Tag Archives: Families

I Hate Borsch!

i hate borsch

A young girl living in Ukraine hates the red, thick, disgusting beet and vegetable soup known as borsch. But all Ukrainians are supposed to love it. Even the grandmothers of Kiev cannot get her to change her mind about it. When she immigrates to the U.S., she finds that she doesn’t like American food, especially the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, flat and shiny square cheese, and the mysterious pumpkin spice latte. She then finds borsch recipes hidden in her suitcase and she is transported back home. She makes the soup and invites everyone to eat her borsch. Illustrations created with acrylic, pencils, and digital collage, with splashes of borsch-bright red add to the fun in this story of rejecting and then embracing one’s culture. An author’s note and a recipe for borsch are included. mjw

Title: I Hate Borsch!
Author: Yevgenia Nayberg
Illustrator
: Yevgenia Nayberg
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5580-0
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Ukraine and U.S.
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: New York
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Illustrator’s residence
: New York
Subjects
: Cultures, Eastern Europe, Emigration, Food, Heritage, Immigration, Picky eaters, Soup, Recipes, Sunflowers, Vegetables

Dulcinea In The Forbidden Forest

Dulcinea

It’s Dulcinea’s birthday and her father is making her pancakes with blueberries and whipped cream. However, they forgot to buy blueberries at the market. Dulcinea’s loving father knows that blueberries grow in the forbidden forest – the forest that he told Dulcinea to never go into because a witch, who is a hideous singer, lives in a castle there. He decides that nothing could happen to him in the forest, but then the witch sees him and turn s him into a tree. Dulcinea braves the dark forest, sneaks into the castle, finds the witch’s book of spells, and frees her father. The short chapters in this easy-to-read book are just right for young readers. The funny, inky black-outlined illustrations and the orange and brown palette perfectly enhance this hilarious, contemporary fairytale. mjw

Title: Dulcinea In The Forbidden Forest
Author: Ole Konnecke
Illustrator
: Ole Konnecke
Publisher
: Gecko Press. New Zealand
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Shelley Tanaka
Original Title
: Dulcinea im Zauberwald
Original Publisher
: Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH and Co. Munich
Original Copyright
: 2021
ISBN
: 978-1-776573-95-0
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Fairytale, Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Germany
Subjects
: Birthdays, Fathers, Humor, Witches

A Gift For Amma: Market Day In India

A Gift for Amma

It’s market day in the author’s hometown of Chennai, India. A young girl is searching for a treasure for her mother. She looks at saffron rice: orange marigolds; pink lotus flowers; green peacock feathers, mint, and coriander; red-hot peppers; and many more colorful items. She finally decides on rainbow bangles as the perfect gift. Back matter includes information about the unique color words in the book, facts about markets around the world, and photographs taken by the author. The gorgeous illustrations, rendered in pencils, pastels, and water-based paints make the story come alive. mjw

Title: A Gift For Amma: Market Day In India
Author: Meera Sriram
Illustrator
: Mariona Cabassa
Publisher
: Barefoot Books, Cambridge, MA
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-64686-062-3
Paperback pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Chennai, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Awards
: 2021 South Asian Book Award
Subjects
: Colors, Flowers, Markets, Mothers, Peacocks, Saris, Spices

Temple Alley Summer

Temple Alley SummerWhile watching a ghost story on TV one night, fifth-grader Kazuhiro Sada sees a pale figure in a white kimono sneaking out of his house. He sees the same figure in school the next day. She is Akari, a girl his classmates insist he has known since kindergarten. Then he finds out that his house sits on the exact location of an ancient temple called Kimyo. Legend has is that the name Kimyo implies the dead coming back to life. Kazu befriends Akari and they spend the summer trying to make sense of the mystery. This thrilling adventure filled with the living dead, a story-within-a-story, a meddling neighbor, and a black cat is illustrated with manga-like drawings. mjw
Title: Temple Alley Summer
Author: Sachiko Kashiwaba
Illustrator
: Miho Satake
Publisher
: Restless Books, Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Avery Fischer Udagawa
Original Title
: Kimyoji Yokocho no Natsu
Original Publisher
: Kodansha Ltd. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2011
ISBN
: 978-1-6320-6303-8
Hardcover pages
: 240
Age range
: 8-13
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Iwate Prefecture, Jan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Japan
Awards
: 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Award
Subjects
: Cats, Fairytales, Fantasy, Ghosts, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Supernatural, Suspense, Temple

The Words In My Hands

the words

The art journal of Deaf sixteen-year-old Piper, set in near-future Melbourne, Australia, is part coming of age story and part call to action. Piper is smart, artistic, and rebellious. Deaf since the age of three, she is told by her mother that she needs to conform, compensate and appear normal. She meets Marley, a CODA (child of a deaf parent), and a whole new world opens up for her. This is a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption. Piper is determined to build a sustainable food garden and communicate with her mom, friends, and community like she never has before. Back matter in this amazing book includes information on the Deaf community and various forms of sign language and ideas for journaling. mjw

Title: The Words In My Hands
Author: Asphyxia
Illustrator
: Asphyxia
Publisher
: Annick Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Future Girl In Australia
Original Publisher
: Allen & Unwin, Australia
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-1773215280
Hardcover pages
: 388
Age range
: 13-16
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Australia
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Australia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ausralian
Illustrator’s residence
: Australia
Awards
: 2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Teens, 2021 Childrens’ Book Council of Australia Notable Book of the Year for Older Readers.
Subjects
: Activism, Auslan, Coming of age, Creativity, Deafness, Dystopian, Finger-spelling, Future, Gardens, Problem solving, Sign language, Special needs, Sustainability

A Kind Of Spark

A Kind of SparkEleven-year-old Addie is autistic, headstrong, and smart. She thinks differently from the people around her. She is on a campaign to have a plaque erected in her Scottish hometown in memory of the victims of the witch trials which happened there hundreds of years ago. She understands what it is like to be treated as an outcast for being different. The author is neurodivergent, too, and she insightfully tells about what it is like to be an autistic girl. She believably portrays Addie’s struggles and her beautiful friendship with a girl who is understanding and supportive. mjw
Title: A Kind Of Spark
Author: Elle McNicoll
Publisher
: Crown Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-593-37425-2
Hardcover pages
: 192
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: Scottish
Author’s residence
: London
Awards
: 2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award – Middle Grade Honor
Subjects
: Autism, Bullies, Disabilities, Neurodivergency, Sharks, Teachers, Witch trials

Red Stars: The Case Of Viktor And Nadya’s Notebooks

Red Stars- The Case...

Diary entries, maps, drawings, and historical photos tell this story of Viktor and Nadya, twelve-year-old twins who were evacuated from Leningrad when Hitler declared war on the Soviet Union. They were separated when they were put on trains that were meant to take them to safety. The story is told in three voices, alternating between Viktor (printed in red), Nadya (printed in dark blue), and an offstage voice of a Soviet Secret Police officer. His handwritten comments are written in the margins. Viktor’s train makes it to Moscow, where he is expected to do hard labor on a kolkhoz (farm). It is rumored that Nadya’s train was bombed with no survivors. Viktor doesn’t believe this and sets off through cold and harsh conditions to find Nadya. They eventually find each other and unravel a mystery of treason and betrayal at the highest level of Soviet leadership. mjw

Title: Red Stars: The Case Of Viktor And Nadya’s Notebooks
Author: Davide Morosinotto
Illustrator
: Simone Tso
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Denise Muir
Original Title
:  La Stolgorante luce di due stelle rosse
Original Publisher
: Mondadori, Milan
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-9848-9332-1
Hardcover pages
: 432
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Soviet Union
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Italy
Subjects
: European historical fiction, Evacuation, Germany, Hitler, Leningrad, MIlitary fictioon, Siblings, Trains, World War II

Soul Lanterns

Soul Lanterns

Set 25 years after the bombing of Hiroshima, twelve-year-old Nozomi discovers that the long-term emotional and physical effects of the bombing continue. Her art class project is to learn more about the experiences of students’ families on August 6, 1945. Book chapters focus on individual heartbreaking narratives told by survivors. This powerful story from a Japanese perspective shows the impact on the city and emphasizes the message of peace. mjw

Title: Soul Lanterns
Author: Shaw Huzki
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Emily Balistrieri
Original Title
: Hikari no utsushie Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Hiroshima
Original Publisher
: Kodansha, Ltd. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2013
ISBN
: 978-0-593-17436-4
Hardcover pages
: 175
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Kamakura, Japan
Awards: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Art, Atomic bomb, Ceremonies, Grandparents, Hiroshima, Lantern floating ceremony, Peace, World War II

