Tag Archives: Friends

My Bison

A little girl becomes friends with a bison. She brings it food that she makes. She misses it when it has to move away from the warm weather. She knows that it will return when the snow comes again.  They settle by the fire and she tells it stories as they drink cocoa. She loves it completely.  Year after year, the bison returns. They both grow older until one winter, the bison doesn’t come back. The girl, now grown up, knows that the bison will always be with her. Charcoal and ink illustrations, enriched with blue watercolor, enhance this gentle story. mjw
Title: My Bison
Author: Gaya Wisniewski
Illustrator
: Gaya Wisniewski
Publisher
: Princeton Architectural Press. Hudson, New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Original Title
: Mon Bison
Original Publisher
: Editions MeMo
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-61689-886-1
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Belgian
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Belgian
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Bison, Healing, Loss, Love, Passage of time

Welcome To Nowhere

Twelve-year-old Omar lives in Bosra, Syria with his family.  He dreams of being a businessman and his sister wants to be a teacher. Their hopes are shattered when  war breaks out. The family is forced to flee Syria by foot to get to Jordan. This is a moving and sensitive novel with lovable characters. A Letter from the Author provides more information about the war in Syria. Also included is a section What Can You DoTo Help? that tells about the Hope School in Jordan. mjw
Title: Welcome To Nowhere
Author: Elizabeth Laird
Illustrator
: Lucy Eldridge
Publisher
: Macmillan Children’s Books
Copyright
: 22017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5098-44047-2
Paperback pages
: 329
Age range
: 9-11
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Jordan
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in new Zealand of Scottish parents
Author’s residence
: Britain
Awards
: Winner of the UKLA Book Award
Subjects
: Cerebral Palsy, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Refugees, Syria

We Kiss Them With Rain

Fourteen-year-old, pregnant by rape, Mvelo lives with abuse, poverty, and disease in South Africa, and her mother has died of HIV/AIDS. She finds resources and hope in unlikely benefactors. Wonderful characters make Mvelo’s story a joy to read. An Afterword tells of the inspiration for the novel. A Q&A with the author section offers more insight and a list of Discussion Questions would make this a thought-provoking read for high school students. mjw
Title: We Kiss Them With Rain
Author: Futhi Ntshingila
Publisher
: Catalyst Press. Livermore, California
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-946395-04-7
Paperback pages
: 160
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Durban, South Africa
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Author’s residence
: Pretoria, South Africa
Subjects
: Africa, AIDS, Coming of age, Generations, Poverty, Sexual abuse, Women’s sagas

Brown

Three bullies – Anton, Ruben, and the minister’s son – destroy the fort that young Rusty and his friend Jack have constructed from scrap.  Dressed in a brown cape and mask, Rusty, as super hero “Brown”, sneaks out at night to paint Ruben’s bicycle brown. Jack becomes “Black” who paints Anton’s bike black. Another friend Lou, as “Blue” joins them, only to discover that most of their stash of blue paint has disappeared. They still manage to paint all three bikes blue. Rusty feels guilty, but does not get into trouble because the three bullies have written rude words in blue on the church’s spire. This is the first book to be translated from the award-winning trilogy My Alter Ego Is A Superhero series from Norway.  It has been translated into more than thirty languages. Fine-lined ink drawings with washes of color add humor to this fun story. mjw
Title: Brown
Author: Hakon Ovreas
Illustrator
: Oyvind Torseter
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books, New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Norwegian
Translator
: Kari Dickson
Original Title
: Brune
Original Publisher
: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS
Original Copyright
: 2013
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-212-1
Hardcover pages
: 136
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Author’s residence
: Norway
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Norwegian
Illustrator’s residence
: Norway
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Award, Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s Literature Prize
Subjects
: Grandfathers, Superheroes

The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree

Ten-year-old Mafalda has Stargardt Disease, which causes progressive vision loss and eventual blindness. She has six months of sight left and she hides this fact from her family and friends. She keeps a list of all the things she cares about, like climbing the cherry tree near her school and counting stars. She makes a plan for when she can’t see and runs away to live in her favorite cherry tree.  This is a powerful, thought-provoking story of a young girl’s fears. mjw
Title: The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree
Author: Paola Peretti
Illustrator
: Carolina Rabei
Publisher
: Hot Key Books, London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Denise Muir
Original Publisher
: Rizzoli
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-4714-0755-0
Paperback pages
: 195
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Italy
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Verona, Italy
Translator’s residence
: Edinburgh and Abruzzo, Italy
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Blindness, Cats, Emotions and feelings, Sight, Special needs, Stargardt disease, Trees

