Posts Tagged ‘Canadian illustrator’

Fraser Bear – A Cub’s Life by Maggie de Vries and Renne Benoit

Posted on March 3rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Fraser Bear – A Cub’s Life – written by Maggie de Vries and illustrated by Renne Benoit
Picture book published by Greystone Books

Weaving together the story of a young black bear cub with that of chinook salmon, Fraser Bear: A Cub’s Life is both informative and engaging. The story begins in January when two sleepy young bear cubs seek nourishment from their mother. Many miles away, chinook salmon begin their journey from the Aleutian Islands to Fraser Bear’s birthplace in the Rocky Mountains. We watch as the young bear grows and matures, experiencing the snowy forest for the first time, seeking food, meeting an angry male bear, enjoying tasty blueberries and discovering a river filled with spawning salmon.

“One day, the mother leads her cubs to the river’s rocky shore. Fraser stares. the water is alive! it squirms. It wriggles, Fraser has never seen water like this before.”

Brimming with factual information, Fraser Bear is beautifully illustrated and will be enjoyed by youngsters aged five and up. Additional notes provide information about black bears and bear safety as well as chinook salmon. A glossary and map also support the text.

Fraser Bear: A Cub’s Life at Amazon.com

Fraser Bear: A Cub’s Life at Amazon.ca

Note: Fraser Bear began life as “Fraser the Bear,” a plush souvenir for travellers on the Rocky Mountaineer. The tour company is a supporter of the Pacific Salmon Foundation.


Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



The Subway Mouse by Barbara Reid – The Journey to Tunnel’s End is Not Without Danger

Posted on February 27th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

The Subway Mouse -written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
Barbara Reid is an award winning author/illustrator who is well known for her amazing Plasticine illustrations. In 2004 she received the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz award for The Subway Mouse. This is an endearing tale of love and adventure.

Nib is a young mouse who lives in a busy subway station. At nighttime, when the station is quiet, Nib loves to listen to stories about Tunnel’s End. “Tunnel’s End was also beautiful. The air was sweet. A brave mouse could find the tastiest foods, the softest nests.” One day, after having his nest destroyed by his cousins and tired of living in the noise and dust of the station, Nib sets off on the adventure of a lifetime. Before long, he meets Lola and soon the two friends are on a quest for fresh air, clear skies and freedom. The journey to Tunnel’s End is not without danger; gangs of mice resent the young intruders and there is a considerable distance to travel. Breath-taking Plasticine illustrations include many found objects and make this a book that is sure to inspire young artists. Highly recommended for young readers aged four to nine years – especially those who will be riding on a subway train sometime soon.

Link to a Subway Mouse lesson plan from Scholastic

The Subway Mouse at Amazon.com

The Subway Mouse at Amazon.ca



We Share Everything – Celebrate Pink Shirt Day in Kindergarten

Posted on February 25th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

We Share Everything! written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Picture book about kindergarten and sharing published by Scholastic

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

While not strickly speaking an “anti-bullying” resource, We Share Everything! is a story about getting along – with a pink twist. A perfect book to use in a kindergarten class to celebrate Pink Shirt Day.

Amanda and Jeremiah’s first day of kindergarten is filled with clashes. When Amanda selects a story from the bookshelf, Jeremiah demands that she give it to him. Their noisy conflict draws the attention of an enthusiastic kindergarten teacher who gushes, “This is kindergarten. In kindergarten we share. We share everything.” As the day progresses, the kindergarten teacher shares these same pearls of wisdom through conflicts with building blocks and paint spatters. She remains unflappable until the youngsters take heed of her advice and decide to share their clothes. “The teacher came back and said, “Oh Jeremiah and Amanda. You’re sharing, and you’re learnning how to act in kindergarten, and you’re being very grown-up, and Jeremiah, I really like your… PINK PANTS! Jeremiah, where did you get those pink pants?” A fun look at sharing and getting along, best for children aged four to six.

