What do you do when your family tree doesn’t quite look like everyone else’s?
Kanella is a stray dog who lives on the island of Lesvos in Greece. She’s scrawny, afraid of humans, the other dogs, and even the alley cats from whom she can steal away no food. She ekes out a lonely existence, until she finds a home among the camp workers who have arrived to help refugees from the Middle East embark on the next leg of their perilous journey (this is implied by the description of the refugees, and confirmed in the Author’s Notes).
This book is a funny and cute lesson on getting to know others before we judge them and not jumping to conclusions about the intentions of others. Which is why I was a tad disappointed that the book ended on the goblin and unicorns agreeing on the fact. . . .
Where is home? Where is here? When you are a child, home is usually where your things are. This is particularly true for kids, being the scavenging hoarders they are. And here? Home is here and here is where you are. So what happens to your sense of home, when you have to leave everything you know behind to travel to distant lands?
In this book from New Zealand, a young Māori boy dreams of making a big splash. Literally. All he wants to do is be able to cannonball into the water. Everyone around him seems to be able to do it, and if you could cannonball, you were someone around these parts.
On a snowy day a young girl and her mom trudge through the snow to get home after school. It’s clear that the little girl is not only more comfortable with snow than her mother, but that she actually delights in it. The mom, meanwhile, is reminiscing and missing her clearly tropical home country.
The same cadence and pattern follows through the book. As the book progresses, the creatures get increasingly smaller, the shadows deepen, a gentle snow starts to fall, and the little girl’s hood goes up. The book culminates in the little girl arriving at a cottage and being greeted by her own adult – a bearded man waving her in:
Miki Sato’s illustrations steal the show here. Each spread features kids of every hue marveling at the magic of the winter season — playing, building snowmen, shoveling, even trudging through the wintry landscape.
The text in the book is simple, the art radiant. Poet Ruth Forman and Illustrator Geneva Bowers deliver an charming tale of four girls delighting in their hair.