Tag Archives: Language

My Name Is Bana

my name is bana

Seven-year-old Bana, a Syrian girl from Aleppo, took to Twitter to describe her war-torn home. In this picture book memoir, she offers her perspective on the war and being a refugee. She explains the origin of her name. Bana is a tall bushy tree that grows in Syria. Her father and mother wanted her to be strong just like the tree – being kind to others, standing up against injustice, and being brave in the face of fear. She also shows her strength by bringing joy to her brothers amidst bombings, starting over in a new country, and speaking to world leaders on behalf of Syrian refugee children. The illustrations rendered in acrylic paint and finished in procreate are emotional and bright. Arabic words are smoothly integrated into the text. An author’s note tells that the book is based on a true story. mjw

Title: My Name Is Bana
Author: Bana Alabed
Illustrator
: Nez Riaz
Publisher
: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1534412484
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book, Autobiography
Book setting
: Syria and Turkey
Author’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Author’s residence
: Turkey
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Pakistani
Illustrator’s residence
: Boston, MA
Awards
: 2022 NCSS Notable Books
Subjects
: Autobiography, Biography, Children’s writings, Human rights, Refugee children, Syria – Civil War, Trees

The Library Bus

The Library Bus

Author Bahram Rahman grew up in Afghanistan during the civil war and Taliban regime of 1996-2001. His story was inspired by the first library bus in Kabul that brought books to girls in remote villages and refugee camps who had no other access to education. Five-year-old Pari is starting her first day as her mother’s helper on the library bus. The girls in the villages and camps are learning English, but Pari cannot even read or write in Farsi yet. She is lucky that she will attend school next year. Her mother had to learn in secret because not long ago, girls were forbidden to read. The captivating watercolor and digital media artwork portrays the girls’ smiling faces, the rich landscape of Afghanistan, and the power of education. Included are notes about refugee camps and the author’s experiences in Kabul. mjw

Title: The Library Bus
Author: Bahram Rahman
Illustrator
: Gabrielle Grimard
Publisher
: Pajama Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-101-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Kabul, Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: born in Kabul, Afghanistan
Author’s residence
: Ontario, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: born in Montreal
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award, 2021 Middle East Book Award Winner, 2021 Sout Asian Book Award – Highly recommended book
Subjects
: Books, Education, Libraries, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Reading, Refugees

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

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

Christmas Is Coming: Traditions From Around The World

Christmas Is ComingAn international collection of legends, histories, traditions, and celebrations from around the world is included in this beautifully illustrated and detailed book. Thirty-nine brief sections take readers from Greece to Ethiopia, explaining many diverse perspectives. The book is organized by topics listed in the table of contents. Intriguing stories include Why do we decorate Christmas trees?, Why are there so many Christmas markets in Germany?, How the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree originated?, and much more. A glossary lists the words for Merry Christmas and Santa Claus in many different languages. mjw
Title: Christmas Is Coming: Traditions From Around The World
Author: Monika Utnik Strugala
Illustrator
: Ewa Poklewska Kozietto
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Polish
Translator
: Antonia Lloud-Jones
Original Title
: Ida swieta!
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG, Zurich
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4443-8
Hardcover pages
: 136
Age range
: 7 up
Genre
: Information Book, Nonfiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Polish
Author’s residence
: Italy
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Polish
Illustrator’s residence
: Poland
Subjects
:  Celebrations, Christmas, Customs, Traditions

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

Peace

Peace

This rhyming concept book explores peace for children. “Peace is a smile, a hug. Peace can be bold or quiet and snug.” At the end of the book, fold-out pages reveal children in delightful, peaceful interactions. The children in the colorful illustrations are diverse in skin color and abilities. Many of the animals in the book are cultural symbols of peace from nations around the world. The endpapers depict a tree, with the leaves showing the word for peace in many different languages. An author’s note tells how peace affects all inhabitants of our planet. A Spanish edition is also available. 978-0-7358-4455-1. mjw

Title: Peace
Author: Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul
Illustrator
: Esteli Meza
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4449-0
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Baptiste- grew up in Saint Lucia
Author’s residence
: Baptiste and Miranda – Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Mexican
Illustrator’s residence
: Mexico City
Awards
: Illustrator has won A la Orilla del Viento in Mexico
Subjects
: Friendship, Interpersonal relations, Peace, Stories in rhyme

Digging For Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez And The Library He Built

This picture book is based on the true story of Jose Alberto Gutierrez, a Colombian garbageman, who rescues thrown-away books from the trash and has created a library in his home. Local children look forward to Saturdays when they can visit Jose’s Paradise Library and be transported by the magic of the stories. Spanish words are integrated smoothly into the text. The beautiful illustrations were rendered digitally. An author’s note supplies photographs and biographical information about Jose Albert Gutierrez. A section called Featured Books describes several references to books that have been showcased in the illustrations. A Spanish edition of the book is also available.. mjw
Title: Digging For Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez And The Library He Built
Author: Angela Burke Kunkel
Illustrator
: Paola Escobar
Publisher
: Schwartz & Wade Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-9848-9263-8
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Bogota, Colombia
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Colombian
Illustrator’s residence
: Bogota, Colombia
Subjects
: Bogota, Colombia; Books and reading; Latin American history; Libraries, South America books

Ritu Weds Chandni

Young Ayesha can’t wait for her cousin Ritu’s wedding. She is excited about dressing up and dancing in the baraat – the wedding procession. Ayesha’s mother thinks that not everyone will be pleased seeing Ritu leading the lively procession that the groom usually leads. Ritu is marrying her girlfriend Chandni and some people do not understand that kind of love. The vivid illustrations are filled with details, like the lovely red lehengas of the brides and their henna-decorated hands. A helpful glossary explains Hindi words used in the text and an author’s note tells that same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in India. mjw
Title: Ritu Weds Chandni
Author: Ameya Narvankar
Illustrator
: Ameya Narvankar
Publisher
: Yali Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-949528-94-7
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 5-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Subjects
: Bigotry, Gay weddings, Hindi, Hinduism, Intolerance, Prejudice, Weddings

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

Continue reading

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