MY LITTLE ROUND HOUSE

This “little round house” is a ger, a Mongolian movable house used by the nomadic people of the steppes as they move from camp to camp with the changing seasons. Jilu, the infant narrator, tells the story of his first year from birth to his birthday the following summer. Babies may not be able to speak, but this boy provides the readers with the details of traditional Mongolian life in such an ingenuous way that the conceit works: “When my grandfather came with his long, long pipe and long, long beard and gruff voice, I was so scared, I cried.” The folk-art–style gouache paintings show the home furnishings, the clothing, the animals, the landscapes, the handmade toys and the seasons of the year, including the New Year, Tsagaan Sar, held in winter but heralding the arrival of the soon-to-come spring. Perhaps the first picture book from a Mongolian author/illustrator to arrive in North America, this will appeal to children who are a little older than the baby and can fully understand the text. A unique look at a culture unknown to most. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-88899-934-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more