Tag Archives: Language

The Lady With The Books: A Story Inspired By The Remarkable Work Of Jella Lepman

This story was inspired by true events and is the fictionalized retelling of how Jella Lepman brought a collection of international books to Germany after WWII in 1946.Anneliese and Peter wander the ruined streets of Munich and discover a great hall filled with books and they meet the lady who set it up. Jella Lepman founded the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and the International Youth Library. This book includes further information about Lepman and her work, and photos of her, the exhibition, and the library. The library in Munich today holds over 60,000 books in more than 130 different languages. The artwork in the book, mostly in blues and grays, was rendered in graphite pencil and colored digitally. mjw
Title: The Lady With The Books: A Story Inspired By The remarkable Work Of Jella Lepman
Author: Kathy Stinson
Illustrator
: Marie Lafrance
Publisher
: Kids Can Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-525301544
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal, Quebec
Subjects
: Books, European historical fiction, Girls and women, International children’s books, Libraries, Reading, World War II

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Brother’s Keeper

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live in Communist North Korea in 1950. War is coming and they need to escape.  The family plans to walk the 300 miles from their village to the South Korean city of Busan.  There is a bombing and Sora and her eight-year-old brother Youngsoo are left to get there on their own. It’s winter, and they have to face enemy soldiers, starvation, frostbite, deprivation, and other hardships as they struggle to complete their journey.  This highly engrossing story is loosely based on the author’s mother’s experiences. An author’s note, photographs of the author’s family, a glossary of Korean words, a timeline of the Korean War, and a map of Sora’s journey are included. mjw
Title: Brother’s Keeper
Author: Julie Lee
Publisher
: Holiday House. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0823444946
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Korea
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Asia, Communism, History, Korean War, Military action, North Korea, Refugees,  Siblings, South Korea, War zone, Winter

One World Many Colors

“We share one world. We share many colors.” This beautiful book explores the world and its vibrant colors. White shines and sparkles in the deserts of Oman, in icy Antarctica, and in sunny Australia. Pink blooms and brightens in the blossoms of Japan, in a Paris bakery, and in the flamingos in Kenya. Other colors can be found all over the world. A map of the journey is included that highlights all the locations and objects seen. Color words are given in seven different languages. The vivid illustrations are loaded with small details that are fun to find. A note from the author explains about colors and that we all share the same world – a world we should cherish. mjw
Title: One World Many Colors
Author: Ben Lerwill
Illustrator
: Alette Straathof
Publisher
: Quarto Publishing, plc
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-7112-4983-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book, Nonfiction, Information Book
Book setting
: The world
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: Oxfordshire, England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Paris, France
Subjects
: Cities, Colors, Cultures, Fauna, Flora, Nature, Rural, Travel books, World

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

The Pencil

Based on the author’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this story is about being responsible for belongings and community.  Susan, her sister Rebecca, and brother Peter are home with their father in their iglu. Mother has gone to help a neighbor.  The children get tired of playing games. Father brings out a pencil from the box where they keep special things. All of the children begin drawing and drawing until they start to worry about what Mother will say when she gets home. They are supposed to use things wisely. Mother just reminds them that they shouldn’t waste things because they are hard to get. They only have one pencil. But she is glad that drawing brought them such joy. The illustrations have a sketch-like quality and are done in pencil. mjw
Title: The Pencil
Author: Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula
Illustrator
: Charlene Chua
Publisher
: Inhabit Media Inc. Iqaluit, Nunavut
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77227-216-1
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Nunavut, Canada
Author’s ethnicity
: Avinngaq born in Nunavut
Author’s residence
: Both authors – Nunavut
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Hamilton, Ontario
Subjects
: Canada, Community, Drawing, Iglu, Inaktitut, Polar regions, Thrift, Writing

