We've got books under the tree for all the types on your list this season. Here are some recommendations for young readers.
For Odd Ducks
Kate is an odd duck-literally. When the full moon arrives, the rest of her family turns into wolves, but she is a happy wereduck. Relatively happy, that is. Her family has been uprooted from the wilds of New Brunswick to a placid farming community in Ontario, thanks to a fellow werewolf, Marcus, selling them out to sleazy tabloid journalist Dirk Bragg. When Kate discovers her great-great-grandmother's recipe "A Cure for Werewolf," she can't help but wonder—is it really possible? Could she one day resist the call of the moon? Could she be free from the constant threat of exposure? When Marcus's abandoned werewolf son, John, books a desperate train journey back to New Brunswick at the full moon, the ancient recipe and its arcane ingredients are put to the test. Will Dirk Bragg finally corner Kate and John in their wereforms and expose them to the world, or will Cure for Werewolf keep them safe?
For the Dino Freak
A bright, curious eight-year-old dinosaur expert shares his passion for paleontology in this fun and informative guide to these fascinating prehistoric creatures.
What did the world look like when dinosaurs roamed the Earth? Eight-year-old author Elliott Seah took it upon himself to find out, and in his first book, he takes readers on a fact-filled exploration of these amazing animals from our planet’s distant past. With lively illustrations, Elliott provides fascinating answers to important questions about where dinosaurs came from, what they ate, how they lived, and how a mass extinction brought their time on Earth to an end. Helpful extras include resources for further reading and a list of Elliott’s recommended museums with dinosaur collections.
For the Hockey Lover
The most iconic song ever written for the game of hockey comes to life through one of the greatest shinny games imaginable, illustrated by Governor General’s Award-winning artist and cartoonist Gary Clement.
As Stompin’ Tom Connors says, “It’s the good old hockey game, the best game you can name.” And in this charmingly illustrated book for all ages, the classic song played at hockey games around the world is imagined as a shinny game on an outdoor rink in the middle of the city that starts with two players and soon grows to include the whole community. Clement’s colorful illustrations unite young and old, men and women, and girls and boys of all races, all wearing fan paraphernalia from every team you can imagine. “The puck is in! The hometown wins! The good ol’ hockey game.”
For the Music Fan
This beautifully illustrated picture book featuring the irresistible songs of Grammy Award Winner Jennifer Gasoi offers children the opportunity to discover the different colours of her jazz-inspired music. Blue and Red Make Purple is engaging, playful, and utterly endearing! Included are notes highlighting the history, instruments and unique characteristics of each musical genre along with activities and listening suggestions.
The accompanying CD offers 12 captivating songs that meld many styles including Dixieland swing, bluegrass, folk, Cajun, calypso and klezmer.
For the Aspiring Sleuth
Jordan Stratford imagines an alternate 1826, where Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet as girls and form a secret detective agency!
Lady Ada Byron, age eleven, is a genius. Isolated, awkward and a bit rude—but a genius. Mary Godwin, age fourteen, is a romantic. Adventurous, astute, and kind, Mary is to become Ada’s first true friend. And together, the girls conspire to form the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency—a secret constabulary for the apprehension of clever criminals. Their first case involves a stolen heirloom, a false confession, and an array of fishy suspects. But it’s no match for the deductive powers and bold hearts of Ada and Mary.
Mystery fans will love this tween girl riff on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. History buffs will be delighted to see all the real figures who play a role in this story and appreciate the extensive backmatter that helps separate truth from fiction. Parents and educators hoping to promote the STEM fields for girls will be thrilled to have a series where two girls use math, science, and creative analytical thinking to solve crimes. But most especially--emerging readers will love this series filled with humor, action, intrigue and wonderful artwork from Kelly Murphy.
For the Little Humanitarian
This unique picture book was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, discovered by chance by Canadian children’s writer Margriet Ruurs. The author was immediately impressed by the strong narrative quality of Mr. Badr’s work, and, using many of Mr. Badr’s already-created pieces, she set out to create a story about the Syrian refugee crisis. Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe. Nizar Ali Badr’s stunning stone images illustrate the story.
Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this book as a dual-language (English and Arabic) edition.
For the Hedgehog Lover
Mom’s friend Mrs. Cunningham is coming for a visit, and she’s bringing her baby! While Buddy tries to explain the ins and outs of babydom to Earl, neither of them is prepared for the chaos the small and adorable creature brings with him.
When the baby manages to escape from his cage — which Buddy gently suggests is really just a playpen — it’s up to our favorite odd couple to save the day.
This third title in the critically acclaimed Buddy and Earl series follows a dog who likes to play by the rules and a hedgehog who knows no limits on another fun adventure in deductive reasoning and imaginative play.
For the Graphic Novel Aficionado
Carol Shields was fascinated by the life and writing of Susanna Moodie. Moodie was a Romantic writer from a celebrated literary family whose life changed forever when she and her husband left England for the backwoods of Canada in 1832. The Moodies, utterly unprepared for pioneer life, soon found themselves starving in the hostile wilderness of Upper Canada. Susanna began publishing her writing to feed and clothe her growing family. The result was the novel Roughing It in the Bush—an aggravated and acerbic testament to pioneer life that was praised in England but turned Moodie into a controversial figure in Canada. Two centuries later, Moodie is honored as an early feminist and literary pioneer.
Shields' long fascination with Moodie led her to collaborate on a screenplay with Patrick Crowe, which has now found its way to the world as a graphic novel. A talented adaptation by Willow Dawson and emotionally complex illustrations by Selena Goulding bring the words of the controversial and fascinating Susanna Moodie to life through the insightful personality of Carol Shields. Includes a rousing introduction by Margaret Atwood, who shares in the fascination for the pioneering Susanna.
For the Budding Zoologist
The latest in the 5 Animals series, with an introduction by Rob Laidlaw, 5 Giraffes profiles five unique giraffes from both captivity and the wild
Accompanying the five giraffe profiles is information on their diet, social life, and chapters on some of their more unique aspects, like the giraffe's unusual body.
For the New Baby
In this sweet and lyrical board book from the creators of the bestselling Little You, gentle rhyming text captures the wonder new parents feel as they welcome baby into the world. A celebration of the bond between parent and child, this is the perfect song to share with your little ones.
Internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author Richard Van Camp teams up with award-winning illustrator Julie Flett for a second time to create a stunning board book for babies and toddlers.