CCBC June 2016 Newsletter


News from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre & Friends
Notable Links
June Book List: Summer Reading
Author Corner: Vikki VanSickle
Amy’s Travels in YA
Illustrator’s Studio: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Booksellers’ Picks

News from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Save the date! The Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre will take place on Monday, June 27 at 6:00pm in room 224 of the Northern District Library Branch of the Toronto Public Library. Author and long-time Canadian Children’s Book News editor Gillian O’Reilly is the special guest speaker. For further details, please click here.

Notable News & Links

Articles and videos of interest to educators

San Pedro librarian pedals with books on mission to gather young readers

Class reading about boy in dress causes stir

10 Canadian young adult books that could be the next big thing

Why we shouldn’t protect teenagers from controversial issues in fiction

This heartwarming letter proves that even little libraries are worth it

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June Book List: Summer Reading

With school ending soon, how about some books to while away the hot summer days? Below is a selection of books for kids and teens, compiled by CCBC library coordinator Meghan Howe.

Picture Books


A Morning to Polish and Keep
Written by Julie Lawson
Illustrated by Sheena Lott
Red Deer Press, 2015 ©1992
ISBN 978-0-88995-521-9
IL: Ages 7-10 RL: Grades 2-3
On the last day at their summer cabin, Amy’s family gets up before dawn to go fishing. When Amy loses her first big catch, it seems like the day is spoiled. Or is it? By the end of the day, Amy has a real fish story to tell, as well as a lasting memory — to polish and keep.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Pinny in Summer
Written by Joanne Schwartz
Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Groundwood Books, 2016
ISBN 978-1-55498-782-5
IL: Ages 4-7 RL: Grades 2-3
This engaging story, told in chapter-like episodes, follows Pinny on a long, lazy summer day. As sunshine turns to rain and back to sun again, Pinny searches for a wishing rock, watches clouds, picks wild blueberries, feeds a seagull and bakes a cake to share with her friends.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Sea Glass Summer
Written and illustrated by Heidi Jardine Stoddart
Nimbus Publishing, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77108-299-0
IL: Ages 3-7 RL: Grades 2-3
Molly loves searching for sea glass at Gram’s cottage. Each morning after breakfast and tea, they wander the beach together, searching under driftwood, in between pebbles, and in the surf for these ocean treasures. That is, until the day the moving truck comes. Suddenly Molly finds herself spending autumn, winter and spring in a faraway city. When a surprise parcel arrives from Gram, Molly wishes with all her might for another sea glass summer. Will her wish come true?
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


See You Next Year
Written by Andrew Larsen
Illustrated by Todd Stewart
Owlkids Books, 2015
ISBN 978-1-926973-99-9
IL: Ages 3-7 RL: Gradse 2-3
Each summer a young girl’s family returns to the same beachside motel. Everything is comfortingly predictable: the families she sees, the rhythm of the days, the bonfires and even the patterns raked on their beach. But this year she meets a new friend and learns how to dive under the waves and spot satellites in the night sky… sometimes change can be good.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Song for a Summer Night: A Lullaby
Written by Robert Heidbreder
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Groundwood Books, 2015
ISBN 978-1-55498-493-0
IL: Ages 3-7 RL: Grades 1-2
As night falls on a soft summer evening, neighbourhood children are drawn out of their houses by the sights and sounds of the world after dark. First the fireflies come sparkling past, followed by raccoons, skunks, cats and owls. A sweet interplay between our everyday domestic world and one that is just a little bit wilder.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Wild Eggs: A Tale of Arctic Egg Collecting
Written by Suzie Napayok-Short
Illustrated by Jonathan Wright
Inhabit Media, 2015
ISBN 978-1-77227-025-9
IL: Ages 6-10 RL: Grades 3-4
Akuluk is not excited about visiting her grandparents in Nunavut; she would rather head south for summer vacation. But after eating wild duck eggs for breakfast, Akuluk wants to travel out on the land with her grandparents to collect more wild eggs. She learns about the different types of eggs and how to collect them properly. Now, Akuluk can’t wait for more Arctic adventures!
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers

