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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'rural'.

The Golden Glow is a story about a fox who loves botany (originally published in French). One day he goes off in search of "the golden glow" -- a very rare flower, which (he is eventually told) can only be found at the very top of the mountain. 

The story takes its time in reaching this destination (though it's not draggy or overly wordy), including informational pages here and there featuring topics such as items for hiking preparedness, common flowers, trees, mountain elevation zones, etc.

I liked the illustrations, especially the color palette, though the "angular" way that most things are drawn is interesting considering how sleekness and curves seem to be the order of the day.

Ultimately I appreciated the message of the story, which is that nature appreciation doesn't need to mean possessing everything we find, especially items that are rare and beautiful. I also thought this story avoided the common pitfall of presenting important ideas in a didactic way. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author/illustrator: Benjamin Flouw
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

I was immediately attracted to the beautiful cover art on Red Sky at Night. The colors are so soft, complement each other well, and seem filled with light. The human characters in the illustrations appear to be paper cut-outs, so I took a look at author/artist Elly MacKay's website to see what she shares about her artistic process. There she provides some examples of the "layers" that she builds in a theater setting to create her images -- so cool!

The text of this book is comprised of "weather sayings," some of which we have probably all heard before (such as the title). The illustrations serve as the primary narrative, and depict a grandfather taking his grandchildren on a fishing trip. Since so many weather sayings revolve around the sea, this is a fitting framework for the text, and I really love the accompanying images, especially the one with the whale!

To be honest, I was a bit skeptical of many of these sayings until I reached the end of the book and found an explanation for the scientific principles behind each one. Of course, none of them are foolproof and some may be questionable, but when you consider that these were written by people, such as farmers and fishermen, whose lives revolved so closely around the weather, it makes a lot more sense. 

In short, I really enjoyed this book, and the beautiful illustrations have inspired me to check out more work by Elly MacKay.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author/illustrator: Elly MacKay
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Ten Cents a Pound is a short, poetic, back-and-forth conversation between a mother and daughter, portraying their bond and love for each other. The mother gently encourages her daughter to dream, to learn, and to leave the village to attend school, while the daughter highlights the hard work her mother does and thus her reluctance to leave her.

The book simultaneously draws attention to the difficulties of living with low wages, while optimistically looking forward to the opportunities and possibilities of the future due to education.

The lovely illustrations are both realistic and wistful, and while this story may require some additional explanations for young children, it paints a beautiful picture of determination and potential. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Illustrator: Josée Bisaillon
Pages: 24
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Shelter is a gentle fable (originally published in French) that contains beautiful and absorbing artwork, full of earth tones and winter blues. In a forest neighborhood, a storm is coming. The animals get ready, but when a pair of strangers show up asking for shelter from the cold, they receive very mixed reactions -- but as the storm worsens, one family finds themselves needing shelter too. 

Different people will probably take different messages from this story (some reviewers see a possible "climate change" statement here since the visitors are polar bears), but for me the takeaway is that the best way to receive is through giving, and that compassion can breed more compassion. 

I thought the story was well told. Sometimes, the more important the message, the easier it can be for storytellers to communicate in heavy-handed ways, but I believe that was mostly avoided here, because the story can stand on its own. I assume the heart of this story is related to the current global refugee crisis, and if that's the case then this is a timely story indeed.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Celine Claire
Illustrator: Qin Leng
Pages: 42
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

The Elephant Keeper is a very thorough picture book with beautiful illustrations of Zambian landscapes, people, and of course elephants. This book is based on a true story about a boy named Aaron who finds an orphaned elephant struggling for its life in the pool of his workplace one morning. After rescuing it, he becomes invested in what happens to it, but also has to wrestle with his own fears as he has been taught that elephants are very dangerous creatures.

This book constructs a detailed narrative that follows Aaron to an elephant orphanage where he continues to observe and care for baby Zambezi (named after the river). The story is interspersed with occasional informational sections with photos and facts about elephants and their environments, as well as the organizations and systems in place to help orphaned elephants. 

There is a lot of information here, and this is an element of conservation I did not know much about, so I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and especially to get a glimpse into the daily lives of these "elephant keepers."

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Margriet Ruurs
Illustrator: Pedro Covo
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: An injured elephant that comes to the orphanage dies, but the subject is handled gently.

More Reviews at Amazon

 

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