Saturday, June 15, 2019

June Recommendations


KING OF SCARS, by Leigh Bardugo, is a compulsively readable fantasy set in the same Grishaverse as her Shadow and Bone trilogy, Six of Crows duology, and a short story collection, The Language of Thorns. In KING OF SCARS, Nikolai Lantzov, the charming king of Ravka, has a demon lurking inside, and it's literally turning him into a monster. Zoya Nazyalensky is his powerful Grisha general, devoted to protecting Ravka’s sovereignty. And Nina Zenik is a spy, working in the neighboring country of Fjerda to save as many Grisha as she can from its hostile government. The three of them form the triumvirate of an action-packed tale of gods and monsters, magic and power. (YA)

Picture Books:

In FLOATY, by John Himmelman, cranky Mr. Raisin doesn’t like anything other than sewing, but when a floating puppy is left in a (covered) basket on his doorstep, things begin to change. A tale delightfully told and illustrated.

OTTO AND PIO, by Marianne Dubuc is another unlikely friendship story. When squirrel Otto stumbles upon a strange green ball outside his treehouse and it hatches into a small, round, furry creature, adjustments, both welcome and not, are in order. It's charmingly offbeat and and heartwarming with Duboc’s always lovely colored pencil and watercolor art.

In MOTH, AN EVOLUTION STORY, Isabelle Thomas and Daniel Egnéus endow their picture book about the transformation of the peppered moth (Biston betularia) with a sense of wonder that elevates it to the realm of myth. It’s a deeply fulfilling look at the ups and downs of natural selection, rendered in stunning art that manages to feel soft and organic, yet also, when it needs to, intricate and precise.

WE ARE GRATEFUL, OTSALIHELIGA, by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessac, is a rumination on the way Cherokee people express their gratitude “daily, throughout the year, and across the seasons.” The prose is lyrical, informative, and inviting, and the art is vibrantly expressive.

HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE, written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu, describes how a child who loved science and technology, while being “crazy about motion pictures,” grew up to become a glamorous movie star who was also a passionate inventor. Even now, her greatest invention "helps keep our cell phone messages private and defends our computers from hackers.” This is an inspiring look at following—all of—your dreams.


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