Narnia Survives

Variety has the news that the Chronicles of Narnia film series will continue onward now with 20th Century Fox instead of Disney.  The Variety article also has the interesting news that Prince Caspian ranked No. 10 in global box office performance in 2008!  Whoa!  I would never have guessed that.

They are still looking to select a writer for Voyage of the Dawn Treader but are planning a summer start date if possible.

Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World

Wish: Wishing Traditions around the World by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Elisa Kleven.

Readers get the joy of moving from country to country and seeing how children make wishes in various cultures.  Each country gets a two-page spread with an explanation of the way to wish and the culture lovingly depicted in Kleven’s illustrations.  Though we move from country to country and each is seen as unique, there is also a strong sense of global community here all based on the common thread of the wish.  What a powerful symbol for everyone’s desire for a positive future in the world.

Thong’s paragraphs on how to make wishes are each accompanied by a four line poem.  One could read the book to smaller children and just share the short poems in each one, but most children will want all of the interesting details.  Thong has edited her paragraphs with great skill, harboring no repetition from country to country and being factual but fascinating at the same time.

Recommended for nonfiction collections in libraries that are looking for books that are friendly entry points to multiculturalism.  This makes a great book to cuddle up with and start a discussion on how we make wishes ourselves.  Appropriate for ages 4-7. 

Tsunami!

Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa, illustrated by Ed Young.

Ojiisan is the wealthiest person in his small village.  His wisdom has people walking the crooked track up the mountain to ask for his advice.  Ojiisan decides not to go to the rice harvest celebration in the village because something does not feel right to him.  So he watches the celebration from high above on the mountain.  When the first earthquake comes it doesn’t stop the celebration below.  Then Ojiisan sees the sea moving away from the shore, he realizes what is happening – tsunami!  But how can he warn the villagers celebrating below him?

This simple, strong story about one man’s sacrifice to save others in danger is breathtaking.  Young’s paper illustrations are gripping and fully capture the incredible strength of the disaster and the wonder of survival.  Kajikawa’s text is short, simple and even more effective for those reasons.  There is enough drama to carry the story forward without flowery language.

Highly recommended and timely, this book will not sit still on the shelf.  The cover alone will sell it and just wait until people take a peek inside!  Wonderful storytelling combined with great illustrations.  Appropriate for ages 4-8.