July 13, 2018

Past Tense

Written by Star Spider
HarperCollins
978-1-443452113
304 pp.
Ages 13+
April 2018 

When you're fifteen years old (Julie) and you think you're in love with your best friend (Lorelei) and dreaming of that first kiss while your mother (Olive) is acting weird, telling you her heart is gone, and your best friend's ex (Henry) whom you never liked is hanging around and Dad (Max) is always working and your baby brother is only six months old, everything is a worry.  Your world is beyond tense, it's almost unendurable.

This is Julie's present. Her friendship with Lorelei has always been solid, though probably more so because Julie usually accommodates her popular and assertive friend, more so now that she is crushing on her.  But Lorelei is keeping secrets and making choices that Julie is questioning, at least to herself, so Julie doesn't confide in her best friend when her mother starts acting really, really weird.  Julie has discovered her mom, a former firefighter, is barely eating, thinks she no longer has a heart, and driving out to the cemetery at night with the baby. Stranger yet, when Julie insists on going with her on these excursions, her mom wants her to play out a game called Rest in Peace where Julie eulogizes her mother.  Does she tell her father? No. He's too busy and just contends that her mom is tired.

And into the mix comes Henry, Lorelei's ex. At first, Julie is convinced Henry just wants to reconnect with Lorelei, but it soon becomes obvious to all that Henry likes Julie. Julie doesn't know what to think. Maybe she just likes girls. Maybe she likes both boys and girls. Still, Henry who has his own worries is the one person she can talk to about everything. But can she reveal everything to her new ally when Mom is trying out caskets and Lorelei may be hiding a secret about their teacher Mr. Gomez?

Though a writer of some acclaim, Past Tense is Star Spider's first novel, and it's a doozy. Having a young teen questioning her sexuality is not unusual, though the path Star Spider takes her on to help understanding it–watching others, listening to her heart, and pondering what her head is telling her–is fresh. But when mixed in with her mother's mental illness, later diagnosed as Cotard's delusion, and a family on the edge, along with friend who is both secretive and affectionate, Julie's story is far more angsty. Fortunately, by looking back through the past–each chapter begins with a memory of Julie and her mother–the reader will realize the past shapes our relationships and our future but does not determine it.  Julie's friendship with Lorelei does not have to remain as it was when they were younger, just as her relationship with Henry can be something different than it was when he dated Lorelei.  And her strong and capable mother is no less because of her illness or status as a stay-at-home parent.  Living in the past is futile. Moving forward is a necessity.

July 11, 2018

Eden Mills Writers' Festival 2018: September 9, 2018

This year the Eden Mills Writers' Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary of bringing writers and readers together. We always have an incredible line-up of authors of books but I like to let readers at CanLit for LittleCanadians know about those writers of books for young people.  Do check out the full line-up as well as the other special events, workshops, contests, and details about tickets and getting here at the EMWF website at https://edenmillswritersfestival.ca/2018-festival/.

For now, mark September 9, 2018 for your chance to hear these outstanding authors of youngCanLit at this year's Eden Mills Writers' Festival.


Sigmund Brouwer


Lana Button


Dennis Lee 


Casey Lyall


Sylvia McNicoll 

Also, appearing in Children's venue will be storyteller Brad Woods


Because it's a special anniversary for the Eden Mills Writers' Festival, we'll be doing something a little different in the Young Adult Authors' venue this year.  Instead of just having readings by the authors, we'll be holding two panels, each with three authors. In each panel, the authors will read from their most recent books, discuss their writing and answer questions including those vetted from the audience.

Speculative Fiction: Young Adult Novels of the Fantastic

Natasha Deen


Cherie Dimaline


Lesley Livingston


Historical Fiction: Writing about the Past for the Contemporary

Karen Bass


Gillian Chan


Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

See you at the Festival!

July 10, 2018

The Muskox and the Caribou

Written by Nadia Mike
Illustrated by Tamara Campeau
Inhabit Media
978-1-77227-163-8
36 pp.
Ages 5-7
February 2018

While The Muskox and the Caribou is obviously a story rooted in the Arctic where both species co-exist, children everywhere will appreciate the story of Baby Muskox and Baby Caribou and Mother Caribou who loved them both.

