Friday, October 1, 2021

"189 Canaries", "I Can Help," & "Black & White" are superb fall releases from Eerdmans Young Readers Books

Eerdmans BYR

189 Canaries by Dieter Böge & illustrated by Elsa Klever

My thoughts:
The tiny Canary has brought joy and comfort to many as they sing their tiny hearts out while captured in their cages and placed in homes of many. 

I wondered when I saw the book title just why such a specific number. As the story unfolded I understood.

Illustrated in dirty, dark colors the spot of brightness comes from the gaiety that is the cheerful bird - the Canary. The author tells the story of the single canary's journey along with that of 188 other canaries across the ocean to find a new home. The end pages give history and details of canaries, their cages, their journey, and also how used in mines to determine safe breathing air.

A good book.

About the book: In a cozy room in northern Germany, a yellow canary sings rolling melodies to the miners and carpenters of the Harz mountains. But today a bird dealer has come, and he will take the canary far, far away from everything he knows. The journey leads onto trains and steamships, across Europe and even the Atlantic. At last the canary arrives in a room in New York where he hears a strangely familiar song…

This beautiful, poignant book introduces readers to the little-known history of a beloved songbird. Lushly illustrated in rich colors, 189 Canaries is an unforgettable story about music, migration, and the search for home.

I Can Help by Reem Faruqi & illustrated by Mikela Prevost

My thoughts:
  This is quite an interesting take on the elementary classroom and student-helping-student activity. It begins with a multi-ethnic/racial classroom and shows good and bad interactions between children.

This interaction doesn't seem to be based on ethnical or racial issues, but just on human behavior. The little girl just simply wants to be a helper. And Kyle, the little white boy who constantly needs help, needs someone. Finally, she is chosen by the teacher to help. Delighted, she and Kyle work well together.

Then on the playground her girl classmates (strangely, they seem caucasian - she is dark skinned) belittle her helpful activities and she feels shame. Then she stops helping Kyle much to her own distress.

A year passes, and then strangely she gets another chance, but not with Kyle.

A good story of getting along together, helping, and the effect of attitudes on one another.

About the book: When Ms. Underwood asks if anyone wants to help Kyle, Zahra always volunteers. She loves spending time with Kyle—he’s creative and generous, and he makes the funniest jokes at lunch. But when Zahra’s other classmates start teasing her for helping him, she starts making choices she regrets.

I Can Help is a gentle, sensitive portrayal of reaching out, facing peer pressure, and learning from past mistakes. With thoughtful storytelling and poignant illustrations, this book will open discussions about choosing kindness in the classroom and beyond.

Black and White by Debora Vogrig & illustrated by Pia Valentinis

My thoughts:
 This book of stark contrasts uses the absolute difference that is black and white to show that in life there are contrasts and differences.

Black is the night or darkness. White is the sunlight, day, or light. But they go on either enveloping each the other or complimenting and creating beauty in design. 

Across the day and the globe, the two persist in discovering their ability to work together to show the compliment design of that which is.
About the book: Black and White are so different—how can they ever get along? White wants to explore the world, but Black would rather stay under the bed. Black is playful and creative; White wants everything neat and tidy. But when Black and White work together, they can go on the most amazing adventures . . .

Perfect for teaching colors and opposites, Black and White is an imaginative exploration of the joys of diversity.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of each book to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Books provided by Eerdmans Publishing.

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