Milo was ready to enjoy a quiet Christmas vacation at his parents' hotel, Greenglass House, in the fictional harbor town of Nagspeake. Usually inhabited by local smugglers, the hotel receives not one but five unexpected visitors on the same snowy night. After Milo finds a map (with possible ties to Greenglass House) that was dropped by one of the hotel guests, it’s clear that they’re all looking for something—but not necessarily the same thing.
Friends can come from the most unlikely places. In the case of Marla Frazee’s tender wordless story, The Farmer and the Clown, that place is from the back of a circus train in the middle of nowhere.
A nest is a haven—a place of safety and repose. But for 11-year-old Naomi Orenstein, her safe haven is turned upside down after mounting family tragedy.
Set in a small village separated from a once-powerful kingdom by a mystical, moving forest, The Witch’s Boy is a fable filled with unlikely friendships, creatures and humans dealing with loss, rulers struggling for power and the world’s last remaining bit of real magic.
Numerous legendary author--illustrators have likened picture books to film, as both mediums tell their stories through visible action. Some illustrators construct their stories in ways similar to film in even more creative and dramatic ways, as Raúl Colón does in his dynamic new picture book, Draw!
It may be hard to imagine growing up as a young girl in Sudan, raking cow plop, but with gentle restraint, award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney brings readers into the heart and mind of Amira, whose life is forever changed by the Janjaweed’s attacks in Darfur.
There’s something about cats. In 2010, Benno and the Night of Broken Glass by Meg Wiviott and Josée Bisaillon showed the Nazi Kristallnacht riots from the point of view of an alley cat. Before that, The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse and Wendy Watson told how stray cats distracted Nazi dogs, allowing food to be smuggled into the Warsaw ghetto. And now there’s Clare, a cat who sees the contemporary Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a unique point of view.
Quite appropriately, The Memory of an Elephant is a large picture book, measuring 11 by 14 inches. It’s a big, unusual book in every way, featuring not only a story about an old, distinguished elephant named Marcel, but a compendium of assorted facts about everything from musical instruments and classic modern furniture to a variety of gourmet desserts.
Grief isn’t an easy thing, nor is it something that provides easy answers. Stian Hole’s Anna’s Heaven, an introspective picture book aimed at older children and originally published in Norway, isn’t afraid to ask the big questions.
Jaden is sure that his parents aren’t satisfied with him. And why would they be? They adopted a kid who lights things on fire, hides food in his closet, steals tip money from restaurants, and has to be sent from one therapist to another. In Half a World Away, written by Newbery Award-winner Cynthia Kadohata, Jaden knows that his mother in Romania didn’t want him, and now his parents in America, Penni and Steve, are trying to replace him. That’s right; he’s so disappointing that his adoptive parents are going to adopt another child.