A moving book about kindness, friendship, and hope in the context of conflict and displacement.

RETURN TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE IN THE WORLD

From the Yamo's Village series

Following The Most Beautiful Village in the World (2018) and The Circus Comes to the Village (2019), Kobayashi offers the tale of a boy’s return to his homeland after it has been through war.

After leaving his small village in Afghanistan, young Mirado travels the world with the circus, playing the flute that his father gave him. He hears on the radio that the war, which his father joined and hasn’t returned from yet, has ended. Mirado sets his mind on going back to Paghman, his village. After saying goodbye to his circus colleagues, he embarks eastward on a long and rough trip. When neither train, bus, nor wagon can get him further, he walks. Throughout the book, readers see him in several urban and rural spaces, some of which may look familiar. Kobayashi’s landscapes will frequently take their breath away. Mirado journeys across mountains and forests, against the wind and in the cold. Kind strangers help him along the way, including other refugees attempting to return home. He will find his Paghman in ruins but will also meet his best friend, Yamo, and together, they will imagine and plan for a brighter future. This suspenseful and beautifully illustrated story, originally published in Japan in 2003, covers a topic unfrequented in children’s literature about refugees and one that’s often romanticized in real life: that of the return.

A moving book about kindness, friendship, and hope in the context of conflict and displacement. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-940842-45-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Museyon

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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THE STONE OF FIRE

From the Cavemice series , Vol. 1

Warp back in time for a prehistoric spinoff adventure with Geronimo Stilton’s ancestor, Geronimo Stiltonoot, in Old Mouse City.

Readers will find Geronimo Stiltonoot a familiar character, outfitted differently from descendant Stilton yet still running a newspaper and having wild adventures. In this introduction to prehistoric mouse life, someone has stolen the most powerful and important artifact housed by the Old Mouse City Mouseum: the Stone of Fire. It’s up to Stiltonoot and his fellow sleuth and friend, Hercule Poirat, to uncover not only the theft, but a dangerous plot that jeopardizes all of Old Mouse City. As stand-ins for the rest of the Stilton cast, Stiltonoot has in common with Stilton a cousin named Trap, a sister named Thea and a nephew named Benjamin. The slapstick comedy and design, busy with type changes and color, will be familiar for Stilton readers. The world is fictionalized for comedic effect, featuring funny uses for dinosaurs and cheeky references to how far back in time they are, with only the occasional sidebar that presents facts. The story takes a bit long to get started, spending a lot of time reiterating the worldbuilding information laid out before the first chapter. But once it does start, it is an adventure Stilton readers will enjoy. Geronimo Stiltonoot has the right combination of familiarity and newness to satisfy Stilton fans. (Fiction. 6-10)

 

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-44774-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Celebrated collaborators deliver another thoughtful delight, revealing how “making marks” links us across time and space.

CAVE PAINTINGS

A trip to grandmother’s launches light-years beyond the routine sort, as a human child travels from deep space to Earth.

The light-skinned, redheaded narrator journeys alone as flight attendants supply snacks to diverse, interspecies passengers. The kid muses, “Sometimes they ask me, ‘Why are you always going to the farthest planet?’ ”The response comes after the traveler hurtles through the solar system, lands, and levitates up to the platform where a welcoming grandmother waits: “Because it’s worth it / to cross one universe / to explore another.” Indeed, child and grandmother enter an egg-shaped, clear-domed orb and fly over a teeming savanna and a towering waterfall before disembarking, donning headlamps, and entering a cave. Inside, the pair marvel at a human handprint and ancient paintings of animals including horses, bison, and horned rhinoceroses. Yockteng’s skilled, vigorously shaded pictures suggest references to images found in Lascaux and Chauvet Cave in France. As the holiday winds down, grandmother gives the protagonist some colored pencils that had belonged to grandfather generations back. (She appears to chuckle over a nude portrait of her younger self.) The pencils “were good for making marks on paper. She gave me that too.” The child draws during the return trip, documenting the visit and sights along the journey home. “Because what I could see was infinity.” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9.8-by-19.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 85% of actual size.)

Celebrated collaborators deliver another thoughtful delight, revealing how “making marks” links us across time and space. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77306-172-6

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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