The Village By The Sea

Thirteen-year-old Lila and her twelve-year-old brother Hari live in a small village called Thul in western India.  They also have two younger sisters.  They live with their mother, who is ill and bed-ridden.  Lila and Hari manage the family because their father is an alcoholic. Their life is hard.  Hari decides he has had enough and leaves for Bombay to find work.  He gets a job in a restaurant and befriends Mr. Panwallah, the watch repairer.  Back home in Thul, a rich family offers to help them and their mother is taken to a hospital for treatment.  And their father turns over a new leaf.  Hari returns to the village with plans to open a repair shop. Together, the whole family starts a small chicken farm. A helpful list of Indian words is included. mjw
Title: The Village By The Sea
Author: Anita Desai
Publisher
: New York Review of Books
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Heinemann. London
Original Copyright
: 1982
ISBN
: 978-1-68137-351-5
Paperback pages
: 263
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Thul and Bombay, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.A.
Awards
: 1983 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
Subjects
: Asia, Brothers and sisters, Family life, Family problems, Poverty, Rural life, Siblings

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

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

A Grain Of Rice

Thirteen-year-old Yen and her family live in rural Vietnam. A flood destroys their village.  Famine and persecution because they are of Chinese ancestry lead the family to flee from their war-torn homeland after the fall of Saigon.  They become boat people and are eventually rescued by the Malaysian Coast Guard. There is a glossary of Vietnamese words. The story is based on events from the author’s childhood. mjw
Title: A Grain Of Rice
Author: Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Publisher
: Tradewind Books. Vancouver
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-25-8
Paperback pages
: 154
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Vietnam
Author’s ethnicity
: Vietnamese
Author’s residence
: Edmonton, Alberta. Canada 
Subjects
: Famine Food, Persecution, Poverty, Prejudice, Refugees

Brave With Beauty: A Story Of Afghanistan

This beautiful book is the extraordinary story of Queen Goharshad, a 15thcentury monarch. She was an Afghani woman who was the wife of Sha Rikh.  Together they ruled over the empire of Khorasan that stretched from Turkey to China. Goharshad loved all things of beauty, including art, poetry, music, architecture, calligraphy, and the sciences. She “didn’t care a fig for war.” She was a strong woman whose mission was to bring beauty into the world. Goharshad was instrumental in the construction of a mosque, a university, and a library.  The book is filled with elaborate period illustrations and poems.  There is a guide with pronunciations of some of the words used in the story, an author’s note, and a guide for parents and educators.  A downloadable Activity Guide is included on the Yali Books website. mjw
Title: Brave With Beauty: A Story Of Afghanistan
Author: Maxine Rose Schur
Illustrator
: Patricia Grush, Robin Dewitt, Golsa Yaghoobi
Publisher
: Yali Books. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-949528-97-8
Hardcover pages
: 42
Age range
: 7-9
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction, Biography
Book setting
: Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Architecture, Beauty, Biographies, History, Queens, Royalty

Crossing The Farak River

Fourteen-year-old Hasina, her younger brother Araf, and her thirteen-year-old cousin Ghadiya are forced out of their home in the Rakhine province of Myanmar when the Sit Tat Myanmar Army invades one night.  They become separated from their parents.  They know to flee because they are persecuted Muslim Rohingyas. They run deep into the Rakhine forest to hide, but when they return to their village, it has been burned and mostly destroyed.  Their house is still standing, but their family is gone. Hasina is a strong, courageous character who fights for her family in this captivating account of the crisis in Myanmar. mjw
Title: Crossing The Farak River
Author: Michelle Aung Thin
Publisher
: Annick Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Hasina
Original Publisher
: Allen and Unwin. Australia
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-77321-396-5
Paperback pages
: 224
Age range
: 11 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Myanmar
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Burma, now Myanmar
Author’s residence
: Australia
Subjects
: Arakan, Buddhists, Burmese, Human trafficking, Muslims, Persecution, Rakhine State,Refugees, Rohingyas, Soldiers

A Place To Belong

World War II is over and Hanako and her family – her father, her mother, and little brother Akira – are moving to Japan.  They have been in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in America.  They have renounced their citizenship so they can leave the camp and return to Japan to live with Hanako’s grandparents on a tenant farm outside of Hiroshima.  They barely survive.  Hanako struggles to fit in as an outsider in her new home.  This is a moving book interspersed with black and white drawings. mjw
Title: A Place To Belong
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator
: Julia Kuo
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-481446648
Hardcover pages
: 416
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Hiroshima, Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: California, U.S.
Subjects
: Emigration and immigration, Hiroshima, Multigenerational family life, Japan, Japan history 1945