cbr15bingo Africa: Indigo dreaming has the African connection
I enjoy doing picture book reviews and doing a round-up review of a few titles at once. The thing with picture books is that they are short. So, they are easy to read. And yet, they can be packed from cover to cover with amazing goodies. Just sometimes that does not lend itself to a regulation review word count. The below titles are perfect for most people, yet different enough and varied in age ranges that you won’t need to find both. But you’d be silly not to as they are both very good.
When I first read Indigo Dreaming I felt like I was missing something. What I was missing is that this book by Dinah Johnson has many layers and is poetically presented. It is not an easy read, and the illustrations of Anna Cunha are engulfing the text, so they are both their own entities and together. The idea of a young girl in South Carolina wonders about a girl on the other side of the world on the shores of Africa. And that young girl wonders who is on the other side of her wonderings. And the story unfolds with their questions, thoughts, and realizing how alike they are, even in the difference and the distance between them. They know they are connected by their history and how ones culture came to the American shores long ago. The images are bold, busy, crowded, beautiful, dark and light and hard and soft. They are expressive and tell everything that is going on, but not in a “solid manner” as they are as flowing as the ideas.
We have a new Not Quite Narwhal and Friends story with Weather Together. This time Jessie Sima tells us about how Nimbus loves being Kelp’s friend, but sometimes their days are not all “sunshine and rainbows” like Kelp and their days are. They have not-sunny days. In fact they have really gloomy, sad days. And instead of asking for her friend’s help, Nimbus hides away, until they no longer can hide this (literal) bad weather. The story is familiar, having a bad day, depression and anxiety, and friendship helping. However, due to the simpler text and tone, it is aimed at the younger child, or one growing up with Nimbus and Kelp. The beautiful, light and softly colored (but not muted) illustrations allow for a hopeful tone. Even the dark and “gloomy” images are not too dark.
Both titles are currently available, but were read via an online reader copy.