Tag Archives: Arts

Leila In Saffron

Leila is a Pakistani-American girl visiting her naani (her maternal grandmother) for dinner.  She has low self-esteem until her naani tells her that the saffron color of her scarf suits her. Leila describes her evening using all of her senses and sees herself as a beautiful girl with a unique identity.  Detailed, colorful gouache illustrations show the colors of lentils, pomegranates, cucumbers, and saffron.  A glossary of Arabic and Hindi words is included. mjw
Title: Leila In Saffron
Author: Rukhsanna Guidroz
Illustrator
: Dinara Mirtalipova
Publisher
: Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-534425644
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Persian-Indian and Chinese
Author’s residence
: Hawaii, U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Illustrator’s residence
: Ohio, U.S.
Subjects
: Family origins, Identity, Multigenerational, Muslim fiction, Pakistani-Americans, Self acceptance, Self-discovery

The Piano Recital

It’s Momo’s first piano recital and she is terribly nervous.  She keeps telling herself, “I’ll be okay…” She hears a small voice saying, “I’ll be okay…” She looks down and sees a mouseling who is nervous about her first performance. Momo follows the mouseling backstage to discover a fantastic mouse circus and a mouse audience. Momo agrees to accompany the mouseling on the piano, but when she takes her bow, she realizes it isn’t a mouse audience after all.  This wonderful story about childhood anxiety and challenges is illustrated with beautifully detailed pencil, charcoal, and gouache artwork.  A Spanish edition is also available. mjw
Title: The Piano Recital
Author: Akiko Miyakoshi
Illustrator
: Akiko Miyakoshi
Publisher
: Kids Can Press, Toronto, Canada
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Japanese:
Original Title
: Piano Happyoukai
Original Publisher
: Bronze Publishing, Inc Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-1-5253-0257-2
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Japan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Japan
Awards
: New York Public Library best illustrated Children’s Book Award and the Nissan Children’s Storybook and Picture Book Grand Prix
Subjects
: Anxiety, Challenges, Character education. Courage, Imagination, Mice, Performing arts, Piano recital

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

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 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