The always fascinating nature of our planet and the multiple species that inhabit it, and the complex human condition, marked by fear or the desire for power and adventure, are the core of the interesting proposals brought to us by the new batch of children’s literature. and youth of this end of winter.

At a good pace. 36 pages. €14 (From 5 years old) You can buy it here.

Sometimes the outside is scary. A feeling that is not only the heritage of childhood, as this wall builder shows us who finds a perfect place to settle in the forest. The smell of flowers and the lullaby of the river draw us an idyllic landscape that is shattered when an unwelcome dog appears in those lands. The man builds a brick wall in search of lost peace, but soon a wild boar appears and he must transform the wall into a hut with a window to feel protected. It’s a pity that new visitors break in and will force him to wall up the few spaces that still connected him with the outside world.

The simple illustrations contrast the greenery of this natural space with the white confinement of the protagonist in his cubicle, at the same time that they show us the tenderness of all these animals that do not give up their efforts and wait for the builder to soften up sleeping peacefully. on the other side of the wall.

Arianna Squilloni signs this intelligent album about the need to open up to others, and concludes with a certain irony that only man is capable of tripping over the same stone not two but two hundred times.

Red Fox Books. 52 pages. €14.90 (From 5 years old) You can buy it here.

The morning is beautiful and the farmer tells the children to go out and have fun. The magic words are not long in coming, do you want to play to invent? From then on, fantasy enters the scene, the tree becomes a castle and the orchard and its scarecrow become the territory of the giant Pumpkin. The little ones come upstairs, open the cages of the rabbits that are now zombies waiting for their release, turn their verbs towards the conditional that reflects their desires and reveal to us the enthusiasm with which they turn all everyday places upside down.

The illustrations expressively recreate the emotions of children while reminding us, with their checkered skin, that all these characters are nothing more than fictional creatures. A complicit nod to the reader who witnesses this afternoon of adventures and, with each new disaster, is aware that the adult’s anger will come at any moment like a jug of cold water.

A delicious and tremendously timely album for these times when children do not know how to get bored or are aware that, above any toy, the most powerful weapon to entertain us is the imagination.

pipe it 40 pages. €16.90 (From 6 years old) You can buy it here.

Within the ecological line that is gaining strength in many children’s stamps, we find this interesting proposal that tries to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change in large parts of our planet, at the same time that it initiates young readers into the world of time segmentation.

The bells of Big Ben ring twelve – not in vain everything starts at Greenwich’s zero meridian – and, while the city sleeps, two sisters embark on a journey through magnificent natural settings. What will be happening at this very moment in different parts of the planet? A question that takes us from the arctic night when a polar bear hunts seals for her pups to the moment when a baby elephant takes its first steps in the African savannah or a humpback whale emerges forcefully from the ocean. A threatened species that was about to become extinct until man was able to react.

Each double page recreates these privileged landscapes to show us their beauty and make us aware that they are gifts that we must protect. An album that celebrates the planet, stimulates the child’s curiosity and reveals little tricks to help care for it.

Combel. 64 pages. €11.90 (From 4 years old) You can buy it here.

The day the king gave a concert, everyone held their breath to avoid his anger. In the hands of Henry Purcell had been the responsibility of writing a score for the ignorant monarch to bring it up without having a clue about music. After racking his brains, the baroque composer tried to simplify the melody and thinned it out until the viola da gamba only had to play one note. An exercise in minimalism that saved the ridicule of the king thanks to the rich accompaniment of the other great musicians.

We are facing five stories full of wit about real anecdotes of great musicians in history. The event works as an excuse for the Catalan author to use fantasy and create a fiction around situations as unusual as the scores that Bach’s older brother hid in a closet and stimulated the creativity of the genius or the origin of the delicious Melba cup, as a tribute from a famous chef to a great opera diva.

The cartoonish illustrations affect the irony of these stories that will delight the first readers.

Akiara. 72 pages. €22.50 (From 9 years old) You can buy it here.

Despite their short lifespan, each year monarch butterflies fly from Canada to a valley in Mexico. How do they find their way if none of them have done this route before? How do the birds in the flock instantly change their direction of flight as if it were a perfectly orchestrated choreography? What do salmon do to find their way back to the mouth of the river where they were born and go up its waters?

