Tag Archives: Environment

French Toast

french-toastPhoebe, who is half Jamaican and half French-Canadian, hates when her classmates call her “French Toast.” Her grandmother, who is blind, asks Phoebe to explain her nickname. She uses descriptions of favorite foods to portray skin colors. Her white mother is like stirred peach yogurt and her Jamaican father is like warm banana bread. Her grandmother Nan-ma is like maple syrup poured over French toast. Phoebe describes herself as tea, after you’ve added the milk. The imaginative artwork blends traditional drawing and painting with digital imagery using collage, acrylic, watercolor, and computer manipulation. mjw
Title: French Toast
Author: Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrator
: Francois Thisdale
Publisher
: Pajama Press, Toronto
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-006-2
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Quebec
Subjects
: Blind, Grandmothers, Identity, Multigenerational, Racially mixed people, Self-esteem and self-reliance

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

Blue Penguin

blue-penguin“Far away, near the South Pole, a blue penguin was born.” The other penguins don’t know what to make of him because he is not like them. They leave him all alone. He dreams of a beautiful white whale that rescues him and he sings a song about it. Another little penguin hears his song and they become friends. Blue Penguin’s song is so magical that all the penguins want to learn it. Vibrant mixed media illustrations in this heart-warming story will remind readers of Eric Carle. mjw
Title: Blue Penguin
Author: Petr Horacek
Illustrator
: Petr Horacek
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-9251-3
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Antarctica
Author’s ethnicity
: Grew up in Prague
Author’s residence
: England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Grew up in Prague
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Awards
: 2012 shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Belonging, Difference, Penguins, Songs, South Pole, Whales

First Snow

first-snowOne night a young imaginative Korean child is awakened by the “pit, pit, pit” sound of something hitting against their bedroom window. The first snow has fallen. The child bundles up to go outside to create a snowman. Readers will enjoy the delightful use of onomatopoeias and simple adjectives to describe the protagonist’s adventures in their backyard, hometown, and a dazzling place with several children making snowmen. This picture book’s stark black, white, and red palette and textured canvas artwork are simplistically beautiful. The book’s illustrations, text, and main character’s pure childlike awe of snow are absolutely heartwarming. ema

Title: First Snow
Author: Bomi Park
Illustrator
: Bomi Park
Publisher
: Chronicle Books
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Korean 
Translator
: Chronicle Books
Original Copyright: 
2012
ISBN: 978-1-4521-5472-5
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range: 2-5
Genre
: Picture Book
Authors’ ethnicity: South Korean
Authors’ residence
: Seoul, South Korea
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: South Korean
Illustrator’s residence
: Seoul, South Korea
Subjects: Landscapes, Snow, Snowmen, Winter

Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature

51XTOEicVsL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_In this non-fiction picture book, readers will learn about a large variety of subjects that all encourage outdoor exploration. Throughout the book there are many questions for young scientists to ask followed by their answers. There are also experiments that readers can attempt. The book is mainly illustrated in black and white with pops of orange and blue but there are a few pages in the center of the book with full color illustrations of interesting animals. The back matter is filled with educational materials as well, such as a glossary, a timeline of important dates, and websites to learn more about the different topics. This book is sure to help young explorers expand their love of nature.  amo
Title: Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature
Authors: Maria Ana Peixe Dias and Inês Teixeira do Rosário
Illustrator
: Bernardo P. Carvalho
Publisher
: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Portuguese
Translator
: Lucy Greaves
Original Title
: Lá fora
Original Publisher
: Planeta Tangerina
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-1-8478-0769-4
Hardcover pages
: 368
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Non-Fiction, Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Both Portuguese 
Author’s residence
: Portugal
Illustrator’s ethnicity
:Portuguese
Illustrator’s residence
: Portugal
Awards: Winner – “Opera Prima” Award 2105, Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2015
Subjects
: Amphibians, Astronomy, Birds, Bugs, Clouds, Flowers, Geology, Mammals, Oceans, Rain, Reptiles, Tide Pools, Trees, Wind

Dragonfly Kites/Pimithaagansa

Dragonfly KitesTwo young Cree brothers, Joe and Cody, are spending the summer with their made-up toys, like stick friends and stone children. They find a wild baby Arctic tern, squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks, and they make up names for everything, even the ants. Their favorite activity is flying dragonfly kites. They make them by catching dragonflies and tying thread around the middle of each dragonfly before letting it go. They then chase their dragonfly kites. At night, when they go to bed, they dream of the dragonflies. The creative, clear, and delicate collage illustrations are influenced by Cree artists. The book is written in English and Cree and is the second book in the Magical Songs of the North Wind trilogy. mjw
Title: Dragonfly Kites/Pimithaagansa
Author: Tomson Highway
Illustrator
: Julie Flett
Publisher
: Fifth House Publishers, Canada
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English/Cree
Translator
: Tomson Highway
Original publisher:  Harper Collins
Original Copyright
: 2002
ISBN
: 978-1-897252-63-5
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 6-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Manitoba
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Manitoba, Canadian, Aboriginal
Author’s residence
: Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Cree-Metis ancestry
Illustrator’s residence
: Vancouver, BC
Awards
: Illustrator has won the first PMC Aboriginal Literature Award in 2014
Subjects
: Bilingual books, Canada, Cree children, Dragonflies, Dreams, Kites, Siblings, Sleep

Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry Of Misuzu Kaneko

are-you-an-echoMisuzu was born in a Japanese fishing village in 1903. She loved school and books and, unlike most girls, got to stay in school until she was seventeen. Her mother managed a bookstore, where Misuzu spent many hours. Young Misuzu wrote poetry and quickly became a successful children’s writer. She wrote about stars, snow, fish, silkworms on mulberry leaves, dandelions, and all the world. An author’s note and a translator’s note provide more information and tell that her work was nearly forgotten. This meticulously researched picture book, with lovely paintings of early 20th century Japanese life, features Misuzu’s heart-breaking story and a collection of her poetry in English and the original Japanese. mjw
Title: Are You An Echo?  The Lost Poetry Of Misuzu Kaneko
Author: Misuzu Kaneko (1903-1930), David Jacobson
Illustrator
: Toshikado Hajiri
Publisher
: Chin Music Press,  Seattle, Washington
Copyright
: 20116
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi
Original Copyright
: 1923-1928
ISBN
: 978-1-634059626
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 9-14
Genre
: Poetry, Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Kaneko lived in Japan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Japan
Subjects
: Authors, Fishes, Haiku, Japanese Poets