#WorldKidLit Weekend: The Story of Bodri

An illustrated book for ages 6-10, The Story of Bodri* is based on the experiences of Swedish-Romanian Hédi Fried.  A teenager when she was sent to Auschwitz, author Fried lectures today on racism, democracy, and the Holocaust. She was inspired to write The Story of Bodri when a young attendee at one of her talks asked about … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Weekend: The Story of Bodri

#WorldKidLit Weekend: Ellie’s Voice or Trööömmmpffff

Ellie’s Voice or Trööömmmpffff,* an adorably whimsical Estonian picture book for ages 3-6, is about a seabird named Ellie, who has no voice.  “Everything else has a voice,” Ellie thought sadly. "The trees rustle.  The waves crash. Even the rain sings when it falls."  I’m the only one who can’t make a sound." Ellie felt tears … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Weekend: Ellie’s Voice or Trööömmmpffff

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market & ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat

Imagine a bilingual Richard Scarry Busytown crossed with The Magic School Bus. Mix in Mexican culture with an old-time comics flair. Add several large tablespoons of zaniness and a quart of cleverness… and you’ll still be missing the secret sauce that makes Raúl the Third’s ¡Vamos! picture book series so fabulous.* The first, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market & ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat

#IntlYALitMonth: The Girl and the Ghost

A novel for tweens and young teens, The Girl and the Ghost is based on a Malaysian folk tale. It’s much more than a simple retelling, as author Hanna Alkaf has fleshed out the story with richly drawn characters, creating a marvelous tale about friendship, family, jealousy, and love. As the story goes, there was … Continue reading #IntlYALitMonth: The Girl and the Ghost

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Agnes’s Place

Filled with brightly colored, intricately detailed illustrations that reward repeated viewing, Agnes’s Place* is a quiet, sweet picture book for readers 3-7 about friendship, new friends, isolation, and belonging.  When the story begins, Agnes is a contented five-year-old who lives in a land of grownups, a land with many buildings and just as many interesting … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Agnes’s Place

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Who Left the Light On?

A picture-book ode to the power of creative nonconformity, Who Left the Light On? achieves a rare trifecta: a loosely rhyming book in translation with brilliant illustrations. Mix in important themes—embracing diversity and expressing oneself—add a huge dollop of whimsy, and you have the ingredients to this charming tale. But the sum of the parts … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Who Left the Light On?

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Wonderful Feels Like This

Writing fiction about music can be tricky. Music is sound in time; it speaks to our brains at a pre-verbal level. As a result, using words to describe music can be hard and the literature is littered with near-misses. So it’s a great pleasure as a musician to read a well-written novel centered around music … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Wonderful Feels Like This

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Dragonfly Eyes

Oxymoronic as it may sound, there is an exciting comfort in picking up a book by a beloved author—or, as in Dragonfly Eyes, a beloved, award-winning writer-translator team. What joys, worlds, and experiences lurk within its pages? Will anticipation be tempered by disappointment? In the case of Dragonfly Eyes*, Cao Wenxuan’s new YA historical novel, … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Dragonfly Eyes

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Stars and Poppy Seeds

When I was a kid, I loved to count all sorts of things, as so many children do. Because numbers are fascinating! Even the names are cool: long before there was Google, there were googols and googolplexes. In Stars and Poppy Seeds, a picture book for ages 3-7, Flora is the child of mathematicians. And … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Stars and Poppy Seeds

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Beast Warrior

YA fantasy novel The Beast Warrior takes place about a decade after its award-winning prequel, The Beast Player.* In The Beast Warrior, mixed-heritage protagonist Elin is now a full-fledged Beast Player (a field that combines veterinarian with naturalist) and has had a son with her husband, Ialu. As the book opens, their feudal, agrarian nation is … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Beast Warrior