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.
Microreview: Three picturebooks with children and grandparents

Microreview: Three picturebooks with children and grandparents

Three awesome picturebooks with a central child-grandparent relationship: Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki and Qin Leng Hana’s visit to Ojichan in the summer had been full of his beautiful violin music. Hana’s beloved grandfather had long ago been Second Violin in an orchestra in Kyoto, and at home, Hana is determined to play […]

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 […]

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 […]

I’m a Librarian (A Tinyville Town Book)

I’m a Librarian (A Tinyville Town Book)

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a librarian, so I am perhaps the teensiest bit biased when it comes to books about librarians. But hear me out – I’m a Librarian really is a fantastic board book, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. In fact, the American Library Association’s GLBT Roundtable […]

Books of Wonder: A Poem for Peter

Books of Wonder: A Poem for Peter

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson, is a joy to read from start to finish. The story begins with the narrator’s delight in Peter, the protagonist of Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, as […]

Podcasts you don’t want to miss #1: Put A Blurb On It

Podcasts you don’t want to miss #1: Put A Blurb On It

*throws streamers* *throws confetti* *bakes a cake* Like books and comics? Put A Blurb On It is a podcast in which Yash and Ardo – and sometimes special guests – discuss just those things. The teaser trailer was released July 21, 2017; the ninth episode (not including the trailer) was released four days ago. Speaking […]

Jasmine Toguchi, Chapter Book Star!

Jasmine Toguchi, Chapter Book Star!

Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker! She’s also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophie―something special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous […]