Tag Archives: Food

Last Witnesses (Adapted for Young Adults)

Last witnesses

A very helpful Historical Context sets the scene for 65 short personal narratives told by those who were Russian children during World War II and survived terrifying war-time experiences. Nobel Prize-winning Svetlana Alexievich discloses the traumatic memories of children who were separated from their parents, most of them never to be reunited. This is the young adult adaptation of her masterpiece, Last Witness: An Oral History of the Children of WWII. The Russian perspective stories are fascinating as they portray terror, survival, and hope. The book also features a useful glossary. mjw

Title: Last Witnesses (Adapted for Young Adults)
Author: Svetlana Alexievich
Publisher
: Penguin Random House LLC
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Russian
Translator
: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Original Title
: Last Witnesses: An Oral History Of The Children Of WWII
Original Publisher
: Molodaya Gvardiya, Moscow
Original Copyright
: 1985
ISBN
: 978-0-593-30853-0
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 12-17
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Oral history
Book setting
: Russia
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: Soviet Union, Belarus, Western Europe
Awards
: Author has won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature. 2022 NCSS Notable Books
Subjects
: Childhood, Death, Historical biographies, Hope, Military history, Oral history, Resilience, Survival, Terror, WWII, Young adult

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

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

The Elevator

downloadA girl and her dog Roco want to go on their afternoon walk. They get on the elevator on Floor 4 and the girl pushes the down button, but the elevator goes up. It stops at Floor 7 and Ms. Paula gets on. She is afraid of dogs. She presses the down button, but the elevator goes up again. On Floor 8, old Mr. Miguel gets on with his walker. He presses the down button and the elevator stops on Floor7 and Cora and the twins in their stroller get on. After pressing the button again, the elevator stops between Floor 5 and Floor 4. Then Ms. Paula opens the box that she is carrying and gives everyone a slice of birthday cake that she was planning to give to her friend. Next, Mr. Miguel tells a story called Who Cares? about a bear that always said he didn’t care when he really did. All of a sudden the elevator starts to move, though no one pushed the button. It stops at Floor 4 and everyone gets off and has tea at the girl’s apartment. At the end of the book, in a real envelope, there is a surprise mini-book titled Who Cares? The playful black, white and red illustrations were created with drawing, collage, and photography all assembled digitally. The tall and slender format of the book resembles an elevator. mjw
Title: The Elevator
Author: Yael Frankel
Illustrator
: Yael Frankel
Publisher
: Tapioca Stories. Huntington, New York.
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Kit Maude
Original Title
: El ascensor
Original Publisher
: Limonero, Argentina
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-7347839-0-2
Hardcover pages
: 44
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Argentinian
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Argentinian
Awards
: 2021 Outstanding International Books USBBY, 2020 White Raven Award
Subjects
: Apartment buildings, Dogs, Elevators, Pets, Twin

Sandcastle

A young girl builds a fantastic sandcastle with domes and turrets and a crocodile moat. It has large windows with an ocean view. It is fit for hosting diverse royalty from all over the world and the dining hall serves ice cream  24/7 – all flavors.  But at breakfast, the troubles begin.  Sand gets in the royal strudel, in the Triathlon of Knights’ suits of armor, and even in the King’s daily fig milk bath. Everyone is so angry. The illustrations in this fun book were created digitally and are very detailed and whimsical. Medieval knights play Twister, a Rapunzel-like character wears unicorn slippers, and a tiny swimsuit-clad mouse is hidden throughout. The book jacket even has a sandy tactile feel to it.  This absurd book will certainly engage young readers. mjw
Title: Sandcastle
Author: Einat Tsarfati
Illustrator
: Einat Tsarfati
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Hebrew
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-1143-6
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Author’s residence
: Israel
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Illustrator’s residence
: Israel
Subjects
: Beach, Beachgoers, Imagination, Royalty, Sandcastle

