“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)

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“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.)”

“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)

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“The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World” by Clive Gifford, illus. Marc-Étienne Peintre

The Colors of History is one of the best picture books I read in 2019. It is also the least popular book I read that year, so I hope this review will get more people interested in it to share with kids.

As the title says, this is a nonfiction book all about colors and their impact and use throughout history.

Genre:

Children’s Nonfiction — Art; History

Pubbed:

2018

Goodreads summary:

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which color is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future?

Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colors, and the roles they’ve played throughout history. From black to white, and all the colors in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each color group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the ‘colorful’ history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthrall budding artists and historians alike. (Goodreads)

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“The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais” (illus.), transl. by Jeremy Melloul

The first picture book I read this year gives me a story about a little wolf in a red cloak travelling through the wood to visit his grandmother.

What does that remind you of?

Genre:

Children’s fantasy

Pubbed:

June 2014

Quick overview:

The Little Red Wolf is a children’s picture book that’s inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairytale Little Red Riding Hood.

It was originally published in French but was translated to English by Jeremy Melloul. The English version was published in October 2017. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I borrowed this book from the library, but I was delighted by what I read. I became aware of the book through booktube so when I saw it at the library, I grabbed it.

The Little Red Wolf gives us a Little Red Riding Hood story with a twist — it’s from the perspective of a wolf. I don’t believe that’s a spoiler since you can deduce that much from the cover. It’s a sweet, charming tale about a little wolf travelling through the forest to his grandmother’s home to bring her some food since she has lost all her teeth and can no longer hunt.

Continue reading ““The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais” (illus.), transl. by Jeremy Melloul”

Illustrated Books: “Sky High” and “Spot, the Cat”

I’m surprised at myself that I haven’t read much illustrated books or comics so far this year. I wonder what’s going on with me. These two books bring me to a total of 4 illustrated children’s books read so far. Hopefully I’ll read a few more before the year is done.

Both of the books I’ll discuss in this post where cover buys. I love looking at illustrations of architecture and both books have illustrations of buildings on their covers. Naturally, I picked them up, ran my hands over the cover, and convinced myself to purchase them. I bought them at two different independent bookstores and I’m glad to now know that both were good purchases.


Sky High by Germano Zullo, illus. by Albertine

Genre:

Children’s Humor

Pubbed:

2012

Goodreads summary:

In this charming illustrated tale, two competing neighbors begin embellishing their mansions, only to find themselves caught up in a race to build the tallest, most decadent skyscraper featuring solid gold doors, diamond-encrusted pillars, grand ballrooms, expensive paintings, live tigers, and indoor swimming pools—with consequences inevitable, and not. Kids will love spotting the funny details hidden in this witty take on an age-old moral, while their parents—particularly any who’ve ever undertaken a remodel—will chuckle with recognition. (Goodreads)

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Two Illustrated Books: “Lucy” and “The Sound of All Things”

I go overboard whenever I visit the library. It’s like stepping into a bookstore where everything you see is free. While checking out a few books one day, my eyes landed on these two illustrated children’s books. Lucy I’d heard of before so I quickly grabbed it before any kid could think to take it. Then I saw the cover of The Sound of All Things and grabbed it too because I liked the illustration on the cover and the title sounded intriguing. What could it be about, I wondered.

Lucy

Lucy by Randy Cecil (illus.)

Goodreads overview:

A tiny dog, a kindhearted girl, and a nervous juggler converge in a cinematic book in four acts.

Lucy is a small dog without a home. She had one once, but she remembers it only in her dreams. Eleanor is a little girl who looks forward to feeding the stray dog that appears faithfully beneath her window each day. Eleanor’s father is a juggler with stage fright.

My thoughts:

This was a sweet story about friendship and family. Eleanor lives with her father and tries to help him overcome his stage fright. She also sometimes feed the quirky little dog, Lucy, that visits her every day. Lucy is a homeless dog that embarks on a new adventure every day though some parts of the day are routine. Since the story is told in four acts, each act is about a different adventure. The things Lucy gets up to are funny and are sure to entertain kids.

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“The Templeton Twins Have an Idea” by Ellis Weiner

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

This is how children’s books should be written: light and playful with a crazy, opinionated narrator. Ellis Weiner’s The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is totally hilarious. It’s told using an omniscient narrator, who almost seems to be a character as well.

I think it was on Goodreads where I read a great review on Weiner’s book that mentions that the story tries to start about 3 times before it gets going. I found that to be interesting. Driven by curiosity, I decided to buy the book to find out why.

For some reason, I assumed that the book was for teens (I didn’t read much into the Goodreads review), I have no idea why I thought so, and expected it to be a bit thick like The Hunger Games. I was surprised to find a slim, blue book decorated with illustrations without and within.

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