Saturday, November 12, 2022


I wonder how often adults read picture books to learn about history.  When I was fourteen, I visited Spain during Franco’s rule. But I didn’t learn much about the Spanish Civil War. 

‘Different’, is a fictional account of a brother and sister’s experiences during this war. The chapters seesaw between each sibling’s perspective and each chapter is as moving as it is informative. 


Importantly, the back pages have a non-fiction account of the war.


The illustrations are colorful, sculptural, and stylistically idiosyncratic. 


All and all, a winner.

See more illustration's by Eva Sánchez Gómez here:

Friday, November 05, 2021

The Gift

Written by Alain Serge Dzotap

Illustrated by Delphine Renon

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (February 15, 2022)

A little yellow leopard named Leo gets a writing pen for his birthday. His father tells him that the pen has many beautiful things inside. This is a mystery to Leo. But his father goes off to the market before he can explain. How do you get the beautiful things out? Leo, accompanied by his pet lizard (a gecko?) asks his sister to explain. But she just shakes the pen until ink drops out. Leo's bird friend doesn't believe anything of importance can be in something so small. Leo’s giraffe friend blows on the pen, but no music comes out. Then Leo’s mama shows him that the pen contains his name “and all the world.”  Together, Leo and his mother write his name. “Is there cake in my pen?" asks Leo.” His mother holds his paw as they write the word cake and many other words.  On his own, Leo draws pages and pages of pictures. 

Back from the market Leo’s dad admires his drawings and the many things he found in his pen—  Well done, my darling— you’re a natural!"

Delphine Renon's clean and colorful illustrations suit the text. The Gift is a lovely way to introduce kids to the magic of writing and drawing. This book, paired with a pen, is the perfect gift for a budding author or illustrator.

See more charming work by Delphine Renon here:

Thank you to Eerdmans for the review copy.