Junior & Intermediate Fiction


Behind the Scenes
Written by Meg Tilly
Puffin Canada, 2014
ISBN 978-0-14-318251-1
IL: Ages 8-12 RL: Grades 4-6
BFFs Madison and Alyssa have the summer planned out — long days at the beach, hanging out, baking cookies — but all that changes when Alyssa’s movie star mother has to head back to Hollywood. Which means Alyssa is moving, just when Madison finally has a best friend. But there’s a silver lining: Madison is invited to come and visit Alyssa in Los Angeles. A summer of adventures and discovery lies ahead!
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Brother XII’s Treasure
Written by Amanda Spottiswoode
Illustrated by Molly March
Heritage House Publishing, 2015
ISBN 978-1-77203-071-6
IL: Ages 10-12 RL: Grades 5-6
The year is 1936, and seven children from England embark on a summer sailing adventure in British Columbia. They soon discover the true story of Brother XII, a shadowy figure who is rumoured to have buried treasure on one of the coastal islands. Their vacation turns into a treasure hunt — but will they find the loot before a band of pirates does?
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Written by Valerie Sherrard
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2013
ISBN 978-1-55455-305-1
IL: Ages 8-12 RL: Grades 3-5
Adam’s summer is off to a disappointing start. His best friend isn’t able to join him and his family at the seaside campground as planned, and he’s frustrated with his parents. At least an ever-changing cast of new summer friends proves to be an entertaining distraction, but it’s Theo, the blind gentleman up on the hill, who helps Adam see the true nature of friendship and find it in his heart to forgive.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Hannah & the Salish Sea
(Hannah, Book 2)
Written by Carol Anne Shaw
Ronsdale Press, 2013
ISBN 978-1-55380-233-4
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 5-6
Hannah is looking forward to a lazy summer in Cowichan Bay with her boyfriend Max. But with her suspicions about poachers in the area, Izzy Tate’s arrival and eaglets that need protecting, the summer turns out to be much more adventurous than Hannah had planned.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Nature Calls
(Finley Flowers, Book 2)
Written by Jessica Young
Illustrated by Jessica Secheret
Picture Window Books/Capstone, 2015
ISBN 978-1-4795-5879-7
IL: Ages 6-8 RL: Grades 2-3
Summer is here, and Finley is heading to Camp Acorn to make crafts, eat s’mores and prove that she’s tough enough to get back to nature! But on an overnight outing, Finley and her cabin mate get lost, and her ghost story comes back to haunt them! As they work together to find a creative way home, Finley discovers that there’s more than one way to be tough.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Summer Days, Starry Nights
Written by Vikki VanSickle
Scholastic Canada, 2013
ISBN 978-1-4431-1991-7
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Gradse 4-5
Reenie Starr loves summers at her family’s resort, but as a teenager she feels like she’s living in a country where people speak a different language. When Gwendolyn Cates arrives to teach dance at the resort, Reenie comes to realize that there is more to life than fishing, campfires and climbing trees. She also discovers that there’s more to being a teenager than just wearing cool clothes and knowing the right songs.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers

Young Adult Fiction


16 Things I Thought Were True
Written by Janet Gurtler
Sourcebooks Fire, 2014
ISBN 978-1-4022-7797-9
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 7-8
When Morgan’s mom gets sick, she panics. Then she finds out the dad who left when she was a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…. Road trip, anyone? With Adam in the back seat and Amy behind the wheel, Morgan feels ready for anything. She’s not expecting a flat tire, a fake girlfriend … or that two people she barely knew before the summer started would become the people she can’t imagine living without.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Girl on the Run
Written by B.R. Myers
Nimbus Publishing, 2015
ISBN 978-1-77108-352-2
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 7-8
Seventeen-year-old running star Jesse’s dreams of a scholarship end after her dad dies of a heart attack while coaching her. She escapes to a job as a summer camp counsellor, but a mix-up puts her in charge of a group of boy misfits. In the midst of chaos, Jesse finds the inspiration to run again from an unlikely source.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


