Archive for the ‘USBBY’ Category

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My Two Blankets, by Irena Kobald, illustrated by Freya Blackwood. HMH, 2015.

Originally published in Australia, this picture storybook is for all ages. A young person is introduced as happy in her country, a place pictured in warm tones of yellows, oranges, and soft browns. But she and her Auntie move to a new country in order to be safe. This country is shown in cool tones of blues, browns, grays, and greens. Everything is different and strange in the new country, including the language. “When I was at home,” she says, “I wrapped myself in a blanket of my own words and sounds.” She creates a metaphor for her original language–her old blanket, which is warm, soft, and comfortable– and the new language, which she calls a “cold waterfall.”  Yet she meets a friend, and begins to learn to the new language, “weaving a new blanket.”  She adds new words, so the new language is comfortable, too. “And now,” she states, “no matter which blanket I use, I will always be me.”

Use this book with anyone who is learning or teaching a new language.

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The Bathing Costume: Or the Worst Vacation of My Life, by Charlotte Moundlic and illustrated by Olivier Tallec

The Bathing Costume: Or the Worst Vacation of My Life, by Charlotte Moundlic and illustrated by Olivier Tallec

OMG, to be in a place where it is warm enough to go swimming. **sigh** But we can read about almost-eight-year-old Ronnie’s first vacation away from his Mama, at the home of his grandparents in the country. And then he learns his cousins will be there . . . the cousins who make Ronnie the butt of their jokes! And the tradition is when you are eight, you jump off the 10-foot high diving board!! To make a bad situation even worse, Ronnie has to borrow a swimsuit that is too big!!! How to hold on to the swimsuit and jump off a terrifying diving board? Well, maybe there in a fail somewhere in that mix, but maybe there is a triumph also.

Set in France, this book is originally from France and is translated from the French. Written in journal format, this will be appealing to independent readers around 3rd grade or so who want a short “chapter” book. This book was selected as a 2014 Outstanding International Book by the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY).