Islandborn: A Picture Book
Illustrated by Leo Espinosa
A Review of
Hardback: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2012
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
Reviewed by Susan R. Adams.
In early February, the Butler University community was privileged to meet and hear local Indianapolis artist and author, Michele Wood, speak about her collaboration with writer, Cynthia Grady, in the beautiful poetry book, I Lay My Stitches Down. Michele Wood’s earlier publications have earned prestigious awards, including the American Book Award for Going Back Home and the Coretta Scott King Award for I See the Rhythm. (To learn more about Michele Wood and to see examples of her work, please visit her website.) I feel so fortunate to have the privilege of hearing Michele Wood speak and watching her move through the book page by page, generously explaining her approach as the illustrator for each of Cynthia Grady’s poems.
A Brief Review of
The Enemy: A Book About Peace.
Illustrated by Serge Bloch.
Hardcover: Schwartz and Wade, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
Review by Libby Bowling (Age 11).
[ There is an excellent preview of this book on Google Books! ]
The Enemy written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Serge Bloch is a book that I found particularly good. It is about two soldiers who are enemies, and they both think the other person is a horrible creature that has no mercy. Each is focused on killing the other, while really, they both want to go home to their families — the families that they are trying to protect by killing the enemy. They think that the enemy will kill their family along with their pets if they allow themselves to die in the war.
The book is written as if it were a journal; it is easy to understand, and is a good book for children and adults alike.
The pictures in this book are also very simple and have little color, but are great just the same. They look as if they have been penciled onto the page, and almost the only color in them are the army uniforms that are roughly colored in green. However, the pictures go well with the words in the book because they look as if they appear as if they are also part of the journal.
The soldiers’ lives in this book were horrible. They were both hungry and tired and desperate; they are completely lost in their efforts to blast each other to smithereens, but those efforts lead them to do something that they never considered. The end of this book has a surprising twist through which the enemies become friends. The book reminds its readers of the pointlessness of going to war and fighting people who are just like you.