Plenty of Books for Kids: April 2016


Picture Books:

Ellie the Wienerdog: It’s Hard to be Good by K.J. Hales, Illustrations by Serene Wyatt

In K.J. Hales’s Life’s Little Lessons, Ellie the wienerdog shares how hard it is to do the right thing even when the pressure to do otherwise is so strong. Ellie has a fabulous website to accompany the books. Children can download colouring pages, play games, watch videos and even exercise with Ellie.

Normal Norman by Tara Lazar, Illustrations by S.Britt

A measure of a good children’s book is how often children beg to hear it read aloud. A measure of a great children’s book is for how many years children beg to hear it read aloud. A young junior scientist is excited to narrate her first book to report on the normal behaviour of a gorilla named Norman. Surprise! Norman is anything but normal and what’s more, he proves that his friends are anything but normal too! Our young scientist is left scratching her head and re-evaluating what normal even means . . .maybe nothing and everything are normal? A positive message about authenticity, acceptance, community and togetherness – this makes Normal Norman a great book!

Little Banty Chicken and the Big Dream by Lynea Gillen, Illustrations by Kristina Swarner

Little Banty dreams of hosting a special party to honour her favourite farmers. She tells Moon about her dream and with encouragement shares her wishes with her animal friends. Together they each contribute a special gift, unique to them, to create a magical celebration helping Banty to realize her dream. Lynea Gillen’s positive tale for younger readers encourages cooperation in addition to dreaming big!

Bowls of Happiness: Treasures from China and the Forbidden City by Brian Tse, Illustrations by Alice Mak

Little Piggy’s mother loves her so much that she paints a porcelain bowl just for her. Each picture painted on the bowl symbolizes a part of Piggy. This book beautifully illustrates and shares the meaning behind the artistry of ancient Chinese pottery. Robert Yau Chung Ho, Chairman of The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation, writes in the forward of this book, “It is crucially important that young people learn more about their own culture, but also explore other cultures as well.” Bowls of Happiness is a book that will enrich the lives of readers young and not-so-young.

Ah-Choo! By Lana Wayne Koehler & Gloria G. Adams, Illustrations by Ken Min

Certain books are instant hits with kids, and Ah-Choo! is one of them. A young boy is desperate for a pet of his own, but whatever furry, hairy or feathered friend he brings home is met with a series of sneezes from his sister. The story rings true in this house full of allergies and strong desires for a pet.

The Tiniest Tumbleweed by Kathy Peach, Illustrations by Alex Lopez

Kathy Peach, an Early Childhood Special Education specialist, wrote this book to inspire young readers to believe in and follow their own limitless possibilities. Bonus: a curriculum guide, craft ideas and an accompanying website!



Max’s Treasure by Michelle Persyko, Photographs by Jessica Newman, Illustrations by Shawna Smoke

Have you ever heard the expression, “You fill my bucket,” meaning to do something to make someone happy?  Well, Dr. Michelle Persyko, clinical psychologist and contributor to Plenty, has a new term to add to our container metaphors for well being.  Max’s Treasure is a tale about a boy who heads out for adventure with a backpack full of snacks.  Sadly, as he meets unfriendly creatures on his way, his backpack also gets weighed down with their negative words.  This book is a great story for teaching kids about resilience and about making the choice not to carry others’ negative opinions and comments in our backpacks.  You can order it here.

Ages 7-10:

What was it like, Mr. Emperor? Life in China’s Forbidden City by Chiu Kwong-chiu and Eileen Ng, Illustrations by Design and Cultural Studies Workshop, Translation by Ben Wang

Why not explore another culture through books?  What Was It Like? takes readers through time to life in China’s forbidden city where emperors reign. This book is chock-full of information presented to children with engaging illustrations and easy to digest text. Books such as this are a must-have in your child’s reference library.

The Adventures of Bibole, Rivol and Michelle: Kidnapped, Part One by Brian Fujikawa, Illustrations by Gil Balbuena Jr.

When I volunteered at the school’s library I could always tell the most loved books. In addition to their tattered covers and creased pages, they also rarely made it off the Return cart. Anything by Brian Fujikawa is a favourite and I am certain this tale will be no different!

Sometimes by Hugo Ibarra & John Seidlitz, Illustrations by Katia Lara

Clara and Andres have immigrated to the United States from Mexico. Their journey was full of challenges and heartache and even after moving into their aunt’s home and enrolling in a new school, the realities and unfamiliarity of their new life settle in. A powerful story written by Hugo Ibarra with emotionally charged illustrations by John Seidlitz that may encourage readers to think about and consider immigrants differently.


Chapter Books:

Castle in Danger by Karen Rita Rautenberg

Perfect for my grade 4 reader studying Medieval Times, this is the adventurous story of Emma, daughter of Baron Geoffrey, and young peasant Thomas. Together they are working to solve the mystery of what happened to her cousin Helen, but will thieves, evil villains and the stubborn class system get in their way?


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