“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.

Continue reading “Book Recs: 20 Picture Books by Black Authors”

“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”

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)

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

“Pandora” by Victoria Turnbull

Here’s the first second illustrated children’s book I’ve read this year.

Genre:

Children’s Fantasy

Pubbed:

2017

Goodreads summary:

Pandora lives alone, in a world of broken things. She makes herself a handsome home, but no one ever comes to visit. Then one day something falls from the sky

. . . a bird with a broken wing.

     Little by little, Pandora helps the bird grow stronger. Little by little, the bird helps Pandora feel less lonely. The bird begins to fly again, and always comes back—bringing seeds and flowers and other small gifts. But then one day, it flies away and doesn’t return. Pandora is heartbroken.

     Until things begin to grow . . .

Here is a stunningly illustrated celebration of connection and renewal. (Goodreads)

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“Flotsam” by David Wiesner

This will be a week filled with reviews of illustrated books and comic books. Putting it that way makes it sound like I’ll dump loads of reviews on here this week, but it’ll be just 3 of them. For me, that’s a lot since I usually manage to churn out only a few reviews every couple weeks. I like to pair up my reviews of illustrated books and comics, but I only read one illustrated book. So here is its lonesome review.


Flotsam by David Wiesner (illus.)

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

January 2006

Goodreads summary:

A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam — anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share … and to keep. 

Flotsam

My Thoughts:

Flotsam is a wonderful children’s picture book with quite an imaginative story that’s told without words. I think I’m leaning toward such books. The absence of words draws my attention to other details and makes me focus on other ways we communicate.

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Top 5 Wednesday #24: Kids Books for Adults

It seems that I have a trend here of posting these memes things late because here’s my Top 5 Wednesday post on Thursday. Then again, my whole week has been skewed since Monday felt like Sunday, which made me think Tuesday was Monday, so all this can be excused since I’m confused about what day it is.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey and now managed by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic:

Children’s books to read as an adult

Well, here are 5 children’s books I’d recommend to adults. This will be a combination of middle-grade novels and picture books, which are usually the forms of children’s books I consume.

For the artist…

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez (illus.)

Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday #24: Kids Books for Adults”