By Matthew Olshan, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall ( Margaret Ferguson Books – 2016 )
In the year and a half since the flight of the first manned balloon in 1783, it seems that everyone has taken to the skies, but no one has yet managed to fly from one country to another. Dr.John Jeffries, an Englishman, and his pilot, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, a Frenchman, want to be the first. There’s only one problem: they can’t stand each other! They lift off from England on Jannuary 7, 1785, as enemies, but when disaster strikes, they have to work together to come up with a clever (and surpuising) solution to save the day. >>>On the last page, Author’s Note about Dr. John Jeffries and Jean-Pierre Blanchard. Sophie Blackall’s books in SHI collection.
By Shane Peacock, Illustrated by Sophie Casson (Owlkinds Books – 2016）
The Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh lived in southern France, in the 1880s and he was mocked for being different. Children and adults alike called him names and laughed at him. Inspired by these events, this book is the fictional confession of one of van Gogh’s bullies — a young boy who adopted the popular attitude of adults around him. But deep down the boy senses the truth-this hard working crazy man is creating magical painting that allow people to see the world in a brand new way. And later, when the boy is an old man, and he visited the great gallery with his grandson, he realized how terribly wrong he was.
By Karen Hesse, Illustrated by Wendy Watson ( Scholastic Press – 2004 )
The cats in Krasinski Square once belonged to someone….And so did a young girl, whose family has been destroyed by war. Even as she and her sister struggle to survive amid the war’s chaos, they risk their lives on a plan to help Jewish people still trapped behind Warsaw’s infamous Ghetto walls. >>>The story inspired on an article about cats outfoxing the Gestapo at the train station in Warsaw during WWII.
In 1224, Saint Francis of Assisi wrote a simple hymn of praise that beautifully encompasses all that he experienced in the Italian countryside. Written in the plain Umbrian dialect of his homeland. Francis’s words celebrate the breadth of creation, from the sun, moon, wind, and fire to community, family, work, and contemplation. Almost eight hundred years later, beloved children’s book author Katherine Paterson reimagines the hymn in poetic languages that shares Francis’s honest and direct gaze at all aspect of life, and resonates with the joy, light and shadow found there. Pamela Dalton’s exquisite cut-paper illustrations illuminate the text with images that perfectly match the spirit of Saint Francis’s song of praise.
Sadie and her four mischievous younger brothers live in a small drafty cottage on the outskirts of tiny Russian village. They are very poor and always hungry. But on the first wintry night of Chanukah, Sadie is given a frying pan that cooks up sizzling-hot, delicious potato pancakes on command. When Sadie goes out on the last day of Chanukah, she warns her brothers not to touch the magic pan. But the minute she sets foot outside the door…>>> Sadie’s Latkes (recipe) and a Note about Chanukah are found on the last page.
By Pirkko Vainio, English Translated by J. Alison James (North-South Books – 1997)
Lucas and his cat finally left their apartment to build themselves a home. Lucas had been saving his money to build his dream house. He got a small island, but it allowed him to build up one room on top of another. One night a storm came, and his high tower house bent like a reed. Next morning, Lucas found his house was changed to a wonderful bridge which were welcoming children to make him and his cat more happy.>>> The original book was published in Switzerland.
By Dianne Hofmeyr, Illustrated by Jane Ray (Quanrt Knows – 2017)
In sixteenth-century Venice, Daniela is so gloomy and glum that her father, a glassmaker, offers a glass palace to the person whoever can make his daughter smile. Everyone from a mask maker to a lion tamer tries their luck, to no avail…..but then Angelo, a young apprentice, presents Daniela with a mysterious gift. It’s a glass mirror which Angelo created.
By Shlomo Abas, Illustrated by Omer Hoffmann, Translated by Gilah Kahn-Hoffmann （Green Bean Books – 2019 for English Edition, the original in 2016)
Once upon a time in Eastern Europe, there was a small city called Chelm. The people there were known as ”The sages of Chelm” because they were supposedly very wise and intelligent. One night when the moon disappeared, they had many troubles in the darkness, and they decided to buy a new moon.
Maria loves tea parties and dancing and wearing hair in pigtails, but more than anything in the world….Maria loves Churros. She’ll do anything to get her hands on more of them-even enter a bullfight. To win, she must outsmart the other matadors, who don’t think she’s big enough, fast enough, or strong enough. With determination and creativity, Maria discovers that you don’t have to fight to win and you might even end up with more than you were hoping for.
It has been a log time since Strega Nona had a vacation. Then one night Strega Nona dreams she’s at her Grandma Concetta’s little house by the seashore. And all the next day she hears Grandma Concetta’s voice saying, “Vieni, Nonalima, come.” Nona decides that she will take a vacation there. While she is away, her big daughter and son can be left alone for just one week….what could possibly go wrong?
>>>Other books of Tomie dePaola: Angeles, Angels Everywhere, Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, The Legend of the Bluebonnet.