Category Archives: baby/picture books

AAPI Heritage Month Book a Day 2019 – 16

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Continuing from yesterday, I’m sharing another #ownvoices picture book for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I don’t always see “ninja” picture books (and mentions in media) done accurately or respectfully, so I particularly love the Little Kunoichi: The Ninja Girl books by Japanese American author-illustrator Sanae Ishida. I own both of the first books and was tickled to see there is a third!

Ba-chan: The Ninja Grandma looks to be another winner! And Ba-chan is what my daughter calls my mom! (The proper term for grandma is Obaachan, but we shortened and “cute-tified” it.)

From the publisher:

In this new edition to the Little Kunoichi series, author and illustrator Sanae Ishida introduces us to Ba-chan, Little Kunoichi’s wise, creative, and eccentric grandmother. Anything is possible with Ba-chan!

It’s summer and Little Kunoichi’s friends are away on vacation. After exploring every nook and cranny of her super, super secret island home with her pet, Bunny, she is bored, bored, BORED! Little Kunoichi shares her ideas to spice things up–a new bike, another pet–with her parents. But they have a better idea: a visit to her wise, quirky, and creative grandma, Ba-chan!

Little Kunoichi, joined by her little brother and Bunny, is excited for her visit. They are met with many surprises as they spend time with Ba-chan on an island she made herself and together learn that curiosity, resourcefulness, love, and imagination have more value than things money can buy.

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AAPI Heritage Month Book a Day 2019 – 15

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It’s day 15 of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and I’m sharing an AAPI book a day that I want to read. I have been mostly focusing on chapter books and novels, since that’s what I mostly write and read, but today I’m sharing a picture book I’m looking forward to!

Sumo Joe by Mia Wenjen with captivating illustrations by Nat Iwata releases on June 11 and is available for preorder. As a Japanese American, I am always on the look-out for #ownvoices books about Japanese Americans and this one looks like it’s going to be great!

From the publisher:

In this sweet and funny story, Sumo Joe and his friends enjoy pretending to be sumo wrestlers. But when his little sister wants to join their boy-only game, what should Sumo Joe do?

On Saturday mornings, Sumo Joe is a gentle big brother to his little sister. But on Saturday afternoons, he and his friends are sumo wrestlers! They tie on makeshift mawashi belts, practice drills like teppo, and compete in their homemade dohyo ring. They even observe sumo’s ultimate rule: no girls allowed! But when Sumo Joe’s little sister wants to join in the fun, Sumo Joe is torn between the two things he’s best at: sumo, and being a big brother.

Fists, feet, and martial art forms collide in this sweet yet spirited rhyming story by author Mia Wenjen and illustrator Nat Iwata.

Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari, Illustrated by Brian Floca

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I’m so pleased to have been able to read this book in ARC form, and even more pleased that this book is out in the world for all to read and enjoy! Congratulations Maria Gianferrari and Brian Floca on this spectacular book!

Roaring Brook Press, June 2018

This story centers on a little girl who watches Father Hawk hunt to feed his nest of babies. I used to work as a raptor rehabilitator while I was in college so I have a big affinity for raptors of all kinds, and particularly love red-tail hawks as they are fairly common and easy to spot. Maria Gianferrari does an excellent job sharing facts about this spectacular creature and Brian Floca’s illustrations are spot on. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in nature and wildlife.

The author is generously offering a copy to one U.S. winner. Please comment below if you’d like to be entered in the drawing! Enter by midnight EST Thursday, June 21. Winner announced on Friday, June 22!

EDITED TO ADD: The winner has been chosen! Congratulations, Jen!

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Book Love (2)

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In honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, I’m sharing some of my favorite books by Asian authors. Please feel free to share your favorites in the comments. I’m always looking for good books to read!

Today’s featured book is the picture book No Kimchi For Me! by Aram Kim. I had the pleasure of meeting Aram at this year’s Kweli Journal’s Color of Children’s Literature Conference. Aram is every bit as nice as she is talented! In this foodie picture book, Kitty is teased by her brothers that she is a “baby” because she can’t handle spicy kimchi – and it seems she can’t, until her grandma makes kimchi pancakes. There’s a yummy recipe at the end of the book! I personally love kimchi, and this is a great book for introducing this Korean treat to readers. The illustrations are adorable (and yummy).

#KidLitWomen – Book a Day in March (31)

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Today is my last post for my Book A Day in March in honor of Women’s History Month and #kidlitwomen. It’s been a joy to be able to share some of my favorite books and I’m sad that the month isn’t longer so I could share all the books I didn’t get to. Then I remembered – hey, this is my reading blog! I can get back to posting my favorite reads regularly! I won’t post every day, but I’ll try to post at least once a week, and once things settle down a little for me in my busy life (for which I’m grateful), I will return to a Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule. My goal here is to feature books by women/about girls and #ownvoices, and to highlight books that aren’t getting all the buzz and attention. I want to share books that you might not have heard of. And I hope you’ll do the same in the comments – tell me what books you are reading and loving! Thanks for following along! And now for the Book A Day –

Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko narrative and translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi, illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri. A fascinating account of Japanese poet Misuzu Kaneko, interspersed with her simple but evocative poetry. Her poems are part of the curriculum for elementary students in Japan. I fell in love with her poetry and hope you will, too. Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (16)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s featured book is the picture book Lucy’s Lovey by Betsy Devany, illustrations by Christopher Denise.

