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

Category results for 'translations'.

Adventures with Waffles is a Norwegian tale by a Norwegian author, all about two children who live next door to each other: Trille and Lena. They are nine years old, and get into all kinds of mischief together, because they are best friends -- or at least, Lena is Trille's best friend, but he often wonders whether or not she is his. Lena is the loud one with crazy ideas, while Trille is more subdued, but he follows through on some craziness of his own.

One of the topics in the story, aside from general mischief and close shaves, is the fact that Lena has no dad, and wants to figure out a way to get one. Another topic is death: Trille's "Auntie Granny" dies, and he struggles with his feelings of missing her. There are a couple very sensitive scenes where he talks about this feelings with trusted adults, and I really liked how he was free to express such things -- especially the scene were his father plays him a new song he wrote called "Sad Son, Sad Dad."

As over-the-top as the adventures sometimes are (though nothing too absurd), it's the realistic relationships and caring family that is really at the heart of this book. As an aside, the way the characters are silhouetted on the cover and on the beginning page of each chapter reminds me a little bit of the illustrations in the Bobbsey Twins books. Though there are no larger illustrations in the book, the chapters are fairly short, making it a good read-aloud for early-elementary-aged children. 

Scrounged From: Sonlight

Format: Paperback
Author: Maria Parr
Pages: 240
Content Advisory: A death happens in this story (of Trille's "Auntie Granny," but it is handled sensitively.

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Florence & Leon is an unusual picture book in that it is pretty much a quirky romance story (not something I often see in picture books, but perhaps it's more common in French ones, as this was originally published in French), and while it's written at a level that children can understand, I imagine it would appeal more to teens and adults, though I could be wrong. 

I do like the visual of the straws that each person uses to describe their particular physical difficulty, and the connection they make because of it. That's an aspect that older children might be able to appreciate, especially with a common object being used as an illustration. 

Perhaps it's cheesy in places, and it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I thought it was cute.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Simon Boulerice
Illustrator: Delphie Côté-Lacroix
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

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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

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The Pink Umbrella, originally published in French, is a tender story about a woman named Adele who manages a cafe, and loves the sunny weather. But when it rains, she has a hard time coping. 

But then someone begins leaving her gifts to help protect her in the rainy weather, and she wonders who it could be... 

The illustrations here are just perfect -- there's a lot of pink of course, but it doesn't feel overdone because the tones are so soft and beautiful. The story has just the right touch of romance to it which is communicated through thoughfulness and friendship -- the very best kind, in my opinion.

The only thing I didn't like was how the first quarter or so was written -- it felt like too much direct "summary" that didn't flow very well, and sometimes switched tenses as well. Of course, perhaps the fact that this is a translation is why it feels a bit clunky to me, but it's absolutely worth reading. It's not even that wordy, overall, but probably would appeal more to older children (or adults!) than younger ones.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Amélie Callot
Illustrator: Geneviève Godbout
Pages: 72
Content Advisory: None

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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

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