Saturday, July 25, 2015

New Book Alert: Tea Party in the Woods and The Specific Ocean

Just wanted to bring your attention to two new books being published August 1st by Kids Can Press. Kids Can Press is the largest Canadian-owned children’s publisher in the world and publishes a diverse catalog of books. Though many of their stories focus on international or worldwide stories, these two are more traditional.

The Tea Party in the Woods (2015) by Akiko Miyakoshi, published by Kids Can Press.

A young girl in a red hat must travel through the woods to bring a pie to her grandmother ... but this is not the story you are expecting! This story reminds me a bit of Alice in Wonderland meets Little Red Riding Hood. The sparse color palette makes for almost a "selective color" look with the majority of the illustrations rendered in black and white with only the occasional touches of red and yellow. I was disappointed with the focus this selective color places on the little girls' fairytale-traditional golden hair. With a Japanese author/illustrator, this would have been a great opportunity for adding some diversity to the main characters!

The Specific Ocean (2015) by Kye Maclear and illustrated by Katty Maurey, published by Kids Can Press.

This first-person picture book is told by a girl who is reluctant to leave the city for the ocean but then finds herself reluctant to leave the ocean for the city. Something about her inner journey, however, struck me as fairly inauthentic. There really don't seem to be real reasons for her hatred of the ocean, and there is very little chance for her to develop much personality before , surprise! (not), she suddenly comes to like the ocean very much. Readers may find phrases or illustrations they like or catch their eye, but I don't think the story itself is enough.

(Digital ARCs of both books provided by Net Galley in return for an honest review.)

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