps and newspaper articles about war. War comes to Rondo bringing its darkness and destruction. Together, the three friends rally their town to devise a plan using light, community, and song to halt war and restore peace. The stunning mixed-media illustrations undergo dramatic shifts in color when war enters and then finally leaves Rondo. mjw

Title: How War Changed Rondo
Author/Illustrator: Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books. New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Ukrainian
Translator
: Oksana Lushchevska
Original Publisher
: Vydavnytstvo Starohoo Leva (The Old Lion Publishing House) Lviv, Ukraine
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-367-8
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: Ukraine
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Illustrator’s residence
: Ukraine
Awards
: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Book
Subjects
: Death, Flowers, Nature, Peace, Music, Violence, War

The Words In My Hands

the words

The art journal of Deaf sixteen-year-old Piper, set in near-future Melbourne, Australia, is part coming of age story and part call to action. Piper is smart, artistic, and rebellious. Deaf since the age of three, she is told by her mother that she needs to conform, compensate and appear normal. She meets Marley, a CODA (child of a deaf parent), and a whole new world opens up for her. This is a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption. Piper is determined to build a sustainable food garden and communicate with her mom, friends, and community like she never has before. Back matter in this amazing book includes information on the Deaf community and various forms of sign language and ideas for journaling. mjw

Title: The Words In My Hands
Author: Asphyxia
Illustrator
: Asphyxia
Publisher
: Annick Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Future Girl In Australia
Original Publisher
: Allen & Unwin, Australia
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-1773215280
Hardcover pages
: 388
Age range
: 13-16
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Australia
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Australia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ausralian
Illustrator’s residence
: Australia
Awards
: 2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Teens, 2021 Childrens’ Book Council of Australia Notable Book of the Year for Older Readers.
Subjects
: Activism, Auslan, Coming of age, Creativity, Deafness, Dystopian, Finger-spelling, Future, Gardens, Problem solving, Sign language, Special needs, Sustainability

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

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

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

Kisses And Croissants

Kisses and CroissantsSixteen-year-old Mia Jenrow is a talented ballerina whose dream is to dance with American Ballet Theatre. She has just arrived in Paris for a competitive summer dance program. While in Paris, she searches for the history behind a family legend that states that a distant relative danced for the Paris Opera and was painted by Edgar Degas. She is so passionate for ballet and she trains for a part in Swan Lake and a very important audition. And, she falls for Louis, an endearing and cute French boy who happens to be the son of her strict ballet master. They hop on his Vespa and discover the truth about her family legend. The book provides a beautiful look at Paris – museums, gardens, bakeries, art, love, and much more. mjw
Title: Kisses And Croissants
Author: Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-593-17357-2
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction, Young Adult
Book setting
: Paris
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: New York City
Subjects
: Ballet, Ballet dancers, Coming of age, Edgar Degas, Friendship, Paris, Romance

Digging For Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez And The Library He Built

This picture book is based on the true story of Jose Alberto Gutierrez, a Colombian garbageman, who rescues thrown-away books from the trash and has created a library in his home. Local children look forward to Saturdays when they can visit Jose’s Paradise Library and be transported by the magic of the stories. Spanish words are integrated smoothly into the text. The beautiful illustrations were rendered digitally. An author’s note supplies photographs and biographical information about Jose Albert Gutierrez. A section called Featured Books describes several references to books that have been showcased in the illustrations. A Spanish edition of the book is also available.. mjw
Title: Digging For Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez And The Library He Built
Author: Angela Burke Kunkel
Illustrator
: Paola Escobar
Publisher
: Schwartz & Wade Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-9848-9263-8
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Bogota, Colombia
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Colombian
Illustrator’s residence
: Bogota, Colombia
Subjects
: Bogota, Colombia; Books and reading; Latin American history; Libraries, South America books

