Although I’ve always reviewed books published by small independent presses, this year I made a conscious decision to try and do one every week. This led me to some happy discoveries of unusual and interesting books.
Hear My Voice/Escucha Mi Voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States compiled by Warren Binford for Project Amplify
Published by Workman Publishing
This book is part of the effort by Warren Binford and Project Amplify to shine a light on the horrific conditions of the Clint Border Patrol Station and the children being held there. The children’s stories are told in their own words, with illustrations by 17 Latinx artists.
Make Meatballs Sing: The Life and Art of Corita Kent by Matthew Burgess, illustrated by Kara Kramer
Published by Enchanted Lion
I enjoyed learning about Corita Kent’s life and art, which includes the Boston Gas tanks and the 1985 USPS Love stamp. But mostly I loved her word “plork”, meaning a combination of play and work, which so perfectly captured her spirit.
Nobody Owns the Moon by Tobhy Riddle
Published by Berbay Publishing
Sell your soul or save it? Clive Prendergast and his friend Humphrey had me thinking about the meaning of life long after I had closed this book.
The Capybaras by Alfred Soderguit
Published by Greystone Kids
The capybaras and chickens form an unlikely alliance against the humans in this slightly subversive book that will have you questioning the meaning of such concepts as “safe” and “dangerous”.
Escape: One Day We Had to Run by Ming & Wah, illustrated by Carmen Vela
Published by Lantana Publishing
Escape, cling, defy, swim: each verb is accompanied by an illustration and a compelling true story of escape that make this a difficult book to put down.