Now That Night Is Near

Now that Night is Near

It’s bedtime and everyone is settling down to sleep. Little children are tucked into bed. The cows and calves are sleeping in the fields. The foals, piglets, rabbits, lambs, and birds are going to sleep, too. A cat wanders through the fields. He is not ready for bed until the last page of the book, where he finally curls up on the child’s bed. The hand-painted gouache, ink, watercolor pencil, pastel, and acrylic illustrations are beautiful and filled with secret animals curled up in their beds. mjw

Title: Now That Night Is Near
Author: Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002)
Illustrator
: Marit Tornqvist
Publisher
: Floris Books
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Swedish
Translator
: Polly Lawson
Original Title
: Alla Ska Sova
Original Publisher
: Raben & Sjogren
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-178250-675-1
Hardcover pages
: 24
Age range
: 3-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Sweden
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Sweden
Subjects
: Bedtime story, Cats, Earth, Nature, Sleep

Walking For Water: How One Boy Stood Up For Gender Equality

Walking for WaterVictor and his twin sister Linesi have turned eight years old and now Linesi no longer goes to school with Victor. Linesi, like other girls in her village, has to make the five daily walks to the river to collect water so that their mother has more time for farming. Victor has begun learning about equality in school and sees that boys and girls are not treated equally. So Victor comes up with a plan to help. Based on a true story, this important book shows how one person can make a big difference in the lives of others. An Author’s Note tells about water availability in Malawi and provides resources where readers can learn more about water scarcity and gender equality in Malawi and other countries. Also included is a glossary of Chichewa words. Chichewa is one of the many languages spoken in Malawi. The attractive artwork was rendered in Photoshop and Procreate. mjw
Title: Walking For Water: How One Boy Stood Up For Gender Equality
Author: Susan Hughes
Illustrator
: Nicole Miles
Publisher
: Citizen Kid – Kids Can Press. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1525302-497
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book, inspired by a real event
Book setting
: Malawi
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto, Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Originally from the Bahamas
Illustrator’s residence
: West Yorkshire, U.K.
Subjects
: Activism, Africa, Education, Gender equality, Girls and women, Schools, Siblings, Twins, Water scarcity

The Story Of Bodri

The Story of BodriHedi and her friend Marika spend their days playing in the park with Hedi’s dog Bodri. Hedi is Jewish and Marika is Christian, but that doesn’t stop them from being friends. All is well until Adolf Hitler ’s frightening voice is heard on the radio saying that he hates Jews. His soldiers come and round up Hedi’s family and all the other Jews and put them onto a train for the camps. Bodri is left behind. Hedi dreams of Bodri for the many months that she and her sister are separated from Bodri and their parents. They are cold and hungry in the camp. Their heads are shaved and they have to wear dirty uniforms and hard shoes. The sisters survive and they are reunited with Bodri. Carefully chosen language tells this difficult story. The author, who was born in 1924, is a Holocaust survivor who experienced the horrors of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and several work camps. The illustrations, which were created with watercolor, ink, and digital media, evoke the time and place perfectly. mjw
Title: The Story Of Bodri
Author: Hedi Fried
Illustrator
: Stina Wirsen
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Swedish
Translator
: Linda Schenck
Original Title
: Historien om Bodri
Original Publisher
: Natur & Kultur. Stockholm, Sweden
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5565-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture Book. Historical Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish-Hungarian
Author’s residence
: Stockholm, Sweden
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Stockholm, Sweden
Awards: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Concentration camps, Dogs, Germany, Adolf Hitler, Holocaust, Jews

Kisses And Croissants

Kisses and CroissantsSixteen-year-old Mia Jenrow is a talented ballerina whose dream is to dance with American Ballet Theatre. She has just arrived in Paris for a competitive summer dance program. While in Paris, she searches for the history behind a family legend that states that a distant relative danced for the Paris Opera and was painted by Edgar Degas. She is so passionate for ballet and she trains for a part in Swan Lake and a very important audition. And, she falls for Louis, an endearing and cute French boy who happens to be the son of her strict ballet master. They hop on his Vespa and discover the truth about her family legend. The book provides a beautiful look at Paris – museums, gardens, bakeries, art, love, and much more. mjw
Title: Kisses And Croissants
Author: Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-593-17357-2
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction, Young Adult
Book setting
: Paris
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: New York City
Subjects
: Ballet, Ballet dancers, Coming of age, Edgar Degas, Friendship, Paris, Romance