The Sinkhole
(The Seven Stair Crew)
Written by Brad V. Cowan
Lorimer, 2014
ISBN 978-1-4594-0723-7
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 4-5
With the arrival of a mysterious letter from Cale’s estranged father, a dull, hot summer becomes an exciting adventure for the Seven Stair Crew! Clues send the boys on a quest to find The Empire — four super-secret skateboard sites with the most thrilling set-ups around. For Cale it is a journey of discovery… about his dad and himself.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


This One Summer
Created by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Groundwood Books, 2014
ISBN 978-1-55498-152-6
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 5-6
Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have stayed at Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this summer is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. It’s a summer of secrets and heartache and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other. A stunning and authentic story of friendship, illuminated by subtly heart-breaking moments and pure summer joy.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


Truths I Learned from Sam
Written by Kristin Butcher
Dundurn, 2013
ISBN 978-1-4597-0690-3
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 6-7
Despite her initial misgivings, it’s the best summer of 17-year-old Dani’s life. Staying in a small community while her mother honeymoons in Europe, Dani finds her days filled with riding, reading, rodeo and romance. Life couldn’t get any better. Then, suddenly, it couldn’t get any worse, and she discovers that bad things can happen to good people.
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers


You Can’t Make Me
(HIP Mainstreet)
Written by Ashley Hayden
Illustrated by Greg Ruhl
High Interest Publishing, 2015
ISBN 978-1-926847-57-3
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 4-5
Waylan just wants to fit in and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove he is one of the guys. But then he gets in trouble with the cops while trying to impress his friends. His mother sends Waylan away for a summer of tough love at his Moushoum’s (grandfather’s) cabin. That summer, and an encounter with the Roogaroo, changes his life.
Amazon | Canadian Bookstores | Wholesalers

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Author’s Corner: Vikki VanSickle

vikki Vikki VanSickle is the author of several middle-grade novels: Words that Start with B, Love Is a Four-Letter Word, Days that End in Y and Summer Days, Starry Nights. Her first picture book, If I Had a Gryphon, is in stores now. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

How did you get started as a writer?

I’ve always written off and on, dabbling in different genres and forms. I entered poetry contests when I was in middle school and wrote plays in university. I was intending to be a playwright until I did my Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at UBC. There I took a writing for children course and everything clicked. Writing children’s fiction just felt right.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Ideas will percolate in my head for a long time before I feel ready to get down to the business of writing. I do a lot of brainstorming by hand in a journal. With novels I dive right into the middle of the story, following my gut, writing out of order, getting to know the characters and their world. It’s a delightful, messy, chaotic process and I never quite know where I’m going to end up. With picture books I take a much more structured approach, visualizing the story, paring down the text, finding the beats. I am a morning person, so I like to write first thing, aided by a strong cup of tea.

GryphonTell us about your new book, If I Had a Gryphon. What inspired you to write it?

I was inspired by storytimes at The Flying Dragon Bookshop, where I used to work. Pet stories were perennial favourites. If I Had a Gryphon is essentially a pet story, only instead of cats, dogs and hamsters, it’s unicorns, gryphons and krakens! Harry Potter introduced a whole host of mythological creatures to readers, but I couldn’t find any books on this subject for the youngest of readers, so I wrote the book I was looking for. I decided to use rhyming text because nothing quite captures the wonder and delight of language as rhyme.

What were your favourite books growing up?

I was (and still am!) a voracious reader. I gravitated towards books that had protagonists I could relate to or aspired to be like, such as Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and the budding entrepreneurs of The Babysitters’ Club books.  I also loved speculative fiction, two favourites being Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Into the Dream by Canadian author William Sleator.

Do you have any suggestions for teachers on how to incorporate your books into the curriculum? Do you have any activity suggestions?

I have created Reader’s Theatre scripts for a few of my middle-grade novels which is a fun, active way to engage students. My novels have a lot of dialogue, which makes for an easy page-to-stage adaptation.  For If I Had a Gryphon, Tundra Books created a wonderful educator’s guide with curriculum connections, vocabulary lists and activities for imaginative play. You can find them on the Tundra blog or on my own website.

What projects are you working on now? Can you tell us about any upcoming books?

I have an upcoming middle-grade novel with Scholastic that I like to think of as The X Files for tweens. I’m also pondering a new picture book.