Little Wise Wolf

Little Wise Wolf lives far away on the other side of the mountains. He reads big books, knows a lot, and is very proud. When various animals come to him to get answers to their difficult questions, he has no time for them. One day a big black bird flies to Little Wise Wolf’s house to tell him that the king is ill and needs his help. Little Wise Wolf takes off, wearing his red boots, and riding on his bicycle to visit the king at the palace. He discovers along the way that he has much to learn from his friends about the real world. He gives the king some medicine and the king wants him to stay and be his royal doctor, but Little Wise Wolf decides that he needs to go back to his friends and his books. Enchanting illustrations of the little animals enhance this important book about friendship. mjw
Title: Little Wise Wolf
Author: Gijs van der Hammen
Illustrator
: Hanneke Siemensma
Publisher
: Kids Can Press
Copyright
: 22020
Original Language
: Dutch
Translator
: Laura Watkinson
Original Title
: Kleine wijze wolf
Original Publisher
: Uitgeverij Hoogland. Hoorn, The Netherlands
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-525305498
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Author’s residence
: The Netherlands
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Illustrator’s residence
: The Netherlands
Awards
: Nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Books, Friendship, Kings, Reading, Wolves

From My Window

A boy looks out the window and sees in his favela (his district in Rio de Janeiro), patched roofs, rainbows, and people everywhere. He talks to his friends and starts a telephone game. He sees children playing soccer and going to school and he hears Brazilian funk, also called favela funk. He sees his favela and asks, “What do you see from your window?” Colorful, extremely detailed illustrations prepared in acrylics and finished digitally celebrate the boy’s diverse urban community. Back matter explains favelas in Brazil. mjw
Title: From My Window
Author: Otavio Junior
Illustrator
: Vanina Starkoff
Publisher
: Barefoot Books. Cambridge, MA
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Portuguese
Translator
: Beatriz C. Dias
Original Publisher
: Companhia das Letras. Sao Paulo
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-78285-977-2
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Brazil
Author’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Author’s residence
: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Illustrator’s residence
: Brazil
Subjects
: Brazil, Cities, Favela, Soccer, South America, Urban community living

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

Lemon Butterfly

This abstract and artsy picture book is an amazing picture book because both the author and the illustrator have won the Hans Christian Andersen Award. A lemon butterfly searches for a field of flowers. To a butterfly, a field of flowers is the most beautiful thing in the world. The butterfly searches through real and imagined landscapes until it finally finds the water where it becomes a lemon butterfly fish.  There are many lessons along the way. Most of the illustrations are rendered in vivid colors, with a few being only black and white graphic forms. mjw
Title: Lemon Butterfly
Author: Cao Wenxuan
Illustrator
: Roger Mello
Publisher
: Reycraft Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Chinese
Original Publisher
: China Children’s Press and Publication Group. China
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-1-4788-6975-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Chinese
Author’s residence
: China
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Brazilian
Illustrator’s residence
: Brazil
Awards
: Both author and illustrator have won the Hans Christian Andersen Award
Subjects
: Butterflies, Fish, Flowers, Horses, Insects, Mountains, Rivers

Catherine’s War

This teen Jewish French girl’s historical graphic novel is inspired by a true survival story. Rachel Cohen, whose passion is photography, lives at the Sevres Children’s Home outside Paris. As Hitler’s war escalates, she must go into hiding. She has to leave her friends, but she takes her camera as she is forced to move from location to location. The ink and watercolor illustrations capture beautifully the detail of the French setting. A map of Catherine’s journey through France is included, as well as photographs of the real Catherine, and an interview with the author. mjw
Title: Catherine’s War
Author: Julia Billet
Illustrator
: Claire Fauvel
Publisher
: Harper Alley, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Ivanka Hahnenberger
Original Title
: La Guerre de Catherine
Original Publisher
: Rue de Sevres, Paris
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-06-291559-7
Paperback pages
: 176
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Graphic Novel
Book setting
: France
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Awards
: 2021 ALA Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Cameras, Coming of age, Holocaust, Nazis, Paris, Photographs, World War II