Encounter

Based on the real journal kept by French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534, Encounter imagines a first meeting between a French sailor and a Stadaconan fisher. As they navigate their differences, the wise animals around them note their similarities, illuminating common ground. This extraordinary imagining by Brittany Luby, Professor of Indigenous History, is paired with stunning art by Michaela Goade, winner of 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Best Picture Book Award. Encounter is a luminous telling from two Indigenous creators that invites readers to reckon with the past, and to welcome, together, a future that is yet unchartered.

The Mermaid In The Bathtub (Yonder)

One day, a resolutely ordinary young man named Mr. Whatwilltheysay returns home to find Grain-of-Sand, a mermaid, waiting for him in his favorite armchair. Despite his objections, the two embark on a series of very watery adventures as he tries to get rid of her. But ultimately the thought of being seen with half a fish is simply too much for Mr. Whatwilltheysay to bear—what would people say? So broken-hearted Grain-of-Sand returns to the sea in his bathtub, leaving Mr. Whatwilltheysay to resume his pedestrian existence. Mr. Whatwilltheysay soon finds that his beloved landlubber life, however, lacks the splash and shimmer (and bathtub) of his good times with Grain-of-Sand—and acting against all his instincts, he sets off to sea to find her.

Grandpa’s Top Threes

Henry loves talking with Grandpa, but Grandpa has stopped listening. Mom says to just give him time. But Henry wants to talk to Grandpa now. So Henry tries his favorite game: Top Threes. And something amazing happens: Grandpa starts talking again. Out of a tale of favorite sandwiches and zoo animals, outings and trains, emerges a moving story about love, loss, and the wonder of grannies and grandpas.

Daniel And Ismail

Daniel and Ismail, one Jewish and the other Palestinian, don’t know each other yet, but they have more in common than they know. They live in the same city and have the same birthday, and this year they get the same presents: a traditional scarf—for Daniel a tallit and for Ismail a keffiyeh and a soccer ball. Taking their gifts out for a spin, they meet by chance on a soccer field, and they soon begin to play together and show off the tricks they can do. They get so absorbed in the fun that they lose track of time and mix up their gifts: Daniel picks up Ismail’s keffiyeh and Ismail takes Daniel’s tallit. When they get home and discover their mistake, their parents are shocked and angry, asking the boys if they realize who wears those things. That night, Daniel and Ismail have nightmares about what they have seen on the news and heard from adults about the other group. But the next day, they find each other in the park and get back to what really matters: having fun and playing the game they both love.

Soldier For Equality

José de la Luz Sáenz (1888–1953)—or Luz—believed in fighting for what was right. Although he was born in the United States, he and his family experienced prejudice because of their Mexican heritage. When World War I broke out, Luz volunteered to join the fight. Because of his ability to quickly learn languages, he became part of the Intelligence Office in Europe. However, despite his hard work and intellect, Luz often didn’t receive credit for his contributions. Upon his return to the US, he joined other Mexican-Americans whom he had met in the army to fight for equality. His contribution, along with others, ultimately led to the creation of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which is the oldest Latino civil rights organization. Soldier for Equality is based in part on Luz’s diary during the war. It includes a biography of Luz’s later years, an author’s note, a timeline, a bibliography, and an index.

Between Us And Abuela: A Family Story From The Border

When Maria, Juan, and their mother go to the border between California and Mexico to visit their grandmother at Christmas, Maria must devise a way to get Juan’s gift over the fence.

Featured in WOW Review Volume XII, Issue 3

Moon Man

In this gently satiric fable, Ungerer pokes fun at self-important adults who are afraid of anything or anyone unfamiliar, and reminds us that there is indeed no place like home. On its first publication in the US in 1967, at the height of the Space Race, Moon Man won the Book Week prize for books for children aged 4-8, and Maurice Sendak described it in “Book Week” as ‘Easily one of the bet picture books in recent years’. Since then, it has been translated into 12 languages. “Moon Man” will be the next classic Ungerer tale to be turned into a full-length feature film, following on from the success of the award-winning “The Three Robbers”, which was shown in French and German cinemas in 2007 and is due to be launched on DVD in the English-speaking world in Fall 2008. Bored and lonely in his shimmering home in space, the Moon Man watches the people on Earth dancing and having a good time.Just once, he thinks, he would like to join in the fun. So one night, he holds on to a passing comet and crash lands on Earth. But the unexpected arrival of this mysterious visitor causes statesmen, scientists and generals to panic, and the Moon Man is thrown into jail. Alone in his cell, the Moon Man uses his special powers to slip through the hands of the law: it turns out that in accordance with the lunar phases, the Moon Man waxes and wanes. His left side starts to disappear – the Moon Man is his third quarter – and as the moon grows thinner and thinner, so does the Moon Man.Finally, he is able to squeeze through the bars of his window and escape. Two weeks later, and once again fully formed, he enjoys his new-found freedom on Earth, and dances happily for hours at a party where all the other guests are wearing elaborate costumes and simply think he has dressed up as the Man in the Moon. But the police are on his trail, and a wild chase ensues.Fleeing through a forest, Moon Man finds a remote castle, where he is welcomed by an ancient, long-forgotten scientist named Doktor Bunsen van der Dunkel, who has been working on a space ship for centuries, with the aim of flying to the moon. Now too old and fat to fit into the completed rocket himself, Doktor van der Dunkel asks Moon Man to be the first passenger. Knowing that he would never be able to live on Earth in peace, Moon Man returns home to his planet, happy to stay there forever now that his curiosity has been sated. Back on Earth, Doktor van der Dunkel finally gets the recognition he deserves for his scientific breakthrough.