Books for Everyone, Bullying, Canadian, CTV Your Morning, Fantasy, friendship stories, Funny Books, Graphic Novel, middle grade, multicultural cast, picture books, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Readalouds, Spectacular Illustrations, Spring, Storytime, Uncategorized, YA

As Seen on CTV Your Morning: Fresh Spring Reads for Kids

When it rains, it pours! April showers bring a fresh new crop of Canadian kid’s books. Watch the segment here.

Three Picture Books for Kids 3-7

RAINY DAYS (Pajama Press) Written in gentle rhyming couplets, this book is a celebration of the simple, ordinary joys of a rainy day, like splashing in puddles or finding snails. This is a relatable narrative that very young children will enjoy, accompanied by playful cut paper art and collage from Miki Sato. The padded board book format and tactile nature of the art will especially appeal to younger children.

IN THE CLOUDS (Tundra Books) features another take on paper art. Elly McKay creates delicate scenes out of paper figures and landscapes and then puts them in shadow box-like theatre and lights them, creating dramatic images. This art style is perfect for a story about a girl who looks at the clouds and imagines new worlds and great adventures. A true celebration of daydreaming.

BHARATANATYAM IN BALLET SHOES is a fantastic story about cultural diversity using the medium of dance. Paro is nervous about starting ballet. She comes from a dancing family, and is familiar with the traditional Indian dance bharatanatyam, but worries her skills won’t translate to ballet. This is a wonderful story about how dance connects us, sharing cultural traditions, and acceptance.

A Chapter Book to Keep Emerging Readers in Stitches

HOW TO HIGH TEA WITH A HYENA (Tundra Books) is an example of the amazing nonfiction happening in kidlit at the moment. In this fun series for ages 6-10, Celeste the cockroach introduces the reader to different predators. This is a highly illustrated chapter book that will appeal to kids who are starting to read on their own but love visuals. The first book is about pythons and this most recent instalment features hyenas. Can’t wait to see what predator is next!

Four Novels for Tweens

In WATER, WATER (Tundra Books), a boy wakes up to find his room floating in an endless sea. The rest of his house and family appear to be gone, and he has no idea what happened. This has an intriguing, dystopian premise, but at its heart, Water, Water is a poignant and thought-provoking fable about kindness and community in the face of disaster.

P.A.W.S. GABBY GETS IT TOGETHER (Razorbill) is a funny, contemporary graphic novel about three friends in Vancouver who are not allowed to have pets, and so they start a dog-walking service to satisfy their love of dogs. A celebration of friendship and entrepreneurship in the tradition of The Babysitter’s Club.

SCOUT IS NOT A BAND KID (Dial) is another great contemporary graphic novel, this time about a kid who joins band in order to go on the band trip, which is in the same city as an event with her favourite author. And while Scout’s intentions may not start out band-focused, being paired with a very serious musician leads her to appreciate and understand what it means to be part of a band.

SWAN LAKE QUEST FOR THE KINGDOMS (HarperCollins) is a rollicking graphic novel re-telling of Swan Lake, in which the children from three different, warring realms join forces to get to the truth behind ancient rivalries. The characters are distinct, vivid, and there is a great buddy adventure vibe to this fantasy.

Two Exciting YA Debuts for Teens

BLOOD SCION (HarperCollins) takes place in a cruel, restrictive regime where magic is outlawed. Sloane is an ancestor of the old gods which gives her the power of fire. When she is conscripted into the army against her will, she decides to decimate it from the inside out. This action-packed debut from Nigerian-Canadian author has best-seller written all over it.

WRONG SIDE OF THE COURT (Penguin Teen Canada) is a contemporary story about Pakistani-Canadian Fawad who is coming of age in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood. Fawad juggles all sorts of relatable teenage issues, including a new crush, troubles with a local bully, a developing love of basketball and familial expectations.

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