Of Horror and Heroism: The Donkey of Gallipoli (A True Story of Courage in World War I)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008.

The Donkey of Gallipoli (A True Story of Courage in World War I)Author: Mark Greenwood (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Frané Lessac (on JOMB)
Published: 2008 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763639133

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Deceptively simple looking folk art illustrations, uncluttered narration and sparse, intimate utterings deliver some of the dark, disturbing details of war in this eye-opening, true tale of courage, carnage and camaraderie.

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HOTLINE VOICES: Bobby (a grade two teacher in Phoenix, AZ) describes a difference of opinion between he and his fiancée (a grade one teacher) and asks the question, what is the best way to read books to a group of children?

Seasons, Silk & Separation: Ocean Wide, Ocean Deep

Friday, August 29, 2008.

Ocean Wide, Ocean DeepAuthor: Susan Lendroth
Illustrator: Raúl Allén
Published: 2008 Tricycle Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1582462321

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Haunting illustrations and tranquil, heartfelt rhyme describe a young girl’s yearning, worry and unyielding love for her long-awaited father in this soothing story of family fortitude.

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More seafaring on JOMB:

Pop over to Charlotte’s Library for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

Loss, Laughs and Loony-Proof Love: My Dad’s A Birdman

Wednesday, June 18, 2008.

My Dad's A BirdmanAuthor: David Almond (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Polly Dunbar (on JOMB)
Published: 2007 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763636673

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Airy illustrations, playful, British dialogue and sprightly dipping, gliding narrative give flight to a zany father-daughter adventure that dances delicately between tenderness, tomfoolery, hope and despair landing lightly in the comfort of allied abandon.

You can read the first three chapters of this book here.

More dreams of flying on JOMB:

Flowers, Philanthropy and Freedom: Priscilla and the Hollyhocks

Saturday, May 17, 2008.

Priscilla and the HollyhocksAuthor: Anne Broyles
Illustrator: Anna Alter (on JOMB)
Published: 2008 Charlesbridge (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1570916756

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Creamy, rounded illustrations and smooth southern narration tell the heartbreaking yet hopeful, true tale of a young girl who survived isolation, slavery and exile with the help of her wits, her mother’s memory and the kindness of a stranger.

Other books mentioned

You can learn more about the forced Cherokee relocation and the Trail of Tears here.

You can learn more about the process of illustrating this book here.

Emulating Spaces: McFig & McFly (A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death — with a Happy Ending)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008.

McFig & McFly (A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death -- with a Happy Ending)Author: Henrik Drescher
Illustrator: Henrik Drescher
Published: 2008 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763633860

A veneer of feigned pleasantries can’t conceal the ceaseless, senseless competition that corrupts then consumes former friends in this deliciously absurd yet apt demonstration of misguided attention and life misspent.

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Love, Loss and Luxury: Taj Mahal

Wednesday, April 9, 2008.

Taj MahalAuthors: Caroline Arnold and Madeleine Comora
Illustrator: Rahul Bhushan
Published: 2007 CarolRhoda Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 076132609X

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Strikingly intricate illustrations and lush, detailed narrative transform this four hundred year old story of tenderness, tragedy and tribute into a fascinating non-fiction fairy tale.

More ancient stories and flavours of The East on JOMB:

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Thanks to Kate Heartfield of The Ottawa Citizen for joining us for this show. You can read Kate’s blog here.

Canine Coastguard: Heroes of Isle aux Morts

Wednesday, April 2, 2008.

Heroes of Isle aux MortsAuthor: Alice Walsh
Illustrator: Geoff Butler (on JOMB)
Published: 2001 Tundra Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0887765017

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Based on a true story and starring a Newfoundland dog, this suspenseful account of a daring maritime rescue is an inspiring reminder of the resourcefulness, generosity and pluck of an era gone by.

You can read more about the Canadian Coast Guard vessel, CGCS Ann Harvey, which was named for one of the young rescuers, here.

Other ships and shipwrecks on JOMB:

More working dogs on JOMB:

You can learn more about Newfoundland Dogs here.

Matchless Compassion: Janusz Korczak’s Children

Saturday, March 15, 2008.

Janusz Korczaks Children

Author: Gloria Spielman
Illustrator: Matthew Archambault
Published: 2007 Kar-Ben Publishing (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0822570505

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Uncommonly rich illustrations and detailed, yet accessible, early reader text relay the haunting, true story of Janusz Korczak — doctor, writer, educator and champion of children’s rights.

You can read more about Janusz Korczak here.

Sharing Shaggy Friendship: Rosie — A Visiting Dog’s Story

Friday, March 14, 2008.

Rosie (A Visiting Dog's Story)Author: Stephanie Calmenson (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Justin Sutcliffe
Published: 1994 Clarion Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0395654777

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Crisp, candid photographs and friendly, fact-filled text tell the true tale of an exceptionally lovable dog who, through the generosity, skill and hard work of herself, her master, her trainers and vet, brings joy and companionship to strangers.

More stories about the impact of visiting dogs:

Plundering Unplugged: Pirate Bob

Wednesday, February 27, 2008.

Pirate BobAuthor: Kathryn Lasky (on JOMB)
Illustrator: David Clark (on JOMB)
Published: 2006 Charlesbridge (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1570915954

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Surprisingly descriptive, thought-provoking text and a cast of goofy, grinning hooligans provide a peek into a career in nautical crime as a reflective rogue ponders pillaging — its logistical details, dangers and doldrums — and grapples with issues of greed, freedom, friendship and distrust.

Other books mentioned:

  • Tough Boris

Lace, Lore and Laughter: Aunt Claire’s Yellow Beehive Hair

Wednesday, February 6, 2008.

Aunt Claire's Yellow Beehive HairAuthor: Deborah Blumenthal
Illustrator: Mary GrandPre
Published: 2007 Pelican Publishing Company (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1589804910

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Warmth, humour and fond remembrance waft through this beautifully worded and evocatively illustrated exploration of a young girl’s family tree — and the traits, trinkets and togetherness that sustain it.

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More family fondness on JOMB:

Living From the Heart: Falling Angels

Monday, September 3, 2007.

Falling AngelsAuthor: Colin Thompson
Illustrator: Colin Thompson
Published: Random House UK (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0091768179

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Spellbindingly surreal illustrations contrast with matter-of-fact narrative to relay this thought provoking story of perspective, choice and inter-generational connection: “All you have to do is keep your dreams”.

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