Perfect Picture Book Friday
In The Star Festival (Albert Whitman & Company, 2021) by Moni Ritchie Hadley and illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa, I loved learning about this Japanese festival of Tanabata Matsuri through the eyes of little Keiko. The parallels between the folktale of Orihime and Hikoboshi (lovers separated by the Emperor of Heaven) and Keiko and Obaasan (her grandmother) are fun. The twist on who gets lost was great. I like how the traditions of the festival are shown through the actions of the story. I love the bright illustrations, too.
This is the author’s debut picture book. The book is being launched virtually at Once Upon a Time bookstore on April 3rd. Read about Moni here. You can see some pictures that inspired the book on this page.
You can see the illustrator’s other books here and look at more samples of Mizuho’s artwork here.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
Heart of a Shepherd (Random House Books for Children, 2009) by Rosanne Parry is a lovely book. I enjoyed the intergenerational relationships, the faith of the main character, and a look into a military and shepherd family’s life.
12-year-old Brother (Ignatius) is not happy. His dad, who is in the Reserves, has to go to Iraq. His older brothers are away at school and he and his grandparents have to keep the ranch going. Brother thinks that keeping the ranch the same will help bring his dad home safely. But sheep ranching is not really his thing.
Here’s encouragement for other writers from Rosanne’s site: “It took me seven years to go from my first idea for Heart of a Shepherd to a finished book. But in those seven years I also wrote another novel, two mysteries, lots of short stories and many newspaper and magazine articles.”
I next plan to read Second Fiddle, another book by Roseanne about military families.