Just in time for spring break is a list of must-read titles for children, youth and teens.
• A Walk on the Shoreline by Rebecca Hainnu; illustrated by Qin Leng – This beautifully illustrated book introduces different ecosystem and ecological terms, and also tells a lovely story teaching about seasons in the north, Inuit traditions, plants, and animals.
• The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels; illustrated by Emma Block – Miss Petitfour is an expert at baking and eating fancy iced cakes, and her favorite mode of travel is “par avion” (her favourite tea party tablecloth is a makeshift balloon). On windy days, she takes her 16 cats out for adventures.
• Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Gracia Lam – This New York Times best-selling picture-book author tells the sweet, simple story of a young child’s typical day – from morning to bedtime. Like the title, each scene is described in three-word “ABC” phrases, such as “All Begins Cheerily” and “Always Be Curious.” Secret “ABC” scenes are hidden throughout the artwork.
• Dewey Bob by Judith Scachner – This adorable picture books tells the story of Dewey Bob Crockett, a young raccoon who loves to collect shiny things. He discovers that it is a lot harder for a raccoon to collect and keep a friend.
• Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy – This is a must read, it made me laugh, cry, and feel warm like a hug in book form. High school student Willowdean has been overweight her whole life, and when she decides to enter the town’s beauty pageant, her mother’s pride and joy, hilarity ensues when a group of other high school misfits join her.
• Head Lice by Elise Gravel – This book includes hilarious jokes that will appeal to kids and parents. The illustrations are simple, bold, and have great little scientific details. This would be a really useful book to use to teach young or even school age children about lice, especially as it takes away some of the stigma.
• Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City by Mary Beth Leatherdale – This is a really fascinating collection of stories, poetry, art, photography, information and statistics from a talented and diverse group of First Nations young people from all over North America. I found the topics really interesting, engaging, and relevant – rural compared to city life, murdered and missing Aboriginal women, education, resistance, social justice etc.
• Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman – The unexpectedness of vegetables in their unmentionables is enough to draw giggles, but the pride with which the “big kid” attire is flaunted in front of the baby carrots in diapers will tickle readers. With rhyming text that begs to be read aloud and art that looks good enough to eat, this vibrant story will encourage preschoolers to celebrate having left those diapers behind!
• What’s the Buzz? Keeping Bees in Flight by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox – Whether they live alone or together, in a hive or in a hole in the ground, bees do some of the most important work on the planet: pollinating plants. This fantastic book celebrates the magic of bees – from swarming to dancing to making honey – and encourages readers to do their part to keep the hives alive.
• Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley – This is a fascinating fictionalized account of the Brontë sisters as teenagers. Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ own juvenilia, Worlds of Ink and Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families in a thrilling, suspenseful fantasy.
Sarah Isbister is the Children & Family Literacy Librarian at the Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. She writes here twice a month, exploring top titles for youth and adults.