Buddy is So Annoying, written and illustrated by Wenzheng Fu, is an amusing, feel-good story about a boy and his boar friend, Buddy. The two become best friends after meeting in kindergarten, despite the fact that the boy thinks Buddy is really annoying. Throughout the book, the boy lists all of the ways in which Buddy annoys him before coming to the conclusion that “having someone around to keep you company and annoy you is a wonderful thing.”
The Dover Children’s Thrift Classics Chinese Fairy Tales features a collection of 16 Chinese fables for children ages 8 and up. In the collection are stories with universal appeal. The more traditional stories, requiring more context for Western readers, feature notes at the end that describe the important aspects of Chinese culture, history, and mythology present in the story. Children from all over the world will enjoy these magical tales populated with animals, princesses, dragons, and more.
Japanese Fairy Tales is a collection of 22 Japanese fairy tales translated and compiled by Yei Theodora Ozaki in 1908. Found in this collection are traditional Japanese fairy tales and some classic stories, such as “The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-child.” The stories in Japanese Fairy Tales are not literal translations of the original Japanese folktales. Ozaki mentions in the preface that she added “touches of local color or description” and details from other versions of these tales to make the stories more interesting and accessible for Western audiences. Based on the fact that this collection is very text-heavy, contains complex vocabulary and sentence structures, and has some mature content, it is most suitable for children 12 years and older.
Heung Bu and Nol Bu by F.B. Smit takes a popular Korean folktale and reimagines it for Western audiences. This captivating mortality tale tells the story of two brothers, Heung Bu and Nol Bu, who have opposite personalities. The younger brother Heung Bu is compassionate and kind, while his older brother Nol Bu is cruel and greedy. This story teaches children kindness, compassion, and the need to look out for one another because cruelty and greed only lead to negative outcomes. The big-and-bold, cartoony illustrations by Vallejo and Kuang bring to life the traditional Korean countryside and personalities of the characters.
Based on a Korean folktale, The Mysterious Stream tells the story of a kind old couple in the countryside who wish they had a child. One day while the old man is out gathering firewood, he follows a little songbird to a stream and takes a drink. When he returns home a young man, the couple realizes they have discovered the fountain of youth. Their grumpy neighbor catches on and runs to the stream to drink as well, but greedily drinks too much and is turned into a newborn baby. The couple decides to raise him as their own child and give him lots of love. The Mysterious Stream is a heart-warming tale told in both English and Korean. The digital illustrations by Jessica Liu are colorful and just as charming as the story. Children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old are sure to love this story with universal appeal.
The Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese Schoolgirl is the diary of Ma Yan as she grows up in the small village of Ningxia, in China. The differences between Chinese and Western cultures and lifestyles are portrayed through this young girl’s diary, and the translation preserves the rich original meaning of her words and expressiveness even though it went through multiple translations to get to English. Ma Yan’s is an exceptional writer and her story is one that will linger in the reader’s mind.
Express Delivery from Dinosaur World is an interactive book with 10 different challenges for the reader to accomplish. Written and illustrated by Yanan Dong, a Beijing-based artist, who studied at the Picture Book Creation Studio at China Central Academy of Fine Arts, every illustration in the book is a new work of art crafted with exquisite skill and attention to detail. This book keeps the reader immersed in the mystical land of the dinosaurs; it keeps the reader wondering what will come next. The very final challenge for the reader is to pass the book off to someone else who will enjoy it.
Kaya Doi’s enchanting picture book Chirri and Chirra is the first installment of seven books that follow the adventures of two best friends. In book one, the girls venture into the forest and encounter many new places and friends. At the start, Chirri and Chirra wake to a beautiful, sun-shining day and decide to take a bicycle ride. They only stop when they smell the most delicious aromas coming from the Forest Cafe. Inside the cafe are tables and chairs of all different sizes. Their waiter, a fox, seats Chirri and Chirra at a table that is perfect for them. After a cup of acorn coffee, some blossom tea, and a great conversation with honey bees, the girls are on their way through the forest again.
The library is a place for everyone. This is the overarching message in the book Leilong the Library Bus written by Julia Liu. Leilong is a brontosaurus who adores listening to stories but has never been to the library. His friends Maggie, Mo, anD Max bring Leilong to their local story time and tell him he may even hear a story about dinosaurs. However, Leilong is far too big to fit inside the library and, ultimately, turned away for his size and lack of a library card. The clever brontosaurus finds another way to listen to the story by reaching his long neck through the second story window. Leilong is so invested in the story that he shouts through the window and causes books to shake off their shelves. The library manager asks Leilong to leave once more. Children at story time follow the friendly dinosaur and soon the library is empty. A librarian acknowledges that Leilong is not too big for the library but the library is too small for him. They turn Leilong into a library bus for all the neighborhood children.
Swans in Space is a sci-fi manga series that follows perfectionist 6th grade class president, Corona Hoshino, who worries too much about what everyone thinks of her and takes on way too many responsibilities. One day, Corona tries to befriend her nerdy classmate, Lan Tsukishima, who is obsessed with the sci-fi TV show Space Patrol. Corona lies about her interest in the show and soon discovers that the Space Patrol is actually real when Lan recruits her as a member of her Space Patrol team. Unable to turn down a favor, Corona takes on the challenge of helping her lazy team member climb the ranks of the Space Patrol, all while also juggling her school responsibilities. Together, the two go on all kinds of missions throughout space, defending the peace of the universe, in their swan boat spaceship.