Christine Welldon introduces her debut novel, Kid Sterling, and she marks its release with a list of inspiring books that addresses the problems of racism and the trials of gifted African Americans and Canadians who dared to pursue their dreams in an unjust world.
Kid Sterling is a Young Adult novel about Sterling Crawford, a young African American kid living in New Orleans in 1906, who works on the streets to help his family. He plays trumpet, and what he’d really like is to learn from his idol, the legendary Buddy Bolden, who is playing a new kind of music that’s turning New Orleans upside down.
Through the pages of this vivid novel, you will discover others whose genius created modern music. The beat and the strains of jazz surged into life even while African-Americans struggled against deep racial divisions of the time: curfews designed to keep black people out of the streets, a loaded justice system, and racial barriers that divided a nation.
For Sterling, life is not easy, but in the end he finds his way in a new and challenging musical world in this richly textured story of a culture that thrives against all odds.
The list below includes African Canadians and African American musicians and others who fought against racism and inspired succeeding genera …
At a moment when so many of us are looking for inspiration and longing for visionary leadership, Kids Can Press and their YA imprint KCPLoft are delivering with two extraordinary new releases.
Canadian Women Now and Then: More Than 100 Stories of Fearless Trailblazers, by Elizabeth MacLeod and Maia Faddoul
To the newish tradition of biographical anthologies of women whose stories deserve to be better known (think Rad Women Worldwide, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, and the excellent and Canadian-grown The Girl Who Rode a Shark) comes Canadian Women Now and Then, which puts a fresh twist on the genre by pairing Canadian legends (think Roberta Bondar, Karen Kain, Emily Carr) with inspiring contemporary examples (introducing astronaut Jennifer Sidney-Gibbons, dancer Santee Smith (Tekaronkiahkhwa) and artist Christi Belcourt). Sometimes the contemporary women are the better known of the pair—journalist Sook-Yin Lee is profiled alongside Mary Ann Shadd, who in 1853 became the first Black woman in Canada to run a newspaper; Olympic swimmer Penny Oleksiak appears with Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld, who competed as a runner in the 1928 Olympics. The Canadian-specific focus of this book is novel, and it's the connections between the women profiled that is especially m …
We're excited to be looking ahead to books for young readers, including picture books and middle grade and YA titles.
Told half in French and half in English, with simple phrasing and visual cues in the illustrations making the story easy for early readers to decode in both languages, Pierre & Paul: Avalanche! (March), by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Alice Carter, is an engaging story of friendship and imagination. A girl and her neighbour grow a community from their garden in What Grew in Larry's Garden (April), by Laura Alary, illustrated by Kass Reich. Extraordinary things are happening behind the windows of the city in Marion Arbona's Window (March), an interactive, one-of-a-kind wordless picture book. And Christine Baldacchino follows up the acclaimed Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress with Violet Shrink (March), illustrated by Carmen Mok, about a young girl who navigates social anxiety at family gatherings and works with her father to find a solution.
Pairing creative rhyming similes with cut-paper collage art, …
Picture books...they're not just for kids! They make perfect books for readers of all ages. Here are some of our favourite titles from this year.
A Little House in a Big Place, by Alison Acheson and Valériane Leblond
About the book: Every day, in a little house in a little town in the middle of a big place, a girl stands at her window and waves to the engineer of the train that passes on the nearby tracks. The engineer waves back and his wave and her wave together make a home in her heart. The little girl is curious about the engineer, about where he came from and where he goes. Which makes her wonder if she might go away, too, some day. This beautiful free verse picture book explores the magic of a connection made between strangers, while also pondering the idea of growing up, and what might lie beyond a child's own small piece of the world.
Alison Acheson has created a deceptively simple, warm story that will stay with readers of all ages long after they've closed the book. Children everywhere will relate to the girl at her window—what child hasn't waved to the driver of a train, truck, or bus and hadn't been thrilled to have the wave returned? Valériane Leblond's illustrations echo the girl's feelings for the prairie, the “big place” where she lives, …
Our 2019 fall preview concludes with this incredible array of books for young readers (which are really still books for everybody).
Award-winning illustrator Alfonso Ruano’s art depicts the depth of feeling that friends experience in My Friend (October), a story about how difficult it is to come from somewhere else and what a difference friendship can make, by acclaimed author and translator Elisa Amado. Cale Atkinson's Unicorns 101 (September) is everything you ever wanted to know about the science behind unicorns: biology, history, diet, habitat, and more! Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round (September), by Rosanna Battigelli and Tara Anderson, is a rhyming Halloween romp with a family of cozy cats. Readers say goodnight to children all over the world in Andrea Beck's companion to Goodnight, Canada!, this time with Goodnight World (September). Come Back to Earth, Esther! (September) is the authorial debut of Josée Bisaillon, the Marilyn Baillie Award-winning illustrator of The Snow Knows; it follows a young girl with dreams as big as the universe. And A Pocket of Time: The Poetic Childhood of Elizabeth Bishop (November), with words by Elizabeth Bishop and Rita Wilson and art by Emma FitzGerald, is a gentle, poetic ode to Pulitzer Prize–winning …
Last but certainly not least in our 2019 Spring Preview is our Books for Young Readers list, featuring books that are sure to delight readers of all ages.
A little girl growing up on the prairies stands at the window and waves to the train engineer going by in A Little House in a Big Place, by Alison Acheson, illustrated by Valériane LeBlond, a book that explores the magic of a connection made between strangers while also pondering the idea of growing up. Albert just wants to read his book in peace—why won't his friends give him some quiet? Isabelle Arsenault's latest is Albert's Quiet Quest (May), and it explores the importance of finding alone time. Cale Atkinson's Where Oliver Fits (April) looks at the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn't always the best fit. Based on author Susan Avingaq’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu,The Pencil introduces young readers to the idea of using things wisely. Saumiya Balasubramaniam’s When I Found Grandma (March), illustrated by Qin Leng, is an insightful and endearing portrayal of a cross-cultural grandparent-grandchild relationship that is evolving and deeply loving. Summer North Coming-Winter North Coming (March), by Doris Bentley and Jessica Bromley …
And Books for Young Readers is the final instalment of our Fall Preview. Whew! It's all shaping up to be an amazing literary season. Happy reading, everybody.
The Imperfect Garden (September), by Melissa Assay and April dela Noche Milne, celebrates naturally grown food in all its imperfection. Cale Atkinson’s Sir Simon: Super Scarer (September) is a haunted house story with a twist—perfect for Halloween. Timed for the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein’s publication, Linda Bailey tells the story of its author in Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein (August), illustrated by Julia Sarda. Sloth at the Zoom (August), by Helaine Becker and Orbie, is the story of a sloth trying to make friends in a fast-paced world. Award-winning author-illustrator Rebecca Bender pushes Giraffe and Bird to new heights of courage, ingenuity, and humour in Giraffe and Bird Together Again (November). And Florence and Leon (September), by Simon Boulerice and Delphie Cote-Lacroix, nominated for the 2016 Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration (French), now appears in English translation by Sophie B. Watson.
Our Fall 2017 Preview concludes with books for young readers, and the selection is amazing.
The theme of gratitude is playfully explored in If You're Thankful and You Know It (August), a Thanksgiving treat written by Chrissy Bozik and illustrated by Patricia Storms. Sydney Smith illustrates Smoot (September), written by Michelle Cuevas, in which a shadow breaks free in search of a more colourful life. Danielle Daniel’s first book, Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox, won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award; her second picture book is Once in a Blue Moon (October), which celebrates the magical moments that can be found in the wonders of nature. A young boy unabashedly loves his purse in (wait for it...) I Love My Purse (September), by Belle DeMont and Sonja Wimmer. Marianne Dumas’s acclaimed The Fox and Fisherman (September) is translated into English, the beautifully illustrated story of an unlikely friendship. Annika Dunklee and Lori Joy Smith team up again for Me, Me, Me (September), a lighthearted story about the virtues of working together instead of going solo. Wallace Edwards does something new with Woodrow at Sea (November), about a mouse and an elephant on an epic journey. A picture book inspired by the iconic poem “First they came fo …
January is a fine time for looking ahead, and for scoping out the scene on the forthcoming reading year. Spoiler: it's going to be a good one. Throughout the month, we'll be sharing titles of books you're going to be falling in love with, beginning with kids' books.
On your marks; get set; GO!!!
Hooray for us! We've got a new picture book from Caroline Adderson, Eat, Leo! Eat! (April), illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, about a clever Nonna who convinces her grandson to eat his lunch using the power of story (and the power of pasta). In Ready, Set, Kindergarten (February), by Paula Ayer and Danielle Arbour, a young girl readies herself for the big adventure that is school. Award-winners Carolyn Beck and Francois Thisdale team up for That Squeak (May), the story of a young boy grieving the death of a friend. In Giraffe Meets Bird (May), Rebecca Bender shares the origin story of the animal friends whose adventures have been captured in her two previous acclaimed books.
Brandee Bublé (younger sister of the singing Michael) releases her f …
This fall, Canadian authors and illustrators shine as bright as ever in this stellar lineup of new books for kids and young readers.
In Ella and the Balloons in the Sky by Danny Appleby and Lauren Pirie, gorgeous illustrations help tell a whimsical story of love and loss. Artist Rebecca Chaperon's Eerie Dearies is an Edward Gorey-esque alphabet book featuring 26 reasons for being absent from school. The award-winning Geneviève Côté follows up Mr King's Things (just nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award) with Mr King's Castle, another fun book with an environmental theme.
A new Sheree Fitch book is always an event, and this one is extra-special. Singily Skipping Along is described as "body movement multi-sensory inventive language poem," a book about bodies and the amazing ways they move, featuring hooked-rug illustrations by Deanne Fitzpatrick. Julie Flett's Wild Berries (also published in Cree as Pakwa Che Menisu) is a story about a boy picking berries with his grandmother, and it includes a recipe for blueberry p …