And as the end of year lists circulate, Spring catalogs are also making 2015 all the closer. SelfMadeHero has announced their Spring 2015 line, some of which has been listed here before. In recent years, SelfMadeHero has distinguished itself for a line of graphic novels both visually stunning and emotionally compelling. This list sounds equally strong.
This will be published in January by First Second in the US. IT’s the long–awaited return to fiction by McCloud (understand Comics) with the story of a dying young artist who discovers that getting the power to create anything he wishes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Behind The Curtain
Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal (The Master and Margarita, Robot).
An autobiographical tale of life in communist Poland, as artistic expression flourished amid an impoverished society.
Aama Volume 3: The Desert of Mirrors
The third volume of Peeter’s stunningly visual, complex SF tale.
Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie
This biography of Picasso won the Grand Prix at France’s RTL Graphic Novel Awards. Haven’t seen the insides but it’s supposed to be gorgeous.
The Yellow King
Robert W Chambers and I.N.J. Culbard
As previously mentioned, fans of True Detective and horror should enjoy Lovecraft exert Colberd’s adaptation of this highly influential series of short stories.
Fans of I. N. J. Culbard‘s work will be thrilled to hear about his adaptation of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, which we publish in May. The stories that make up this classic
End of a Century: Nineties Album Reviews in Pictures
A collection of Wrake’s illustrations of musicians from NME. Essential 90s nostalgia—just fire up a little Suede while you page through this.
[Time is running out to enter our Tenth Anniversary Draw - the deadline is tomorrow - so if you haven't already, take a look here for the chance to win some fantastic prizes for you or your school or library]
Sally Ito is a poet, editor and translator living in Winnipeg, Canada, where she also teaches Creative Writing; she is currently writer. Sally was a book reviewer and contributor to the PaperTigers blog until earlier this year and wrote many of our contributions to Poetry Friday during that time (which is why we decided to post Sally’s selection on a Poetry Friday day!). So we are delighted to welcome her back with her Top Ten list of favourite books, encountered through her work with PaperTigers.
As a prelude, do listen to Sally reading the title poem from her collection Alert to Glory (Turnstone Press, 2011) in the video below.
My Top Ten Picks by Sally Ito
When I joined the Paper Tigers blog contributor team in 2008, the thing I was most excited about was getting to read and review great multicultural books for kids. What I discovered was a plethora of wonderful books that reflected who I was culturally and who my community was, culturally, as well. From my short time with PaperTigers, these are my ten picks of multicultural books for kids. It’s a little Japan-heavy, I realize but I hope you indulge my bias!
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin, 2008) – I found this quirky picture book amazing and it was an inspiration for me when I was teaching to take my creative writing students out into our immediate neighborhood (an historic district called The Exchange) in Winnipeg to see what we could make of our environment in a creative way.
Naomi’s Tree by Joy Kogawa, illustrated by Ruth Ohi (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2008). This book is about a cherry tree and a Japanese Canadian girl who grew up with it and was separated from it by the circumstances of the Second World War. This book was a personal favorite since the author’s history reflects my own family’s in Canada.
Granny’s Giant Bannock by Brenda Isabel Wastasecoot, illustrated by Kimberly McKay-Fleming (Pemmican, 2008). This is one hilarious book about a Cree-speaking grandmother and her grandson Larf who accidentally bakes a giant bannock by misunderstanding his grandmother’s instructions on how to make the doughy confection from scratch.
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, translated by Cathy Hirano (Scholastic, 2009). This book is a translation of a popular fantasy series that was also made into a TV series. The story is set in early imperial Japan and features a woman warrior named Balsa who protects the son of the emperor, Chagum, as he carries within him a spirit from another dimension who must lodge in a human host in order to survive.
The Song of the Cicada by Shizue Ukaji. This is a Japanese book, yet untranslated into English, that I discovered while living in Japan in 2011. It’s an Ainu folktale illustrated with textile creations made by Ukaji herself. It’s the story of a woman who prophesies disaster – namely a tsunami – to her people and what becomes of her as a result. A timely read for the year I was visiting the country.
The Fox’s Window and Other Stories by Naoko Awa, translated by Toshiya Kamei. This is a collection of short stories spanning a career of writing by Japanese author Naoko Awa. Magical, enchanting and absorbing are the words I’d use to describe these stories, which have also been referred to as ‘modern fairytales.’
David’s Trip to Paraguay by Miriam Rudolph. A bilingual book with German and English text, this story is about a young Mennonite boy named David who travels to Paraguay from Canada in the late 1920s. Rudolph, an artist, charts the arduous journey with vivid and colorful illustrations of the things David sees on the trip.
Gifts: Poems for Parents edited by Rhea Tregebov (Sumach Press, 2002). We say we read to our children for their sake, but it’s just as true that we read to feed ourselves, too. Poetry is a kind of bread for the soul, and this particular treasury of poems by Canadians really fed me as a poet and a parent.
Bifocal by Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters. This is one book I read in part with my son, who later went on to have the book assigned to him for his English class in junior high school. It’s about two teenagers – Haroon and Jay – who have to negotiate their cultural identities during a tense lockdown situation at their high school.
Aya by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie. I started covering graphic novels for PaperTigers a few years ago as I felt this was a developing trend in books for young people. And this book was one of my favorites! Aya is about a young woman growing up in Cote D’Ivoire, looking to become a medical student, but whose life is inevitably shaped and influenced by those around her with less lofty goals than her.
This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Ed at Think Kid, Think – head on over.
It is 1978 in the former capital city of Cote D’Ivoire, Abidjan, and the 19 year old Aya is feeling restless, but not quite as restless as her friend, Adjoua, who is about to go out on the town with her hot new date, Bintou, who’s got a car and will take her to the open air maquis to dance and socialize all night long. This might sound like your average teen drama, but this graphic novel Aya by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Ourbriere (published by Drawn and Quarterly, 2007) sets the story in a small African nation at the height of its prosperity in the 1970’s. Author Marguerite Abouet and illustrator Clément Oubriere bring to life a heady time in the country’s past when there was a fairly large suburban middle class who enjoyed life in a busy and bustling African metropolis. Although the temptations are great, Aya is determined to become a doctor and is prudent in the way she conducts her life unlike Adjoua whose dalliance with Bintou will lead her to … well, you’d best get the graphic novel out and find out for yourself!
This book was originally published in French, but made its translated debut in English in 2007 by the graphic novel publisher Drawn and Quarterly based in Montreal. The English text is prefaced with remarks by Alisia Grace Chase, PhD who gives a brief outline of the golden days of Cote D’Ivoire’s prosperity and wealth in the 1970’s. I found this book a remarkable read and it certainly gave me a completely different picture of Africa from what I formerly had and suspect many Westerners continue to have — that is, of a continent in continual strife with issues of poverty and warfare. It is just this image that Abouet and Oubriere seek to dispel — if somewhat nostalgically — in this fascinating and engaging graphic novel. Since this book’s debut, there have been two other Aya titles released: Aya of Yop City and Aya: The Secrets Come Out.