A delightful story with appealing illustrations that centers on Native American culture.

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AWÂSIS AND THE WORLD-FAMOUS BANNOCK

From the Debwe series , Vol. 1

A little girl loses her delivery of bannock bread, but animal helpers restore the ingredients in this picture book that includes Cree vocabulary. 

Kôhkum asks her granddaughter Awâsis to deliver a basket of freshly baked bannock to a relative. But, running and skipping along the way, Awâsis drops it over a bridge, losing it in the river. A series of animals stop her tears by providing ingredients for a new batch. For example, Sîsîp (duck) provides margarine: “I don’t have any bannock, but I do have some tohtosapopimehkan, and I’m pretty sure that’s in bannock!” Rabbit, frog, and owl also come to the rescue. Back at Kôhkum’s house, Maskwa (bear)—who ate the bannock that fell in the river and has been following along—knocks on the door, offering the final ingredient. Grandmother and granddaughter make a new batch, sharing it with Awâsis’ animal friends. A recipe and Cree word list follow. In his debut book, Hunt tells a story that already feels like a childhood classic. Young children will enjoy the tale’s effective repetition of incident and language (counterpointed with the unfamiliar vocabulary and some variation, as when Awâsis whispers or shouts), its cooperative animals, and the happy ending. Strong’s charmingly faux naif illustrations, dominated by soft colors of blue, purple, brown, and green, are lovely and expressive; the bear that can be spotted in many panels is a nice touch.

A delightful story with appealing illustrations that centers on Native American culture.

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-55379-779-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: HighWater Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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This tale of self-acceptance and respect for one’s roots is breathtaking.

EYES THAT KISS IN THE CORNERS

A young Chinese American girl sees more than the shape of her eyes.

In this circular tale, the unnamed narrator observes that some peers have “eyes like sapphire lagoons / with lashes like lace trim on ballgowns,” but her eyes are different. She “has eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea.” Author Ho’s lyrical narrative goes on to reveal how the girl’s eyes are like those of other women and girls in her family, expounding on how each pair of eyes looks and what they convey. Mama’s “eyes sparkl[e] like starlight,” telling the narrator, “I’m a miracle. / In those moments when she’s all mine.” Mama’s eyes, the girl observes, take after Amah’s. While she notes that her grandmother’s eyes “don’t work like they used to,” they are able to see “all the way into my heart” and tell her stories. Here, illustrator Ho’s spreads bloom with references to Chinese stories and landscapes. Amah’s eyes are like those of the narrator’s little sister. Mei-Mei’s eyes are filled with hope and with admiration for her sister. Illustrator Ho’s textured cartoons and clever use of light and shadow exude warmth and whimsy that match the evocative text. When the narrator comes to describe her own eyes and acknowledges the power they hold, she is posed against swirling patterns, figures, and swaths of breathtaking landscapes from Chinese culture. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 80.5% of actual size.)

This tale of self-acceptance and respect for one’s roots is breathtaking. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-291562-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

  • National Book Award Winner

  • Newbery Honor Book

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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