Author: Tasha

Librarian for over 20 years who loves children's books, blogging and reading.

2017 CBI Awards

CBI

Children’s Books Ireland has announced the winners of their 2017 awards.

BOOK OF THE YEAR and HONOUR AWARD FOR ILLUSTRATION

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Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton

HONOUR AWARD FOR FICTION

Needlework

Needlework by Dierdre Sullivan

JUDGES’ SPECIAL AWARD

Bliain na nAmhran Book Cover

Bliain na nAmhrán by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagaín, Jennifer Farley, Brian Fitzpatrick, Tarsila Krüse and Christina O’Donovan

EILIS DILLON AWARD for FIRST CHILDREN’S BOOK

The Ministry of SUITs

The Ministry of Strange, Unusual and Impossible Things by Paul Gamble

 

This Week’s Tweets, Pins and Tumbls

Here are some cool links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week:

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

10 lessons from Anne of Green Gables: https://t.co/oUPjn96Sy5

20 Picture Books with African American Girl Characters: https://t.co/ghveWIEDtR

25+ Must-Have Books and Series to Engage Reluctant Readers via

BookExpo 2017: A Children’s Books Guide

Cops warn ‘Harry Potter’ fans to stop walking on famed train tracks |

Drag Queens Are Public Libraries’ Newest Storytellers

First Look: New Project and a Cannes Premiere for Brian Selznick

Four Truths About Reading I Learned from My Children |  : https://t.co/0Clded18Yl

Graphic novels are a great way to introduce complex stories to young readers! Some of our favorites:

Rethinking & Examining Dr. Seuss’ Racism via

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LIBRARIES

ALA responds to the President’s 2018 budget proposal, which effectively eliminates federal library funding

Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago!

TEEN LIT

30+ of Your Fave Under-the-Radar YA Fantasies. Did your favorite under-the-radar YA fantasy novel make the list?

Mariko Tamaki seeks ‘shift in stories about queer people’ in young adult fiction

Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman

Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman

Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Divya Srinivasan (9780062399618, Amazon)

A princess who is blind also doesn’t speak. Her parents, the Rajah and the Rani, offer a place in the palace and other rewards to anyone who can get Cinnamon to talk. Though the kingdom is remote, people journey there to try but no one was successful. The one day a talking tiger came to the palace and offered to help. Though everyone was frightened, Cinnamon’s parents allowed the tiger to try. Using a series of experiences like pain, fear and love, the tiger proceeded to tell Cinnamon stories. The next morning, the princess was able to talk but things don’t quite go according to plan.

Gaiman excels at writing books with a deep ambiguity and no pressure to have a moral or lesson at the end. This book has exactly that and it is why the book works to very well. He embraces the questions, allows the wonder to simply be there, and twists the story away from where traditional tales would end and towards a more shifting place that allows more dreaming.

The illustrations firmly place this book of a mythical India. Filled with rich colors, they have a distinct flatness to them that works well with a folktale subject like this. They are also filled with small details that adds a delicacy and luxuriance to the images.

Great illustrations bring this book previously only available on audio into the world of children and stories. Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from library copy.

Deep in the Woods by Christopher Corr

Deep in the Woods by Christopher Corr

Deep in the Woods by Christopher Corr (9781847807267, Amazon)

This picture book is a retelling of a classic Russian folktale. In the woods, there stands a little wooden house with nine windows and a red front door. When a little mouse discovers that it would make a perfect home, he is soon joined by several other animals until all of the windows and rooms are filled with happy animals living together. When a bear discovers the house though, he is far too large to even get in the red door. He keeps trying to enter the house and climbs onto the roof which collapses the house and smashes it. What can be done to fix everything?

Corr keeps the text nice and simple throughout the story, creating almost a cumulative tale as one animal after the other joins in the group living in the house. For each animal, there are repeated phrases used and they approach, ask to live there and are accepted one after the other. This repetition is nicely done, not overworked and will make the story work well for very small children. The bear’s approach cleverly breaks the pattern established and signals how different he is from the others immediately. The writing is smart and effective.

The cover of the book does not fully show the brightness of the illustrations inside. They are neon bright and almost light the page with their neon pinks, oranges and reds. The red door of the house is wildly bright as are the animals themselves. The illustrations have stylized elements like the sun in the sky and the different trees in the woods. Toadstools and mushrooms carpet the ground that can be yellow, green, purple or blue.

Wild colors add a modern touch to this traditional tale. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Secrets I Know by Kallie George

Secrets I Know by Kallie George

Secrets I Know by Kallie George, illustrated by Paola Zakimi (9781101938935, Amazon)

A little girl spends a rainy day playing in her backyard and sharing secrets with the reader. She knows lots of secrets like secrets are for whispering and whispers hide in trees. She uses the tree as an umbrella and then her umbrella as a boat for her toys. She and her puppy play in the sandbox and have a tea party there, the sunshine sweetening the tea. A friend joins her and they play dress up and then head outside to the trees once again when darkness falls and the stars come out.

George writes with a poetic simplicity here. In the little girl’s voice, she chains together the different experiences she is having, each one leading naturally to the next. It’s rather like a daisy-chain of a picture book spent outside and having a wonderful time whether on her own or with a friend.

Zakimi’s illustrations are detailed and filled with warmth. The blustery and rainy day is shown as an opportunity to play outside and have fun, not as anything that limits activities. Even darkness can’t stop the little girl from enjoying herself outdoors as stars fill the sky. The use of just one backyard as the canvas for the day shows how large imagination can be and how much fun can be had.

A simple book with lots of big ideas, this picture book shows how any day can be a special one. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from e-galley received from Edelweiss and Schwartz & Wade Books.