On the bookshelf

By Jane Muller

For All the Stars Across the Sky
By Karl Newson,
illustrator Chiaki Okada
Bedtime is traditionally story time. Snuggling next to your child tucked into bed, it’s the perfect time to unwind and send them into dreamland with a sweet story. This is one takes little Luna and Mama on flights of the imagination as they explore a series of Luna’s wishes. The imaginary journeys have them flying like birds, swimming like fish, shrinking to bug size and growing to giant size. With dreamlike illustrations, this light-hearted, lyrical tale is a literary lullaby. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher, Candlewick Press – $19.99 hardcover

If I Were the Moon
By Sheree Fitch, illustrator Leslie Matts
This is a returning favourite on the 20th anniversary of its initial release. Truly a timeless bedtime book, it’s meant for sharing at the end of the day. Soft, gentle illustrations and the lilting flow of the text reflect the calm that’s needed to prepare for sleep. The dreamy story is based on pondering the proposition “if I were”. It’s sure to usher in a good night. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher Nimbus – $22.95 – hardcover

Red Light, Green Lion
By Candace Ryan, illustrator Jennifer Yerkes
This charming, sometimes silly, picture book takes a page from the childhood game Red Light, Green Light, using the repeated refrain to help readers guess what surprise comes next. The green lion is at a red traffic light and as he waits, some unexpected events take place and a series of incomplete words appear on the page. The whole word is revealed when the page is turned. The illustrations are as simple as the text and the result is a clever story that has readers musing along with the philosophical lion. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher, Kids Can Press – $18.99

My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me
By Natalie Meisner, illustrator Mathilde Cinq-Mars
A subtle nod to same-sex parents, this debut picture book reflects the author’s own two-mom, two-son family’s early days growing up in Lockeport, Nova Scotia. After each ocean-side discovery the storyteller recounts; “And these are the things we find by the sea, My mommy, my mama, my brother, and me.” Instantly engaging, the story shares the magic of time spent together as a family and the stories behind treasures discovered by the beachcombers, while the watercolour illustrations bring the watery world to life. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher Nimbus – $22.95 – hardcover

Uncle Farley’s False Teeth
By Alice Walsh, illustrator Michael Martchenko
My kids were fascinated when they witnessed their grandma take her top teeth from her mouth and pop them back in again after removing a painful raspberry seed. That fascination with false teeth gets Uncle Farley’s niece into trouble when she takes his to show to her friends while he naps. The illustrator, known for his work with Robert Munsch, adds to the humour of this fish tale with his comedic renderings. This is a fun read that will elicit some toothy smiles. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher, Nimbus – $10.95 paperback

Peg + Cat: Math in the Bath: A Level 1 Reader
By Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson
Short, repetitive lines and simple addition and subtraction will make a splash in the bath with new and early readers. The characters Peg and Cat are read-aloud staples that add some fun to the task of learning to read. Ages 4 to 6 – Publisher, Candlewick Press – $16.99

Follow That Bee!
By Scot Ritchie, illustrato
This playful book mixes narration, facts and appealing illustrations to introduce young children to why the world needs bees, and how people can help them thrive. It’s part of the critically acclaimed Exploring Our Community series from an award-winning author, each of which feature the same five culturally diverse characters. Comprehensive yet entertaining, the book encourages children to look closer at the natural world around them and includes a glossary, related activities and a bee illustration with its parts identified. Ages 4 to 7 – Publisher, Kids Can Press – $16.99 hardcover

Nine Months Before a Baby is Born
By Miranda Paul, illustrator Jason Chin
A unique pregnancy book, it combines detailed, actual size illustrations of the developing fetus with a story about a family waiting for their baby’s arrival. Siblings will relate to big sister’s anticipation while learning what’s happening inside their mother during the nine- month pregnancy. Ideal for inquisitive kids and parents who like to take advantage of teaching moments, this exceptional picture book features back pages that elaborate on pregnancy and lists the amazing things an unborn child can do. Ages 4 to 8 – Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada – $24.99 hardcover

A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How one Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal
By Carmen Oliver, illustrator Katy Dockrill
This inspiring true story is based on the early life of Simon Jackson, founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. It’s a deep and beautiful story of an exceptional boy who met Dr. Jane Goodall and eventually hiked the Great Bear Rainforest. Courageous and resilient, he’s an excellent example of how to be a voice for change. Ages 6 to 9 – Publisher, Kids Can Press – $18.99 hardcover

The Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid
By Jeff Kinney
An enticement for reluctant readers, this journal is as authentic and funny as Kinney’s original “Wimpy Kid” books and makes just as irresistible reading. From the primary style font to the silly cartoon illustrations, this has approachable and relatable humour that might even inspire some journal writing. The “New York Times” bestselling author perfectly captures middle-school logic and relationships. Age 9 to 12 – Publisher, Harry N. Abrams – $16.99 hardcover