For more information about Vikki’s work, visit

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Amy’s Travels in YA


by Amy Mathers

It’s summer once again and while I’ll be spending it doing research for an upcoming non-fiction book about Canadian YA (Orca Book Publishers, 2018), I’ve also been musing about the direction I’d like my recreational reading to take during the season of cottage days and beach reading.

With a tendency to feel anxious when I don’t know what my next read is going to be, I’ve decided to take a different tack this summer. All international authors, with specific topics I’d like to read about. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, I will list the categories below and Canadian examples that would fit those categories.

  1. Read a book featuring someone who has a different disability than I do.

Recently I ran into Lorna Schultz Nicholson, who kindly gave me a copy of Born With: Erika & Gianni (Clockwise Press, 2016). Erika is a young woman with Down Syndrome who also has a father dealing with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), while Gianni is a young man gaining new awareness about his sexuality. It sounds like a story stacked with too many issues, but Nicholson’s writing handles them all with ease. What struck me most was how she also writes without pity. While there are genuinely grief-filled moments in the book, I did not feel sorry for Erika, I felt sad with her. In the so-called Sick Lit genre, this is a rare accomplishment.

  1. Read a book set in another country.

Besides being the cheap alternative to expensive travelling, books featuring life in other countries open up our worldview in a wonderful way. The Emperor of Any Place by Tim Wynne-Jones (Candlewick Press, 2015) is partially set in Japan during World War II and reveals a powerful struggle between Japanese mysticism and having to get along with the enemy you’ve been taught to hate. It’s a page turner from start to finish.

  1. Read a book from the viewpoint of someone who is not heterosexual or cisgender that is not an issue book.

This is harder to find than you might think. Most often, when a character is on the LGBTQ scale, that is the story, and it is usually a story that involves bullying, violence, and rejection by loved ones. As we are living in 2016, this is slowly becoming an antiquated point of view. But novels reflecting this change are few and far between. So for this one, I’m going with Big Guy by Robin Stevenson (Orca Book Publishers, 2008). It’s a small book with great heart.

  1. Read a book by a first time author.

It’s easy to get set in my ways and stick to authors I already know and love because they are familiar and often prolific. Doing so closes me off to the wonderful new authors out there who are just waiting to be discovered. Thanks to the 2016 White Pine list, I was introduced to Jennifer Gold’s writing with Soldier Doll (Second Story Press, 2014). It turned out to be this amazing story about a doll that manages to survive through many wars, bringing comfort to the various people who cross its path. I loved the connectedness of it, and how Gold manages to bring about a satisfying, if heartbreaking, conclusion.

  1. Read a book in a genre I usually dislike.

Every time, horror gets to me. I avoid that genre like the plague, with few exceptions. While most horror books turn my stomach, I have read some that I loved, namely pretty much anything by Jeyn Roberts, and Courtney Summers’ This is Not a Test series (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012-2015). Knowing there are some horror books I can stomach and actually love keeps me from shutting myself off from them completely, although I think over the summer I will allow myself to ditch the book if it’s getting too intense.

In the end, it’s sort of my own book scavenger hunt. I encourage you to come up with your own, to help you figure out what you would like to read during this time of rest and relaxation. Above all though, I hope you have a fantastic summer.


Amy Mathers read and reviewed 365 YA books to raise money for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award in 2014. Read about her journey at

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Illustrator’s Studio: Suzanne Del Rizzo

suzanneSuzanne Del Rizzo traded her job in scientific research for a career in children’s book illustration. She uses Plasticine, polymer clay, and other mixed media to create dimensional illustrations. Her first picture book, Skink on the Brink, was nominated for the Rainforest of Reading Award and the winner of the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. She lives in Oakville, Ontario.

How did you get started as an illustrator and how did you develop your unique style?

I have always been creative and artistic since I was little. I loved being outside drawing or up to my elbows digging for clay, in the bay at the cottage, to create something magnificent. I also really loved science; I was one of those very inquisitive kids that asked a million questions…I probably still do if you ask my family. So, I kept my art as more of a hobby, went to university to study Life Sciences, then worked in a medical research lab for a number of years before having my four children.

