Thousands of Canadian-authored kids and YA books


Illustrator's Gallery: The Dog, by Margarita Sada

Inspired by Poppy the Therapy Dog at Canuck Place Children's Hospice in Vancouver, The Dog, by Helen Mixter and Margarita Sada, shows how the uncomplicated love and dedication of a dog can make anyone feel better—particularly a child who is small and vulnerable. Through beautiful, simple illustrations and words, The Dog shows how one animal helps a young boy who is ill. She is his comfort, his companion, and his friend; when he’s unhappy, she places her paw on his hand to show him she’s there.

The Dog is a story for young children, and for anyone who has ever owned a pet. But most of all, it shows how important animal companionship is for children. The warmth of animal friends helps make life worth living, especially when times are tough. Partial proceeds from the book will benefit Canuck Place. We're pleased for feature some beautiful illustrations from the book. 




Illustration from The Dog, by Helen Mixter and Margarita Sada


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Pictographs, by James Simon Mishibinijima

In Pictographs, Ojibway artist James Simon Mishibinijima brings to life the legends passed down to him by generations of Elders. In this collection of drawings, each image tells a story, silently communicating lessons of harmony, interconnectedness and peace.

We're pleased to feature five images from the book, as well as an excerpt from the introduction by Curator Tom Smart. 


At the heart of Mishibinijima’s pictographic art is a conviction that the images painted on rock faces across the Canadian Shield and incised on sacred birch bark scrolls of the Grand Medicine Society are repositories of the religion, ethics and history of the Anishinabek people. Mishibinijima’s art reflects a lifelong search for ways in which past and present, the spiritual and human, the animate and inanimate can, and do, comingle in phenomena both seen and sensed.

Mishibinijima has spent much of his life exploring the islands and waterways of Manitoulin Island, the shores of Birch Island, the La Cloche mountains and the northern edges of Lake Huron. Contemplative, and patient, Mishibinijima’s purpose on his journeys of discovery has been to attune himself to the spiritual energy that radiates from any specific place, from the land and the water and from the souls that have lived a …

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Illustrator's Gallery: Darka Erdelji

Polly MacCauley's Finest, Divinest, Wooliest Gift of All

Today we're pleased to feature an illustrator's gallery by Darka Erdelji, whose latest book is written by Sheree Fitch. 

About Polly MacCauley's Finest Divinest Wooliest Gift of AllFrom one of Canada's most loved and lauded children's writers comes a new tale about the joy of making things, the strength of community, and the warm reach of generosity. This beautifully illustrated storybook blends poetry and prose, infused with Fitch's trademark wit and playfulness, to tell the story of Polly MacCauley, a bit of a mystery in her community of River John, who spends her time making wondrous things with wool. When Star, a very special lamb, is born on a nearby farm, Polly knows that with Star's wool she can make her 'finest, divinest, wooliest gift of all'. But the greedy Count and Countess of far-off Wooland have learned about the lamb's arrival, too, and are determined to add her to their flock.

Will the good folk of River John join together to see that Star gets to her rightful home? Will Polly be able to finish her masterpiece? Darka Erdelji's gorgeous illustrations have just the right amount of whimsy, perfectly capturing the spirit of Fitch's touching yarn.

Divided into nine short sections, this is a grand book to share aloud, or read alone. It will appeal to chi …

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Gallery: Daddy Hall by Tony Miller

Born of a Mohawk father and an escaped-slave mother, John ‘Daddy’ Hall was a product of not one but two oppressed peoples. His gripping story is the stuff of legends—of the War of 1812, of the harsh realities slavery and of triumph in the face of adversity. Over the course of his 117-year life, Hall identified as a freeman, a scout for the British under Chief Tecumseh, a captured slave, an escapee on the Underground Railroad, a town crier in Owen Sound, Ontario, a husband and, as his nickname aptly suggests, father to an impressive number of children.

In Daddy Hall, Owen Sound-based artist Tony Miller’s 80 stark and arresting black-and-white linocuts present an unflinching portrait of a remarkable African-Canadian whose story of resilience and reinvention offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of Southwestern Ontario.


Book Cover Daddy Hall

Daddy Hall Page 55

Daddy Hall Page 77

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Illustrator's Gallery: Willow Dawson and The Wolf Birds

Wolf Birds Cover

This month we're focussing on winter, the outdoors, nature, and issues of survival. The Wolf-Birds, by Willow Dawson, encompasses all these themes. In a story set deep in the wild winter wood, two hungry ravens fly in search of their next meal. A pack of wolves is on the hunt, too. Food is scarce, but, if they team up, the ravens and wolves just might be able to help each other. The Wolf-Birds takes an honest, unflinching view of survival in the wild, highlighting the fact that one animal’s life helps many others live. Based on scientific data and anecdotal reports from Aboriginal hunters, the book explores the fascinating symbiotic relationship shared by wolves and ravens. Because ravens follow and scavenge food from wolves—which scientists believe hints at an ecological relationship thousands of years old—ravens have been dubbed “wolf-birds.”


Wolf Birds Image 1


Image from the Wolf Birds

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Gallery: Mary Wallace and An Inuksuk Means Welcome

In this month's illustrator's gallery, we feature the work of Mary Wallace, who has spent over 20 years teaching art and has illustrated over a dozen books for children. Her latest book is An Inuksuk Means Welcome.

An inuksuk is a stone landmark that different peoples of the Arctic region build to leave a symbolic message. Inuksuit (the plural of inuksuk) can point the way, express joy, or simply say: welcome. A central image in Inuit culture, the inuksuk frames this picture book as an acrostic: readers will learn seven words from the Inuktitut language whose first letters together spell INUKSUK. Each word is presented in English and in Inuktitut characters, with phonetic pronunciation guides provided. 


Inuksuk by Mary Wallace


Inuksuk by Mary Wallace


Inuksuk by Mary Wallace


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