Kids Indie Next List – Summer 2019

The Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List has been released. It features books for children and teens that are recommendations from independent booksellers. You can click through for all of the lists. Here are the Top 10 books:

If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Loren Long

The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry, illustrated by Monica Armino

This Week’s Tweets

Here are the items I shared on Twitter this week:

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CHILDREN’S BOOKS

During #LatinoBooksMonth we’re celebrating Latino authors, illustrators and books that highlight Latino culture and Latin-American identity! Check out a full range of titles here: bit.ly/2WDSlcO

Hate Reading? Do It Anyway! | ShelfTalker buff.ly/2Vuf8eE #Reading

Problematic Patterns In White Narratives About BIPOC Critique buff.ly/2LBayGN #kidlit #yalit

LIBRARIES

Diversity and inclusion: More than books on the shelves: Latest Library Links – https://t.co/QwDgYtRX7R

YA LIT

10 Great Standalone YA Fantasy Books buff.ly/30rSAu2 #yalit

11 Books With South Asian Characters You Should Read in 2019 teenvogue.com/gallery/south-… via @pooja_makhijani @TeenVogue

Finding Diverse Books yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2019/05…

2019 South Asia Book Awards

The 2019 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature has been announced. There are two winners, three honor books, and four highly commended books! I haven’t heard of several of them, so this list of award winners is a real treat to explore. Here are the winners:

WINNERS

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Claire A. Nivola

 

HONOR BOOKS

The Eleventh Trade by Alyssa Hollingsworth

Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea by Elizabeth Suneby, illustrated by Rebecca Green

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED BOOKS

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Farmer Falgu Goes to Kumbh Mela by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Kanika Nair

I Need to Pee by Neha Singh, illustrated by Meenal Singh and Erik Egerup

Maccher Jhol by Richa Jha, illustrated by Sumanta Dey

Room in Your Heart by Kunzang Choden, illustrated by Pema Tshering

Review: The Last Peach by Gus Gordon

The Last Peach by Gus Gordon

The Last Peach by Gus Gordon (9781626723504)

Released May 16, 2019.

Two bugs happen upon the last peach of the summer, still hanging high in the peach tree. The two agree that is is the most beautiful peach they have seen that year. They decide to eat it immediately, until a grasshopper mentions that it must be the last peach of the season. They once again decide to go ahead and eat it. Then another insect says that it is probably rotten inside. The two go back and forth about whether to eat it. Maybe just one little bite? Maybe they should share it with everyone else? Maybe they should just leave it? Or perhaps each of them just wants it for their own. In the end, the two walk away from the glorious peach. But is it a peach after all?

Gordon is an Australian author and illustrator. Writing solely in dialogue in this picture book, he captures what friendship looks like with its give and take. He also shows how small decisions can become major friction in a friendship and how not to navigate those issues, since our bug friends get in a brawl because of it. This picture book reads aloud beautifully and could quickly be turned into a reader’s theater. The illustrations are done in collage that skillfully uses a variety of different types of paper that pops against the white background. The result is a minimalist feel with great pops of green and peachy colors. The twist at the end, revealed only in the illustrations adds a sense of delight to the entire book.

A tantalizing peach of a book. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Roaring Brook Press.

Review: When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (9781620148372)

At birth, everyone thought Aidan was a girl. But as Aidan grew up, he didn’t like his name, the way his room was decorated, or wearing girl clothes. Aidan cut his hair off, realizing that he was a boy. He told his parents, and they learned from other families what having a transgender child is all about. Aidan picked his new name, they changed his bedroom into one that felt right, and he liked his new clothes. Then Aidan’s mother got pregnant. Aidan loved helping pick clothes for the baby, paint colors for the nursery, and even the baby’s name. But when people asked Aidan if he wanted a little brother or little sister, Aidan didn’t know how to answer. As the big day approached, Aidan worried about being a good big brother. Happily, his mother was there to explain that no matter who the new baby turned out to be, they would be so lucky to have Aidan as a brother.

Lukoff has created an #ownvoices picture book that truly celebrates a child who deeply understands their gender identity to be different from the one they were assigned at birth. The reaction of the supportive parents is beautiful to see in a picture book format as they work with Aidan not only to be able to express himself fully but also to be able to work through natural fears with a new baby. Those fears and the inevitable discussions of gender of a baby are vital parts of the story and allow readers to realize how deeply ingrained gender is in so many parts of our lives.

The illustrations by Juanita are full of energy and show a child with a flair for fashion who expresses himself clearly as a boy. His facial expressions change from his deep unhappiness when he is being treated as a girl to delight at being able to express himself as the boy he truly is. The depiction of a loving family of color handling these intersectionality issues so lovingly is also great to see.

As the parent of a transgender person, this is exactly the sort of picture book our families need and other families must read. Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Lee & Low Books.