At home with my little ones, I was re-introduced to picture books and was struck with a newfound sense of “this is IT” — this is what I want to do. I was especially inspired by children’s book dimensional illustrators, like Barbara Reid, Eugenie and Kim Fernandes, and Jeanette Canyon. I joined SCBWI and CANSCAIP, researched all I could about the industry, and carved out little snippets of time to create art for a portfolio. I took a bit of a meandering route to realize that art was my true passion. With the support of my amazing husband, I made the leap into children’s book illustration, sending out my first batch of promo mailers in 2011. A few months later I received a call from Christie Harkin, then children’s editor at Fitzhenry & Whiteside. She liked my postcard and bookmark promos (and as luck would have it she collected bookmarks). Working with Christie and author Lisa Dalrymple was a dream. My first picture book as illustrator, Skink on the Brink, was published in Spring 2013.

Skink on the Brink was illustrated entirely in plasticine. I especially loved the challenge of illustrating all of the natural elements: bark, foliage, and even lizard skin (I made polymer clay stamps) with realistic and detailed textures. I also love to experiment with new materials, and see what happy accidents emerge — it keeps my illustrations fresh.  The illustrations in my second book, Gerbil, Uncurled, by Alison Hughes (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2015) were created using a variety of paper and mixed media (including actual wood chips!) with plasticine. In my third book, Sky Pig by Jan Coates (Pajama Press, 2016), I took my mixed media approach to a new level, creating dimensional paper sculptures within my plasticine illustrations using watch components, maps, decorative papers, and even milkweed fluff to create the whimsical, steampunk-inspired flying contraptions.

Interestingly, the current project I am working on has no plasticine at all. These illustrations will be created using polymer clay (which will be baked to harden then painted), corrugated paper, and acrylic paint.

Can you tell us about your illustrating process?

Colour chart

I begin each project by collecting reference images into a file from various sources —  magazines, my own photographs, and online — to use as inspiration. Next, I work out small thumbnail sketches, and then once I am happy, I move onto full-sized, detailed sketches. At this stage I often do a few colour studies to decide on the colour palette and start mixing my colours in plasticine or polymer clay to create a colour chart.

Next I make a detailed tracing of my sketch onto tracing paper to use as a guide as I work on the final art. My illustrations are created by pressing plasticine/polymer clay onto gessoed illustration board. I work from back to front, first smearing on a thin layer of plasticine for the background. Next, I add colours and textures (using anything from clay tools to toothbrushes and safety pins), sometimes working on top of a plastic bag on top of my sketch for intricate figures, then each piece is pressed carefully into place. If I am also working in mixed media, with papers or other found objects, I glue each item down onto the illustration board (digging tiny channels in the plasticine if needed).

Wings3 Wings1 Wings2
Click to enlarge.

Once all of the plasticine or mixed media elements are in place, I can add paint splatter or glazes to create effects on top of the plasticine. When the final art is completed I store it in a flat-tabbed box and it is scanned using a 3D scanner or photographed for print.

Studio1 Studio2 Studio3
Click to enlarge.

Tell us about your latest book, Sky Pig.

Sky Pig just hit the shelves in April, and I had so much fun illustrating it. Sky Pig was written by Jan Coates, and published by Pajama Press. When I read the manuscript, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary friendship between Jack and his pig-pal, Ollie, as he helps his friend try (and try and try…) to achieve his dream of flying. Jan’s lovely story gave me lots of room creatively. I had a blast channeling my inner kid, dreaming up the whimsical flying contraptions that Jack constructs for Ollie. I know with my kiddos if I give them some sticks and a roll of duct tape they’d be busy for hours constructing something incredible. Really, don’t we all wish we could channel our inner McGyver, rummage through the garage or recycling bin and build our own set of steampunk-y wings, or a bicycle-umbrella flying contraption?  Yes, please!

Umbrellas1 Umbrellas2 Umbrellas3
Click to enlarge.

Do you have any suggestions for educators who would like to use your books in the classroom?

