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Based on Quintero’s own experiences as a child with her father, the author brings together the past (the races they had on what is now the main street), present (the dog chasing them, and their favorite shaved ice place closed) and future (a cart that sells shaved ice). The sense of family and community is loudly and boldly presented with great illustrations by Zeke Pena and Quintero’s text. The colors of the neighborhood, the blurs of what you see on the back of a motorcycle, and the fun details come to life. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette
Lupita Nyong’o has created a picture book that deals with the issue of loving yourself. Growing up darker than her family, Nyong’o always wanted to change her looks; wanted to be lighter, like her own family and like her character, Sulwe. And while the two took different journeys, the ending is the same. They both came to love who they were: inside and out. Warm and outrageously gorgeous colors, Harrison paints a picture of a young girl who would do anything to be different, but eventually learns to live up to her name, the star. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette
The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown is that Barnett created a book that that must experienced. It will bring strong emotions to the forefront. It is illogical in its logic. This is not a biography, though it is. It does not take you from point A to point B smoothly. It is one long, unique poem. It talks about how good books are not always for everyone. And that they are not always about things that some people “think books should be about” and especially not books “for children.” Dare I say this book is a book of philosophy? Dare I say that it is a straight forward story about things, people, places, a person, events and so much more, but you will wonder about everything due to the twists, turns and sidebars taken. And Jacoby’s illustrations play with color and form just like Barnett does with the text making the two the perfect combination. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette
There are elements of classic fantasy and science fiction and yet, total realism fills each page. There is the gritty realism of war, peace and the fragility of values, morality and forced peace. There is a story that literally seems to go about as quickly as the work on the road the main characters are building (only inches at a time). Nothing really happens, yet everything happens. There are no flashy “shoot outs” or “car chases”, but there is the action of trying to keep yourself safe in the middle of a country torn apart by decades of fighting. There are the consequences of your actions. The war-torn landscape will remind you of historical battles (WWII Europe) or modern battles (Syria). This is every country and no country. While a book this size should take one only a few hours of uninterrupted reading, do not rush through. There is too much going on and the ending itself will take time to digest. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette
If you watched the news during June and July 2018 you know much of Titan and his Wild Boar teammates story. Twelve boys and their coach were trapped in a cave for 18 days. However, Hood and Sornhiran’s story is more centered around the feelings and the boys themselves. You also see the divers of the rescue teams, other people behind the scenes and have a more personal relationship with the story. The afterwards give you many of the facts that you would have seen on television and read about but bring them together in one place to tie everything together. Phumiruk’s illustrations bring the story alive. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette