picture book

by Robert Heidbreder; Marc Mongeau, illus.

Robert Heidbreder’s new book of rollicking rhymes is divided into two sections. The first, labelled “for grown-up use only,” presents kids with the dire, often smelly scenarios that can arise should they fail to rise from their beds. There’s the risk of being eaten by the sleep bugs in their eyes, or by the bed itself, which “burps itself awake” at exactly 7:35 each day and swallows whatever is lying in it. And if the prospect of being consumed isn’t enough to strike fear in young hearts, maybe the “ghastly green” toy trolls whose “feet smell strongly of manure,” or the Cabbage Scourge in the closet who threatens to sneeze a revolting concoction of “veggie goo” all over them will. Read more…

by Claudia Dávila

Whether it’s playing video games, zapping a brownie in the microwave, or getting a drive to the mall, most of 12-year-old Luz’s favourite activities rely on electricity or fossil fuels. But everywhere around her are signs that her habits need to change.

Concerned with the rising price of gas, Luz’s mother tells her she needs to start walking to the mall. City-wide blackouts, fun at first, are becoming a regular occurrence. Her mother tries to explain the principles of sustainability to her, but it’s only when Luz finds out that the price of the cool designer shoes she’s been saving for has doubled that the problem really hits home. Read more…

by Carolyn Beck

Brooke Kerrigan’s endearing illustrations are the star of this picture book about a floppy-eared dog called Wellington and his antagonistic relationship with a sneaky cat named Honey.

Slave to his prodigious hound’s nose, Wellington can’t resist the allure of meatloaf baking in the oven. As his master sleeps, Wellington takes the liberty of knocking the meatloaf to the floor and gobbling it up. He attacks the garbage can next, feasting on a repulsive concoction of mouldly cheese and pickled trout. When the master wakes up, Honey takes the fall, thanks to the cleanly licked meatloaf pan Wellington has stashed in her litterbox. He feels bad for a moment, but then remembers he’s been the victim of Honey’s tricks countless times before. Read more…

by Jan Andrews

Short of calling it “Cookie Jar,” Jan Andrews probably couldn’t have given her short story collection a more kid-tantalizing title. Parents and teachers bracing themselves for an onslaught of lowbrow potty humour can breathe easy, however. These are indeed rude stories, but they are rude stories of the highest order: wonderfully inventive, delightfully told, and charmingly illustrated. Read more…

by X.J. Kennedy

As the title suggests, the poems in this collection, culled from X.J. Kennedy’s previously published work, are meant to reflect the experiences of children growing up in urban environments. Kennedy, who is American, sets his work on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border, touching down in San Diego, New York City, and San Francisco, as well as Toronto, Windsor, and Quebec City. Read more…

by Gilles Tibo

The powerhouse Quebec-based duo of writer Gilles Tibo and illustrator Bruno St-Aubin team up here for the third in their Nicholas series, aimed at the early elementary set. Read more…

by Per-Henrik Gürth

Oh, Canada! is the fourth installment in Kids Can’s series of picture books on Canada aimed at early readers, and the second one both written and illustrated by Per-Henrik Gürth (the first two were written by Kim Bellefontaine). Read more…

by Meomi

The Octonauts & the Frown Fish is the third installment in a series of picture books created by the Vancouver/L.A.-based design duo Meomi, whose trendy Pokemon-meets-Brueghel-meets-Hello Kitty sensibility has made their commercial work a worldwide success.
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