So many beautiful picture books. I hope you find a new bedtime story in this list.
Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel (Raincoast Books, Chronicle Kids) invites little ones to say hello to the author/illustrator’s favourite animals, many of which are listed as near threatened, vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The author of They All Saw Cat (also a great book) encourages people to research the animals he features and share what they find out with everyone they know.
“The more that people know about these creatures, the better the chance they will share this planet with us for many years to come. It starts with saying hello,” Wenzel writes.
The book is too young for my nine year old, but is perfect for a toddler. I liked it though – cute picture and a listing at the back that detailed each of the animals featured in the book including an aardvark, proboscis monkey and a whaleshark, both of which are endangered.
I think I would have liked this book to be written for older kids as they would be more likely to be inspired by Wenzel’s instructions to “write a letter to one of the incredible conservationists working to protect (animals) and keep the places they live safe.”
Unicorn (and Horse)
Unicorn (and Horse) by David Miles (Raincoast Books, Familius) was better than I was expecting and much more funny. I will confess, I am not a horse person. I do like unicorns, not as much as dragons, but for a horse with a horn, they are pretty fantastic. What I liked about this book is that it showed how wonderful unicorn is while horse is, well, a horse. We learn that unicorn dances, eats cupcakes and makes things cheery – really cheery. (Horse’s expression – fantastic). Horse, on the other hand, is grumpy and makes other things less cheery and is not as loved by as the other animals. The expression on the characters faces are priceless and the story is great. I laughed while reading it and laughed again while reading it to my son.
Harry and Walter
Harry and Walter by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Qin Leng ($21.95, Annick Press) is a story of Walter, 92, and Harry, 4 ¾, who do everything together until one day Harry moves and things change.
Harry and Walter is a beautiful story about friendship. It is so nice to see a young boy and an older man, neighbours, hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. The ending was beautiful – while some things change, friends don’t.
Timo Goes Camping
They are early chapter books with a large font and beautifully illustrated pictures.
In this one, Timo and his friends agree to go camping with Suki despite never having gone before. Timo, who is quite a hesitant character, brings a book along that tells him all about camping and how to do it. Suki finds that quite amusing and teases him about it. Suki also teases her friends about the mistakes they make, which causes Timo be anxious about a camping trip that is supposed to be fun. Cute story and great lesson.
The Boy and the Blue Moon
Luckily, the rest of the book is still wonderful. I like that it is a story about a boy and his cat – it’s always a boy and his dog. It’s nice to have the cats involved – who go on a nighttime adventure when the moon is close, bright and blue.
The boy, suggesting anything can happen during a blue moon, walks through a field of bluebells that sing a song he has never heard before, passes through a forest of blue trees, jumps into a boat to float across a blue lake. And then remembers his wish, which is granted.
The Boy and the Blue Moon is a beautiful story in words, illustrations and colour.
A Bear Sat on my Porch Today
A Bear Sat on my Porch Today by Jane Yolen (Raincoast Books, Chronicle Kids) is about a bear, skunk, moose and a variety of other creatures, big, small and smelly, that decide to set up house on a little girl’s porch. The girl, after some hesitation, allows them all to stay – with rules.
It’s a cute story, although not my favourite.
A copy of these books were provided by Raincoast Books, Pajama Press and Annick Press for an honest review. The opinion are my own.