Tag Archives: Environment

The Pencil

Based on the author’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this story is about being responsible for belongings and community.  Susan, her sister Rebecca, and brother Peter are home with their father in their iglu. Mother has gone to help a neighbor.  The children get tired of playing games. Father brings out a pencil from the box where they keep special things. All of the children begin drawing and drawing until they start to worry about what Mother will say when she gets home. They are supposed to use things wisely. Mother just reminds them that they shouldn’t waste things because they are hard to get. They only have one pencil. But she is glad that drawing brought them such joy. The illustrations have a sketch-like quality and are done in pencil. mjw
Title: The Pencil
Author: Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula
Illustrator
: Charlene Chua
Publisher
: Inhabit Media Inc. Iqaluit, Nunavut
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77227-216-1
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Nunavut, Canada
Author’s ethnicity
: Avinngaq born in Nunavut
Author’s residence
: Both authors – Nunavut
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Hamilton, Ontario
Subjects
: Canada, Community, Drawing, Iglu, Inaktitut, Polar regions, Thrift, Writing

When Spring Comes To The DMZ

The beautiful paintings in this book show the changing seasons and the variety of wildlife that live peacefully in the Demilitarized Zone of Korea. Readers can also see the ever-present fences and soldiers. Salmon swim bravely upstream and mountain goats jump after their mother.  Grandfather goes to the DMZ every season and dreams of flinging the gates wide open and walking inside and looking up into the blue sky. The book is part of the Peace Picture Book Project by illustrators from Korea, China, and Japan. A map of Korea and historical facts are included as back matter and the endpapers provide a world map. mjw
Title: When Spring Comes To The DMZ
Author: Uk-Bae Lee
Illustrator
: Uk-Bae Lee
Publisher
: Plough Publishing House. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Korean
Translator
: Aileen Won
Original Title
: Bimujang chidae e bom i omyon
Original Publisher
: Sakyejul Publishing Ltd. Paju, Korea
Original Copyright
: 2010
ISBN
: 978-0-87486-972-9
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Korea
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: Korea
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Korean
Illustrator’s residence
: Korea
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Grandfathers, Korean Demilitarized Zone, Seasons, Soldiers

Stand On The Sky

Twelve-year-old Aisulu is an expert equestrienne who loves to ride horses across the mountains. She is one of the Kazakh people of Mongolia, who are nomads and androcentric. It goes against all tradition for her to train eagles. But because her brother is disabled and he and their parents have to travel to a hospital in a faraway big city, she is left with her aunt and uncle and she secretly starts caring for an orphaned baby eagle. She becomes an Eagle Hunter. The setting for this animal-friendship story is unique and fascinating. A glossary of Kazakh and Arabic words and phrases, a list of characters, and an author’s note help readers gain a better understanding of Mongolia and nomadic culture. mjw
Title: Stand On The Sky
Author: Erin Bow
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-328-55746-9
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 9-14
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Kazakh nomads in Mongolia
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario, Canada
Awards
: 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award
Subjects
: Asia, Birds, Eagles, Horses, Mongolia, Mountains, Nomads, Wildlife

Letters From Bear

Bird migrates south for the winter and Bear takes a long journey to find her. Bear writes letters to record her adventures. The letters recount a trip into the scary woods, being rescued by a mermaid, escaping a battle between two human armies, a squirrel’s birthday party, and much more.  Bear finally reaches her destination only to find that Bird never received the letters.  Bird didn’t want to be separated from Bear, so she headed back north.  Bird’s friends devise a plan for the friends to be reunited. Rich paintings illustrate Bear’s adventure. mjw
Title: Letters from Bear
Author: Gauthier David
Illustrator
: Marie Caudry
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sarah Ardizzone
Original Title
: Les lettres de L’ourse
Original Publisher
: Autrement, Belgium
Original Copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5536-7
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Drome, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Drome, France
Subjects
: Birds, Bears, Desert, Forest, Letter writing, Mountains, Oceans, Seas, Seasons, Volcanoes

A Good Day

The cat and the tiger are best of friends.  Every day the cat visits the tiger in the zoo.  He is very punctual.  They spend a great deal of time together and they talk about everything.  The tiger wishes he could be free to go back home to the jungle.  They devise a plan for the tiger to escape from the zoo.  The intricately detailed illustrations depict the zoo perfectly. mjw
Title: A Good Day
Author: Daniel Nesquens
Illustrator
: Miren Asiain Lora
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Spanish
Original Title
: Un Buen Dia
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5530-5
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s residence
: Spain
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Buenos Aire , Argentina
Subjects
: Cats, Freedom, Tigers, Zoos

The Village By The Sea

Thirteen-year-old Lila and her twelve-year-old brother Hari live in a small village called Thul in western India.  They also have two younger sisters.  They live with their mother, who is ill and bed-ridden.  Lila and Hari manage the family because their father is an alcoholic. Their life is hard.  Hari decides he has had enough and leaves for Bombay to find work.  He gets a job in a restaurant and befriends Mr. Panwallah, the watch repairer.  Back home in Thul, a rich family offers to help them and their mother is taken to a hospital for treatment.  And their father turns over a new leaf.  Hari returns to the village with plans to open a repair shop. Together, the whole family starts a small chicken farm. A helpful list of Indian words is included. mjw
Title: The Village By The Sea
Author: Anita Desai
Publisher
: New York Review of Books
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Heinemann. London
Original Copyright
: 1982
ISBN
: 978-1-68137-351-5
Paperback pages
: 263
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Thul and Bombay, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.A.
Awards
: 1983 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
Subjects
: Asia, Brothers and sisters, Family life, Family problems, Poverty, Rural life, Siblings

