Two Illustrated Books on Fantasy, Assumptions, and Imagination

I read two picture books a while ago: one about the imagination and another about a fantastic adventure. The first, Milo Imagines the World, is about a boy using his imagination to understand the world and how diverse and complicated it can be. It’s not easy, he realizes, to assume what a person’s life is like just by looking at them. The second book, Grand Isle, is about a pair of siblings who venture on a grand adventure at the beach. I enjoyed both.


Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson

Genre

Contemporary

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2021

From Goodreads

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There’s the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There’s the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there’s the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo — walking the same path, going to the exact same place — Milo realizes that you can’t really know anyone just by looking at them. (Goodreads)

Continue reading “Two Illustrated Books on Fantasy, Assumptions, and Imagination”

Three Illustrated Books by Akiko Miyakoshi

After reading the three books by Miyakoshi below, I now consider myself a fan of her work. I love her illustrations. They have a coziness to them that greatly appeals to me. I also like her stories. The ones here are charming, relatable, and fantastic. They do a great job depicting a child’s voice, and I had a wonderful time reading them, although I’m not a fan of the endings. They tend to fall a little short for me. Anyway, here are more details on what I read.


The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi (illus.), transl. from the Japanese by Kids Can Press

Genre

Children Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2010

(Goodreads)


My thoughts

I began my introduction to Miyakoshi’s work by reading The Tea Party in the Woods, a charming story about a girl who befriends animals she met at a tea party in the woods.

Because it had snowed all night, Kikko’s father decides to visit grandma’s house, which is on the other side of the woods, to clear the walk for her. But he forgot the pie for grandma. Believing she can quickly catch up to her father, Kikko decides to follow his footsteps in the snow to take the pie to grandma. But on the way through the woods, Kikko arrives at a tea party with a bunch of animals in attendance.

Continue reading “Three Illustrated Books by Akiko Miyakoshi”

Two Illustrated Books on the Ramayana

So a couple months ago, I read two children’s books that retell the classic Hindu tale, the Ramayana. My knowledge of Hinduism is VERY limited — I only know the names of a few of the gods — so when I picked up Ramayana: Divine Loophole (which I read first), I did so assuming the it was a children’s fantasy book. It wasn’t until I started reading that I learned it’s an essential part of Hindu mythology.


Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel (illus.)

Genre

MG Classic; Mythology

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2010

From Goodreads

Artist and veteran Pixar animator Sanjay Patel lends a lush, whimsical illustration style and lighthearted voice to one of Hindu mythology’s best-loved and most enduring tales. Teeming with powerful deities, love-struck monsters, flying monkey gods, magic weapons, demon armies, and divine love, Ramayana tells the story of Rama, a god-turned-prince, and his quest to rescue his wife Sita after she is kidnapped by a demon king.

Continue reading “Two Illustrated Books on the Ramayana”

Illustrated Books: “Oona” & “The Widow’s Broom”

I love picture books and can’t get enough of them. Here are two I read back in May for Wyrd & Wonder, a celebration of all things fantasy. One is about a little mermaid searching for treasure and the other is about a widow who acquired a witch’s broom.


Oona by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Raissa Figueroa

Genre

Children’s Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2021

From Goodreads

Meet Oona. The big sea’s littlest mischief maker.

She and her best friend, Otto, love to search for treasure . . . but often find trouble instead.

Messy trouble.

Tricky trouble.

Continue reading “Illustrated Books: “Oona” & “The Widow’s Broom””

“Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest” by Phoebe Wahl (illus.)

I enjoy reading picture books, so I requested this one from NetGalley when I saw it was available. I’ve never read any of the author’s books before. Instead, I was drawn to this because of its title. I like stories about witches, whether it’s a novel, comic book, manga, or picture book.

(Although I received an e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley, my review below is my honest opinion of the book.)


Genre

Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pub

September 21, 2021

From Goodreads

An earthy and beautiful collection of four stories that celebrate the seasons, nature, and life, from award-winning author-illustrator Phoebe Wahl.

