It’s not a secret – I love picture books, although I think my son, who is nine, is started to shy away from them. So some I have read to him, others I just read myself. Some I will insist he read, others I will not.

Read the rest N to Z reviewed here.

a house that once was leads me to believe that many people feel the same way about abandoned houses.
a house that once was leads me to believe that many people feel the same way about abandoned houses.

a house that once was

My mom once told me that old houses made her sad. She always thinks of the lives that once lived in that house and is sad the house is now abandoned. At the time I didn’t think much about it, but as an adult I understand exactly what she means and feel the same sadness of houses that are boarded up or being reclaimed by nature. Author Julie Fogliano obviously feels the same in her book titled a house that once was ($26,99, Raincoast Books, Roaring Brook Press) about two children who go into an abandoned house, or a house that was once a home, and wonder why the family up and left and where the are now.

a house that once was asked all the questions I ask. A beautiful book.

Ben and the Scaredy-Dog by Sarah Ellis and published by Pajama Press.
Ben and the Scaredy-Dog is super cute. I love Max.

Ben and the Scaredy-Dog

Ben is excited about the new family moving next door, particularly when he notices there is a child within the family. That is until he also notices they have a dog – a big dog with big teeth. So when Ben gets invited for a playdate, he is really scared. It turns out Max, the dog, is also afraid, He refuses to get off a carpet in the room the children are playing in as he is afraid of the shiny floor. When Erv, short Minerva, gets called out of the room, it’s just Ben and Max. Alone. Together.

I love the illustrations in Ben and The Scaredy-Dog (by Sarah Ellis, $19.95, Pajama Press). The story was also great and I loved the ending.

The Brilliant Deep is the true story of Ken Nedimyer and his Coral Restoration Foundation
The Brilliant Deep is a great story about how one person can do so much.

The Brilliant Deep Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs

The Brilliant Deep Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs by Kate Messner ($24.99, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Kids) is the true story of Ken Medimyer who grew up with the stars and space, but loved the oceans. He created the Coral Restoration Foundation, which farms and transplants coral, which then creates new coral reefs, even in places where they have already been destroyed. It was an amazing story, with wonderful illustrations and great information (although my son made me stop reading the actually facts at the end of the book. He enjoyed the story, though.) I liked how it started and ended with one and how that one can be one person doing great things.

Forever or a Day
Forever or a Day is both beautiful and sad.

Forever or a Day

My son took one look at the front cover of Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby ($22.99, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Kids) and suggested it was going to be a sad one. It was kind of sad, but also not. It encouraged you to enjoy life and every moment in it. The book was pretty, both in message and pictures, but my son was right – it did kind of make me sad, but also longing for those long summer days.

Hawk Ri
I love hawks and loved Hawk Rising.

Hawk Rising

I love hawks and other raptors and birds. I am the person who pulls over on the side the road and looks at the hawks eating their catch or watches as they come in for the kill.

Hawk Rising author Maria Gianferrari ($24.99, Raincoast Books, Roaring Brook Press) also loves hawks as well in this beautiful book about a day in the life of a father hawk trying to feed his family and the bird lover who is watching his majestic creature it its attempts. Great information about the hawks at the end. As a note, the hawk is successful and you get to see that as well.

I Need All of It tells a story of a boy and his treasures.
I have heard that before.

I Need All of It

I Need All of It by Petra Postert ($23.50, Raincoast Books, Feiwel and Friends) reminds me of a certain boy although said boy didn’t recognize himself in the character who wanted to save each treasure – “one (mother’s) junk is another (child’s) treasure – he finds. I liked that each treasure what a story, which is why he wanted to keep it. The boy suggested a bent and rusty key belongs to a suitcase, which belongs to a magician who has lost the key and therefore can’t access all his magical creatures inside. The stories the boy tells are magical as are the illustrations that come with them.

Iqbal and his Ingenious Idea is part of Kids Can Press' Citizen Kid series.
Iqbal and his Ingenious Idea is part of Kids Can Press’ Citizen Kid series.

Iqbal and his Ingenious Idea, How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet

We find Iqbal and his family in the middle of monsoon season in Bangladesh. His sister and his mother are getting sick because they have to cook over a fire inside because it’s too wet outside. The family is too poor to purchase a propane stove. At the same time, Iqbal learns the theme of this year’s school district science fair is sustainability with the winner receiving a cash prize. Iqbal comes up with a way to use the sun’s heat to cook food.

Iqbal and his Ingenious Idea, How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet by Elizabeth Suneby ($19.99, Citizen Kid, Kids Can Press) gives as a look at how other people live and the problems they have as well as how a child can make a difference not only in the lives of their family, but to the word at large.

The end of the book offers information about clean cook stoves as well as instructions on how to make a pizza box solar cooker.

Little Red Reading Hood is a new take an old favourite.
You can’t got wrong about books about people loving books.

Little Red Reading Hood

I like books about reading and book lovers so I knew I would love Little Red Reading Hood by Lucy Rowland ($13.99, Publishers Group Canada, MacMillan Press MacMillan Press). The book follows the story of Little Red Riding Hood but instead of delivering cookies to her grandmother, Little Red is returning a long overdue book to the library when she meets the wolf, who races ahead and stuffs the librarian in the closet.

Just as the wolf goes to eat Little Red, the librarian jumps out of the closet, sighs, and tells the wolf it’s an obvious ending and to try something new, explaining stories can end any way you please.

Great book. Love the gold and blue.

A copy of these books were provided by Kids Can Press, Pajama Press, Publishers Group Canada and Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.