Savit is a very descriptive writer: “Feet, hooves, and studded wheels turned the grass into a muddy coleslaw.” The butcher was “a man who wore blood as comfortably as other clothes.” He also has a knack for horror, with such creepy details as an enchanted metal spoon with a razor-sharp edge, a wheelchair made of very long, still growing fingernails.
His novel features richly drawn characters, a fascinating cast of demons, dark humor (for example, Bluma’s grandmother’s amusing conversation with the Dark Messenger), and dizzying suspense. This original and exciting fantasy will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman.
“The Way Back” is one of 10 finalists for the National Book Award for Youth Literature.
When you come to earth by Sophie Blackall; Chronicle Books ($ 18.99).
The message that “we are all together on this matter” comes out loud and clear in this beautiful introduction to planet earth, written as a letter to a visitor from space and inspired by the children who raised Sophie Blackall her trip has taken world in support of UNICEF and Save the Children.
Blackall has won the Caldecott Medal for illustration twice, and her distinctive style of Chinese ink and watercolor is applied here to a beautiful depiction of the solar system with the Earth’s place in it, a detailed and amusing painting of an ocean full of fish that all look like swimming Direction or a double page about families presented in a wonderfully diverse representation of families frolicking on picnic blankets on a summer’s day.