#IMWAYR: Picture Book Pandemonium, Part 10!
First of all, things are still hectic, but spring break is almost here—so close!
Second of all, my mom, who is always—always—right, told me to take some breaks and work on my blog, and that is probably the reason I actually have a post for you all this week!
Third of all, I know this is not the Cybils follow-up post I was planning to put up, and that may not be up until a week or two from now, due to the slightly inconvenient fact that it doesn't exist yet.
Fourth of all, there's still reason to celebrate, because this post is the first chance I have had in weeks to read books on my own, for fun! (And my mom was right—it was so healing.) AND—this is the first chance I have had ever to check out physical picture books from my local library, meaning I got to track down some obscure but delightful stories that I cannot wait to discuss today!
Fifth of all, this post will be very short, so please just trust that all of these stories are delightful, even if I can't do my usual rambling on about them.
And sixth of all, I just want to thank all of you for sticking with my blog even as I have been a commenting fiasco and a slight blogging fiasco as well—I am so grateful for each and every one of you!
With that, let's dive in!
What book is it? Bright Star by Yuyi Morales
(Morales has won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award six times, not including honors and one author award too, and this book follows in those footsteps as a Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book!)
What does the publisher say? "Yuyi Morales weaves the tale of a fawn making her way through a landscape that is dangerous, beautiful--and full of potential. A gentle voice urges her onward, to face her fears and challenge the obstacles that seek to hold her back.
Child, you are awake!
You are alive!
You are a bright star,
Inside our hearts."
What stood out to me? The artwork in this story is unbelievable—the vivid colors, the textures, the photorealism that almost becomes surrealism when it's on the page. It's stunning.
This is a story of plants, animals, people, and the Mexican-American border, and how all of those are interwoven. Sometimes that's for the worse, when my country goes off the rails trying to keep people out and wreaks havoc not just on people, but on ecosystems too.
But sometimes that's for the better, and Morales's weaving (somewhat literally with yarn motifs!) of the natural world, the Spanish language, and words of speaking out and of being loved makes for a story that feels not just utterly unique, but utterly familiar too.
What's my verdict? A short read, but absolutely gorgeous!
What book is it? The Cot in the Living Room, written by Hilda Eunice Burgos and illustrated by Gaby D'Alessandro
What does the publisher say? "Night after night, a young girl watches her mami set up a cot in the living room for guests in their Washington Heights apartment, like Raquel (who's boring) and Edgardo (who gets crumbs everywhere). She resents that they get the entire living room with a view of the George Washington Bridge, while all she gets is a tiny bedroom with a view of her sister (who snores). Until one night when no one comes, and it's finally her chance! But as it turns out, sleeping on the cot in the living room isn't all she thought it would be.
With charming text by Hilda Eunice Burgos and whimsical illustrations by Gaby D'Alessandro, The Cot in the Living Room is a celebration of the ways a Dominican American community takes care of one another while showing young readers that sometimes the best way to be a better neighbor is by imagining how it feels to spend a night sleeping on someone else's pillow."