Thousands of Canadian-authored kids and YA books


Picture Book Sneak Peek: Summer Feet, by Sheree Fitch and Carolyn Fisher

Summer officially starts HERE with this glorious celebration of childhood...and filthy feet. We're so excited to feature two spreads from this beautiful book.


About Summer Feet, by Sheree Fitch and Carolyn Fisher:

Hello toes, our tootsie friends
 Hello, summer feet again!

Canada's Dr. Seuss, Sheree Fitch, is back with a brand-new tongue-twisting picture book that celebrates all things summer. From those first barefoot days, wobble-dy walking over rocks and pebbles, to wandering-wild while searching for sea glass and, finally, huddled-up cozy at a late-summer bonfire, these summer feet flutter kick, somersault, hide-and-seek, and dance in the rain, soaking up all the season has to offer.

With Fitch's classic lip-slippery, lyrical rhymes and Carolyn Fisher's bright and colourful illustrations, Summer Feet will be an instant summertime favourite.


Spread from Summer Feet, by Sheree Fitch and Carolyn Fisher




Spread from Summer Feet, by Sheree Fitch and Carolyn Fisher

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2017 Summer Books

Winter is good, autumn is nice, spring is okay, but there is nothing else quite like reading in the summer. Except for, perhaps, reading about summer, books about road trips, swimming, canoe paddling, long lazy days, and even a little bit of summer intrigue. The books in this list, out now or coming soon, have all of this, and they run the gamut of fiction, non-fiction, YA, and a most excellent picture book. These are books that mean summer starts NOW. 


The Last Wave, by Gillian Best (Out in August) 

About the book: A beautifully rendered family drama set in Dover, England, between the 1940s and the present day, The Last Wave follows the life of Martha, a woman who has swum the English Channel ten times, and the complex relationships she has with her husband, her children, and her close friends. The one constant in Martha’s life is the sea, from her first accidental baptism to her final crossing of the channel. The sea is an escape from her responsibilities as a wife and a mother; it consoles her when she is diagnosed with cancer; and it comforts her when her husband’s mind begins to unravel.

An intergenerational saga spanning six decades, The Last Wave is a wholly authentic portrait of a family buffeted by illness, intolerance, anger, failure, and regret. G …

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Adrienne Gruber: Reasons to Choose the Octopus As Your Lover

If you're thinking summer books, consider Globe and Mail reviewer Emma Healey's description of Adrienne Gruber's poetry collection, Buoyancy Control“...a book about water that’s really a book about bodies—what they are capable of together and on their own. Moving through lakes and oceans to dreamier, less literal spaces, these poems, like their subject matter, are playful and dark in equal measure.” 

And now we're pleased to be featuring a delectable sample from the collection. Read on for the most tantalizingly titled poem ever...


Buoyancy Control Cover Full Size



            Eight tentacles. A hundred tiny cups to suck.
Morphs to camouflage (i.e., your favourite
celebrity). Master of disguise (warning: a bit of
a player). Savvy; smooth talker who keeps you
guessing. Manoeuvres in tight places (has no
internal or external skeleton). Only the blue-
ringed octopus (his Harley, his soft leather jacket
against your cheek) is deadly.



            There are dreams of others. Pressed chests
together like tight barnacles, the shredded silence
of wet open mouths. Gulp sweat and warm night
air. Swim in a glittery smear of phosphorescent
stars. There is always another imperfect fit; one
who eats deep-fried Mars bars and says your …

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Your CAN'T FAIL Summer Reading List

book cover thirteen shells

Summertime ... and the books are amazing. Here we present you with an excellent stack of great summer reads guaranteed to make those long days (and nights!) even better. 


Thirteen Shells, by Nadia Bozak

About the book: Spanning the late 1970s to the late 1980s, Nadia Bozak’s thirteen stories are narrated from the perspective of Shell, the only child of bohemian artisans determined to live off their handicrafts and uphold a left-wing lifestyle. At the age of five, Shell’s world is transformed when the family moves into a new house, where she grows up. Over time, she gradually trades her unconventional upbringing for junk food, rock music, and boys. All the while, Shell quietly watches her parents’ loveless marriage fall apart and learns to survive divorce, weight gain, heartache, and first love.

A funny, sensitive portrayal of the innocence and uncertainty of childhood and adolescence, Thirteen Shells is a true-to-life collection that is as unforgettable as it is poignant.

