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.

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Book Haul #75: Head to the Library

And so we’ve come to the last part of this book haul — the library books. I almost went overboard with these too. It was my first time entering a library to borrow books since the pandemic, and I was both excited about it grabbing everything that caught my eye. But I cooled myself and managed to walk out with just a few books. Yeahie me!

Here’s what I got.


Library

PHYSICAL

Continue reading “Book Haul #75: Head to the Library”

Book Haul #72: Last of the Last

The last book haul I did was supposed to be my last one for the year. *Sigh* I’ve been kidding myself. I always fail miserably whenever I try to limit my book buying, but I’m going to try again since my birthday is now out of the way and I can’t think of any book I feel the need to urgently get.

For the next couple months (let’s say 4 months), I’ll get my books from the library if I don’t have it (exceptions for book club/buddy-read books). So let’s try this book buying ban again.

In the meantime, here are some stuff I recently got!

Purchases

Physical

Continue reading “Book Haul #72: Last of the Last”

“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.)”

Book Recs: 20 Picture Books by Black Authors

The uproar in response to police brutality against Black people has strengthened the Black Lives Matter movement and has forced everyone to (again) recognize and admit how ingrained systematic racism is in our society and the many areas that lack diversity.

An area where this discussion is also happening is book publishing, which is known for its lack of diversity among authors, the types of books published, and even among the professionals who work in this sector — editors, designers, publicists, agents, etc. Recently, the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe popped up on Twitter to discuss the disparity between how much authors of color are paid in contrast to White authors, who more often receive large advances for their books. In this New York Times article, renown author Jesmyn Ward talks about fighting for a higher advance despite winning several awards for her books.

We all need to work harder to stop and prevent racism in our society. To help, many people have turned to books to learn more, which has caused books about racism and Black experiences to now flood the best-seller lists. To encourage more people to read and engage with content by Black creators, media outlets, social media, bloggers, and booktubers are all recommending books by and about Black people and Black experiences.

While I am grateful to see these recommendation lists, they often solely contain adult books. I want to contribute a list of recommendations, but instead of adult books, I’ve decided to feature children’s picture books. Racism affects all facets of society. To combat it, we must also encourage more diverse children’s literature, including picture books.

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“Cinderella: or The Little Glass Slipper” by Charles Perrault, illus. by Camille Rose Garcia

As a kid, my favorite fairytale was Cinderella. I would read the story over and over and would even write what I now know to be fanfic of it. I love stories about good people who are downtrodden and mistreated but are able to escape, work towards, or be rescued and carried off to a better life. For some reason, I strongly related to this. Life in Jamaica wasn’t bad, but it was (and is) hard, and I would often dream of the day my parents would come rescue me and carry me off to live with them in the fabled land of America, where anything is possible.

Now that I’m living in America and saddled with student loans, I now dream of the day that I win the lotto/find a long-lost rich uncle/get a huge raise that will help me pay off my student loans quickly.

My love for Cinderella did not fade over the years. It grew stronger. And although I hardly ever reread the fairytale, I easily fall for its retellings, like Cinder by Marissa Meyer, or stories that have characters who allude to Cinderella in some way, like Harry Potter. So, I was beyond excited when Millie from Milliebot Reads featured this edition of the fairytale in one of her Judging a Book by Its Cover posts. I knew right then that I had to purchase it. The illustrations and book design called to me. And when the NEWTs Magical Readathon came around, I took the opportunity to finally reread one of my favorite fairytales.

Continue reading ““Cinderella: or The Little Glass Slipper” by Charles Perrault, illus. by Camille Rose Garcia”

Book Haul #55: No Library Books This Time

I haven’t posted a book haul since July. I’d sworn off acquiring more books because of the huge pile of them I got at the ALA conference that surpassed the available space on my shelves, so they’re still in bags on the floor waiting for a home. That made me feel bad, so I told myself “No More Books!” But, of course, I didn’t listen to myself. So here’s what I got:

Hold up.

Before I show the books, I just need to say that for someone who ran out of shelf space, I’m surprised that I acquired no library books and just one e-book. Not even lack of space is a deterrent for me buying more books. Smh. I will get a handle on this soon though.

Purchases

Illustrated children’s books

Continue reading “Book Haul #55: No Library Books This Time”