I review a number of beautiful picture books this month from Kids Can Press and Raincoast Books.

Outside In

There was a time when the outside was a part of us and we spent time in as we knew how important it was. But then we stopped spending time in and the outside reminds us it is still here with flashes in the window, spiders seeking shelter and shadows in to play. And sometimes we remember how much we like the outside.

Outside In, by Deborah Underwood, shows us how we were once part of the outside and how we need to be back in it again. We need not to forget the outside.

Outside In retails for $24.26 and is from Raincoast Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

I Dream of a Journey

I love Akiko Miyakoshi‘s work – both in words and illustrations. In I Dream of a Journey, a hotel keeper works hard all day at the same place in the same small town he has lived and worked in for years. Each night he looks at postcards he has received from all over the world from people who have stayed at his hotel and each night he dreams about travelling to those destinations.

The illustrations are beautiful, but the story does leave me a bit sad. The character seems content with his life, yet his dreams, to the end of the book, remain unfulfilled. Will he ever see the places he dreams about? Does he have the courage to make the change? The reader has to figure that out, but this reader isn’t convinced it will happen.

I dream of a Journey costs $18.99 and is from Kids Can Press.

A Stopwatch from Grandpa

While author Loretta Garbutt’s book starts out sad, by the end there is some healing and showing that life goes on.

At the beginning of this book, we learn the little boy’s grandfather has died and what is left is a stopwatch. The little boy remembers all the times his grandfather timed him – racing down the street and eating cookies. In sadness, the boy throws the stopwatch in a drawer and forgets about it. Time passes and nothing seems the same. Until one day, he rediscovers his grandfather’s watch.

A Stopwatch from Grandpa is a beautiful book about loss, grief and moving on as best as you can.

A Stopwatch from Grandpa is $19.99 and is from Kids Can Press.

David Jumps In

On the first day at his new school, David finds himself alone as his classmates go off to different activities – soccer, reading or blowing dandelions on the wind until he finds a nice little girl who wants to play his game.

The book shows the importance of reaching out and making new friends and htat how the effort is always worth it in the end. I love the illustrations by Katty Maurey. Each page is illustrated with various ilustrations, done it what looks like watercolour. The colours are beautiful.

David Jumps In is $19.99 and is from Kids Can Press.

Going Up!

Going Up! Is a cute story about a little girl and her dad who make cookies for a neighbour’s birthday party. Each each floor, the elevator stops letting in a different neighbour who is bringing a different treat to the party – until they arrive at the 10th floor where the party is happening.

What a fun book. It was neat to read the a book set in an apartment building and how this entire community are so different, yet are all friends, coming together to celebrate. What great neighbours.

Going Up! Is by Sherry J. Lee and is $19.99 and is by Kids Can Press.

I Got You a Present!

Duck is so excited to go to his friend’s birthday as there is cake, a party and best of all presents. Duck wanted to get his friend the most exciting and best present, but when he tried to get a dinosaur, he couldn’t find one. The rocketship he got, he gave it to some aliens that had crash landed and needed to get home. Does Duck ever find the best present?

Duck’s quest for the BEST PRESENT EVER is funny and you need to give him an A for effort.

I Got You a Present! Is by Mike Erskine-Kellie and Susan McLennan, retails for $18.99 and is from Kids Can Press.

What Grew in Larry’s Garden

Larry has a small backyard garden filled with the most colourful and different vegetables you can find.

Grace, his neighbour from a couple doors down, spends every moment she can in Larry’s garden, helping him solve problems such as how to keep bugs from eating the plants and squirrels out of the tomatoes. But Larry is growning more than plants, as Grace one day learns. She also learns about the importance of good neighbours.

I really liked What Grew in Larry’s Garden. I love that a man passes his knowledge along to a child and that child then uses the same knowledge to work through a different problem.

What Grew in Larry’s Garden is by Laura Alary and retails for $19.99 and is from Kids Can Press.

A copy of these books are provided by Kids Can Press and Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.