Monday, August 16, 2021

Candlewick Press Books for Children and Young Adults - Book Reviews - Rain Before Rainbows; Smriti Prasadam-Halls - North and South: A Tale of Two Hemispheres; Sandra Morris and Picturing a Nation: The Great Depression's Finest Photographers Introduce America to Itself; Martin Sandler

 Rain Before Rainbows; Smriti Prasadam-Halls
David Litchfield (Illustrator)
Candlewick - 2020
Ages 3 - 7

This is a story that starts out on a sad note but ends with a hopeful message.  It is a gorgeous book.

A young girl and her friend the fox have experienced a terrible event. There has been a fire in the castle where they lived.  As the two journey away from their home, a place which is pictured up in smoke,  they face terrible weather and an uncertain future. As  their journey continues they eventually reach a beautiful, magical place where they meet new friends and see the promise of a new start.

A beautiful, powerful and hopeful story with one of a kind, expressive illustrations. This one is a keeper, it felt so inspirational. Highly Recommended.

Rain before rainbows, clouds before sun,
night before daybreak—a new day’s begun

Candlewick Press - July 2021
Ages 5 - 8

A beautiful, educational book that takes children and adults through the months of the year to illustrate how more than twenty different animals adapt to the changing seasons in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Organized by month, one page illustrates animals from the northern hemisphere and and the corresponding page from the southern hemisphere. It introduces the readers to a variety of land and sea creatures and, also illustrates the threats that each faces whether it's due to climate change, poaching, hunting and trapping, human settlement, predators, herbicides, rising sea levels, ocean debris, lack of food sources or other changing conditions.

There is an extensive glossary of terms, information about how readers can help, other reading resources and maps showing where the various animals profiled can be found.

I thought the illustrations were exceptional color appropriate and rich looking on a heavy gloss like paper in pleasing tones on ivory color background.  I must admit several of the animals were ones I have never read about and given the extensive detail, I felt that the book seemed more appropriate for slightly older than the targeted audience. Regardless, this is a gem of a book that would make an excellent resource for school and public libraries as well as personal collections.

Picturing a Nation: The Great Depression's Finest Photographers Introduce America to Itself

Martin W. Sandler - Candlewick Press

 Release Date October 12, 2021 - Ages 10 - 14 (176 pages)

This book features a fabulous collection of photos and corresponding text that details the Great Depression. The book details daily life in 1935 across our nation. From our Southern sharecroppers, the Dust Bowl Midwestern farmers, the Western migrant workers and the families struggling to survive in the cold Northeast.  The book is divided by regions. We learn about the RA (Resettlement Administration - 1935-1937) established by President Roosevelt and how this helped families about to lose their farms by resettling them to rural communities with low interest loans and an equipment program. The name of the program was changed to the Farm Security Administration from 1937 - 1942. 

The ten photographers involved did an amazing job chronicling this devastating time in our nation's history.  

My review is based on an ALL black and white softcover edition which was excellent, however when the book is actually released in mid-October, the finished copy will be a hardcover with both black and white and colored images.

A must add for schools and other libraries .

Thanks go to Candlewick Press for sending me these beautiful books in exchange for my unbiased reviews.


  1. Replies
    1. The quality of the books and illustrations are always amazing.

  2. The all sound good, especially Picturing a Nation.

    1. Yes, it's beautiful in black and white. I bet the final HC copy will be amazing in both BW and color.

  3. All of these look wonderful, but if I were to choose one for myself, it would be Picturing a Nation! North & South would be a close second.

    1. Yes, both of those are just great and educational. I always learn something with Candlewick's NF children's titles.

  4. What lovely children's books you have found. I don't really have any young children in my life just now but if I did I would want to share these with them.

    1. The children's books nowadays are just excellent. Candlewick Press has been a favorite imprint of mine for books from infants to about age 14.

  5. I want all of these! They first two look absolutely beautiful and I love the look of Picturing a Nation - especially how it's divided.

    1. So much to learn for adults in those 2 NF titles. Lovely books.

  6. Gage LOVES maps of any kind, so I may have to find North & South for our reference library :)

    1. There aren't loads of maps mostly on the end papaers but it's a lovely book.


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