Heartbeat by Evan Turk: a tribute to whales, an inspiration to find peace and restore universal harmony

Evan Turk, Heartbeat Published 2018 by Atheneum Books For Young Readers, 50p Sounding like a lullaby, in few, melodic words, Heartbeat covers 200 years, telling the story of a whale witnessing the brutality of industrial whaling. We open the book to see a soft, crimson spot of colour: a heart beating. It is the heart… Continue reading Heartbeat by Evan Turk: a tribute to whales, an inspiration to find peace and restore universal harmony

Trick by Domenico Starnone: a story about perpective and vulnerability told through interaction between a grandfather and his four-year-old grandson

Domenico Starnone, Trick. Translated from the Italian by Jhumpa Lahiri Published by Europa Editions, 192p. In romana: Pacaleala, Editura Litera Domenico Starnone’s Trick is not a comfortable read. It captures three days in the life of Daniele Mallarico, a famous illustrator, now in his seventies, and Mario, his four-year-old grandson. What should probably have been… Continue reading Trick by Domenico Starnone: a story about perpective and vulnerability told through interaction between a grandfather and his four-year-old grandson

The Fate of Fausto by Oliver Jeffers: a modern fable about greed and self-destruction

Oliver Jeffers, The Fate of Fausto. A Printed Fable Published 2019 by Harper Collins Children’s Books, 96p   Oliver Jeffers’s The Fate of Fausto was my last book to read in 2019. I thought of the message and concluded it was not a random coincidence. Australia is burning; it hasn’t rained in months, we have… Continue reading The Fate of Fausto by Oliver Jeffers: a modern fable about greed and self-destruction

The Day War Came by Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb: a reminder about the meaning of war in a child’s life and the importance of education as an answer to this trauma

Nicola Davies, The Day War Came. Illustrated by Rebecca Cobb First published 2018 by Walker Books, 36p   Inspired by a 2016 story when a refugee child was refused entry to a school because there wasn’t a spare chair for her to sit on, Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb created a powerful picture book that… Continue reading The Day War Came by Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb: a reminder about the meaning of war in a child’s life and the importance of education as an answer to this trauma

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata: a novel about social pressure, convenience and peculiar ways of finding happiness

Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman. Translated from the Japanese by Ginny Taply Takemori First published in Great Britain by Portobello Books in 2018, 168p In a capitalist society where people are expected to get married, have babies and find decent jobs in order to be accepted as responsible participants, Sayaka Murata’s character is a complete… Continue reading Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata: a novel about social pressure, convenience and peculiar ways of finding happiness

The Reason I Jump: a 13-year-old boy’s moving confession on living with autism

Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump. With an introduction by David Mitchell. Translated by K A Yoshida and David Mitchell First published in Great Britain in 2013 by Sceptre. 188p   For people with autism, living itself is a battle. Naoki Higashida, a Japanese boy with autism, was 13 years old when he wrote The… Continue reading The Reason I Jump: a 13-year-old boy’s moving confession on living with autism

Brave Thumbelina: An Leysen’s magical retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy tale

An Leysen, Brave Thumbelina Published 2018 by Clavis Publishing, 52 p   Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales have never lost heir charm. Once in a while the new generations of parents debate whether children need to be exposed to this type of lesson to learn morality and to appreciate real values in life, considering the… Continue reading Brave Thumbelina: An Leysen’s magical retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy tale