Tag Archives: Friends

The Suitcase

A strange, tired, sad, and frightened animal arrives one day pulling a big suitcase. When a bird asks what’s in the suitcase, the animal replies that there is a teacup, a chair, and a kitchen in a wooden cabin. The animal takes a rest and the other animals, who don’t believe him, break open the suitcase and find a broken teacup and an old photograph. When the animal wakes up, he can’t believe what the other animals have done.  They then fix his suitcase the best they can. The strange animal exclaims that it is perfect, but that they don’t have enough teacups for everyone. This powerful story about migration, hope, kindness, and trust, with a lovely ending, is illustrated in pen, ink, pencil, and watercolor. mjw
Title: The Suitcase
Author: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Illustrator
: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Publisher
: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Nosy Crow. Great Britain
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-358-32960-2
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Emotions, Friendship, Kindness, Suitcase, Teacups, Trust

Everest: The Remarkable Story Of Edmund Hilary And Tenzing Norgay

After a brief introduction, a section called Why Climb Everest? describes why Hillary and Tenzing’s achievement was so remarkable. Two very different, yet equally determined, men battled frost-biting temperatures, icefalls, snow, wind, and death-defying crevasses to climb to the top of the world’s highest mountain, Everest. The narrative is captivating and the digitally created, breathtaking illustrations are very detailed and loaded with fascinating information. A Table of Contents lists the four parts of the book: The Story of Two Very Different Childhoods, The Race for Everest, Hillary and Tenzing Climb Everest, and Their Stories Continue after Everest. The book is exciting and engaging. mjw
Title: Everest: The Remarkable Story Of Edmund Hilary And Tenzing Norgay
Author: Alexandra Stewart
Illustrator
: Joe Todd-Stanton
Publisher
: Bloomsbury Children’s Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Great Britain
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-5476-0159-2
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Picture book, Biography
Book setting
: New Zealand, Tibet, Nepal
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Asian history, Mountain climbing, Sherpas, Yaks, Yetis

Under My Tree

When Susanne, who lives in the city, visits her grandmother, she discovers a special tree in the forest. She observes unique things about her tree, such as a family of owls, the rough bark of the tree, the fruit growing on the tree, hundreds of insects, and more. She brings her friend Max to visit her tree. She won’t see her tree much in the winter, but she knows that her tree hibernates and that it will be there when she visits next year.  Integrated into the text are facts about trees and activities that will encourage readers to learn more about trees. The warm illustrations will teach children to appreciate and respect nature. mjw
Title: Under My Tree
Author: Muriel Tallandier
Illustrator
: Mizuho Fujisawa
Publisher
: Blue Dot Kids Press, San Francisco, CA
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sarah Klinger
Original Title
: Sous Mon Arbre
Original Publisher
: Editions Grund
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-7331212-3-1
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Information book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Subjects
: Biodiversity, Country life, Environment, Forests, Multigenerational, Trees

Forward Me Back To You

Katina King is a biracial teen with a White single mom. She attends an elite private high school in northern California and is a jiu-jitsu champion. After a sexual assault at her school that she is traumatized by, her mom sends her to Boston to heal with her Grandma Vee. Robin Thorton is eighteen. He was adopted by a wealthy White family in Boston, from an orphanage in India. Kat and Robin meet at the church both Robin and Grandma Vee attend. Both teens are dealing with heavy inner turmoil. They sign up for a summer service trip to Kolkata to work with survivors of human trafficking. A dual narrative depicts Kat’s and Robin’s individual points of view in this timely, unique novel with diverse characters about cross-cultural service. mjw
Title: Forward Me Back To You
Author: Mitali Perkins
Publisher
: Farra Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-374304928
Hardcover pages
: 432
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Kolkata, India and Boston, MA
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Kolkata, India
Author’s residence
: California
Awards
: 2020 South Asian Book Award Grade 9 up
Subjects
: Activism, Adoption, Christian fiction, Global awareness, Jiu-jitsu, Human trafficking, Physical and emotional abuse, Religion, Service, Sexual assault, Social justice, Violence, Volunteerism

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, 2020 IBBY Honor List
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