Finn wakes up one spring morning to discover a perfect, white feather left by his brother Hamish, who has died. He shows his mom the feather and his teacher, but neither of them seem to be as excited to see it as he is. His friend Lucas seems to get it and the two friends spend the rest of their lunch hour playing with feather and having fun.
“This feather is the best!” said Lucas. “It’s so great that Hamish left it for you. He’s really a cool angel.”
Finn says Hamish was a cool brother and he misses him, but is so grateful to have received a feather from him.
It’s an incredibly sad story, particularly in light of the dedication from the author:
“For Hamish. Your light still burns bright, little one. I carry it always.”
My condolences to Noble and her family.
A Boy and a House
In A Boy and a House by Maja Kastelic ($12.95, Annick Press) we watch as a little boy follows a trail of pictures, dropped by what looks like a cat. The boy picks up the pictures and we watch him be lead deeper and deeper into a house until he finds what he is looking for.
This wordless book was cute enough, but I personally wouldn’t have let my young child go wandering around the city by himself and I would certainly discourage him from going deeper and deeper into a stranger’s house. The colouring of the book was dark, yet I still really liked the illustrations. There was lots to look at in this book.
Anna at the Art Museum
When I go to an art museum, I feel much like Anna, expressions and all, in Anna at the Art Museum (Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert, $21.95, Annick Press). Anna is bored and she is annoyed she can’t run, talk normally or touch anything (who knew pretty pictures would have alarms). She is also tired of people telling her what she can’t do. Things get better, and Anna appreciates the art more, when she finally gets to do something.
Anna at the Art Museum is a neat concept. Copies of famous paintings are actually within the pages of this book with an index at the back explaining the art further. I like the mix of cartoon-like illustrations with the real-life art. And I liked how Anna felt changed after her behind-the-scenes tour and she embraced the colours that surrounded her.
Giraffe and Bird Together Again
Giraffe is perfectly happy staying where he is, eating the same thing day in and day out and hiding in the exact same spot for hide and seek. His friend bird, on the other day, wants adventure, see new places and eat new crunchy food. One day bird goes off and doesn’t come back. Giraffe gets worried and searches for his friend, persevering through vines that tangle and mountains that cause him to slip and stumble until he finds his friend and new adventures.
I love author/illustrator Rebecca Bender‘s pictures in this book, particularly the expressions on both Giraffe and Bird’s faces. I can hear those bugs crunching in Bird’s beak. Gross. There is a great lesson in this book, including the ending.
Giraffe and Bird Together Again is by Rebecca Bender ($19.95, Pajama Press)
Our New Kittens
The wait for two kittens, brothers just like the main characters in Our New Kittens by Theo Haras ($17.95, Pajama Press) is over and the boys are excitedly bringing their new pets home. The older brother reminds his younger sibling to not chase the kittens or talk loudly as they struggle to come up with names for the newest additions to the family.
Our New Kittens is a cute look at the joy of bringing a new pet home and the responsibilities that come with it.
That’s Not Hockey
That’s Not Hockey by Andree Poulin ($21.95, Annick Press) tells the story of Jacques Plante, the late NHL hockey player, who changed the way the sport was played. In this picture book, we see that Jacques fell in love with the game as a young boy, playing with a tennis ball instead of a puck and using potato sacks and wooden slats as goalie pads, each time people suggesting his way is not the real way to play the sport. Jacques was a Montreal Canadiens goalie when he first donned a mask to protect himself from further injury. His coach told him he wasn’t allowed to wear it as they would lose. Then, after a puck smashed into his face, he refused to go back on the ice until he would be able to wear his mask.
The fans make fun of him, as did the other players, but in the end Jacques Plant changed the way hockey was played forever. And thank goodness for that.
A copy of these books were provided by Annick Press, Pajama Press and PGC Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.