Morris Mickelwhite, son of Moira and roommate of Moo the cat, is a character. He's creative and strong and unique. When he hits a snag he takes a moment out then dusts himself off and comes back up again.
Morris loves to play dress up in a tangerine dress, and I'm sure you can imagine the comments he gets from school mates. These comments about something he love give him a stomachache. Taking time off to regroup with his mother, his cat, and his imagination gives him the confidence to go into school and blaze his own path.
I have read a lot of "issue" books and it just doesn't work if the quality isn't there. In this case the storytelling, the character building, and the artwork are well beyond what you would expect of a normal picture book. Baldacchino uses great use of onomatopoeia to bring interest to younger readers as well as older readers who will enjoy the story and characters.
Morris isn't the only the star character. Malenfant uses the same deft hand for the moving expressions on Morris' face as she does to bring the tangerine dress to life. Make no mistake, this dress will be as fascinating to most readers as to Morris. Malenfant's charcoal, watercolour and pastel illustrations draw your eye to that dress and make you realize just why he has such a yearning for it.
This is more than just an issue book. Yes, it breaks gender stereotypes and gives a great role model for going your own way, but the reason you'll re-read it is because of the stunning artwork and the way the words work perfectly together. (less)
Probably the funniest Scaredy Squirrel book yet- and that's saying something. A frightening holiday is perfect for our less-than-courageous hero. The...moreProbably the funniest Scaredy Squirrel book yet- and that's saying something. A frightening holiday is perfect for our less-than-courageous hero. The costume ideas alone provoked giggles from all family members. Definitely a book for Halloween and Scaredy Squirrel fans to pick up!!(less)
This is an amazing but simple easy reader about a multi-generational and inter-racial family. These kinds of families are rare in North America and ev...moreThis is an amazing but simple easy reader about a multi-generational and inter-racial family. These kinds of families are rare in North America and even rarer in picture books, but it is lovely to see that in this book it is just quietly accepted as the way the family is. My kids were happy to see kids who look like them.(less)
Ohi's take on the effect of the 2011 Tohoku disaster on one little boy and the bonds it created is not to be missed.
The sentences are simple and the...moreOhi's take on the effect of the 2011 Tohoku disaster on one little boy and the bonds it created is not to be missed.
The sentences are simple and the illustrations are powerful. Although the most sensitive of children affected by this disaster may have a difficult time with this book, it will help others work through their feelings. Highly recommended to all kidlit lovers and people with an interest in Japan.(less)
The illustrations show music as magic spells affecting those with open hearts. Masterful use of colour coupled with a story based on true events makes...moreThe illustrations show music as magic spells affecting those with open hearts. Masterful use of colour coupled with a story based on true events makes for a brilliant picture book.(less)
When I Was Eight is a younger version of 2010's USBBY Outstanding International Book, Fatty Legs. The story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's time in a residential school is more detailed in the middle grade novel, but this picture book has the same message of the triumph of the individual no matter the circumstances.(less)
This is an extremely simple math concept book that introduces fractions and cooking to kindergarten-aged children. My son has been borrowing math conc...moreThis is an extremely simple math concept book that introduces fractions and cooking to kindergarten-aged children. My son has been borrowing math concept books from his school library in Japanese, and I found this in English to match his interest.
The premise of this book is simple- two kids eating various foods and figuring out how to share them, by dividing them in halves, thirds, and fourths. There are only a few words on each page- which definitely agrees with my first grader! It is not by any means a book to help kids who are actually learning fractions at school in Grade 2 or 3, just a basic introduction.
The colours are bright and there are a variety of foods, mostly in the dessert category, and they are all vegetarian-friendly. The appendix gives recipes for all as well as ideas on how to involve the kids while cooking so they can see fractions at work (with half teaspoons etc.), which is very helpful.
The book has a mix of basic illustrations and photographs. This is an early 90s book and the photographs are dated. I think that might be a minus for some but I quite enjoyed it, as it reminds me of my childhood (and yes, I had a haircut exactly like one of the two kids!). I really like that the boy is wearing pink. I doubt that would happen in a book produced in this day and age. Sometimes we are not always moving forward.
The other part which might be a minus is that one of the foods, a Wiggle Pear Salad, looks absolutely disgusting. But that makes it hilarious to my kids. So I'll knock another one into the plus column. (less)
Emily Carr is probably Canada's most famous artist. She captures a way of life in Pacific Canada that was soon changed irrevocably, and her respect for nature and modern methods are still influencing artists today.
The book is divided into four parts, so each of Carr's pictures symbolizes a time period and artistic style in her life. The themes of depression, standing out from society, and the meaning of art make this more suitable to junior high students and older than for younger kids. Not only does it introduce Carr and the Group of Seven, it also gives a glimpse into Victorian times and turn-of-the-century Canadian society.
The endpapers of this book are beautiful, a collection of Carr's sketches of Coastal First Nations motifs including the totems for which she is famous on a beautiful red paper. The quality is first-rate, just like the rest of the book. (less)