Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Love Made Me More imbues objects with love and magic

Love Made Me More, by Colleen Rowan Kosinski/Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez, (Dec 2022, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 9781542006200

Ages 4-7

A boy and with brown skin and dark hair, and his grandmother with tan skin and greying hair sit at a table, folding origami cranes. The boy’s paper – “just a piece of paper – orange with white and blue spots” – transforms into Origami Crane, and his love for his Boy runs deeply. The feeling is mutual, as we see Origami Crane provide friendship and comfort, imagination and adventure. As the boy grows older, he and Crane go on fewer adventures, and when a new person enters the Boy’s life, Crane is momentarily upset: and then the Crane discovers that love can multiply, not divide. A superb story of the magic we give objects, Love Made Me More spans generations and illustrates the passage of rituals. Uncomplicated storytelling, narrated by the Crane, is moving and creates an invested relationship between the Crane and the Boy; children and adults alike will understand the relationship and the meaning of the phrase, “Love has made me so much more”: it’s the love, the memories, the feelings, that create our investment with certain objects. Digital illustrations have a hand-colored feel. The Crane gives off a warm glow during time spent with the Boy. Bright oranges and deep greens bring the spreads to life, and movement swirls around each spread: pieces of paper, dream journeys, tendrils of light. An excellent readaloud choice, Love Made Me More allows for discussions on our favorite objects and the memories they hold for us.

The Spruce Crafts has step-by-step instructions on folding a paper crane, complete with photos and a video.

Love Made Me More has a starred review from School Library Journal.

 

Colleen Rowan Kosinski is the author of A Home Again and the author-illustrator of Lilla’s Sunflowers and A Promise Stitched in Time. She received her BA from Rutgers University in visual art, is an alumna of Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art and Design, and spent many years as a successful freelance fine artist. Colleen calls New Jersey her home and resides there with her family. Learn more at http://www.colleenrowankosinski.com.

Sonia Sánchez is the illustrator of a number of picture books, including Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina, A Crazy-Much Love by Joy Jordan-Lake, and The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier. Her books have been nominated for the Eisner Award and named a CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. She lives with her husband, her kids, and a sleepyhead cat in Barcelona, Spain.

 

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Let your imagination run wild with your Fablehaven guide!

book-of-imaginationFablehaven Book of Imagination, by Brandon Mull, (Oct. 2016, Shadow Mountain), $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-62972-241-2

Recommended for ages 7-12

Fablehaven Fans, get ready! If you’ve ever wanted to draw your own magical preserve map, mix your own potions, or make an origami Olloch, the Fablehaven Book of Imagination is for you! It’s an activity book that has recipes, origami, writing prompts, and coloring pictures all through the book – anything to spark your creativity and imagination. There are quotes about imagination and creativity throughout the book; I was thrilled to see quotes from Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, and JRR Tolkien, who may well be considered my personal trinity. Fans who are waiting patiently (or impatiently) for Dragonwatch, the new sequel series to Fablehaven, can track down a secret message from Brandon Mull, hidden throughout the book. A note at the beginning explains how.

Make this book yours – color in it, cut out and make the beasties, color and frame the quotes. This is your journal: you even get to write your name on it. Librarians already know that this isn’t the type of book we can put in circ, but we can have entire programs using this book as a guide – hello, summer reading in Fablehaven! – let your kids create codenames, place classified ads for help with their magical preserves, make magical webs – everything you need to run a successful Fablehaven program is in here if you’re a librarian, and it’s a great stocking stuffer for anyone whose imagination likes to run wild. (I’m totally coloring Neil Gaiman’s quote page to frame at my desk.) There are games online at the Fablehaven Preserve; there are also downloadable educators’ guides, and videos to prompt discussion.

 

Posted in Fiction, Humor, Middle School, Tween Reads

Darth Paper Strikes Back, by Tom Angelberger (Amulet, 2011)

Recommended for ages 9-12
After reading Angelberger’s first book in his “Origami” series, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, I had to get the sequel. I am pleased to say that the sequel matches up to the original.

The McQuarrie Middle School gang is back, but the happy beginnings we saw at the end of Origami Yoda are nowhere to be found; to top it off, Harvey shows up at school with Darth Paper, his answer to Origami Yoda. In no time, Harvey’s managed to get Dwight suspended and under the threat of being sent to a special school for troubled children. Origami Yoda asks Tommy to put together another case file, this time, to show Dwight in a favorable light and get his suspension overturned. With Harvey threatening to throw a wrench in their work at every turn, can Tommy and his friends make everything right again – this time, without Origami Yoda’s advice?

If readers enjoyed Origami Yoda, they will enjoy Darth Paper Strikes Back. The book is written in the same fun, first-person style as the original, and the conflict with love-to-hate-him Harvey (and Darth Paper) adds a fun counterpoint to Origami Yoda’s sage advice while adding some unexpected depth to the book, particularly at the conclusion.
For more information about The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and author Tom Angleberger, you can see my original post.