Sunday 29 November 2020

#NewRelease: Mr. Mole Moves In

New Release

Mr. Mole Moves In
by Leslie-Anne Green
Tundra Books

Mr. Mole is new in town, and the critters of Juniper Hollow aren't sure what to make of his odd behavior. But one observant neighbor lends a helping hand, demonstrating that a little kindness can go a long way. This cozy story features adorable felted art and gentle situational humor.

Mr. Mole is a very well-mannered fellow. He greets fence posts politely, he compliments watermelons and he generously gives children erasers to eat.

The critters of Juniper Hollow are confused, but they befriend him anyway. After all, maybe this is just how things are done back in Moletown . . . and in Juniper Hollow, strangers are just friends waiting to happen!

This hilarious story of compassion, friendship and wacky misunderstandings will tickle readers, and the fuzzy artwork will delight fans big and small.

I absolutely adored this book! Not your typical illustrations - the felt and clay work was WELL-DONE! I definitely think kids will love seeing the pictures matched with the story about a wonderful new mole who moves into town, and makes hilarious first impressions on all the townspeople who realize....are you ready for a spoiler....that Mr. Mole simply needs a pair of glasses. Children will adore this story and giggle throughout it.

Sunday 22 November 2020

#SundayReview: Tough Like Mom

Sunday Review

Tough Like Mum
by Lana Button
Tundra Books

What does it mean to be tough? Kim finds out in this moving mother-daughter story about family hardship, vulnerability and love, perfect for fans of Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors.

Kim's mum is tough. Everyone says so. She can deal with unruly customers at the Red Rooster with a snap of her fingers.

Kim is tough, too. She doesn't need to wear a hat to keep her ears warm. And she can make soup all by herself, even without the stove.

Kim and her mum are tough.

But Kim is learning that sometimes toughness doesn't look like what you'd expect.

In this tender exploration of a mother-daughter relationship, Kim and her mother learn that in order to support and truly take care of each other, they need to be tough -- and that sometimes being tough means showing vulnerability and asking for help.

I am a huge fan of Lana Button, and she has not disappointed me with Tough Like Mum. Tackling the difficult subject of a child with a parent struggling with depression, the story brings forward the difficulties of the unknown which can be a hard subject for any child to tackle. 

Sunday 15 November 2020

#SundayReview: I Do Not Like Yolanda

Sunday Review

I Do Not Like Yolanda
by Zoey Abbott
Tundra Books

Bianca likes stamps and writing letters and going to the post office. . . she does not like Yolanda, who works there. A relatable story about facing your fears and giving people a second chance for fans of Miss Nelson Is Missing and My Teacher is a Monster.

When Bianca gets stuck in Yolanda's line at the post office, she expects the worst: scowls, claws, teeth . . .

This is what she gets for having a five-letter day.

She might not survive . . .

Or will Yolanda surprise her?

This hilarious story explores fear and kindness, in that order, when Bianca decides to overcome her terror and ask Yolanda very nicely how her weekend was... and learns that Yolanda is not scary, she's a delight! A truly lovely book about questioning your assumptions and reaching out to another person, no matter how scary they might be.

This is definitely one of my favourite picture book reads for the year! I loved the story about a little girl who did not like a grumpy post office worker, but when she took the time to ask her something about herself, learned they have a lot in common. A wonderful story to teach children that there is more to a person then a first impression.

Sunday 8 November 2020

#SundayReview: Anonymouse

Sunday Review

by Vicki Vansickle
Tundra Books

Animal-friendly street art is popping up all over the city, but who is creating these masterpieces? There is no explanation, only a name: Anonymouse. For fans of Sidewalk Flowers and Art & Max.

Art for the birds.
Art for the ants.
Art for the dogs, cats and raccoons.
Art to make them laugh, make them think, make them feel at home.
But who is creating it?
Only Anonymouse knows for sure . . .

This clever tale mixes street art, animals and gorgeous illustrations to create a meditation on how art can uplift any creature's spirit -- human or animal -- when it speaks directly to them. Every page of Anna Pirolli's stunning artwork is its own masterpiece with its bold pops of colour and sly humor, elevating Vikki VanSickle's subtle but evocative text.

A great story about street art and the ways it can help us see the beauty of an urban landscape. Classrooms can use this book in lesson planning and have children come up with their own ways to see the playground or school structures different.

Sunday 1 November 2020

#SundayReview: The Aquanaut

Sunday Review

The Aquanaut
by Jill Heinerth
Tundra Books

Written by an award-winning aquanaut and with art by a #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator, this inspiring picture book encourages readers to explore their world, build their self-esteem and imagine what they can do and become when they grow up.

When I was young, the world seemed too dangerous. Everything was too hard. I was too young. Places were too far away. But that was okay because I had a big imagination . . .

Through beautiful, spare text, Jill Heinerth tells her story about a girl who feels too young, too little and too far away from her dreams. But you don't need to wait to grow up. It doesn't take much to imagine all the things you can do and be. What if your bedroom were a space station? What would it be like to have flippers or tusks? In your own home you can explore new worlds and meet new friends.

Jaime Kim's luminous art transports readers back and forth through time to see how Jill's imagination as a young girl laid the pathway to her accomplishments and experiences as an underwater explorer.

I love this story about how to use your imagination to overcome fears. The best part is that it is about the author as a child, showing the reader that they can also overcome their fears and follow their dreams. Amazing illustrations take us into the dark places of the ocean and show the beauty that lies beneath.

Sunday 25 October 2020

#SundayReview: Maya's Big Scene

Sunday Review

Maya's Big Scene
Isabelle Arsenault
Tundra Books

Maya's imagination sets the stage for her friends to act out her feminist play. Can she make room in her queendom for the will of the people? A funny picture book about leadership and fair play for fans of King Baby and Olivia.

Maya is a bossy, burgeoning playwright and loves to have the kids in her Mile End neighborhood bring her scenes to life. Her latest work, about a feminist revolution, is almost ready for public performance. But as her actors begin to express their costume preferences, Maya quickly learns that their visions may not match hers . . . and as both Director and Queen, Maya demands obedience and loyalty in her queendom of equality! But she soon realizes -- with the help of her friends and subjects -- that absolute bossiness corrupts absolutely!

What a great tale of community, leadership, and being humble. I loved the story of the strong-headed Maya, who took it upon herself to put on a neighbourhood play. But when things don't go exactly as planned she steps up and commands everyone to do what she says. This book opens up conversations with kids on freedom of speech, respect, and working together.

Sunday 18 October 2020

#SundayReview: Outside Art

Sunday Review

Outside Art
by Madeline Kloepper
Tundra Books

Join a curious pack of woodland animals as they try to understand what art is and create their own in this beautiful, playful picture book.

Pine Marten loves watching Human doing peculiar things in its log nest in the woods. One day, she notices Human putting colors on a board using a furry stick. Pine Marten learns from Chickadee that Human is actually "an artist" and is busy "making art." But what is art?

Soon all of the animals in the forest are wondering: why is Human doing this? Is it a warning? Is it looking for a mate? Is there any meaning at all? And if Human can make "art," why can't the animals do it too?

Outside Art is a gorgeous and gently humorous exploration of art, creativity and nature by up-and-coming author-illustrator Madeline Kloepper.

This book is a great way to introduce to kids both art appreciation and how to develop art from the natural work around us. I love how the animals each provided their outlook towards what the artist was creating, showing that there is room for multiple thoughts and opinions, yet were also able to work together and contribute something that they each felt was art from their own perspectives and abilities.