P Is For Poppadoms: An Indian Alphabet Book

This simple alphabet book introduces some Hindi words in an engaging manner.  Young readers will learn about the rich culture, delicious foods, and interesting animals of India.  The book begins with A is for Aam – mango and ends with Z is for Zaban – language.  More familiar words are also included.   C is for chai and Y is for yoga.  Whimsical digitally rendered illustrations enrich the text.  An author’s note provides background on the Hindi language. There is also a page showing how to write the Hindi words. mjw
Title: P Is For Poppadoms: An Indian Alphabet Book
Author: Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal
Illustrator
: Hazel Ito
Publisher
: Beach Lane Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-534421721
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: Kabir – New York,  Surishthna -Atlanta
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Scottish born
Illustrator’s residence
: Hawaii
Subjects
: Alphabet, India, Poetry

Child Of St. Kilda

Norman John Gilles was one of the last children born on St. Kilda, a group of islands with high cliffs off the Scottish coast.   People lived there for over four thousand years, thriving in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. They survived on sea birds, eggs, and potatoes. There was no crime or need for money.  They had no automobiles.  They trusted and cared for each other. The community came to an abrupt end in 1930 when the remaining St. Kildans begged the British government to evacuate them to the mainland. No one knows what happened. Today, the islands have become a World Heritage Site, recognized for their unique wildlife and vanished culture. The book concludes with a St. Kilda Sketchbook that provides more information and a map.  The stunning images were created by hand using monoprinting techniques. mjw
Title: Child Of St. Kilda
Author: Beth Waters
Illustrator
: Beth Waters
Publisher
: Child’s Play. Auburn, Maine. USA
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-78628-188-3
Hardcover pages
: 64 
Age range
: 4-9
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Cambridge, U.K.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: Cambridge, U.K.
Subjects
: Birds, History, Immigration, Mystery, Storms, Survival

Song Of The River

Cam the mountain boy wishes he could go to the sea.  He follows the river from its source as a trickle of water running through pine trees all the way to the coast.  He follows it through the forest, farmlands, and towns.  Rich, detailed landscape illustrations explore the world of the river. mjw
Title: Song Of The River
Author: Joy Cowley
Illustrator
: Kimberly Andrews
Publisher
: Gecko Press. New Zealand
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-776572-53-3
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: North America
Author’s ethnicity
: New Zealander
Author’s residence
: Wellington, New Zealand
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: New Zealand
Subjects
: Grandfathers, Rivers, Sea, Stream

The Rhythm Of The Rain

Issac is playing with a jar of water in his favorite pool on the side of the mountain until it starts to rain. When the rain stops, he follows the streams of water down the mountainside, over a waterfall, and into deeper and wider rivers.  Through the countryside and through the city, Issac wonders where the water from his jar has gone.  Eventually it reaches the great ocean.  Storms occur and some of the water climbs, as mist, into the sky.  The mist cools and turns into a cloud that floats over a mountain in a country far away from Issac’s pool.  Rain falls and the cycle begins again as it has done for millions of years.  Digitally created full-bleed landscapes of blues and greens (with silver rain on the book jacket) show the story of the water cycle. mjw
Title: The Rhythm Of The Rain
Author: Grahame Baker-Smith
Illustrator
: Grahame Baker-Smith
Publisher
: Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0575-6
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4 up
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Bath, England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: Bath, England
Awards
: 2011 Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Rain, Rivers, Water cycle, Weather

You’re Strong With Me

A new baby giraffe bounds through the grasslands and her mother tells her not to wander off on her own. The mother explains the oxpecker bird, fire, baby fish in the creek, and always proclaims, “…you’re strong with me.” Shades of brown and gold and triangle and diamond shapes are reminiscent of African textiles.  The original artwork was created with ink on paper and completed digitally.  Companion books are You’re Safe With Me and You’re Snug With Memjw
Title: You’re Strong With Me
Author: Chitra Soundar
Illustrator
: Poonam Mistry
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing Ltd.  London
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-911373-75-9
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Folklore
Book setting
: African Grasslands
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian born British
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: U.K.
Awards
: 2019 Kate Greenaway Shortlist
Subjects
: Baby animals, Giraffes, Grasslands, New experiences, Parents

The Jasmine Sneeze

Haroun is a happy cat living in Damascus, Syria.  He loves lazing and sleeping on the marble floor next to the fountain in his favorite courtyard.  But Haroun has a problem.  The fragrance of the beautiful jasmine flowers causes him to sneeze.  He decides to eradicate the problem by putting old fish skeletons, chicken bones, and other stinky smells into the jasmine tree pots. However, the jasmine spirit is watching his every move.  She is not happy and so she counter attacks Haroun in a funny way.  Haroun learns his lesson and peace returns to Damascus.  The illustrations are bright and cheery.  An author’s note explains more about Damascus, the City of Jasmine.  mjw
Title: The Jasmine Sneeze
Author: Nadine Kaadan
Illustrator
: Nadine Kaadan
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing, Ltd.
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Lantana Publishing Ltd. United Kingdom
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-1-911373-31-5
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Damascus, Syria
Author’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Author’s residence
: United Kingdom
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Illustrator’s residence
: United Kingdom
Subjects
: Cats, Flowers, Jasmine