Listen to Robert Munsch share the story with an audience

We Share Everything! at Amazon.com

We Share Everything! at Amazon.ca



The Boy Who Loved Bananas – Monkeying Around At Storytime

Posted on February 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


The Boy Who Loved Bananas – written by George Elliott and illustrated by Andrej Krystoforski This is pure fun for storytime. When Matthew visits the Metro Zoo, he loves to watch the monkeys. He wonders why they eat so many bananas. As an experiment, Matthew decides that he will eat only bananas – morning, noon and night. He persists for days and days until, ‘Kablooey!’ Matthew changes into a playful monkey. Wanting their little boy back, Matthew’s parents try everything. Alas, Matthew likes things the way they are and soon has his classmates and principal chomping bananas. At last, after admiring an African elephant at the zoo, Matthew decides he would like to change his menu – to peanuts! The Boy Who Loved Bananas won Ontario’s 2006 Blue Spruce Award. It is boisterous fun for children aged three to seven years.

Ages 3 to 7

Storytime Suggestions for The Boy Who Loved Bananas

The Boy Who Loved Bananas at Amazon.com

The Boy Who Loved Bananas at Amazon.ca


Gummytoes Steps Into the Limelight

Posted on February 22nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Gummytoes – written and illustrated by Sean Cassidy
Gummytoes is a tree frog who can change the colour of his skin and leap great distances. He longs to be admired so he steps into the limelight and amazes the neighbourhood children with his antics. The squealing youngsters respond by grabbing him and putting him into their terrarium. Before long Gummytoes discovers that being the centre of attention is not all he had hoped. He is lucky. He is able to use his special qualities to escape and make his way home.

This is a story that will encourage readers to consider the impact of capturing creatures for display. In addition to entertaining youngsters, Gummytoes provides factual information about gray tree frogs. The book could be used to prompt discussions about animals that use camouflage, nocturnal animals, natural habitats of tree frogs and wild creatures living in urban areas.

Suitable for children aged 4-8

Gummytoes was shortlisted for the 2006 Syrca Shining Willow ( in the Best Picture Book category) and the 2005 OLA Blue Spruce (also in the Best Picture Book category). It was also a Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice selection in 2005.

Gummytoes at Amazon.com

Gummytoes at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


Giving Voice to a Dream: Leon’s Song

Posted on February 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Leon’s Song – written by Stephanie Simpson McClellan and illustrated by Dianna Bonder
“If you saw Leon dozing in the sun, you might think age had made him all quiet and peaceful inside. You might think he was content to spend his day resting and remembering. But you’d be wrong…As old as Leon was, his heart was young with yearning.”

Leon is an old frog who dreams of doing something important. Although he lacks beauty, power and physical strength, Leon wishes most for a beautiful singing voice. When a dark, threatening shadow appears in the pond, Leon’s world is about to change. Fortunately his special talent is unveiled and the pond is profoundly transformed. A beautifully illustrated, thoughtful tale.

I share Leon’s Song with children every summer. I use it as part of a frog theme in a kindergarten program but the story goes well beyond frogs and pond life. It is a joyous celebration of self acceptance, finding one’s voice and making a difference.

Best suited to children ages 5 to 8

Stephanie Simpson McClellan’s Ponds in Winter K-4 Teaching Unit

Leon’s Song at Amazon.com

Leon’s Song at Amazon.ca


Danger and Suspense in Out On the Ice in the Middle of the Bay

Posted on February 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay
written by Peter Cumming and illustrated by Alice Priestly
Despite warnings that she must not to go outside alone, young Leah leaves the safety of her far North home and sets out to explore an enormous iceberg. “Leah walked away from her house, past the church, down to the beach, and out on the ice towards the iceberg that looked like a magical island of snow.” Just as Leah begins her adventure, a small polar bear cub is drawn to the same intriguing iceberg. As the moon rises, girl and bear cub meet in middle of the frozen bay. Meanwhile, Leah’s father and the bear cub’s mother race desperately to locate their offspring.

Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay is filled with suspense as Leah explores the cold and dangerous world outside. It prompts the reader to consider not only the ways that Leah and the cub are alike but also how Leah’s father and the polar bear mother are similar.

