The Way Home in the Night, Akiko Miyakoshi's new picture book, is truly lovely. The anthropomorphized animal characters in this new picture book are so expressive and the portrayal of a child's thoughts while being carried home through quiet streets at the end of a long day are so sweet. The Way Home in the Night is a beautiful picture book that will leave you feeling better than you did before you read it. Akiko Miyakoshi is also the creator of the highly acclaimed picture books The Tea Party in the Woods and The Storm.
The summer months are a fascinating time to experience night; there's so much going on! But there are picture books about the world at night at all times of the year: Owl Moon, Mr. Moon, The House in the Night, Twenty Yawns, and more. Let's get out there! But first, (so sleepy) we'll just close our eyes for a minute...
Inspired by the folktales and fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Shaun Tan's The Singing Bones is neither a retelling of these old stories nor a picture book but instead a combination of the two. The Singing Bones combines short snippets of text with weird and beautiful sculptural illustrations that offer us a new look at these classic stories. While we all know the story of "Snow White", for example, the depiction of the evil Queen as a blood-red, spiky-topped demon face is a strange new way of seeing that character. On the other hand, the illustration for "The Boots of Buffalo Leather" is so utterly weird that you'll want to look up this forgotten tale just to see what could have inspired it.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration for your patio or trying to perk up your houseplants, Potted: Make Your Own Stylish Garden Plants is a great place to start. Potted offers a variety of fun d.i.y projects to build cool and creative pots for all sorts of plants, whether in outdoors spaces or inside on a windowsill. The instructions are detailed and include a number of pictures, making these d.i.y’s a no-brainer.
Kim & Kim is a vibrant and humorous adult comic series that stars butt-kicking female bounty hunters Kim Quatro and Kim Dantzler, who favor as weapons a blue guitar and a pink gun respectively. The Kims really just want to make enough money to pay their rent, without having to ask their parents and friends for hand-outs.
The series takes place in a futuristic, outer space setting, and exudes color and imagination. The first volume, titled This Glamorous, High-Flying Rock Star Life, contains issues 1-4. Magdalene Visaggio is the writer; Eva Cabrera pencils and inks; colorist Claudia Aguirre adds bubblegum brightness; letterer Zaak Saam and editor Katy Rex complete the team. I expect that fans of Nimona, Rat Queens and Scott Pilgrim will take a shine to Kim & Kim.
There’s something about graphic memoirs that allows them to
resonate with me in a way that normal memoirs do not. When a person’s life
story is illustrated in frames that capture snapshots of their life, it’s even
easier to put myself in their shoes and feel their experiences.
If you’re looking for a particularly beautiful graphic memoir, look no further than Flying Couch,
by Amy Kurzweil. This book encompasses two stories: it is centrally focused on Kurzweil, and her experience finding her identity as a Jewish woman, and along the way, the memoir is interlaced with her grandmother’s story of surviving the holocaust by assuming the
identity of a Polish gentile girl. I loved learning about a culture so
different from my own, and traveling with Kurzweil as she goes from Michigan,
to New York, Israel, and Germany. I heartily recommend it.
I have new reader in my life and their favorite book right now is any title from Shannon Hale and Dean Hale's Princess in Black series. The writing is great and the books are entertaining for kids and adults. KPL owns so many books by Shannon Hale and they are all just as excellent. Some are novels and others are graphic novels. She writes for kids, teens, and adults. Other favorites of mine include the Books of Bayern, a retold fairy tale series for tweens and teens, Real Friends, a graphic memoir about middle school, and Dangerous, an action packed dystopian fantasy for teens.
Unfortunately I stopped reading this book because the writing was dry and academic. I don't mean it had a lot of data, graphs, and analysis - of course it did - I just mean that the writing wasn't smooth, entertaining, exciting, or narrative-driven in any way.
Oh, what have I become! I used to love these books! Apparently my college days of reading are gone.
I also got a little bogged down in the economics, which is frankly over my head.
Anyway, this is a very deep look into the concept, theory, and practice of Universal Basic Income. See my previous post for a more accessible, American-centered book on UBI (which I did read from cover to cover).
The book ends of proposing what they call a "partial basic income." In this model, every citizen gets a monthly paycheck from the government. This amount is "partial" because it doesn't lift a person above the poverty line. Other welfare programs are kept intact and used to get people over the poverty line. It's more complicated than other UBI models, but the authors go into great detail on why they think it's the right call.
Alison Jay has illustrated a wonderful, wordless picture book, Bee & Me. The first time I "read" it, I named the little girl Alice. Alice meets a tiny Bee that happens to enter her world through her bedroom window in the big city. The two become inseparable as Alice learns to care for her friend the Bee. It wasn't until the second time I read the book that I realized I had to give Roger a name (and then I changed Alice's name to Mariah). The best thing about wordless picture books is the endless adventures that can be created with each reading. The next time I read it, Laura, Nigel and Horace (that’s the Bee) will share a new adventure.
- 7/12/2017 03:59:17 PM, by Kala
- Topics: Kids
The author, a liberal Berkeley sociologist, goes into the deep south and follows around a handful of Tea Party advocates. Although the premise of this book is noble - to empathize with the far right - I really wonder if this book accomplishes that goal. Or worse, backfires. I feel that Republicans might be offended that these people are giving them a bad name, especially after reading the book. And I feel that Democrats, especially liberal ones, might be horrified at what these people saying - verifying their worst fears and creating even more distance between them.
The overarching political narrative of the book is about poverty, lack of education, environmental disaster, corporate greed, and politicians who don't care about the people they serve. I'm talking about Louisiana, and all of these forces hit the people very hard. The personal stories of how these Tea Party people were affected by politics and things beyond their control is disturbing indeed and that, to me, is where a lot of compassion kicks in. In the end, you get a sense of where they're coming from.
Still, there is an undercurrent of racism in the background, lingering and festering; the idea that white taxes are going to those lazy, poor urban people "cutting in line". The author doesn't want to judge, so she remains silent. That needs to be addressed.
I would really love to hear other thoughts about this book, from people with various political views.
Never a Dull Moment: 1971, the Year That Rock Exploded is
the title of this 2016 book that puts forth the assertion that 1971 was a
pivotal year in popular music. There are 12 chapters, one for each month of the
year. Many musicians and groups are discussed, such as Don McLean, Sly and the
Family Stone, the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Carpenters, Carly Simon, Judy
Collins, and many, many more. For readers under say, 55, this could be an
introduction. For others like myself, who as a freshman and sophomore at WMU
experienced 1971 firsthand along with lots of its music, it will be a
review of the music complemented with stories of the musicians. These
accounts are given a backdrop of the political, social, and economic climate of
the time, adding to the interest of this book.