Tag Archives: Families

Ruby In The Ruins

Ruby’s dad is a soldier during the London blitz.  Ruby and her mum cling to each other while they wait for dad to come home.  When he finally returns, Ruby doesn’t recognize him. She would rather play outside in the wreckage of the bombings.  But when Ruby hurts her knee, dad cleans and bandages the wound.  He makes her feel all right and suggests that maybe she should play in the park instead of in the ruins.  Ink, gouache, and watercolor illustrations perfectly complement the text. Endpapers with authentic wartime advertisements add a nice touch.  mjw
Title: Ruby In The Ruins
Author: Shirley Hughes
Illustrator
: Shirley Hughes
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-92377
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: London, England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: West London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: West London
Awards
: Author/illustrator has won the Kate Greenaway Medal twice
Subjects
: England, London, Military, Veterans, World War II

My Name Is Victoria

This is an engaging alternate history for fans of Queen Victoria (1819-1901).  Miss V. Conroy joins the household of the Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria at Kensington Palace at age ten.  Miss V. is to be Victoria’s companion and also a spy for the both loving and cruel John Conroy, the comptroller of the household. Princess Victoria lives in the palace under the Kensington System, which is designed to keep her isolated and obedient, under the strict control of all the adults around her.  The second half of the story follows the two girls between the ages of about 16 and 18.  As their friendship deepens and Prince Albert arrives on the scene, the very complex situation leads to a surprising ending.  The story is accurate enough to feel plausible. mjw
Title: My Name Is Victoria
Author: Lucy Worsley
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Bloomsbury Publishing, U.K.
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-8807-3
Hardcover pages
: 384
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Biography
Book setting
: England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: London
Subjects
: Female friendships, Princesses, Queen Victoria (1819-1901) childhood and youth, Siblings

Inkling

Ethan’s dad is a comic artist with writer’s block and Ethan has a graphic novel project at school that is giving him trouble.  When an ink blot from his dad’s sketchbook comes to life, it makes quite an impact on Ethan’s family and friends.  This is a funny and interesting story.  How can an ink blot be such a lovable character? mjw
Title: Inkling
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Illustrator
: Sydney Smith
Publisher
: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5247-7282-6
Hardcover pages
: 256
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Awards
: Both author and illustrator have won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. The illustrator has won the Kate Greenaway Award.
Subjects
: Books, Creativity, Drawing, Humor

Feather

 

Paulina lives with her dad and her three rough and clumsy, older brothers. She plays the piano and they call her Feather, but she is tough and tenacious. She takes up boxing so that she can stand up to her brothers. When she proves her point, she goes back to her beloved piano. Gorgeous poster-like illustrations show Feather’s home life and training. mjw
Title: Feather
Author: Remi Courgeon
Illustrator
: Remi Courgeon
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books, New York
Copyright
: 20117
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Claudia Zoe Bedrick
Original Title
: Brindille
Original Publisher
: Editions Milan
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-210-7
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 6-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Awards
: A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2017
Subjects
: Boxing, Housework, Music, Piano, Self-esteem, Siblings, Sports

Town Is By The Sea

This first-person narrative portrays a day in the life of a young boy and his family in a seaside-mining town.  He describes his morning – seagulls, a dog barking, and lupines and Queen Anne’s lace along the road.  He acknowledges that at the same time his father is already “deep down under the sea, digging for coal.”  He then describes more of what he sees throughout the rest of his day and his father is still “deep down under the sea, digging for coal.”  At suppertime, his father comes home.  They talk as the sun sets “deep down under the sea where his father digs for coal.” The boy falls asleep thinking that one day, it will be his turn – he is a miner’s son.  The ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations are exquisite.  An author’s note is included.  mjw
Title: Town Is By The Sea
Author: Joanne Schwartz
Illustrator
: Sydney Smith
Publisher
: Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-55498-871-6
Hardcover pages
: 52
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Awards
: 2018 Kate Greenaway Award
Subjects
: Canada, City and town life, Coal miners, Country life, Fathers and sons, Sea stories

La Frontera: El Viaje Con Papa, My Journey With Papa

This bilingual book (Spanish and English) follows Alfredo and his father during the 1980s as they leave behind their home in Mexico for Texas.  The story is told through Alfredo’s eyes and is based on one of the author’s own experiences in crossing the border, la frontera.  It tells why they left Mexico, describes their difficult journey, and shows how courage and determination can lead to a better and more productive life. Colorful pictures prepared in graphite, acrylic, and digital collage complement the vivid narrative.  Back matter includes more on Alfredo’s story, information about borders and cultures, a map, notes about immigration, and photographs.  mjw
Title: La Frontera: El Viaje Con Papa, My Journey With Papa
Author: Deborah Mills and Alfredo Alva
Illustrator
: Claudia Navarro
Publisher
: Barefoot Books. Cambridge, MA and London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English and Spanish
Translator
: Maria A. Perez
ISBN
: 978-1-78285-388-6
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Mexico and Texas
Author’s ethnicity
: Mills – U.S.  Alva – Mexican
Author’s residence
: Mills – U.S.  Alva – Texas
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Mexican
Illustrator’s residence
: Mexico
Subjects
: Central America, Emigrants and immigrants, Hispanic and Latino, Mexican Americans, Mexico, United States

The Wooden Camel

Young Etabo dreams of becoming a camel racer and beating his older brother in a camel race.  But the family must sell their camels and find work for his siblings because of the rising cost of water.  Inspired by the Turkana people of northwest Kenya, this story of love and hope is beautifully illustrated with exaggerated animals and dreamy landscapes. mjw
Title: The Wooden Camel
Author: Wanuri Hahiu
Illustrator
: Manuela Adreani
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-911373-12-4
Hardcover pages
: 32 
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Kenya
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Nairobi, Kenya
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Italian
Illustrator’s residence
: Turin, Italy
Awards
: 2018 Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book
Subjects
: Africa, Brothers and sisters, Camels, Camel racing, Imagination