Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Wild Beast by Eric Walters and Illustrated by Sue Todd

A creation story originating from African folklore, The Wild Beast is a mythical guide through the universe revealing the birth of the sun, stars, earth and the animals that inhabit it. The world unfolds in uncomplicated fashion and fills in the emptiness that once was with an environmental message to take only what is needed and waste nothing.

The Creator uses feathers to build beasts for the skies, scales for beasts in the seas and fur for beasts on the ground. The world fills up with all kinds of beasts until it is full..and by collecting the leftover pieces of various animal parts, the last beasts are created. With a focus on the planet and animals, humans are absent in this story.

Vibrant and bold illustrations are throughout. The dark outlines will help younger readers to differentiate between the different animals when searching for their favourite ones. The illustrations are created with linoleum print and digital colour. Recommended for ages 4+.

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Orca Book Publishers 2018
Hardcover 32p
8.8" x 10.8"
The Wild Beast CoverThe Wild Beast Eric Walters Sue Todd creation of animalsThe Wild Beast Eric Walters Sue Todd the last beastThe Wild Beast Eric Walters Sue Todd filling the land

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful by Nancy Tupper Ling Illustrated by Andrea Offermann

Twins Wei and Mei work together to defend their village against a terrible dragon named Frightful. Wei is brave and impatient while Mei is timid and clever. A fun and exciting read, this modern fairy tale shows how two little girls use teamwork to overcome their obstacles. Wei trains hard at kung fu lessons and Mei studies hard at the library, reading and learning. By combining their strengths, the twins prove that girls can be strong and intelligent.

With influences from Chinese landscape painting, the illustrations lush and detailed, display a sense of authenticity to the land and culture of its subjects. The scenery and people are descriptive without being stereotypical. The art is done in watercolour, pen and ink with digital touch ups.

The book design is quite attractive as well, having two different covers. A dust jacket is always appreciated especially when the inner cover is as fierce as this one! The thick paper selected is also handy and durable as this book will most likely be read many times over. Recommended for ages 5+.

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G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers 2018
Hardcover 40p
7.7" x 11.9"
Yin-Yang Sisters Nancy Tupper Ling Andrea OffermannYin-Yang Sisters Living in fearYin-Yang Sisters Look!Yin-Yang Sisters endingYin-Yang Sisters umbrellaYin-Yang Sisters Mei working on umbrellaYin-Yang Sisters up and downYin-Yang Sisters dumplings

Friday, October 5, 2018

Time for Bed Miyuki by Roxane Marie Galliez and Illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh

As the sun begins to set, it is time for bed. Grandfather gently urges Miyuki to go to sleep but she is too busy doing everything else. A canopy must be made for the dragonfly queen, the vegetables have to be watered and the snails must be lead home. Follow along with Miyuki in this tender bedtime story celebrating family and nature as she attempts to evade sleep.

The illustrations created with watercolour and coloured pencil are a striking mix of textured patterns, bold colours and clean composition. The kimono, bento box, lucky cat (maneki-neko) and other Japanese cultural references and designs are showcased throughout.

The dialogue between grandfather and granddaughter is one of patience and simple enjoyment in each others company. A warm and calming read for little ones at bedtime with pictures that will create wonder leading to dreamland. First published in French as Au lit Miyuki by De La Martinière Groupe, Paris 2017. Recommended for ages 4+.

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Princeton Architectural Press 2018
Hardcover 26p
8.9" x 11.9"
Time for Bed Miyuki CoverTime for Bed Miyuki Kami TobiTime for Bed Miyuki CanopyTime for Bed Miyuki Last Dance

Friday, September 28, 2018

The House of Lost and Found by Martin Widmark and Illustrated by Emilia Dziubak

Niles, a lonely old man lives quietly in a secluded home. Just like its owner, the house is neglected and full of good memories of happier times. Unable to move on from his wife's passing, his thoughts of her linger in the house. He remembers his children who have now grown and left him. The thoughts of what used to be and what he has lost have made him bitter and longing for the past.

The mood is solemn and dark but not eerie. The memories while haunting are beautiful; he cannot let go. Niles lives a solitary existence until he meets a new friend and it changes his outlook on life. With a willingness to move forward, Niles is rejuvenated to reclaim his life and his home to make new memories.

This uplifting and meaningful story is by bestselling Swedish children's author Martin Widmark. The text is simple and the pacing just right, Niles' transformation from depressed to hopeful is unembellished and leaves room for thought. Emilia Dziubak uses coloured pencils for the illustrations here with an emphasis on light and dark. Rough strokes resemble old films. The memories are drawn like apparitions and the detailing of the flower petals as lingering memories is very touching and effective. This would make a great animated short film.

A book with similar themes to this is On the Other Side of the GardenEncouraging and hopeful, The House of Lost and Found is an excellent resource for children to understand and empathize with individuals dealing with grief. Originally published in Swedish as Huset som vaknade by Bonnier Carlsen Bokförlag 2017. Recommended for ages 5+.

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Floris Books 2018
Hardcover 40p
9" x 11.2"