One of my son’s favourite picture books is Candy Conspiracy (Carrie Snyder) about a number of children who trick the Juicy Jelly Worm into taking their garden of candy (AKA vegetables) and leave them a kingdom full of candy. The book tells the children reading the story that they should tell their parents the book has a moral because parents love books with morals. At the end the parent reading the book is told there is no moral to the story.

The Candy Conspiracy by Carrie Synder tells gullible parents that the book about candy and vegetables and smart children has morals. It does not.
The Candy Conspiracy suggests it’s a book with morals…

Oliver & The Octo-Helmet by Toronto’s Aaron Chang ($11.99, Upon A Star Books) and and Loving Me by Brampton’s Angelot Ndongmo picture books actually have morals.

Toronto's Aaron Chan wrote Oliver & The Octo-Helmet, which is published by Toronto's Upon A Star Books and illustrated by Nadezhda Poova. The book teaches children about saving their money and working hard.
Oliver & The Octo-Helmet is by Toronto’s Aaron Chan

Oliver & The Octo-Helmet

Oliver the octopus wants to go deep sea diving, but he has a problem – he needs an octo-helmet and he is 30 shells short. So Oliver spends the day making and selling seaweed snacks – and going the extra mile – in order to earn the money for the helmet.

The book is a cute one with wonderful illustrations and a great lesson about working hard and being kind to others, not just for a potential reward but to feel good about yourself.

My only complaint is that there seems like there is a lot of text on each page, which makes reading the book seem daunting.

Loving Me by Angelot Ndongmo encourages children they were born unique and should embrace who they are and what they look like.
Loving Me encourages people to love who they are in looks and brains.

Loving Me

Loving Me is about a little girl who tells the reader all the ways she loves herself – the way she draws and has a great imagination, but also that she has beautiful skin colour and fun hair. This little girl loves her body, her mind and her family and was born “unique on purpose.”

The message of the story is great for any child, regardless of her skin colour, and I liked the illustrations, especially the fact the girl’s eyes sparkled.

In her author’s note, Ndongmo wrote that while she was growing up in Ottawa, Ontario, she “recognized the lack of reading materials available for young black children, which help them to identify with themselves in a positive, nurturing manner.”

A copy of these books were provided by Upon A Star Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.