Review: Your Turn, Adrian by Helena Oberg

Your Turn, Adrian by Helena Oberg

Your Turn, Adrian by Helena Oberg, illustrated by Kristin Lidstrom, translated by Eva Apelqvist (9781773061498)

Adrian doesn’t fit in at school. Bullied by some of the kids in the schoolyard, he spends his time in class hoping not to be called on. When he is, his heart pounds and his mind goes blank. He can’t answer even the easiest of questions out loud. He spends lunch alone and his recess dangling from tree branches. On his way home, he does head stands and walks on his hands. At home, his father works early and his mother works late, Then Adrian meets Heidi, a large wolfhound, who bonds with him immediately. The two of them spend all of their time together, she even goes with him to school. With Heidi at his side, Adrian doesn’t need to worry about bullies and he can focus in class and answer questions. But Heidi was someone else’s dog, and eventually Heidi found her owner again. Adrian was left alone again, missing Heidi dreadfully. Until Heidi found him again too. Adrian got to meet Heidi’s owner, and discovered a world of tightropes and performances.

This unique and fascinating book explores the life of a lonely boy who is different than the other children. He is quiet, unpopular and prone to anxiety, and yet he is also brave as he swings from tree branches and does hand stands on ledges. The text in the book is minimal with many of the pages showing only the illustrations and not having any words on them. The words often downplay the emotions that Adrian is feeling, though after he loses Heidi, his grief is palpable in both words and illustrations.

The illustrations are truly the heart of the book. They move from multi-paneled pencil drawings to full two-page paintings. The pencil drawings show Adrian’s everyday life while the large illustrations capture his emotions with a lush clarity. The small moments captured in Adrian’s day make up his life, one after another, small and yet also meaningful.

An incredibly moving graphic novel that invites readers to see beyond a person’s surface. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Groundwood Books.

British Book Awards 2019

The British Book Award winners were announced on Monday evening. The awards are given for adult and children’s books. Here are the juvenile winners:

CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR

The Ice Monster

The Ice Monster by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross

 

CHILDREN’S ILLUSTRATED AND NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR

You Are Awesome: Find Your Confidence and Dare to be Brilliant at (Almost) Anything: The Number One Bestseller

You Are Awesome by Matthew Syed

 

 

Review: ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raul the Third

Vamos Let's Go to the Market by Raul the Third

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raul the Third (9781328557261)

The Pura Belpré Award-winning illustrator of Lowriders in Space returns with his first picture book. Little Lobo takes his dog Bernabe along as he delivers supplies around the market to different vendors. After Kooky Dooky wakes them up in the morning, the wagon is loaded and they head into town. Everyone there has a different job and on the bustling pages, readers can take a look at what different creatures in town are doing. As Little Lobo makes his way past the various stalls, readers get to see inside them even if they don’t have a delivery that day. There are vendors of comic books, puppets, hats, herbs, food and more. At the end of the day, Lobo delivers golden laces to the final vendor and discovers that his favorite luchadore is actually there!

Told in an engaging mix of Spanish and English, the picture book also has Spanish labels for different items in the picture and English translations to Spanish sentences at the bottom of the page. The entire book invites readers to try reading English and Spanish as they explore the market. The use of a strong structure like delivering packages allows the images to be more free flowing without losing the story line.

The pace of the book is brisk and yet readers will need to linger over the illustrations and explore them fully. They have the busy nature of a Richard Scarry with a modern feel. Exploring the various animals on the page is great fun as is looking at the smaller stories being told in images only as Lobo goes through the market.

A top pick for this year, every library should have this rich and vibrant book. Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: The Night Bear by Ana and Thiago de Moraes

The Night Bear by Ana and Thiago de Moraes

The Night Bear by Ana and Thiago de Moraes (9781541555099)

At night, the Night Bear takes the night bus and heads out searching for his favorite nighttime meal, nightmares. Each type of nightmare tastes different from the others, but equally delicious. “Monsters with hideous eyes taste like burgers and fries.” “Scary pirates being mean taste like strawberries and cream.” On and on the Night Bear munches until he comes to one package of dreams he thinks is completely disgusting! It’s rainbows and unicorns, ick! So the Night Bear heads out to see if he can give it to a dreamer. He discovers a child who is awake in the middle of the night because of a bad dream and exchanges his awful unicorns for the child’s spiders and snakes (that taste like chocolate cake!)

The rhyming here is what makes the book a great success. It has a wonderful galloping pace as well as being filled with delicious surprises as each nightmare has a distinct and fully-described flavor. That pace nicely slows as the bear looks for a child to share the unicorns with and then picks up again at the end. The illustrations are filled with deep colors of night and vivid depictions of the various nightmares combined with the flavors they have.

Whether you find nightmares or rainbows delicious, this book is just the right flavor. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy provided by Andersen Press.