The questions multiply with each double page to discover the intelligence of the animal world -from the song of some whales to the orientation capacity of homing pigeons- and plant life. Well, it is equally amazing to discover the life that is hidden under the forest floor, the beauty that each snowflake contains, with its symmetrical structure and millions of different shapes, the flexibility and resistance of the spider web or the prodigious composition of a feather that shelters, insulates and serves as a rudder in flight.

A fascinating album that opens the reader’s gaze to the miracle that life entails while challenging and encouraging them to go deeper through the final bibliography. Undoubtedly a successful title to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the publisher.

Blackie Books. 80 pages. €12.90 (From 8 years old) You can buy it here.

The citizens of Cielopolis live embittered by the countless laws that King Avarismundo I imposes on them. Skating, celebrating Carnival or amusement parks are absolutely prohibited plans, so the monarch is earning the rejection of his people, who take revenge putting banana peels outside the palace. The reason they don’t love him, a perfidious counselor warns him, is that in dreams they continue fantasizing about those forbidden delights and when they face the harsh reality, everything turns into frustration.

Faced with this perverse logic, one can only hope for an equally sneaky remedy: the courtier proposes sowing the city with pillows stuffed with cried handkerchiefs, nettles or crushed remorse that alter the citizens’ nights with horrible nightmares. Waking up, no matter how hard the day may be, may now be a real relief.

The key to such a wrong will be in the hands of a teacher and a weak girl, capable of reversing the situation and returning joy to the sleepwalking Cielopolis. One of the most celebrated stories of this classic of Greek children’s letters, which tells us about dreams as a space of freedom in a style close to the traditional story.

Duomo. 320 pages. €16.90 (From 12 years old) You can buy it here.

When Rio is forced to cross the ocean to a small Californian beach town, his whole world seems about to fall apart. His mother has been admitted to London to try to overcome a depression and his grandmother, who is going to take him in during these summer weeks, is a complete stranger.

The immensity of the Pacific opens up like a space of freedom before the boy who little by little loosens his initial mistrust. There he will discover the scene in which his mother spent her childhood and learn of his passion for the world of whales that cross the bay every year on their migration to the south. A privileged scenario in which he will find friendship and get involved in the rescue of a specimen known as Morro blanco.

As she already did with The Last Bear, the British author catches us again with this entertaining initiation novel thanks to her more ecological look. A reading that appeals to our responsibility to save the ocean and takes us into the wonderful world of cetaceans, which only a century ago were seen by hunters as a substantial source of income.

Edebé. 224 pages. €10.95 (From 14 years old) You can buy it here.

These pages -recognizes Care Santos in the epilogue of the novel- are born from the need to settle a debt with people who did not resign themselves to a crossed destiny. Those who were for a while on the side of the bad guys and chose to go over to the good guys.

Ángel is sixteen years old and has a sense of belonging to the clan that does not occur in other families. After all, the Medinas have the entire city in fear and any circulation of drugs must pass through their hands. Since he was a child he has been trained in the business and handles surveillance and dealing with astonishing naturalness. But now he needs to step up and asks his grandfather for a gun. Everyone says that he is nailed to Don Nicolás, the boss of this small mafia, and in fact he is the only one who dares to face him in the face of the submission of the rest.

From the relationship with his sister and his cousin to the harsh confrontations with his mother, from daily consumption to uncontrolled violence that precipitate Ángel’s descent into hell. A brave novel in which the veteran author displays her art so that the reader does not lift their eyes from the page and understands the possibility of change that every human being should contemplate in her path.

Anaya. 96 pages. €10.95 (From 14 years old) You can buy it here.

Young readers are fortunate that this year the work of Stefan Zweig has entered the public domain and texts as exciting as this short novel that came to light in 1920 are being reissued.

At almost thirty years old, Mrs. Irene enjoys a comfortable family life in Vienna at the beginning of the century with her two children and her husband. A peaceful bourgeois balance that is endangered when the protagonist falls in love with a young pianist with a bohemian air with whom she begins to have furtive weekly meetings.

Page by page, the Austrian writer draws from the third person an amazing psychological portrait in which we can feel the initial adrenaline of this woman who, as a new Bovary, only wants to get out of everyday boredom. A process that oscillates between excitement due to the danger of being discovered and her anguish, when a woman begins to blackmail her by uncovering her miseries in front of all the good Viennese society. A dissection of fear that enters her house like acid and rushes the character towards an unexpected destination that will trap the reader until the redemptive outcome.

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