Sunday, July 15, 2018

July Recommendations


I’ve gone back and reread two of my all-time favorite fantasies, GRACELING, and companion book (prequel?) FIRE, by Kristin Cashore. In Graceling, Katsa has been used as King Randa’s weapon for years. Her powerful killing Grace makes her virtually impossible to defeat. But Katsa has had enough, and she's formed a secret council to try to make amends. When she rescues an elderly Leonid man from the neighboring kingdom of Sunder, she meets Prince Po, whose Grace of fighting is similar to Katsa’s own. The two set off to solve the mystery of who kidnapped the grandfather and end up on a life and death mission to save the heir to the Monsean throne. Thrilling adventures and a completely satisfying romance, set in a superbly crafted world. (YA)

In FIRE, the kingdom of the Dells is verging on war, with rebel lords amassing armies to unseat young king Nash. Fire is a human monster—able to read minds, though she doesn’t care to use her power if she can possibly help it. Her father had certainly used his, though, contributing greatly to the current state of crisis in the Dells. When Prince Brigan arrives to take her to King City to help the royal family, she has to decide whether her convictions are worth the possible downfall of the kingdom. An equally satisfying romance fills the pages of this companion book, and it also sheds light on the origins of King Leck, from GRACELING. If you haven’t read these books, which conclude with BITTERBLUE, you’ve waited long enough! (YA)

Board Book:

HI! by Ethan Long, is simple yet effective. A series of neatly-rendered animals says hello: "Hoo! Moo! Growl! Howl!” and so on. It comes full circle and there’s a cute finish. The board book format makes it perfect for babies, and also for kids who are ready to think about learning to read.

Picture Books:

In I AM A CAT, by Galia Bernstein, Simon thinks he’s a cat, but Lion, Cheetah, Puma, Panther, and Tiger disagree. Even though he’s small, Simon sets them straight. Kids will love it.

THERE MIGHT BE LOBSTERS, by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Laurel Molk, stars a small dog named Sukie who is afraid of everything that can go wrong at the beach. She wants to sit safely while her human, Eleanor, has all the fun. But when her stuffed monkey gets a little too close to the water....

ALL THE ANIMALS WHERE I LIVE, by Philip C. Stead, is an example of a picture book that breaks "the rules." It’s quiet, it rambles, and there’s no child—or child-like—protagonist. And yet it’s a beautiful example of the art of picture book-making. There’s plenty to discover as Stead describes his new home in a satisfyingly roundabout way.


No comments:

Post a Comment