32 pages, this is special read aloud for children aged 4 to 8

Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay at Amazon.com

Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay at Amazon.ca


You’re Mean, Lily Jean – Transforming a Bully Into a Friend

Posted on February 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

You’re Mean, Lily Jean written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Picture book about a social situations published by North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

I recently received an email from a mom. She was concerned about playground dynamics and she went on to explain that her daughter was having a tough time with another girl. Her daughter’s “friend” was dictating the play experience – deciding which children could be involved and each child’s “role.” I was absolutely delighted to have a book recommendation for her: You’re Mean, Lily Jean. Selected: First and Best by Toronto Public Libraries in 2009 and nominated for a Blue Spruce Award,

You’re Mean, Lily Jean tells the story of a new girl who moves into the neighbourhood. Lily Jean is the same age as Sandy and is domineering and a braggart. She joins Sandy and her younger sister Carly for a couple of playdates. Lily Jean does not want Carly to be a part of their imaginary games and each time the three girls play together, Lily Jean dictates what they will play and how they will play. She gives the younger sister, Carly, the less desirable “parts” in their imaginary world. Lily Jean and Sandy are the king and queen, Carly is told to be the dog. Lily and Sandy are cowgirls, Carly is told to be the cow. “She did not want to moo or eat grass, but Lily Jean said she had to if she wanted to play. So she did.”

Lily Jean’s smug appearance and Carly’s bitter disappointment are depicted beautifully by Ms. Denton. Readers will cheer for Carly when Sandy decides she would prefer to play with her younger sister than with an overbearing bully.

You’re Mean Lily Jean is best suited to children four and up. It offers many opportunities for children to consider each girl’s perspective and ways to resolve difficult social situations.

You’re Mean, Lily Jean at Amazon.com

You’re Mean, Lily Jean at Amazon.ca



Of course, only a true princess can feel a pea under twenty mattresses

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

The Penguin and the PeaThe Penguin and the Pea – written and illustrated by Janet Perlman

Here is a delightful twist on a familiar tale. Poor Prince Penguin is lonely and filled with despair – will he ever find a penguin princess suitable for marriage? It seems unlikely until a stormy evening when a drenched young penguin arrives at the castle. She claims to be a princess seeking shelter. Prince Penguin is enchanted – the Queen is unconvinced. Will the ‘princess’ pass the test and ensure a happy ending?

The Penguin and the Pea is a fun take on a familiar story. Children will enjoy comparing this with other versions of The Princess and the Pea. Also fun for penguin theme.

32 pages, Ages 3 to 7

Mathwire’s Penguin Math page

The Penguin and the Pea at Amazon.com

The Penguin and the Pea at Amazon.ca


Mother Earth Shares an Important Lesson

Posted on February 14th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Lessons From Mother Earth
Written by Elaine McLeod and illustrated by Colleen Wood
Lessons from Mother Earth
tells the story of a young girl who learns from her grandmother. They leave a small cabin and, with her grandmother’s guidance, the young girl discovers the bounty of fresh food provided by Mother Earth. Lamb’s-quarters, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, rosehips, dandelions and mushrooms are all part of the bounty.

Appropriate for children aged four and up



Lessons from Mother Earth at Amazon.com

Lessons From Mother Earth at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


Good Morning, Sam – It is Sam’s Turn Now

Posted on February 13th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Good Morning Sam – written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
I sincerely hope you are familiar with Sam and Stella. The (younger) brother and sister are featured in the wonderful books that make up Marie-Louise Gay’s Stella series.

In Good Morning, Sam , Sam is front and centre as he begins his day. As always, Ms. Gay’s depiction of the siblings’ relationship is tender and sweet – Sam strives for independence until he needs his big sister’s help. Simply illustrated and told, this story will captivate young children and their families.

Ages 3 and up

Marie-Louise Gay’s website includes downloads (colouring pages, stickers and more)

Interactive Website for Stella and Sam

Stella and Sam on Facebook

Good Morning, Sam at Amazon.com

Good Morning Sam at Amazon.ca


Sandy Discovers How to Shrink a Footprint

Posted on February 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint written by Carole Carpenter and Femida Handy, illustrated by Adrianna Steel-Card

Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint tells the story of a young girl who, while visiting her grandpa, happily runs to a nearby beach. She loves to explore the seashore and is shocked to find a pile of garbage others left near a fire pit. She is disgusted by the waste and works to collect the candy wrappers, pop cans and mustard bottles. Before long, she meets an old woman who roams the beach and collects the litter others have left behind. The woman encourages the girl to consider, “The footprint of your life – the mark you leave on the world.”