Lucy has seventeen dolls, but Smelly Baby is her favorite. Lucy takes her lovey everywhere and Smelly Baby is well-loved; a little raggedy and a little smelly. Lucy’s older sister Ivy complains, but when Smelly Baby is lost, Ivy and the family come together to try to first, find Smelly Baby, and then comfort Lucy. Will Lucy get her favorite lovey back? Sweet story with sweet illustrations! Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

 

 

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (14)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s featured book is the middle grade novel Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan.

Amina is happy to start middle school with her best friend Soojin by her side. But when a former nemesis, Emily, starts to hang out with them, Amina worries she’s going to lose Soojin. Add to that that her uncle from Pakistan is visiting and her dad wants everything and everyone to be perfect and Amina is starting to feel a little stressed. When their beloved mosque is vandalized, Amina learns the value of community and friendship, and finally is brave enough to use her voice. I loved this story – I learned so much about Pakistani, Islam, and the languages of Arabic and Urdu. The author expertly weaved all of this in without disrupting the flow of the story. So well done! And I got teary at the end. Buy the book!

Guest recommendation by Amy Losak is The Hunt a wordless picture book by Margeux Othats.

From the publisher:

Part girl-power, part cautionary tale, The Hunt (5 & up) depicts a young girl who builds and rebuilds a rock sculpture despite the efforts of two hunters to shoot her creation to bits. The girl persists, her sculpture taking shape and becoming a testament to the creative spirit and a condemnation of violence. Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (13)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s book is the middle grade novel The Stars of Summer by Tara Dairman, the sequel to All Four Stars.

Twelve-year-old Gladys Gatsby has a huge secret – she is the New York Standard’s newest restaurant reviewer. Only her two best friends, her aunt in France, and the grocer know her new career. This is a dream come true for Gladys, a foodie and writer – but how will she continue doing her assignments when she has to go to summer camp? Then there’s the fact that her editor took away prime assignments and gave her one of finding the best hot dog in the city. Little does Gladys know that the other restaurant critic, jealous of Gladys, is trying to sabotage her. With the help of her friends, Gladys not only is able to complete her assignment, but she grows closer to her parents AND helps her editor save her job. Such a cute story! Buy the book!

And our guest recommendation today comes from Kara LaReau and is a book I have on my TBR pile!

Kara says: From the moment I read Starring Carmen!, I knew this little drama queen was going to be a sensación, thanks to a show-stopping story by Anika Denise and dazzling illustrations by Lorena Alvarez Gomez. I can’t wait to check out her next performance in Lights, Camera, Carmen! this fall! Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (12)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today I’m happy to feature Hello, Goodbye Dog, a picture book by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Patrice Barton. I’m a true blue dog lover so this book speaks to my heart. Moose hates goodbyes, so when Zara leaves for school, he finds a way to be with her. Zara insists he’ll behave when she reads to him. Each time, he’s dragged back home, he finds a way back. Zara comes up with the solution of training him to be a therapy dog, and so Moose is able to spend reading time with Zara and her classmates. I love how Zara is a compassionate dog lover and how she comes up with a way to relieve her dog’s distress at being left behind. Buy the book.

#kidlitwomen

 

#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (9)

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See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

I will admit that I have a bias against ninja books in children’s literature. Some that I’ve seen rely on stereotypes and others feel like the ninja aspect is gratuitous – ninjas are cool so let’s stick one in this story. I don’t dislike all ninjas books or books that mention ninjas, and in fact I feel like Arree Chung does a good job in his picture book Ninja! But my all time favorite ninja picture book is Little Kunoichi: The Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida.

Little Kunoichi goes to a secret ninja girl’s school. She is certainly not the best at the skills she needs to learn. When she spies on Chibi Samurai, a boy from a neighboring secret school, and sees how he is the smallest but doesn’t let his size deter him, Kunoichi is inspired to do the same. She practices, practices, practices! The two become friends and practice together! They learn that the goal is not to be perfect, but to have fun while practicing. The facts throughout the story are accurate to Japanese culture, and there’s a section of facts at the end of the book. I learned new things and I loved the playful illustrations! Buy the book!

#kidlitwomen

Today’s guest recommendation is from Cindy Faughnan (and a book I read and loved, too): I recommend FINDING WONDERS: THREE GIRLS WHO CHANGED SCIENCE by Jeannine Atkins. Wonderful verse novel about three girls whose interest in moths, fossils, and stars blossomed into scientific discoveries. Buy the book!