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Notes From a Children's Librarian: Friendship Books for February

Book Cover Kiss Me I'm a Prince

Our children's librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.


Friendship and frost go hand in hand in these warm and cold tales for February.

In Kiss Me! (I'm a Prince), by Heather McLeod, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan, Ella is skeptical when she meets a frog prince asking for a kiss. The promise of being a princess doesn't hold much clout for a basketball-playing little girl like Ella. She'd have to wear a gown, keep it clean, and she wouldn't be able to play much. So she carries the frog around in her pocket, refusing his request, until a courtier arrives to claim him. The frog returns home, still a frog, asking for the kiss of a true friend now, because he too wants to "play happily ever after." Age 4+

Book Cover Yuck a Love Story

Yuck, A Love Story, by Don Gillmor, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay, is similar in its endearing humour. Austin Grouper's world changes when a girl his age moves in next door. He pretends Amy isn't worthy of his attention but when her birthday invitation arrives in the mail, Austin dresses up as a cowboy and lassoes the perfect present for Amy—the moon. The magic realism of this young love story helps put the moon/cheese myth to rest. 5+

Book Cover Friendship Bracelets

To give something special to a friend or loved one, you don't always need the moon. All you might need is Friendship Bracelets, by Camilla Gryski, three to four colours of embroidery thread, a safety pin, and scissors. The simple, step-by-step approach explains how to choose colours, how to keep threads organized, how to measure and tie knots, and how to braid the ends for fastening. It begins with the easiest design—the diagonal stripe and goes on to describe more complex designs such as arrowheads, zigzags, diamonds, and flowers. Gryski spells out how to incorporate beads, and how to make earrings and key chains. At the end are diagrams for quick reference and a section on "What if I make a mistake?" Grade 4 reading level.

Book Cover Building an Igloo

Building an Igloo, with text and large black and white photos by Ulli Steltzer, is a non-fiction picture book showing Inuit Tookillkee cutting blocks of snow with a saw blade, lining them up like dominoes before placing them in a spiral. He shaves the blocks for "skillful shaping and fitting" to fashion a keystone, a door, chimney, a window out of a piece of ocean ice, and an enclosed porch. The final photo is from the point of view of the reader looking out to the frozen ocean, anticipating the day's hunt. Age 5+

Book Cover Making Grizzle Grow

In Making Grizzle Grow, by Rachna Gilmore, illustrated by Leslie Elizabeth Watts, Emily creates a dinosaur out of snow while her sculptor dad works inside on his own creation. She's frustrated he doesn't have time to play with her. As Emily feeds Grizzle snow pizzas and snow hot dogs, it grows into a T-Rex, ready to pounce on her dad who comes out, in slippers, to check on her. This sweet father–daughter story, with its realistic illustrations is good for age 4+.

book cover on a snowy night

A neglected bunny is the protagonist in Jean Little's On a Snowy Night, illustrated by Brian Deines. As Brandon gets older he gets careless with his pet Rosa and one night he leaves her outside in the snow. A bevy of wild animals, including a squirrel, raccoon, and hawk help Rosa survive and find her way back to the warm embrace of Brandon. The large pictures effectively capture a snowy night. Age 4+.

On her first day as teacher-librarian, Julie Booker was asked by a five-year-old if that was her real name. She's felt at home in libraries since her inaugural job as a Page in the Toronto Public Library. She is the author of Up Up Up, a book of short stories published by House of Anansi Press in 2011. 

February 23, 2016

Books mentioned in this post


Kiss Me! I'm a Prince

I'm a Prince

by Heather McLeod, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 2
tagged: frogs & toads, friendship

If you kiss me, I'll turn into a prince!" says the frog.

But Ella thinks that a talking frog is much more interesting than living like a princess in a castle. And during his stay with Ella and her family, Prince Frog discovers a world of fun beyond the castle gates.


Yuck, a Love Story

by Don Gillmor, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
edition: Paperback
  • age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2

Austin Grouper had a brown dog named Fresco, a best friend named Sternberg, and a red bicycle. His life was full. And then a girl named Amy moves in next door. Austin decides that she, like all girls, is yucky. But when the invitation to her birthday party arrives, it seems the only suitable present for Amy is the moon itself, and Austin is prepare …


Friendship Bracelets

by Camilla Gryski
edition: Paperback
tagged: crafts & hobbies

The String Game Lady teaches kids how to make friendship bracelets. Inside this book in the Kids Can Do It series you will find * clear, step-by-step instructions * full-color illustrations * 14 different bracelet patterns * bracelets made with inexpensive embroidery thread * suggestions for making earrings and keychainsInstructions work for leftie …


Making Grizzle Grow

by Rachna Gilmore, illustrated by Leslie Elizabeth Watts
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: 2
tagged: dinosaurs & prehistoric creatures, humorous stories, emotions & feelings

The wonders of a child's imagination.

When Dad doesn't have time to play in the snow with her, Emily is annoyed. Then she becomes so mad that she makes a snow dinosaur and calls it Grizzle. Grizzle comes alive, and she is a Dilophosaurus with a temper to match Emily's. And Grizzle is hungry - so hungry that Emily rustles up some snow pizzas with lot …


On a Snowy Night

by Jean Little, illustrated by Brian Deines
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 5 to 7
  • Grade: k to 2
tagged: pets, rabbits, friendship


A heartwarming wintertime tale about a bunny and her boy.

When Brandon was first given his rabbit, Rosa, he thought she was better than perfect. He would stroke her and feed her bits of carrots and apples from his fingers. And Rosa felt happy. But as Brandon grew up, he became too busy to play. Rosa was hungry and lonely and worried that nobody lov …

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