One of the wonderful things about reading book blogs is discovering books that someone I like and admire loves. Some I might have found anyway, others I know I would never have found in a million years.
The Black Book of Colorsby Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria, translated by Elisa Amado and published by Groundwood Books, is one book I never would have found on my own.
This is an unusual and astonishing picture book. Every page is black. The text is clear, simple and written in braille, the raised alphabet for the blind that is made up of patterns of dots, along with raised typeface. The illustrations are textures embossed on inky dark pages. A sighted reader must read the book tactilely, the way a blind person would. This book expands the reader’s universe. I think reading it with a child would be a wonderful experience, offering a starting point for discussions on different ways of being in the world.
I discovered this book while checking out the book list on Herding Cats II. It was listed by Vasilly at 1330v, one of my favorite blogs. Vasilly is another blogger who welcomed me into the blogging community. She leaves lovely and encouraging comments and has great taste in books. She is a mom, a student who would love to become a children’s librarian, and a prolific blogger.
Another book I never would have found on my own is Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson.
Monkey Beach is a story of a young First Nations woman growing up on the rugged coast of British Columbia. It is filled with intense landscapes, finely drawn characters, great humor and mysterious beings.
Lisamarie grows up in Kitamaat, a reserve that is home to the Haisla people. She is tough, independent and is visited by ghosts and spirits. Her life is filled with mystery and she is surrounded by people who are struggling to blend native traditions with modern life. In clear, direct language Robinson blends modern times with distant memories.
I have always been fascinated by stories of spirits and shape-shifting. These kinds stories are told by different cultures all over the world. Monkey Beach is a wonderful example of mixing modern struggles with different cultural beliefs.
I would never have found this book without a suggestion from Nymeth at things mean a lot. Nymeth is amazingly, she leaves wonderful comments, writes many, many amazing reviews and creates very perceptive, thought-provoking posts. She is one of my favorite bloggers.
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