Category Archives: Children’s Picture Book

You’re Beautiful When by Stefanie Fields

you are beautiful whenStefanie Fields, the author of You’re Beautiful When, strongly believes that optimism begins in childhood. Strong, resilient, positive, and confident individuals are not necessarily born that way – upbringing plays a huge role and parents can teach their children that the right attitude is everything that is needed to face the world.

You’re Beautiful When will make both adults and children smile. On every page, you will learn of a way that makes you and people around you – beautiful. Illustrations are gorgeous and you would likely be pausing before flipping to the next page (Submitted by Mariya)

Would you like to meet Stefanie Fields, talk to her, and get an autograph? Surrey Libraries can help! On Wednesday, September 27th, 6:30pm-8:30pm, there will be an event happening at the Guildford Library called – Authors Among Us. Stefanie Fields will be joining other local authors in our panel discussion. If you would like to attend this event, please, call 604-598-7360 to register. Event is free!

 

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Daddy’s Zigzagging Bedtime Story by Alan Lawrence Sitomer & Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O’Malley

Image result for daddy zigzagging bedtime storyThe other day I was thinking about telling stories to a mixed group of children. Many stories are aimed at either girls or boys, but how about a story which appeals to both? Although there are many non-gender specific options, I found two fun books which intentionally mix the common gender stereotypes of boys’ and girls’ stories. These books are great stories in their own right, as well as interesting comments on mixed-up storytelling and gender stereotyping.

Daddy’s Zigzagging Bedtime Story by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

How can Daddy keep both his daughter and son interested in their bedtime story? By creating a princess who drives a monster truck, and a unicorn who defeats space aliens with cupcakes. The energetic illustrations compliment the enthusiastic storytelling, both of the father and of the author.

Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O’Malley

Image result for once upon a cool motorcycle dudeAimed at a slightly older audience, in this story a preteen girl and boy take turns narrating their story. The princess turns out to rock, and the cool motorcycle dude resigns himself to becoming a prince as they save the world together. The disparate illustration styles mirror the different storytelling voices, and the ending will bring a smile to everyone’s face. (Submitted by Rebecca).

Missing Nimâmâ by Melanie Florence

Image result for Missing NimâmâMissing Nimâmâ by Melanie Florence, winner of the 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, is a lovely picture book for anyone’s collection. However, it is especially relevant for teachers looking for First Nations materials for the new BC Ministry of Education requirements, or for anyone who has read the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and wants to dig deeper into the stories of Canada’s First Nations. It introduces the topic of Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in a format that is accessible to young children.

The story of a young girl growing up is told in the voices of the girl and her missing mother. The lovely, wistful illustrations reflect the emotions of the daughter who is missing her mother, and the mother who can no longer raise her daughter.  The sweet and touching relationship between the girl and the grandmother who raises her prevents the story from becoming too overwhelmingly sad. An interesting addition to the text is a Cree glossary of words which are both included in the text and hidden in the illustrations. More information and statistics on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada are included at the end of the book for those who want to go a bit deeper. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about Canada’s relationship to its indigenous people. (Submitted by Rebecca).

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Stargold the Food Fairy by Claudia Lemay

Image result for stargold the food fairyIn Stargold the Food Fairy: an exciting adventure that illustrates the importance of nutrition to children, registered dietitian Claudia Lemay makes the often daunting subject of nutrition entertaining and informative.This is a fun, quick read jam packed with practical advice that will please young and old alike. Ideal for kids and parents to read together! (Submitted by AM).

Meet author Claudia Lemay at Authors Among Us: Foodie February at Guildford Library on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 6:30pm. Light refreshments will be served. Call 604-598-7366 to save your spot!

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Maggie’s Chopsticks by Alan Woo

Image result for maggie's chopsticksMaggie’s Chopsticks by Alan Woo is a beautiful picture book that tells the story of young Maggie, the only one in her family who is incapable of holding her chopsticks correctly. As Maggie struggles to match the mastery of her grandmother and the grace of her older sister, we are enveloped in the tastes, smells, sights, and sounds of a family meal. Woo’s sparse and poetic language combined with Isabelle Malenfant’s beautiful illustrations create the perfect book to read with your family during the Lunar New Year. (Submitted by Meghan S.).

Meet author Alan Woo at Authors Among Us: Foodie February at Guildford Library on Wed, Feb 15 at 6:30pm. Call 604-598-7366 to save your spot.

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We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

Image result for we found a hatJon Klassen’s new book We Found a Hat finally fell into my hands at the City Centre Library. Magical and touching are my first thoughts. I have enjoyed both the book and felt-story of I Want My Hat Back and the book This Is Not My Hat so I have been eagerly awaiting the conclusion of Klassen’s picture-book trilogy.   Again, I have to use the words magical and touching, as through the intertwining of word and illustration Klassen leaves behind Bear and Rabbit, as well as theft, rage and revenge. He leaves behind the small theft by a small fish and the dark conclusion when the large fish and original owner of the hat finds the small thief. As much as I have found ways to make these dark messages funny and have enjoyed the shared laughter with the diverse ages in my Storytimes, I was also often pulled in different directions. Violence and revenge are not patterns that I would want to emulate or encourage to the many loving families that I meet in the Library. So to read the story of two turtles that are friends and choose not to steal or lie or hurt each other, but instead choose to share their dreams and hopes to each other inspires me to for a third time to describe it as magical and touching. (Submitted by Inti).

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One Green Apple by Eve Bunting

On her second day in her new school in a new country, Farah takes a field trip to an apple orchard. She doesn’t speak English and isn’t sure she likes her new home. None of the other girls wear a dupatta on their heads and she isn’t used to boys and girls being in the same class. But as the day continues, she notices some things that look, sound, and smell the same in any country. When each child picks an apple to add to the apple press for cider, Farah chooses a little green apple that’s different, like her. As she helps the other children turn the crank and sees the apples blending together, she starts to realize that she can blend in here, too, while still being herself.  The story is told through Farah’s internal dialogue as she observes life on the farm and her classmates. I felt it was very realistic. For example, Farah wants to tell the teacher that she isn’t stupid, she just doesn’t understand the language, but of course she can’t. I liked that the children were friendly and welcoming, but it does mention that a few of them look at her coldly. The lovely watercolour illustrations in this picture book are filled with sunshine and express Farah’s emotions vividly, especially when she laughs with her classmates.  This is a lovely story about coming to a new place and starting to feel a sense of belonging. (Submitted by Gayle).

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