This breezy, empowering picture book includes colourful collage illustrations made from natural and recycled materials. Suitable for children aged six and up.

The illustrator’s website

Facebook page for Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint

Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint at Amazon.com

Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint at Amazon.ca


Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


Old Bird Reminds Us “Old” Does Not Mean Incompetent or Worthless

Posted on February 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Old Bird – written by Irene Morck and illustrated by Muriel Wood

When Papa buys Bird, a gentle mare who will transport Archie and Arnfeld to and from school, he has no idea the impact the horse will have on his farm. Bird follows the children as they do their chores and insists on being allowed into the barn. Bird opens latches and asserts herself until Papa decides she must be sold. Just before the auction, Bird again has her way. This time she shows the family just how she can contribute to the farm. Old Bird is a truly lovely story, beautifully illustrated, that reminds us old does not mean incompetent or worthless.

32 pages, ages 5 and up

Old Bird at Amazon.com

Old Bird at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.


Sir Cassie to the Rescue Celebrates Knights, Castles and Make Believe

Posted on February 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Sir Cassie to the Rescue celebrates play and make believeSir Cassie to the Rescue – written by Linda Smith and illustrated by Karen Patkau


When Cassie reads a story about knights, the lure of the story prompts her to build a castle in her living room and enlist her brother to be a damsel. Her brother resists this role but does agree to be a fierce dragon. The entire family becomes involved in the make believe fun until the queen announces a noontime feast has been prepared and it is time to clean up the castle.

A cheerfully illustrated picture book, Sir Cassie to the Rescue celebrates make believe and play and will be enjoyed by children aged 4 to 8.


Sir Cassie to the Rescue at Amazon.com

Sir Cassie to the Rescue at Amazon.ca


Stella, Fairy of the Forest – Luminous Stella is Always a Star

Posted on February 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Stella, Fairy of the Forest – written & illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Picture book published by Groundwood Books


Marie-Louise Gay’s picture books about Sam and Stella are marvelous. This, their third adventure, Stella, Fairy of the Forest begins when Sam asks Stella about fairies. Stella knows just where to find some. She leads Sam on a pleasant walk through gorgeous meadows, across a sparkling stream and into a magical forest.

This Stella and Sam story is truly lovely especially in its treatment of the siblings’ relationship. Sam, who is nervous, clearly looks up to his confident older sister and Stella is more than happy to share her knowledge of the outdoors and all things magical with her younger brother.

Ms. Gay’s distinctive illustrations have a luminous quality, particularly her depictions of the delightful red-head heroine, Stella. Don’t miss it!

32 pages and suitable for children aged three and up. Stella, Fairy of the Forest is well- suited to circle time and could be used as part of a preschool or kindergarten Family or Forest theme.

Marie Louise Gay’s website includes printable stickers, colouring sheets, posters and bookmarks

Stella, Fairy of the Forest at Amazon.com

Stella, Fairy of the Forest at Amazon.ca



Lucy’s Secret – Planting Beautiful Ideas

Posted on February 5th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Lucy’s Secret – written and illustrated by Mireille Levert
Picture Book published by Groundwood Books


When Lucy visits Anna Zinnia’s garden, she is enchanted by all she sees; beautiful flowers and busy insects. When Anna Zinnia reveals a box of seeds, she tells Lucy, ‘In each seed lies a hidden, baby flower.’ Lucy plants the seeds and then waits and waits for the young plants to appear.

Lucy’s Secret is richly illustrated and simply told. It will be a lovely accompaniment for your springtime seed planting and gardening activities.

