Review: Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O’Hara, Lauren O’Hara

Hortense hated her shadow. Everywhere she went, it went. Everything she did, it did. And every time night fell it grew, tall and dark and crooked.

So Hortense decided: the shadow must go! Only later, alone in the wolfish woods, she learned that a girl without a shadow is far smaller… a fairy tale about light and shadows. 

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump this week, so this swift picture book couldn’t have come at a more perfect time to save me. I was even more surprised to discover that not only was it full of brilliant and darkly illustrated pages, I cherished immensely the message it put across to its readers, both young and old. Plus, the rhyming was another key point for my adoration.

And here’s what I mean when I talk about how the art will leave you reeling:

Hortense and the Shadow 1-- bookspoils

Hortense and the Shadow 2-- bookspoils

Hortense and the Shadow 3-- bookspoils

Hortense and the Shadow 4-- bookspoils

Hortense and the Shadow 5-- bookspoils

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: October 5th, 2017

3/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Hortense and the Shadow, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up by Adah Nuchi

“The Sisterhood needs to know!”

Exclaimer: As a big sister, but foremost as a female, I’m over the moon excited that guides like Adah Nuchi’s, full of girl power, exist in the world for all to read from young to old.

Based on the lively conceit that it’s written by nine older girls at a fictional summer camp who share their collective been-there, done-that experiences, Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up is a puberty book with a twist, an entertaining, up-to-date, supportive guide that covers the head-to-toe changes that young girls go through as they grow up.

Bunk 9's Guide to Growing Up 1-- bookspoils

I don’t know how, but before starting Bunk 9’s Guide I’d somehow forgotten for a minute there that my little sister is set to go through puberty pretty soon, just like all the youngins, which to be frank still blows my mind. So knowing that I now have the opportunity to share this noteworthy, feminist guide to help even a little in the near future is something that definitely takes the weight off my shoulders.

“One of the best things about womanhood is sharing your experiences with other women…”

This realistic and all-inclusive read feels like a mix for fans and young readers of Judy Blume and Rookie Mag. That is to say: it’s a great way to start the conversation between parents/ guardians and their kids going through puberty. I truly wish I had something similar to rely on in my times of heavy confusion in everything relating my life during puberty. This felt like some much-needed closure. So I’m thankful for the umpteenth time for the existence of Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up with its pun-worthy title chapters and it being out there for readers in need.

Conversations circling the topics of puberty, hygiene, breasts, menstruation and the reproductive system, boys, health, and feelings… We also have mentions of period parties, treating pimples/zits/acne, social media, crushes and hormones, and how to “get through friendships, parents that drive you crazy, and new crushes…” Bunk 9's Guide to Growing Up 2-- bookspoilsI’m beyond excited and grateful with every fiber of my being that this fun, comforting, and enlightening read is out there ready to give you the support you need.

And to end this review, I’d like to share this fitting and hilarious Christine Sydelko vine on puberty:

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: December 19th, 2017

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: From Far Away by Robert Munsch; Saoussan Askar

When Saoussan immigrated with her family from war-torn Lebanon, she was only seven years old. This picture book tells the story of how she had to adjust to her new home in Canada. She describes the frustration of not understanding the teacher when she started school, not knowing how to ask to go to the bathroom, and being terrified of a Halloween skeleton. This is the perfect book to help kids empathize with immigrant children whose experiences are very similar to Saoussan’s.From Far Away 6-- bookspoilsWe have here a vitally important picture book, sharing the message of inclusivity and belonging, combined with art and color pallets that are undeniable in their beauty. Count me in!

Though it’s a relatively quick read, From Far Away leaves an everlasting impression. One section in particular that had me gripped was about Saoussan’s fear of the skeletons hanging up in school for Halloween. I couldn’t stop spinning it over and over in my head.

Plus, the whole book is just very well curated, where everything, from the art to the accompanying text, flows together wonderfully.

And as always, here are some of my favorite illustrations:
From Far Away 1-- bookspoils

From Far Away 2-- bookspoils

From Far Away 3-- bookspoils

From Far Away 4-- bookspoils

From Far Away 5-- bookspoils

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: August 8th, 2017

3.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying From Far Away, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!