Tag Archives: Families

The Eleventh Hour

Jules and Jim are childhood friends who were born on the same day in the same town in Canada.  Jim is always a little faster and a little stronger.  In 1914, when a war begins in Europe, Canada is at war with Germany.  Jules and Jim understand that their country needs them. So they enlist in the army and sail to Europe.  On the Front, conditions are muddy and barbaric.  Jules is always lagging two minutes behind Jim.  Jim gets a medal, while Jules gets stuck doing chores.  On November 11, 1918, at 11 o’ clock the fighting is supposed to stop.  But on the battlefields, not everyone gets the message.  Jules gets shot at 10:58, two minutes before the war ends.  He is the very last Canadian soldier to die in World War I.  Illustrated in a cartoon style and inspired by true events, this picture book is a thought-provoking parable. mjw
Title: The Eleventh Hour
Author: Jacques Goldstyn
Illustrator
: Jacques Goldstyn
Publisher
: Owlkids Books. Toronto
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Anne Louise Mahoney
Original Title
: Jules et Jim: freres d’armes
Original Publisher
: Bayard Canada Livres, Inc. Montreal
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-77147-348-4
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical fiction
Book setting
: Canada, Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Montreal
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal
Subjects
: Armistice, Canadian history, Military fiction, World War I

Milky Way

In the remote mountains of Ladakh in India, Tashi is worried about his friend the roly-poly moon.  The moon always gives him “a special smile-eyes closed and no teeth showing,” But every night, the moon gets smaller and smaller until it eventually disappears.  Tashi thinks this is because the moon doesn’t get enough milk to drink.  So Tashi leaves a tall glass of milk on the window sill every night for the moon, and little by little the moon gets its full round shape back with its special smile.  Tashi’s grandma explains the phases of the moon.  Bold, colorful illustrations enhance the fun story.  A glossary of Ladakhi words and a note about Ladakh is included.  A lesson plan can be downloaded from the Yali Books website. mjw
Title: Milky Way
Author: Mamta Nainy
Illustrator
: Siddhartha Tripathi
Publisher
: Yali Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-9890615-6-8
Hardcover pages
: 44
Age range
: 4-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Ladakh, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: New Delhi
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Ahmedabad
Subjects: Buddhism, Culture, Himalayas, Moon, Tibet

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

The Princess Dolls

In 1942 Vancouver, nine-year-old best friends Esther and Michiko spot Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret dolls in their local toyshop.  They hope they can have the dolls as presents for their shared birthday. But when Esther receives a doll and Michiko doesn’t, their friendship begins to fall apart.  The story is set during a time of increasing hostility and attacks upon Japanese Canadians.  Michiko and her family are sent away to an internment camp.  Esther is Jewish and her family worries about the fate of relatives who remain in Europe.  The story does resolve in a heartwarming way.  Charming black and white drawings complement this gentle story about friendship. mjw
Title: The Princess Dolls
Author: Ellen Schwartz
Illustrator
: Mariko Ando
Publisher
: Tradewind Books. Vancouver
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-29-6
Paperback pages
: 224
Age range
: 8-11
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Vancouver, British Columbia
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Burnaby, British Columbia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Vancouver, British Columbia
Subjects
: Canadian history, Dolls, Injustice, Japanese internment, Racism, Toys, World War II

A Place To Belong

World War II is over and Hanako and her family – her father, her mother, and little brother Akira – are moving to Japan.  They have been in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in America.  They have renounced their citizenship so they can leave the camp and return to Japan to live with Hanako’s grandparents on a tenant farm outside of Hiroshima.  They barely survive.  Hanako struggles to fit in as an outsider in her new home.  This is a moving book interspersed with black and white drawings. mjw
Title: A Place To Belong
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator
: Julia Kuo
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-481446648
Hardcover pages
: 416
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Hiroshima, Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: California, U.S.
Subjects
: Emigration and immigration, Hiroshima, Multigenerational family life, Japan, Japan history 1945

The Color Of The Sun

This story takes place in one day of Davie’s life in Tyneside, his small town home.  He takes off on a journey after what appears to be the murder of a boy he knows.  Half real and half imagined, he meets characters from his town, which has rival gangs,. Davie thinks he knows who the murderer is.  As the story progresses, it gets harder to fathom what is real.  The ending is brilliant and leaves readers feeling positive and hopeful.  The book is beautifully written. mjw
Title: The Color Of The Sun
Author: David Almond
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Hachette Children’s Group. U.K.
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0785-9
Hardcover pages
: 224
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction, Fantasy
Book setting
: England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.
Awards
: Hans Christian Andersen Medal, Carnegie Medal
Subjects
: Adventure, Coming of Age, Death and dying, Violence, Young adult boys