Puff The Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton with paintings by Eric Puybaret
Eric Puybaret’s rich and whimsical paintings are nothing short of a stunning accompaniment to Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton’s favourite classic childhood tale. Both the kids and I appreciated the gentler ending to the sorrowful departure of Peter from Puff. Also included is a CD featuring equally lovely music.
The Moon Inside by Sandra V. Feder, Illustrated by Aimee Sicuro
Ella is afraid to go to sleep each night but after her mother shows her that her favourite colour, yellow, can also be found in the nighttime she finds comfort in the darkness. Aimee Sicuro’s beautiful illustrations are peaceful and inspire a sense of calm. Perfect bedtime reading.
Rosie and Friends Positively Different by Helen C. Hipp, Illustrated by Taryn Cozzy
Rosie is a Hippo who doesn’t look like her friends but instead of being insecure, she’s confident and proud! Rosie explains to her friends why differences are something to be embraced and together they learn to not just accept these but to celebrate them!
The Barefoot Book of Children by Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma, Illustrated by David Dean
This book about children and for children will inspire them to open their minds and hearts to discover and learn about children all over the world. Through rich illustrations, thoughtful questions and beautiful reflections, the authors of this book strive to show that all children all over the world are more alike than different, but that those differences are what make the world a magical place. The Barefoot Book of Children would make a special gift for any educator or parent wanting to nurture the seed of loving kindness and empathy in children.
Reindeer Dust by Kate Dwyer, Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
If you’re looking to add to your Christmas Eve traditions, look no further than Kate Dwyer’s exciting tale of how Reindeer dust came to be. Joanne Lew-Vriethoff’s illustrations bring joy just by turning the page. This book will be a welcome addition to the Christmas Book Box.
Please Be Nice To Sharks: Fascinating Facts about the Ocean’s Most Misunderstood Creatures by Matt Weiss photos by Matt Weiss and Daniel Botelho
This book is a must-have addition to the collection of any marine enthusiast. Matt Weiss introduces readers to a variety of sharks, sharing interesting facts about the species while debunking myths and misconceptions. The real-life photographs are as close to sharks as most people will ever come!
The Rootlets: Trouble At Plantasy Land by Vicki Marquez, Illustrated by Jeremy Russnak
The second book in the Rootlets series authored by plant-based chef Vicki Marquez, finds the Rootlets having to use their new rootabilities to save their favourite place on earth . . . Plantasy Land! The website that accompanies these books is guarantee to capture the attention of your budding reader (see what I did there?).
Zack Delacruz: Just My Luck by Jeff Anderson
Zack is back! Jeff Anderson’s beloved Zack Delacruz is back with all his stumbling, fumbling hilarity. This time Zack has a crush on the new girl at school but in true Zack form, his first impression is memorable for all the wrong reasons. Readers will laugh from beginning to end as Zack’s attempts to make amends go from bad to worse, just Zack’s luck!
The Tale of Depereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo is the author of modern classics. It’s a treat to find a living author whose works you know will all be of the highest calibre, and she is one of those gems. Although Youngest (8) is old enough to read this one himself, this is our read-aloud book at bedtime, and I could not be more engaged. This is a tale of knights and princesses and true love. In this case, the knight is a mouse, the princess is a Pea and the enemy is a rat named Roscuro, for chiaroscuro: the interplay of light and dark in a painting. Light and dark is what this book is really about, and it keeps you guessing right until the end.
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Gidwitz has cleverly linked several fairy tales into a continuous narrative, starring siblings Hansel and Gretel. The pair battle their way through adversity (hunger, homelessness, goblins, dragons) to arrive at (spoiler alert) a suitably happy ending. The acknowledgements indicate that the author thinks these books are ground-breaking because they re-introduce violence into the stories, and he expresses gratitude to those who assured him that kids can handle it. There is plenty of gore, but there is also a very intrusive narrator who, in bold print, will occasionally interrupt his telling of the stories to suggest that we clear the room of little children. The gore, in other words, is simultaneously highlighted and robbed of its ability to truly frighten with the comedic interruptions. The children who really come to the fore as the heroes and heroines of the tales, and it’s a role that is celebrated with much pomp and ceremony. In handing back the spine-chilling gore of the original Grimms’ tales, he is also handing children their right to star in their own adventures, often in spite of adult interference. Each book ends with a fairly heavy-handed moral about the importance of valuing yourself and your own point of view, but somehow the stories do call for that extra bit of didacticism at the end.
A Different Kind of Book
do Big Small things by Bruce Poon Tip
Bruce Poon Tip is a world traveler, non-profit founder and motivational speaker. He has inspired great minds to change the world delivering keynote speeches at TED events and conferences at companies like Apple and Google. He’s created a book of prompts that will serve as a map – a guide for life. Questions that will challenge you to think, consider and reflect. This companion guide is the perfect gift to give a young adult on the precipice of a new beginning.
Under the Moon, Jazz Standards and Lullabies performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Selected by Misja Fitzgerald Michel, Illustrated by Ilya Green
You might buy Under The Moon for your child but it won’t be long before you’re intentionally listening to it without them in earshot. Misja Fitzgerald Michel has selected a soothing compilation of classic jazz standards that won’t only rock your child to sleep but will serve as the soundtrack as their life as they grow and mature.
Blue and Red Make Purple, A Musical Journey with Jennifer Gasoi, Illustrated by Steve Adams
Jennifer Gasoi’s voice is crystal clear goodness that will have any parent readily reaching for the play button. Blue and Red Make Purple includes a listening guide that explains the various genres in a fun and interactive way, of the music that make up the musical journey. A welcome addition to any music educator’s collection of books.