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

Malo And The Merry-Go-Round

Malo is supposed to help his best friend, Poto, make pickles, but he hears that there is a new merry-go-round at the pond in the forest and that’s where he goes. Malo passes a wild boar who needs help getting a biting tick removed, but Malo is off in a rush. He meets a gang of turtles who want to play, but Malo lies to them and darts away. Next, he meets a cuckoo and again Malo is off in a huff.  Finally he slips on a dung beetle’s ball of dung, but still continues on his way. He gets to the merry-go-round and decides that it’s no fun playing alone. He should have stayed with Poto to make pickles and not hurt his friends. Malo rushes back to Poto’s house and the two best friends right Malo’s wrongs together. Bold watercolors complement this cute parable. mjw
Title: Malo And The Merry-Go-Round
Author: Maria Dek
Illustrator
: Maria Dek
Publisher
: Princeton Architectural Press, New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Original Title
: Mais ou a file Malo la musaraigne?
Original Publisher
: Helium/Actes Sud. Paris, France
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-61689-875-5
Hardcover pages: 34

Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Polish
Author’s residence
: Bialowieza, Poland
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Polish
Illustrator’s residence
: Bialowieza, Poland
Subjects
: Forgiveness, Humor, Merry-Go-Round, Parable, Pickles, Selfishness, Values

The Girl Who Stole An Elephant

Chaya is a rebellious and fearless schoolgirl.  She steals from the rich in her Serendib (Sri Lanka) village to help the poor.  One day, she goes too far and takes some of the Queen’s jewels and, consequently, gets her best friend arrested.  She and her friends, loyal Neelan and clever Nour, escape to the jungle where they have amazing adventures.  She also manages to steal the King’s elephant Ananda.  This fast-paced novel is full of gorgeous and vivid imagery and bits of interesting information about jungle flora and fauna. The book ends with a little twist. mjw
Title: The Girl Who Stole An Elephant
Author: Nizrana Farook
Publisher
: Nosy Crow Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-78800-634-7
Paperback pages
: 247
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Serendib. Sri Lanka
Author’s ethnicity
: Born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Author’s residence
: Hertfordshire, England
Subjects
: Adventure, Bandits, Elephants, Girls, Jungles, Royalty, Theft

My Long List Of Impossible Things

Sixteen-year-old Katja, her eighteen-year-old sister Hilde, and their mother are forced out of their house in Germany when Soviet troops take over their village after WW II. German society has collapsed and there is much hardship and violence.  Their mother is killed and the two girls make a long and dangerous journey to another town on their own.  The story is told from the point of view of Katja and the German teenage post war perspective and is rarely examined in young adult fiction.  Katja questions so much about her country, but manages to make a new life for herself.  One thing that saves Katja is her love of the piano.  Interesting facts about famous composers are sprinkled throughout this brilliant novel. mjw
Title: My Long List Of Impossible Things
Author: Michelle Barker
Publisher
: Annick Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-77321-364-4
Paperback pages
: 360
Age range
: 9 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Subjects
: Music, Musicians, Nazism, Piano, Soviet occupation, Violence, World War II

Thukpa For All

Young Tsering can’t wait to taste his grandmother’s thukpa – noodle soup.  On his way home, he invites many friends, neighbors, and family members to join him.  Just as his grandmother is preparing the soup, the power goes out. Tsering helps with the soup-making steps by identifying spices and other ingredients by their smells. The power comes back on and everyone can enjoy the thukpa.  Told from a blind child’s perspective – Tsering is blind – this story is enhanced by beautiful illustrations that teach about the Ladakhi culture which is not often depicted in picture books.  Alliteration and onomatopoeia make it a fun read.  A Glimpse into Ladakhi Life gives information about the culture and geography of Indian Ladakhi. A glossary and a recipe for thukpa are also included. mjw
Title: Thukpa For All
Author: Prada Ram and Sheela Preuitt
Illustrator
: Shilpa Ranade
Publisher
: Karadi Tales. Chennai, India
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-81-9338-898-3
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Ladakhi, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Mumbai
Awards
: 2019 IBBY Catalog of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Blind, Cooking and food, Culture, Diversity, Family life, Grandmothers, Sense and sensations, Special needs