Microreview: The Gift of the Crocodile, retold by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Reynold Ruffins

The Gift of the Crocodile is a tale from Indonesia’s Spice Islands, retold by Judy Sierra and illustrated in vivid colour by Reynold Ruffins.

Why I like this book:

  • It’s a fairy (folk?) tale!
  • Damura, our protagonist, is more complicated than the standard Disney-type fare — no surprise there, as she is a folk tale hero
  • Damura makes mistakes as well as wise and compassionate choices
  • Damura’s espressions. Particularly in the scene where she sings to a baby crocodile. The song is perfect for reading aloud: just short enough to make improvising a tune easy; just long enough to tantalize the audience.
  • Grandmother Crocodile. I can hear her elderly voice, both cracked and sturdy and altogether authoritative.
  • The subtle echoes back to Damura’s dead mother. It is Grandmother Crocodile who gives Damura clothes and a carriage, and it is the dance steps Damura’s mother had taught her that entrance the prince.
  • The illustrations are vibrant with colour and life. The final page is so lovely. I hope the original is on the wall of a library somewhere, or in a gallery.
I Just Ate my Friend

I Just Ate my Friend

Hardcover, 40 pages Published June 26 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Source: Library Are you tired of preachy, syrupy picture books always trying to teach you and your children “important lessons”? Do you enjoy stories that are a bit odd, a bit surreal, a bit dark, perhaps along the lines of […]

Asian Heritage Month Display 2018

Asian Heritage Month Display 2018

We’ve got a display area  in the children’s section of our library that we switch up every month to showcase different items in our collection. Since May is Asian Heritage Month here in Canada, we’ve been filling our display with books by Asian authors and illustrators from around the world. In no particular order, here […]

Announcing: A Good Day for Ducks!

Announcing: A Good Day for Ducks!

More happy news! Jane’s second picturebook, A Good Day for Ducks, will be released on September 21, 2018. Like Wild One, A Good Day for Ducks is illustrated by Noel Tuazon and published by Pajama Press. You can find a sneak peek of A Good Day for Ducks on Jane’s instagram, @raincitylibrarian. We can’t wait until September. Congratulations, […]

Review: Halmoni’s Day

Review: Halmoni’s Day

Having arrived from Korea, Jennifer’s grandmother, Halmoni, is just in time for the Grandparents’ Day celebration at school and, despite not knowing the language or customs, attends proudly at the side of her granddaughter. Jennifer’s grandmother has arrived from Korea just in time for Grandparents’ Day at school, and Jennifer isn’t sure about having Halmoni […]

Review: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

Review: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

HBO’s Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents a children’s picture book about a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence – the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon’s life is […]