Bookshelf October 2017

Where Oliver Fits
By Cale Atkinson
It’s so satisfying to find where a piece of a puzzle fits and there are times when life can be like that. Trying to find the right fit is one of life’s challenges. As a little puzzle piece, Oliver is trying to find where he fits in this sweet and amusing exploration of how to be yourself. The bright and colourful Photoshop artwork is intriguing to the eye and illustrates the trial and error required for Oliver to figure out exactly where he belongs. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher Tundra – $21.99

If You’re Thankful and You Know It
By Chrissy Bozik, illustrator Patricia Storms
If this book title reminds you of a certain song, you have made the correct connection. The text is a poem that follows the rhythm of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and provides a perfect celebration of Thanksgiving. The verses feature so much of what fall is all about, from fresh apples and migrating birds to cozy sweaters, pumpkins and turkey. You’ll enjoy sharing this sing-along story. Ages 3 to 8 –– Publisher Scholastic – $7.99 paperback

One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!
By John Micklos Jr., illustrator Clive McFarland
The simplicity of a counting book is taken to another level when the seasons are also introduced. The charming illustrations feature the changes experienced by trees and the wild creatures in the seasonal landscape. It’s a playful presentation of numbers that will have little ones counting leaves and looking for animals as the rhyming text bounces along. This book will make counting easy and learning fun. Ages 3 to 5 – Publisher Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin) – $22.99 hardcover

See What We Eat! A First Book of Healthy Eating
By Scot Ritchie
There are many strategies that can encourage kids to eat healthy food. This picture book can be part of the strategy that reinforces where food comes from, introduces the basic food groups, balanced meals and encourages kids to make healthy food choices. The messages are conveyed during a tour of Aunt Sara’s farm that covers each food group with stops along the way. There’s a field of wheat and oats for grains, the garden for vegetables, the henhouse for protein, the barn for dairy and the orchard for fruit. The busy illustrations invite kids to check out all of the details created by this award-winning author and illustrator. There is even an apple crisp recipe at the end of the story. Ages 4 to 7 – Publisher Kids Can Press – $16.99 hardcover

Food Atlas
By Giulia Malerba, illustrator Febe Sillani
This book provides geography lessons that you can almost taste. It begins with a world map showing the six continents and 50 countries including Canada, Great Britain, Australia, China, Netherlands, Ecuador, Portugal and Morocco. Each country map has a brief introduction outlining the most important features of the cuisine and culture of food, such as late night meals or traditional morning beverages. The most important foods grown or produced in that country are illustrated within its borders while local and specialty dishes and beverages that make up the country’s cuisine fill the rest of the page. It’s a fascinating way to look at the world. Ages 8 and up – Publisher Firefly Books – $19.95 hardcover

42 is Not Just a Number
By Doreen Rappaport
The Toronto Blue Jays have no chance of heading to the World Series this year but baseball remains top of mind as the big showdown approaches. Considering the multicultural mix of today’s players it’s important to reflect on a time when it took extreme bravery to break Major League Baseball’s colour barrier. The story of Jackie Robinson is a familiar one but in this book the author presents it to a young audience by using vignettes of actual events to bring the story alive. From a racist encounter with a neighbour at age eight to his time spent in the U.S. Army and the Negro Leagues, 21 short chapters tell a story of courage, self-control, and perseverance. This is an easy and informative read, perfect for reluctant readers.An eye-opening look at the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the colour barrier in Major League Baseball and became an American hero. Ages 8 to 12 – Publisher Candlewick Press – $21.99 hardcover

By Heather Camlot
Jackie Robinson had broken the colour barrier and was playing for the Montreal Royals in 1946. An inspiration to many, his incredible story is told alongside that of a 12-year-old boy with dreams of escaping his poor Jewish neighbourhood in Montreal. Joey Grosser has to take over the family grocery store along side his mother, when his father dies. In his efforts to get them out of their poverty, he unwittingly gets involved with a gangster who is the father of his best friend. This Toronto author’s debut novel is a wonderful read, with a compelling plot, plenty of unpredictable twists and an engaging protagonist who learns some important life lessons. Ages 8 to 12 – Publisher Red Deer Press – $12.95 paperback

Dark Matters Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution
By Joan Marie Galat
City dwellers rarely see the stars in the night sky. Light from cars, streetlights, houses, shopping malls and skyscrapers casts such a glow that it can be seen from outer space and keeps the natural world from experiencing the dark. Told through the eyes of 13-year-old Joan who loves the outdoors, readers are introduced to the fragile animals that are impacted by the disappearing darkness. Joan’s curiosity is contagious as she discovers the amazing night life of frogs and bats, turtles and fireflies, birds, plants, and more. Best of all, there are tips and suggestions on how young people can help reduce light pollution. Ages 10 to 15 – Publisher Red Deer Press – $19.95 hardcover

Wicked Bugs The Meanest, Deadliest, Grossest Bugs on Earth
By Amy Stewart
Organized into thematic categories (Everyday Dangers, Unwelcome Invaders, Destructive Pests, and Terrible Threats) and featuring full-colour illustrations this educational and creepy-cool guide features the worst of the worst of insects, arachnids, and other arthropods. The young readers adaptation of Amy Stewart’s bestselling book for adult readers showcases creatures like the zombie bug that inhabits and controls its victim’s body as well as bugs that dine on corpses and much more. There’s even a sting pain index created by a scientist who subjected himself to the stings of 150 species. Ages 10 to 15 – Publisher Algonquin – $26.96 hardcover