My two blankets

Irena Kobald

Book - 2015

A homesick little girl who has recently moved to an unfamiliar country comforts herself by clinging to an old blanket, but when she meets a new friend, the relationship helps her take her first steps into a new culture.

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jE/Kobald
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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Kobald Checked In
Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt [2015]
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
ISBN
9780544432284
0544432282
Main Author
Irena Kobald (author)
Other Authors
Freya Blackwood (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

"Auntie used to call me Cartwheel. Then came the war." The first spread shows a joyful little girl in her Sudanese village. In the next, she is huddled with her auntie and other commuters in a big-city train. Indeed, nothing is the same. Cartwheel doesn't speak English, so she feels like she is "standing under a waterfall of strange sounds." Both text and art arrestingly describe how the girl wants to wrap herself in a blanket made of her own words and memories of her old world. Then one day a girl waves to her, and soon they are playing together, but words are still a problem, so it is up to the new friend to find a way they can communicate: origami figures. Slowly Cartwheel begins to feel words are softening their hard edges, and she makes a new blanket from them. The illustrations, a combination of watercolor and oils, heighten the effect of the thought-provoking story. Just the right format for children to think about immigrants and friendship. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 2—Following a war, Cartwheel and her aunt emigrate from their rural village to a westernized city. Under a barrage of foreign sights and sounds, Cartwheel finds comfort by wrapping herself in a "blanket" of familiar words and memories: "When I went out, it was like standing under a waterfall of strange sounds…. It made me feel alone." One day at the park, a blonde girl waves to her. Feeling scared, Cartwheel doesn't respond. Eventually they connect, and the girl starts teaching Cartwheel words, but Cartwheel is very self-conscious: "Sometimes I felt silly and I wanted to cry." At home, she practices the words until they become soft and familiar, and she starts to create a new "blanket" that represents her new life. Eventually she finds balance between the two. The blanket metaphor is powerful, and the way that sounds are depicted through shape and line works well. Cartwheel and her home are shown in bright warm colors, while the new country is portrayed through cool colors. Although Cartwheel and her aunt are the only nonwhite characters, their foreignness is represented through the color palette rather than dress or customs; care is taken to show that the new city is full of people dressed strangely and doing strange things. Unfortunately, the friendship is one-sided; rather than sharing culture and language between them, the girl does all the teaching and guiding, and Cartwheel isn't shown as having anything to offer. VERDICT This visually powerful book may resonate with recent immigrants. A solid addition for libraries.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN [Page 73]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A homesick little girl who has recently moved to an unfamiliar country comforts herself by clinging to an old blanket while wondering if a new blanket might help her take her first steps into her new culture. 15,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Cartwheel moves to a new country with her auntie, and everything is strange: the animals, the plants—even the wind. An old blanket gives Cartwheel comfort when she’s sad—and a new blanket just might change her world.This multicultural story of friendship is about leaving home, moving to a foreign and strange place, and finding a new friend. It's a story for all who have experienced change. Irena Kobald’s poetic text, paired with Kate Greenaway medalist Freya Blackwood's powerful paintings, renders an emotional and heart-warming story about two children from diverse backgrounds coming together to become new friends.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Moving is hard--but friends make it easier. In this stunning multicultural picture book illustrated by Kate Greenaway Medalist Freya Blackwood, a young girl has moved to a new country with her auntie, and misses all she's ever known. Everything in her new country feels so strange: the animals, the plants--even the wind. To comfort herself, she creates a safe place under her old blanket, which is made out of memories, thoughts, and reminders of home. After meeting a new friend in the park, the girl begins to weave a new blanket--one made of friendship, new words, and a renewed sense of belonging. It's very different from the old blanket, but it eventually becomes just as warm and familiar--and one to share with her new friend.      Fans of Tricia Tusa, Helen Oxenbury, Marla Frazee, and Matt Phelan will delight in reading this warm story alongside Blackwood's artwork.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Cartwheel moves to a new country with her auntie, and everything is strange: the animals, the plants—even the wind. An old blanket gives Cartwheel comfort when she’s sad—and a new blanket just might change her world.This multicultural story of friendship is about leaving home, moving to a foreign and strange place, and finding a new friend. It's a story for all who have experienced change. Irena Kobald’s poetic text, paired with Kate Greenaway medalist Freya Blackwood's powerful paintings, renders an emotional and heart-warming story about two children from diverse backgrounds coming together to become new friends.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Moving is hard--but friends make it easier. In this stunning multicultural picture book illustrated by Kate Greenaway Medalist Freya Blackwood, a young girl has moved to a new country with her auntie, and misses all she's ever known. Everything in her new country feels so strange: the animals, the plants--even the wind. To comfort herself, she creates a safe place under her old blanket, which is made out of memories, thoughts, and reminders of home. After meeting a new friend in the park, the girl begins to weave a new blanket--one made of friendship, new words, and a renewed sense of belonging. It's very different from the old blanket, but it eventually becomes just as warm and familiar--and one to share with her new friend.      Fans of Tricia Tusa, Helen Oxenbury, Marla Frazee, and Matt Phelan will delight in reading this warm story alongside Blackwood's artwork.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

Cartwheel moves to a new country with her auntie, and everything is strange: the animals, the plants'even the wind. An old blanket gives Cartwheel comfort when she's sad'and a new blanket just might change her world.This multicultural story of friendship is about leaving home, moving to a foreign and strange place, and finding a new friend. It's a story for all who have experienced change. Irena Kobald's poetic text, paired with Kate Greenaway medalist Freya Blackwood's powerful paintings, renders an emotional and heart-warming story about two children from diverse backgrounds coming together to become new friends.