Sky Pig coverI think teachers and librarians could use Sky Pig as a great jumping off point to start discussions on friendship, empathy, patience and perseverance. Jack and Ollie’s flying contraptions could be used as inspiration for an exercise in creative problem solving where the children build their own contraptions using everyday found objects. My book illustrations could also be used to introduce a lesson on dimensional artwork, were the children explore mixed media collage or sculpture with found objects/recycling materials, and experiment with different tools, like pencils and toothbrushes, to create interesting textures on their works of art.

What were your favourite children’s books and illustrators growing up?

One of my earliest picture book favourites was Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar; I was captivated (and still am today!) by the collage illustrations and gorgeous colours. And now that I can share and pour over picture books together with my four kiddos, my favourites list is constantly growing. Here are just a few of the picture books and illustrators that we are quite smitten with at the moment: Butterfly Garden by Elly MacKay, Redwoods by Jason Chin, Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam (Camille Garoche), Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner and Grandpa Green by Lane Smith.

What projects are you working on now?

I am currently working on the final artwork for a picture book that I also wrote called My Beautiful Birds — my debut as author-illustrator. I’m so excited! It will be published in early Spring 2017 by Pajama Press. The story centres on a little Syrian boy, Sami, who must flee his home with his family to a refugee camp, leaving behind his beloved pigeons. Coping with grief and displacement, Sami finds hope and solace in an assortment of birds that find their way to him. Sami’s story will offer an opportunity for parents and educators to talk about the universal struggles of refugees around the world, and the importance of empathy within the global community.

I am also thrilled to have another picture book illustration project up next but can’t share any details just yet. I’ve also been busy working behind the scenes (and in between my kiddos’ sports practices) on polishing more manuscripts of my own, and creating sample art to accompany those stories.

Images courtesy of Suzanne Del Rizzo. Visit for more information about her work.

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Booksellers’ Picks

Canada’s independent booksellers share their recommendations for kids and teens. Funnily enough, two of them recommended the same book this month! To find a local independent bookstore, visit

explorers• Kaleidoscope Kids’ Books in Ottawa, ON: Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson (Disney-Hyperion, 2016), Ages 3-5

Two intrepid explorers, a boy and a bear, start out on parallel adventures — both ready for a day of discovery and adventure. After they meet, their fear quickly gives way to excitement as each recognizes a fellow explorer. The rest of their day is spent together making small discoveries and conquering a big mountain. Though they don’t want their day to end they immortalize it with a photograph and a drawing on the cliffside in berry juice before heading to their cozy homes. Wonderful illustrations accompany this story which reminds us that “no mountain is too tall if you have a friend by your side to climb it”. —Kelly Harrison, Co-owner

Kaleidoscope Kids’ Books: 1018 Bank St., Ottawa, ON K1S 3W8


explorers• McNally Robinson at Grant Park in Winnipeg, MB: Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson (Disney-Hyperion, 2016), Ages 3-5

Boy and bear—proud explorers each—take to the wild in search of adventure in this enchanting story about exploration and the fun to be shared in nature. Bounding through their lush forest world, our intrepid adventurers discover that “no mountain is too tall if you have a friend by your side to climb it.” Cale Atkinson’s signature style, seen most recently in If I Had a Gryphon, simply shines in this charming picture book that champions the joys to be found in friendship and nature. A wonderful read aloud for the curious of mind and heart. —Shanleigh Klassen, Kids Bookseller

McNally Robinson at Grant Park: 1120 Grant Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3M 2A6


worldsofWoozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax, NS: Worlds of Ink & Shadow by Lena Coakley (HarperCollins, 2016), Ages 12 and up

This lovely and lyrical novel explores the childhoods of the four Bronte siblings in a tale that is both biographical and an intriguing fantasy. The two eldest Brontes, Charlotte and brother Branwell, have together created their own fictitious realm, the kingdom of Verdopolis. They have also somehow acquired the ability to actually enter this world and to control the story from within it. Emily is angry that her elder siblings exclude she and Anne from their forays into Verdopolis and longs to create her own world, a darker, wilder one. But this strange ability to bring their worlds to life has a terrible cost… —Lisa Doucet, Co-manager

Woozles Children’s Bookstore: 1533 Birmingham St., Halifax, NS B3J 2J1

If your independent bookstore would like to participate in this feature, please contact us.

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