Piglettes

This laugh-aloud coming-of-age story tells of the bicycle road trip across France to Paris of three teenage girls, Mirielle, Astrid, and Hakima. The girls were voted by their classmates on Facebook to be the ugliest girls in their school. They take off on their bikes, accompanied by Kader, Hakima’s wheelchair-bound older brother. Their goal is a garden party with the French president. They pull a trailer along with them and sell sausages to make money for the trip. The girls, known as the Piglettes, become stars of social media and television. The story is told through the eyes of funny, philosophical, and awkward Mirielle. This is a powerful book for self-conscious teens. mjw
Title: Piglettes
Author: Clementine Beauvais
Publisher
: Pushkin Press
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Clementine Beauvais
Original Title
: Les Petites Reines
Original Publisher
: Editions Sarbacane. Paris
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-1782691204
Paperback pages
: 287
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: France
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: U.K.
Awards
: Prix Sorcieres in France
Subjects
: Bicycles, Bullying, Coming of age, Cyber-bullying, Feminism, Girls and women, Paris, Racism, Roadtrip, Sausages, Teens and young adult fiction, Ugly girls, Wheelchair

Festivals And Traditions In Switzerland

This fascinating book takes you on a journey through a year in Switzerland. Starting with the New Year’s Mummers Procession in Appenzel Ausserrhoden with the Uglies, Pretties, and Pretty-Uglies costumes, which are made only of material from nature and ending with Christmas traditions like Yule log cakes,  bell-ringing, giant top hats, frankincense, and Christmas decorations. This amazing book thoroughly describes the many celebrations that occur throughout the year. On the journey, you’ll encounter brass bands, terrifying masks, shepherds, men dressed as trees, fast pigs, bareback riders, and much, much more. The illustrations are colorful, detailed, and entertaining. An Afterword explains even more. A section of Information and Tips provides dates and even times for travelers going to Switzerland. Also included is a list of customs and celebrations according to cantons, or states. mjw
Title: Festivals And Traditions In Switzerland
Author: Barbara Piatti
Illustrator
: Yvonne Rogenmoser
Publisher
: NorthSouth
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Mary Carozza
Original Title
: Feste & Brauche in der Schweiz
Original Publisher
: Nordsud Verlag
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4416-2
Hardcover pages
: 96
Age range
: 4-12
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Picture book
Book setting
: Switzerland
Author’s residence
: Basel, Switzerland
Illustrator’s residence
: Zurich, Switzerland
Subjects
: Celebrations, Holidays, Switzerland

The Christmas Feast

The wolf, the fox, and the weasel decide to treat themselves to a Christmas feast. Fox steals the turkey, but the turkey has other ideas. First, she wants the animals to clean their messy den. Turkey supervises the work. Next, Turkey asks what is for dinner and she scolds them when they say they have no intention of cooking. So Turkey prepares the meal.  The friends have a great evening enjoying the meal and playing cards. The next day, Turkey is very demanding about all the decorating for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, Turkey asks how they plan to cook her. They have no idea. Turkey’s solution is to wait until next year so that they will have time to fatten her up. Everyone agrees and Turkey cooks the Christmas feast herself. The playful illustrations enhance this fun holiday story. mjw
Title: The Christmas Feast
Author: Nathalie Dargent
Illustrator
: Magali Le Huche
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Original Title
: Le Festin de Noel
Original Publisher
: Editions Glenat
Original Copyright
: 2008
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5537-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Paris, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Paris, France
Subjects
: Christmas, Fox, Humorous stories, Meals, Turkeys, Weasels, Wolves

Priya Dreams Of Marigolds And Masala

Young Priya and her family live in a house in a small city in the United States. It’s the only house on the street with an Indian family. As Priya’s Ba (grandmother) is cooking dinner, Priya asks, “What is India like?” Ba, in her colorful sari, describes special spices, beautiful fabrics, architecture, monsoons, strings of marigolds, and more. At school the next day, Priya tells about India and makes paper marigolds. Her classmates join her and make a long garland of marigolds for Priya’s Ba. “Sharing India with others is the best way to carry it with you.” The vibrant illustrations give readers a look into Indian life. Back matter includes information on meanings, definitions, and pronunciations. An author’s note provides even more information. mjw
Title: Priya Dreams Of Marigolds And Masala
Author: Meenal Patel
Illustrator
: Meenal Patel
Publisher
: Beaver’s Pond Press, Inc. Edina, MN. USA
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-64343-955-6
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: U.S.
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in the U.S.. Family from Gujarat, India
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in the U.S.. Family from Gujarat, India
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2020 South Asia Book Award. Grade K-2
Subjects
: Asia, Flowers, Grandmothers, Multigenerational family life, Tradition

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