Picture Books I’ve Read So Far | July 2022

Let’s talk some more about the picture books I’ve read so far this year. They aren’t many.

In addition to Every Tree Has a Story, which I reviewed last week, I’ve managed to read only three other children’s picture books. The other three also contain patterned illustrations and touch on nature in some way. They are all beautiful products.


How the Stars Came to Be by Poonam Mistry (illus.)

Genre

Kids Fantasy — Folklore

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2020

From Goodreads

Have you ever wondered how the stars came to be in the sky?

The Fisherman’s Daughter loved to dance in the sunlight, and bathe in the glow of the moon. But when the moon disappeared for a few nights each month, she worried about her father and how he would find his way home from the sea in the deep darkness. When the sun finds her sobbing one night, he takes one of his rays and shatters it onto the ground, creating the stars and giving the girl the task of putting them into the dark night sky. This beautifully illustrated story gives us a new folk tale, and a new way to look up at the night sky. (Goodreads)


My thoughts

How the Stars Came to Be tells the story about how the stars in the sky were made. A girl was worried about her father fishing at night and being unable to find his way home whenever the moon disappeared. So the sun shattered one of its rays so the girl could use it to create stars in the sky.

Continue reading “Picture Books I’ve Read So Far | July 2022”

“Every Tree Has a Story” by Cécile Benoist, transl. from the French by Sylvia Rucker, illus. by Charlotte Gastaut

This is such a gorgeous book, and I’m so glad I bought it and FINALLY got around to reading it. I picked it up at one of my favorite bookstores because I couldn’t look away from the cover. I was transfixed by the illustration and knew I had to own a copy, and now after reading it, I’m glad to have this as part of my collection.


Genre

Kids Nonfiction — Nature & Environment

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2018

From Goodreads

This visually stunning book is an exploration of unique trees—from the tallest Sequoia in California, to a very special forest in India, to a lone Acacia in the Sahara desert—offering a window into different cultures around the world.

Spectacular art enhances twenty fascinating stories about unique species, traditions, and the people who both nurture and destroy different trees from every corner of the world. This beautiful book improbably tells the story of women’s equality in India; endangered species in the Seychelle Islands; and the green belt movement in Kenya—among other true tales of the tallest, broadest, most interesting, significant trees on every continent.

Continue reading ““Every Tree Has a Story” by Cécile Benoist, transl. from the French by Sylvia Rucker, illus. by Charlotte Gastaut”

Last Couple Books Read in 2021

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review, and whenever this happens, I feel as if I’ve forgotten how to write them. That’s how I feel now. It’s partly due to not having written one in a while and also having forgotten some details about the books I read. But, since my plan with this blog is to chat about every book I read, I’d like to post something about the books I read during the last months of 2021.

Those last months were a very busy, very stressful time for me, which is why I’ve delayed chatting about the books until now. Things got so overwhelming that I didn’t blog as much as I usually did and had a bout of reading slumpiness that lasted until… a few weeks ago. It was probably my longest reading slump. But now that I really feel back to my old self, I’d like to catch up on the MANY blogging and reading things I wanted to do since the slump hit — starting with these reviews.

I read all of these back in September last year, so I’ve forgotten much.


Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

Keeper of the Lost Cities, book 1

Pubbed

2012

Quick summary

In this middle grade fantasy, we meet Sophie Foster, a 12-year-old, telepathic girl who is often treated as an outcast — even by her own family. However, one day she sees a boy with very interesting blue eyes at the museum and he helps her to realize that she does not belong in the human world. He tells her that she’s an elf and must leave her family to protect them.

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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)

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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.

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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”