In case y’all haven’t noticed, I very happily partner with Blue Slip Media quite often for their children’s books. That’s because they consistently select the most amazing books to promote. Spiky, by Ilaria Guarducci and translated by Laura Watkinson, is another fantastic addition. Guarducci is an Italian author and illustrator, and this is the most charming, wonderful book that teaches a sweet lesson about friendship and inclusion.
Description from publisher:
Spiky lives in the dark of the forest, where he spends his days being very, very bad, bullying the other forest creatures and sharpening the spikes on his body. Those spikes are handy for keeping everybody at a distance, and that’s just how Spiky likes it! But then one day the unthinkable happens: Spiky starts losing his spikes! Soon he is left looking as soft and as pink as a soft, pink marshmallow. What will Spiky do, now that he can no longer scare away the other forest creatures? Will he have to (gulp!) make friends? It’s a good thing Bernardo the bunny comes along to show him how it’s done.
First published in Italy, this charming story of friendship will have children giggling until the very end.
I love, love, love Spiky, and I know a few kids who I’m planning to buy it for. It’s sweet and funny, and teaches a lesson without being preachy. It does have a few scenes that might upset younger children (Spiky pulls the wings off a butterfly), but I think 5 and up will be fine with it, and it just emphasizes just how much Spiky changes, and that you don’t have to be mean just because people expect you to be! I hope Guarducci uses her talents to write more books like this!
Happy Cat World Domination Day!
No, really, it’s a thing, and it’s why I’m posting my review of Max Attacks today!
Kathi Appelt is a prolific children’s author, and her new picture book, Max Attacks, published on June 11, 2019, fits right in with her library of meaningful books. This is such a cute book with simple, colorful illustrations by Penelope Dullaghan. Max is a naughty cat who likes to attack anything in his path. Socks, goldfish, shoelaces, nothing is safe from his pounce. He even keeps score, to make sure everyone knows how good of an attacker he is.
This is a fantastic book for younger kids. The rhyming is fun and silly, and Max is the perfect naughty but cute cat. I think any kid, especially kids who love animals, will love Max Attacks![Top]
I finished Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism at the end of January, and was waiting to let it digest a bit before posting about it. I really wanted some impressive words to come to mind to describe White Fragility for you, but I can’t. Robin DiAngelo has all the impressive words in her book, and I IMPLORE you to read this if you haven’t already. She will give you all the true, hard words about racism today and our responsibility for it as part of the system. I don’t think you can read this book and not learn something. My entire view has been changed, and I’m so glad for it.
I apologize for the incredibly short review, but I honestly don’t think there’s a good or right way to review this book, other than me telling you to please read it. If you’re worried about it making you feel bad or that you’re going to get upset . . . well, I have to tell you that those things will most likely happen. I did. But this book has made me a more critical thinker and forced me to reevaluate the way I see the world, think about the world, say things, and behave. And I am glad for it.
Oh, Neal Shusterman. Your books are so morbid but so, so good! Scythe and Thunderhead are YA, but if you like dystopian literature, I think any age would enjoy these. But given the content, I would definitely say 7th or 8th grade and up!
Scythe and its sequel, Thunderhead, are a YA dystopian series about a society in which the Cloud (yup, that Cloud) has taken over and perfected society. People live forever . . . until they are chosen to be gleaned (ie, killed) by a Scythe, to keep population numbers under control.
Death. So much death.
The REAL story is about Citra and Rowan, two teens chosen to train to be scythes, and how they interpret their new roles in society. And what can go wrong in a situation like this.
Y’all, these books are real dark, but really good. Walking around the house with my nose in them good. It’s an interesting concept, and even though they’re YA, they made me think about the way society often solves problems, and the problems that go along with a disconnected leader and all-consuming power.
If you like dystopian stories, I highly recommend these. The third and final book, The Toll, is coming in November 2019, and I cannot wait to see how the series ends!
“I wasn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.”
That quote from Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing basically describes how I felt after finishing this book. Because the book, while extremely entertaining, is absolutely full of words and sentences that are meaningful. The story is bursting with emotions, feelings, and depth of character, not to mention the storyline, which I am still thinking about. This is Owens’ first fictional novel, and it’s kind of unbelievable. (And I’m extremely jealous, in the best possible way!)
I won’t go into detail on the plot, because I really want you to discover it for yourself as you read. It’s about Kya, known as the Marsh Girl, and how she survives essentially alone in the marshes of North Carolina, and how that affects her interactions with other people. Oh, and there’s also a murder plot thrown in, and it’s a good one.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a deeply emotional, incredibly well-written story about a girl who is a survivor, a creator, and an explorer, even if she doesn’t really leave her immediate surroundings. Truly a wonderful story, and I wish I could read it for the first time again. And I feel the need to go visit North Carolina immediately . . .