Why we're taking notice: This is a slow and quiet book, perfect for long summer days. Its structure has been compared to Lives of Girls and Women, using stories to show a young woman's coming of age. If that's your kind of book, then don't miss this one from the acclaimed Bozak.


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Feels Like Summer 2016

tagged: summer books

Book Cover The Dancehall Years

Novels, picture books, cookbooks, a cottage reference guide and a colouring book make list this a cross-genre feast of summer delights that will help you make the most of the season.


The Dancehall Years, by Joan Haggerty

About the book: Both an epic adventure and an interracial drama, this spellbinding novel brims with gorgeous writing. The complex family saga begins one summer on Bowen Island and in Vancouver during the Depression and moves through Pearl Harbour, the evacuation of the Japanese and three generations into the 1980s. Gwen Killam is a child whose idyllic island summers are obliterated by the war and consequent dramatically changed behaviour of the adults around her. Her swimming teacher, Takumi, disappears along with his parents. The Lower Mainland is in blackout, and Gwen’s beloved Aunt Isabelle painfully realizes she must make an unthinkable sacrifice.

The island’s dance hall, a well-known destination for both soldiers on leave and summer picnickers, becomes the emotional landmark for time passing and time remembered.

Why we're taking notice: This is a novel twenty years in the making. Haggerty's previous book, The Invitation, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 1994.


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Picture Book Summer Magic

Summer! So perfect, so ephemeral. And yet also potentially endless if you keep rereading these beautiful summery new books.


Song for a Summer's Night, by Robert Heidbreder and illustrated by Qin Leng:

Book Cover Song for a Summer's Night

The charm of this gorgeous book won't be completely apparent until you've read it in the company of at least one small child who will inevitably join for the summer song chorus—"shh-shh glint glint pring pring tra-la-la..." It's the perfect book to wind down with at the end of a busy sun-soaked day, its verse as contagious as that of Heidbreder's previous book, Drumheller Dinosaur Dance, and perfectly complemented by Leng's full page spreads. 

Song for a Summer's Night


See You Next Year, by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Todd Stewart:

Book Cover See You Next year

We're in love with this book about the small pleasures of the summer holiday, an annual journey to a place where nothing ever c …

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What’s So Relaxing About Murder Anyway?

Book Cover Dying for Murder

We do so love the idea of a zoologist sleuth that we included Suzanne F. Kingsmill's Cordi O'Callaghan on our Canadian literary sleuth list last December. And O'Callaghan is back in a new installment, Dying for Murder, in which her attempt at a relaxing getaway to a research station off the coast of South Carolina leads her into another scene of death and chaos, presenting new mysteries to be solved. It seems that murder and relaxation do not go hand-in-hand.

Or do they?

In this guest post, Kingsmill fills us in on the merits of relaxing with a good thriller.  


No murder mystery writer would ever dream of lulling their readers into a total sense of relaxation, or—horrors!—putting them to sleep. Tension, exhilaration, and suspense are the hallmarks of a good mystery. The idea of “relaxing with a good book” is a well-worn one, but a bit of a misnomer for a mystery, where tension should be running high, the reader on the edge of her seat. And then the author does a slam-dunk, ending each chapter with a cliffhanger, so that you definitely can’t turn off the light and go to sleep, even though it’s 2 a.m.

In a good mystery, the reader’s mind is working overtime, matching wits with the author’s, processing the clues, trying to foresee the future and g …

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Marissa Stapley's Perfect Dock-Side Reads

Book Cover Mating for Life

Looking for your big summer read? Then look no further than Marissa Stapley's Mating for Life, an absorbing novel of tangled family ties, with a Joni Mitchell soundtrack and a perfect cottage setting. It's a novel in which characters get up to their own summer reads, characters perching on the ends of their docks, paperbacks in hand. It's a ritual that Stapley knows something about, as she tells us here, sharing her own favourite setting for summer reading and some books that would make for great reading there.


Every July we rent a cottage in Muskoka. It’s a place my husband and I have been visiting since before we were married, and it’s the place I modeled the cottage in Mating for Life after. There are many ideal reading spots here, but my favourite is the end of the dock. (I sometimes imagine I’ll look up and over at the dock next door and my character Laurence will be sitting there, reading Junky, by William Burroughs.)

I know there are many other beautiful places in the world, but none touch me quite the way this property does. It feels accessible, like I belong in it, like I don’t have to leave it to go home because I already am home. Also, being Canadian, I understand how important it is to savour these moments of warmth under the sun. Too soon, …

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