#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?

#BlackIsBeautiful: Let’s do it for the culture: Books that celebrate the roots and origins of hip-hop music

The following books celebrate the beauty and roots of hip-hop music and culture. Casual readers and hip-hop aficionados will be thoroughly engaged with these books while bobbing their heads  to the beats of their favorite "Master of Ceremonies" (MC) or newly discovered ones. Young Adult: Let Me Hear a Rhyme: by Tiffany D. Jackson Lyrics: … Continue reading #BlackIsBeautiful: Let’s do it for the culture: Books that celebrate the roots and origins of hip-hop music

#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

#BlackIsBeautiful: Brown Sugar Babies

Brown Sugar Babies Text and photography by Charles R. Smith, Jr. Little, Brown Books For Young Readers ISBN-10 : 0786806222ISBN-13 : 978-0786806225 Previously released in hardcover form and now available as a board book, Smith’s book of poems and photographs spotlight giggly, playful Black babies in all shades of brown.  The text likens each child to a … Continue reading #BlackIsBeautiful: Brown Sugar Babies

#BlackIsBeautiful: Books that Boost Blackness to Children

To be Black is to embody diversity in lived experiences, culture, skin tones and hair textures. Blackness is an awareness of differences in treatment based on beauty standards that have historically ignored the range of shades and coils of Black people. The following U.S. titles celebrate and honor Black people and teach young children (ages … Continue reading #BlackIsBeautiful: Books that Boost Blackness to Children

#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 Winter Train

For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, it's currently winter, which is my favorite season. Yes, I may have been born in the Caribbean, but I feel more at ease when it is colder outside. I can wear cozy clothes, avoid the sun, and not contend with the oppressive humidity of the southern … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Winter Train

#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