Dogs, aliens and wise men; stories to read in the shelter of this month of May

Between the whirlwind of Sant Jordi and the frenetic pace of news there is a place for pause, calm reading and reflection.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 11:05
3 Reads
Dogs, aliens and wise men; stories to read in the shelter of this month of May

Between the whirlwind of Sant Jordi and the frenetic pace of news there is a place for pause, calm reading and reflection. We have settled there and we have taken these titles with us. Enjoy it, summer is coming.

The Club Editor publishing house is translating into Catalan and Spanish the small format collection that famous French writer and illustrator Claude Ponti wrote for the little ones a couple of decades ago. It stars two brothers, Trombolina and Mucholío, two mischievous chicks who embody everyday life in these early ages where everything is a surprise and in which any question or action becomes transcendental. In fact, these two protagonists were born when the author accompanied his daughter to daycare for the first time, and he told how the little ones crawling around there looked like chicks in a henhouse. Ponti, who celebrated his 75th birthday last year, is a benchmark in children's literature in France with more than 70 works to his credit. So far, four titles of the series have been translated, with El Bebe Bombón and La Namama being the latest ones published.

The small publishing house Emonautas has come up with an interesting series (Blef's Tentacles) starring a small green alien to talk about emotions to the little ones. It has been underway for a long time and at the end of the year we received a final installment focused on surprise. Blef has multiple tentacles that give him six eyes with which he does not miss any detail of what is happening on his planet, Bligulef. Today, however, he is about to fall asleep when something that could be an egg falls from the sky. Will it be a sidereal dragon? Space junk? Or cow poop, as his teacher says? But Blef and his friend investigate and are convinced that there is a living being inside. And you should never lose the ability to be surprised in life.

First manual on how to care for and understand your dog, designed for very young children, with clear and colorful concepts about what your pet needs. Eating, sleeping, walking, socializing, playing, getting sick... are the basic situations it poses, in addition to some doggy feelings such as fear or the sense of possession. The explanations of I am your dog come from the hand of Coco, the main dog who addresses the little reader and welcomes him to the world of dogs. The author, Kasia Antczak, an animal psychologist and dog trainer with a wealth of knowledge about animal behavior, has already given us another fantastic guide with I Am Your Cat. Also in Catalan.

Who said that snails can fly or dive or whatever? This Caracolico has not only things very clear but also an answer for everything, and at the rhythm of verse, which is more difficult. But he also has very good friends willing to help him fulfill his dreams. A simple and beautiful story with repetition patterns ideal to be read aloud.

This particular and colorful vision of the world's oldest poem begins with the death of the king's best friend, Enkidu, and Gigalmesh's beginning of a relentless quest to bring him back from the world of the dead. An ironic, deep, fun and interesting journey to the ends of the Earth to accompany a Sumerian legend, in the style of Homer's Odyssey. The renowned illustrator Andrea Antinori, 2017 Christian Andersen Prize winner, and Annamaria Gozzi, a great lover of legends, are in charge of the challenge of bringing humanity's oldest epic work to children and achieving it with flying colors.

“Normally a bear should be hibernating, but this one isn't, why? He must have had problems. I almost felt sorry for him having to be homeless in my story. But then I thought it's a very important topic and kids want to know why people are homeless.” This is how the French creator Irène Schoch tells how her Winter Bear was born, a story that tells the story of Aldo, a bear who, when his winter time arrives, realizes that the construction of a parking lot has left him without a den. This is how he will be forced to face his first winter, with only a coat and a scarf. A hard story, taking into account our reality, but told with delicacy, lots of color and a comforting pen that knows how to capture the darkest aspects with balance with the brightest. Also in Catalan.

Conspiracy theories sometimes happen just like that. With a cloud that does not move from the sky and that no one notices until weeks pass and the cloud is still there, motionless, without moving from the sky. An unexpected event that gives rise to all kinds of things: pilgrimages, endless news, experts of all kinds giving their opinion, healers, visionaries, catastrophists and a long etcetera. Each and every one of them with a theory willing to defend it to the limit. But as this story tells, sometimes a cloud is just a cloud and just needs a little wind to get back into circulation. Just a great idea. (Also in Catalan)

The Iranian writer Ali Bahrampour tells us in Monsters in the Mist the story of Hakim, a donkey who undertakes a journey through the mountains to visit his friend Daisy. Conditioned by the old goat, which alerts him to the monsters that inhabit the mountain, Hakim begins to see all kinds of strange and terrifying shapes emerging from the thick fog that has taken over the mountain. His limited vision awakens all kinds of fears in him, but as he gets closer to the strange shapes he discovers that nothing is as it seems. A story full of courage, imagination and camaraderie, and with a promising ending.

Each person has a different vision of the world, and we are not talking strictly about vision. But what happens when we also add that sense to our interpretation of what surrounds us? Does a myope interpret reality the same as someone with supervision? And how does a colorblind person see the world? This is precisely the point of view of And you, how do you see it?, an interesting book that presents diversity from the perspective of a colorblind child who is asked to set the table. The images are repetitive but none of them are the same, because while the child introduces us to his family (parents, grandparents, brothers, uncles and cousins), he also gives us an idea of ​​what they are like through each one's point of view. Without a doubt, an ideal book to illustrate diversity of thought. Also in Catalan and Basque.

Being bored is sometimes the best thing that can happen to a child, even if they disagree. Ana has just been punished without screens until dinner time for being disrespectful to a neighbor. Her first attempt to occupy the hours of an afternoon that is approaching very long is to call her friend on her cell phone, but her friend already has plans. So Ana starts drawing and “an unexpected adventure arises on the most boring day of the year.” Anne Wildwood, Ana's fictional alter ego, bursts onto the scene with a thrilling adventure against a crazy man who wants to end the world with a pulverizing laser. An interesting start for a proposal that looks like a series. Oh, and it's a comic.

The Kalandraka publishing house recovers this sophisticated and cosmopolitan version of The Three Little Pigs, first published in 1999. With the always magnificent illustrations of Maurice Sendak, the story brings together the high society of pigs, as well as wealthy pigs and artists in the premiere from The Lake of the Pigs. The mangy wolf also comes hungry and overwhelmed by the smell of pork, who, surprised and dazzled, plots to enter the theater and eat his fill. And once inside, seduced by the performance, the wolf is never the same again. A simply brilliant story.

This book is a surprise and not only because it is written poetically, in free verse, which makes it a very interesting read for children and adults. Also because from fiction it talks about the otter recovery program carried out by the staff of the Monterey Bay aquarium, in California, and it does so with Odder, a small otter, as a narrating voice. It is not the first time that Odder visits Aguas Altas, as she calls the aquarium. She grew up in it, after being adrift after a great storm that separated her from her mother when she was barely a baby. After managing to reintroduce her into her habitat, Odder is once again rescued along with her best friend by the Aquarium staff but this time due to a shark attack. Neither of them will be able to return to the sea, but a great mission awaits them that raises many doubts: helping other baby otters get ahead. A natural, realistic and very interesting story about a species that is rarely found in our area.