On the bookshelf


By Jane Muller

Garbage Delight

By Dennis Lee, illustrator Sandy Nichols

There’s a new way for kids to eat up the rollicking poetry of the acclaimed poet Dennis Lee. This board-book serves up Garbage Delight, one of the poems in “Canada’s Father Goose’s” collections of poetry of the same name, in a format accessible to little ones. The original “Garbage Delight” features a collection of his fun and unforgettable rhymes and has been on bookshelves for more than 30 years. This excerpt, illustrated by Sandy Nichols who also illustrated his collection titled “Alligator Pie”, is the perfect introduction for pint-sized poetry pupils. Ages 0 to 4 –Publisher Harper Collins – $12.99 board book

The Good Dog

By Todd Kessler, illustrator Jennifer

Gray Olson

Many a child has fantasized about finding a cute little puppy and bringing it home. In the debut children’s book from “Blue’s Clues” creator Todd Kessler, Ricky Lee follows his instincts and brings home puppy protagonist Tako. He’s allowed to keep him if Tako is a “good dog”. The resulting tale takes that familiar theme of animal-human bond to the level of triumphant friendship thanks in part to Tako’s heroic foiling of a plan to destroy his family’s bakery business. This empowering page-turner about friendship, integrity, and courage is one that everyone will enjoy. Ages 3 to 10 – Publisher Greenleaf Book Group Press – $18.95 US hardcover

Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons

By Margaret Wise Brown

Forty years after her death, hundreds of unpublished poems and songs by the author of the classic “Goodnight Moon”, were discovered in a trunk in her sister’s attic. This wonderful collection of the newly uncovered verses is treated lovingly by 12 award-winning artists that interpret her words in double-page spreads. The accompanying CD, with lilting songs thoughtfully composed and sung by Emily Gary and Tom Proutt, makes this the perfect gift for children. The magical art marries with the songs and provides enough engaging detail to keep readers on the related page until the final note. Ages 1 to 6 – Publisher Sterling Children’s Press – $20.95

Elwood Bigfoot: Wanted:
Birdie Friends!

By Jill Esbaum

How many friends would a Bigfoot have? He’s big and loud and one-of-a-kind and that makes him lonely yet he’s loveable. The reader wants this relatable protagonist to make friends with the birds, and can’t help cheering him on in his humourous attempts to woo them. Happily, he figures out how to relate to his fine, feathered friends. This story, supported by terrific comic-style illustrations, will become a favourite. Ages 4 to 7– Publisher Sterling Children’s Books – $16.95 hardcover

Gerbil, uncurled

By Alison Hughes, illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo 

This offering from an award-winning author and illustrator had me at the clay and Plasticine illustrations that I adore in children’s books. That attraction was rewarded with a story that encourages children to question the world around them but in a positive way. While Little Gerbil wants to live up to all of the important Gerbil Mottos from Grandpa Gerbil, there is one motto that Little Gerbil just can’t manage to keep: Curl Up Nose to Toes when it comes time to go to sleep. Sharing that secret has some surprising outcomes. Age 3 to 8 – Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 hardcover

Finding Winnie

By Lindsay Mattick, illustrator Sophie Blackall

In 1914 Harry Colebourn rescued a bear cub in White River, Ontario on his way to the front lines of the war. Winnie was later donated to the London Zoo where she caught the attention and sparked the imagination of Christopher Robin to become one of his father’s, A.A. Milne’s, most beloved characters. Lindsay Mattick, Captain Colebourn’s great granddaughter, shares the remarkable true story behind the real Canadian Winnie the Pooh in this beautifully illustrated book, complemented by photographs and objects from the Colebourn family archives. Ages 4 to 7 – Publisher Harper Collins – $19.99 hardcover

Sink Your Teeth Into the World of Bloodsucking Creatures

By Kari-Lynn Winters and Ishta Mercurio

It’s vampire season, as Halloween approaches, and this book sheds light on all sorts of blood sucking creatures. There are trillions of vampires that creep, crawl, swim, buzz and fly among us. Consider the fleas that love your pets as much as you do, the bedbugs that bite you at night, the lampreys that latch onto fish, or the seemingly innocent butterflies that flutter above. Bloodsucking creatures range from highly annoying to deadly but are a necessity in our global ecosystems and they can even be beneficial. This book is dedicated to them, complete with fascinating information, full-colour photos, interactive activities, and educational diagrams and charts. Ages 7 to 12 – Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $19.95 hardcover

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

By Hal Johnson, illustrator Tom Mead

Subtitled “20 Chilling Tales from the Wilderness”, this collection is perfect for kids, especially with Halloween lurking later this month. The scary stories feature the most dangerous and fantastical beasts in American folklore including the Snoligoster, the Hoop Snake and the Hodag. The tales are enhanced by eight drawings printed with glow-in-the-dark ink. They bring a spooky effect to the book that was originally published in 1910 by William Thomas Cox. Ages 8 to 11– Publisher Workman – $14.95 US hardcover

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