Little Witch Hazel is a tiny witch who lives in the forest, helping creatures big and small. She’s a midwife, an intrepid explorer, a hard worker and a kind friend.

Continue reading ““Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest” by Phoebe Wahl (illus.)”

“Ocean Meets Sky” by the Fan Brothers (illus.) — Terry & Eric Fan

I had no idea what this story was about before reading it. I bought it solely because of the cover, which is amazing. I love the illustrations.

Genre:

Fantasy

Series:

n/a

Pubbed:

2018

Goodreads summary:

Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float.

Continue reading ““Ocean Meets Sky” by the Fan Brothers (illus.) — Terry & Eric Fan”

“Rocket Says Look Up!” by Nathan Bryon, illus. by Dapo Adeola

I bought this shortly after doing my post on picture books by Black authors. Actually, I bought a couple books after that post — I couldn’t help it. But I’m glad I got this one. It was a good read.

Genre:

Children’s Contemporary

Series:

n/a

Pubbed:

2019

Goodreads summary:

Meet Rocket — a plucky aspiring astronaut intent on getting her community to LOOK UP! from what they’re doing and reach for the stars in this auspicious debut picture book.

A comet will be visible tonight, and Rocket wants everyone to see it with her — even her big brother, Jamal, whose attention is usually trained on his phone or video games. Rocket’s enthusiasm brings neighbors and family together to witness a once-in-a-lifetime sighting. Perfect for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and young science lovers excited about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Look Up! will inspire readers of all ages to dream big as it models Rocket’s passion for science and infectious curiosity. (Goodreads)

Continue reading ““Rocket Says Look Up!” by Nathan Bryon, illus. by Dapo Adeola”

“Julia’s House Moves On” by Ben Hatke (illus.)

I’ve been curious about Ben Hatke’s work for some time now and have wanted to read his Nobody Likes a Goblin, but I keep forgetting to get myself a copy. So, when I saw the cover of Julia’s House Moves On on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read it and was glad that I was granted access to it. So shout out to the publisher — First Second. (Thanks!)

(So yea, I got an ARC from the publisher, but my review below is my honest opinion of the book.)

Genre:

Children’s Fantasy

Series:

n/a (but there’s a book before this one with the same protagonist called Julia’s House for Lost Creatures)

Continue reading ““Julia’s House Moves On” by Ben Hatke (illus.)”

Illustrated Books: “The Book with No Pictures,” “Hello Lighthouse,” and “Spot & Dot”

I read these three picture books for the OWLs readathon back in April. It had been a while since I’d read a picture book and since I had one out from the library and many unread on my bookshelves, I decided to give in and read some of my favorite types of books.

These three are very different from each other. Spot & Dot is a wordless picture book and the second in a series, while The Book With No Pictures has nothing but words. However, Hello Lighthouse is like your typical picture book that uses both pictures and words to tell the story.


The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Genre:

Children Humor

Pubbed:

2014

Goodreads summary:

At once disarmingly simple and ingeniously imaginative, The Book With No Pictures inspires laughter every time it is opened, creating a warm and joyous experience to share — and introducing young children to the powerful idea that the written word can be an unending source of mischief and delight. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Of the three, The Book with No Pictures is my absolute favorite. Oh my gosh! It’s charming, it’s simple, it’s funny. It was a delight to read and is even more fun when read aloud. I didn’t have anyone to read aloud to, so I read aloud to myself. 😥

Continue reading “Illustrated Books: “The Book with No Pictures,” “Hello Lighthouse,” and “Spot & Dot””

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy (illus.)

A beautifully illustrated children’s book about friendship.

Genre:

Children’s…. Self-Help?

Pubbed:

October 2019

Goodreads summary:

Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together.

Radiant with Mackesy’s warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including “Help,” which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come. (Goodreads)

Continue reading ““The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy (illus.)”