32 pages, ages 3 to 5

Lucy’s Secret at Amazon.com

Lucy’s Secret at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our free, printable, Planting a Flower Garden sequencing activity.

image of PDF icon  Planting a Flower Garden Sequencing Activity



Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


The Deep Cold River Story Asks How to Get a Flooding River Back to its Bed

Posted on February 5th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

The Deep Cold River Story written by Tabatha Southey and illustrated by Sue Savor


Imagine a deep, cold river running through a small community. One day, for no apparent reason, the river overflows its banks and floods the entire town. Many possible solutions to the unrelenting flooding are proposed but it takes a little girl to solve the problem and save the town.

The Deep Cold River Story features a positive message about bedtime stories and offers a great opportunity for children to propose their own creative solutions to the problem.

A charming story featuring a young heroine and appealing illustrations, The Deep Cold River Story is 28 pages and will be enjoyed by children aged 3 to 6.

Tabatha Southey’s Commentary – The Globe and Mail

The Deep Cold River Story at Amazon.com

The Deep Cold River Story at Amazon.ca


Tina and the Penguin Is Great Fun

Posted on February 3rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Tina and the Penguin – Written by Heather Dyer and illustrated by Mireille Levert
Picture book published by Kids Can Press


A thoroughly delightful picture book about a young girl and her very special penguin friend!

When Tina’s class from school visits the zoo, she finds herself helping a homesick penguin to escape an enclosure. Tina disguises her new feathered friend and they board the school bus together. When she takes the penguin home, Tina discovers that caring for her rather unusual houseguest is no simple matter. Mom wonders about the fishy smell and the feathers floating through the air in Tina’s bedroom and, wanting to ensure her new friend’s comfort, Tina discovers that sharing an ice water bath and sleeping with the window open is tough to take.

Distinctive, eye-catching and colourful illustrations make Tina and the Penguin a great book to share with a group.

Recommended for children aged 5 to 8, Tina and the Penguin would be a nice addition to a classroom zoo or penguin theme. The story also lends itself to making predictions.

Tina and the Penguin at Amazon.com

Tina and the Penguin at Amazon.ca


Big Bear Hug – What Could be Better?

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Big Bear Hug published by Kids Can PressBig Bear Hug written and illustrated by Nicholas Oldland
Fable Picture book published by Kids Can Press


Author – illustrator Nicholas Oldland introduces a happy, affectionate bear who shares his love by wandering through forests and hugging flora and fauna, large and small. One day the friendly bear is shocked to find a man with a menacing ax strolling through the forest. The man is planning to chop down one of the oldest and finest trees in the woods. Despite his anger, the bear resists an urge to attack and gives the startled man an enormous “bear” hug.

This simply told fable features distinctive, bold illustrations and a loving message. Big Bear Hug will be thoroughly enjoyed by children three and up.

Link to “Bear Hug” Name Tags

Big Bear Hug at Amazon.com

Big Bear Hug at Amazon.ca



Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


Picture Book Fun with Daddy – I’d Know You Anywhere

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

I’d Know You Anywhere written by Hazel Hutchins and illustrated by Ruth OhiI’d Know You Anywhere – written by Hazel Hutchins and illustrated by Ruth Ohi
Picture book about a child’s relationship with his father published by Annick Press Ltd





Read our interview with Ruth Ohi

This story is especially suitable for a Dad’s Day at preschool or for celebrating Father’s Day. Young Jeremy attempts to hide amongst the toys in his bedroom. Daddy finds Jeremy and reassures him that he would know him anywhere and in any form. The father-son game continues as Jeremy imagines wonderful hiding places and disguises. He could disguise himself and hide near a creek or in the ocean or up in the sky…

If I became a sheep
upon a mountainside,
one of many thousand sheep,
a woolly, moving tide-
If I became a sheep,
would you know me then?

Daddy reassures his son that no matter where Jeremy might hide, he would find him.

Reminiscent of The Runaway Bunny, I’d Know You Anywhere concludes with Daddy and Jeremy disguising themselves and sneeking up on mom.

Ruth Ohi’s illustrations do a lovely job of depicting the playful relationship between father and son.

The story is best suited to very young children, aged two and up.

24 pages


I’d Know You Anywhere at Amazon.com

I’d Know You Anywhere at Amazon.ca



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