Hey everyone, it’s Sarah!
Here are my selections for this month. If you are unfamiliar with the award it is given by the American Library Association to the illustrator that gave the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature.
Title: Gittel’s Journey:An Ellis Island Story
Author: Lesléa Newman
Illustrator: Amy June Bates
Gittel and her mother are immigrating to America. However, when the two get to Ellis Island, Gittel’s mother is turned away. Gittel, a little scared girl, must then continue by herself. Gittel’s mother gives her a paper with the address of the uncle she is staying. Gittel holds the paper close, but when she lands, the officers can no longer read the note. Gittel is worried that she will never get to her new home or be reunited with her mother, but a nice official has a plan for getting Gittel to where she belongs.
The art in this book was gorgeous, as was the several art techniques. The text and illustrations were accented with stamp work, which added to the historical feel of the book. The pops of color within the illustration ensured that your eye was always drawn to the main character and/or her mother. This allowed the work to focus on the collective immigrant experience, as well as the person journey the reader was following. The author used parts of her own family history to craft this book, which will lend it to be easily used in many classrooms.
Title: My Papi Has a Motorcycle
Author: Isabel Quintero
Illustrator: Zeke Peña
(I received this as an eARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.)
Daisy’s father works hard at construction, but he always has time to take her around the city on his motorcycle. Daisy in her unicorn adorned helmet zips through the town and sees her favorite places. They fly past the church, bodegas, and her grandparent’s lemon farm. While some of the places she loves have closed, the is a constant buzz and build throughout the town. Even with the changes, Daisy knows that she will always have her family traditions.
This book almost vibrates with movement. The blue motorcycle zips through the pages like a comet, complete with its blue tail. The town hums with its own life, with townsfolk selling things, construction workers building new businesses, and even animals racing through town. The murals provide a great insight into the town’s history, while also playing into the movement of the book. The drawings of the dog were random and funny, with their expressive eyes and body language (I have no idea what is going on there).