On the bookshelf




By Dennis Lee, illustrator Dusan Petricic 

Who better than Canada’s Father Goose to send little kids soaring off to dreamland? This gorgeously illustrated board book is based on Dennis Lee’s “The Wizard,” from his acclaimed collection Melvis and Elvis. Readers learn a crotchety wizard’s secret spell for taking flight. Zoomberry is a magical adventure through nighttime skies that will become a bedtime favourite. Ages 0 to 4 – Publisher Harper Collins – $12.99 board book

Baroque With Joy - An Introduction to the Great Baroque Composers 


By Suzanne Brown, illustrator Romi Caron

This picture book, with its simple text and lovely illustrations, raises the curtain on three of the Great Baroque Composers; Bach, Scarlatti and Handel. To make this introduction complete, it includes free downloadable music to accompany the version, which allows the children to enjoy it themselves with an audio of children’s performer Suzie Sunshine (aka Suzanne Brown) reading while classical music plays in the background. Ages 2 to 5 – Order books online at www.suziesunshine.ca $14.98 paperback

Mr. King’s Machine  


By Geneviève Côté

This is the third book in Geneviève Côté’s picture book series that teaches even the youngest readers lessons about the environment. They learn along with a bright little cat, whose friends help him to think green. The acclaimed children’s book illustrator and author keeps things light and bright with colourful art and text that lends itself to reading aloud. Ages 2 to 4 – Publisher, Kids Can Press – $18.95 hard cover

Being Me  


By Rosemary McCarney, 

illustrator Yvonne Cathcart

Kids are often asked what they want to be when they grow up. At age 7, Rosie the Red wants to be something now. In this second book of the Rosie the Red series written by Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations the protagonist look for that something and finds it thanks to an encounter at the local food bank. This is a story with a wonderful message about making a difference. Ages 4 to 7 – Publisher, Second Story Press – $15.95 hard cover

Who Broke the Teapot?    


By Bill Slavin

Any household will seem somewhat more peaceful after spending time with this rambunctious crew that has a mystery to solve. Things come to a boil when Mom discovers her favourite teapot smashed on the floor. No matter how loudly she screams “Who broke the teapot” no one fesses up and her family carries on in their chaotic kitchen. Slavin’s illustrations are perfectly loud as well and help tell this tale that pokes fun at parents who sometimes lose it and find out something about themselves. Ages 3 to 5 – Publisher, Penguin Random House – $19.99 hardcover 


What Grandma Built 


By Michelle Gilman, 

illustrator Jazmin Sasky

It’s a family legacy most dream of and some actually experience. Based on the life of the author whose parents build a lakeside house on a firm stone foundation that expanded over the years to accommodate a growing family that gathered there. The house evolves into magical place full of love and traditions with walls are reserved for family photos and grandchildren’s drawings, and a giant dining room for family meals. The poignant story reminds readers about the importance of building family memories. Ages 4 to 7 – Publisher Harbour Publishing – $14.95 paperback

The Toad 


By Elise Gravel, illustrator

Another installment in the Disgusting Critter series leaps back into nature’s interesting, although gross creatures by featuring one that even eats its own shed skin. The toad’s funny asides throughout this non-fiction book about toads contribute to its laugh-out-loud moments. It’s a perfect book for beginning and reluctant readers with its boldly coloured cartoon illustrations and handwritten fonts. Ages 6 to 9 – Publisher Tundra Books – $12.99 hard cover


Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Woods 


By Carol Shields and Patrick Crowe, illustrator Selena Goulding 

An early feminist and pioneer of both literature and of Upper Canada, Susanna Moodie’s life changed forever when she and her husband left England for the backwoods of Canada in 1832. They were misled about their destination, unprepared for pioneer life and found themselves starving in a hostile wilderness. The experience is documented in Moodie’s novel Roughing It in the Bush and now told again by acclaimed writer Carol Shields as a graphic novel to access a new audience. Ages 8 to 12 – Publisher, Second Story Press – $22.95 paperback


Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell 


By Liane Shaw

This compelling read explores the nuances of Asperger’s Syndrome through 16-year-old Frederick, whose odd behaviour makes him an easy target and renders him friendless at high school. It’s a new girl Angel, who decides to teach Frederick her rules of friendship. As a boy who loves rules, he faces a tough decision when she disappears and he’s been asked not to tell her secret. Ages 12 to 16 – Publisher, Second Story Press – $12.95




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