The story begins with the birth of Baby Caribou who is born to a loving Mother Caribou and learns to walk and gallop with the herd. One day, Mother Caribou spots Baby Muskox wandering helplessly alone and lost and leads him along with her own offspring back to the herd. Baby Muskox knows he is different. He has long and dark shaggy hair and his legs are short and stocky, very different from the caribou. Sadly, Baby Caribou and his friends don't seem to like Baby Muskox very much and tease him about his differences.  It is only with Mother Caribou that Baby Muskox feels love and comfort.
From The Muskox and the Caribou by Nadia Mike, illus. by Tamara Campeau
Months pass and the young animals grow. Even when the young are prodded by Mother Caribou to go out and explore independently, Baby Muskox returns to the safety and love of his adopted mother. Finally, when fully grown, Mother Caribou takes Baby Muskox on a long walk to see animals such as himself. For the first time, the muskox understands why he never fit in and, though he is sad to learn he isn't a caribou at all, he is excited to get to know others who are just like him.
But most of all, he was grateful for Mother Caribou because she had always shown him love. (pg. 26)
From The Muskox and the Caribou by Nadia Mike, illus. by Tamara Campeau
All children will feel different from others at one point or another.  It may be the way they look or what they can do or can't do or the way they feel.  Some may not feel like they belong in the family to which they were born or with whom they live.  But if The Muskox and the Caribou teaches anything it is that love can make things tolerable and allow growth. Baby Muskox may never have realized he was a muskox but he knew he wasn't like the caribou and that caused him much sadness. Only Mother Caribou made things right. Unfortunately Baby Caribou who'd always known that he belonged could have been a better sibling to Baby Muskox but he did not see the impact of his actions on the young muskox.

Nadia Mike's humble story of a baby muskox taken in by a mother caribou and loved and sheltered along with her own young provides may teachable moments about love and differences and empathy.  Children who live in the Arctic will more likely recognize the two animals and how different they are, but all children will accept that the muskox and the caribou could be any individuals who are different and can still coexist. With love, all is possible.

Northern Quebec illustrator Tamara Campeau provides a natural landscape for The Muskox and the Caribou, emphasizing the rugged terrain and tundra vegetation as the backdrop for the story.  While the animals as babies are softened and simplified, they are true and realistic, and Tamara Campeau makes The Muskox and the Caribou as much a teaching book about the Arctic as she does enhancing Nadia Mike's story with art.

Though all children will delight in a story about baby animals, The Muskox and the Caribou should be read to send a message that we all belong somewhere and, until that somewhere is found, love can help brook time and place.

July 09, 2018

All That Was

Written by Karen Rivers
Farrar Straus Giroux
978-0-374-30246-7
384 pp.
Ages 12-18
January 2018

Seventeen-year-olds Piper and Sloane are friends. On the surface, they are very similar, or at least make themselves appear similar in hair style and colour and clothing, and spend all their time together or they did until the No-Boyfriend Rule is broken.  But Piper and Sloane's friendship is one of contradictions: love and hate, appreciation and disrespect, and camaraderie and rivalry. With that kind of a basis for a friendship, what happens when one of the friends is gone?

Though Sloane Whittaker thinks of herself as common compared to the more exotic Piper Sullivan, Piper is actually more like the flirty alpha in their friendship. If she wants something, she goes after it and is oblivious to the nuances in their friendship that might indicate Sloane may think differently.  So when they attend an art show that includes the work of Soup Sanchez, a boy Sloane has liked since fourth grade, Piper teases her shamelessly until Sloane denies liking him. The next day Piper reveals she and Soup connected after the show and are now going out. Now Sloane must endure Piper's personal divulgences about their kisses and sex all while secretly yearning for the boy she has always liked and coincidentally seems to like her. But it's hard to say "No" to Piper. So when Piper decides that Sloane must experience sex, and she sets her up with a boy, James Robert Wilson, Sloane goes along. 

But trouble is brewing as Soup and Sloane are regularly thrown together and Piper, oblivious until one fateful night, continues to direct their lives and her story to her best advantage.  That all changes when Piper dies.

All That Was is told in the voices of Sloane and Soup in terms of "Before" and "Now" relative to Piper's death. Most of the story is the "Before" in which we learn about the basis for Sloane and Piper's friendship; their revealing discussions which are both friendly and hostile; Sloane's aspirations to be a documentary filmmaker; and Soup and Piper's relationship. The "Now" brings to light the police investigation and arrest of a murderer, the guilt Sloane and Soup harbour, and the necessity of perspective and forgiveness, even of oneself.

Although many would consider Piper and Sloane frenemies and their friendship essentially doomed, I think it goes far deeper than that. The two girls sincerely love one another as friends but there is an inherent meanness to their interactions.  Theirs is a dance of sarcasm and one-upmanship, trying to be individuals but scared to be separated.  It's a very real relationship though not one to which anyone would aspire. Although I like some aspects of Sloane, probably identifying her as the underdog of the two, neither Piper nor Sloane are very likable. Karen Rivers made them very real–I suspect most teens know a Piper and a Sloane at their high schools–and their connectedness authentic though strained. Whether there is a message here about forgiveness or getting past tragedy, I don't know.  I do know that Karen Rivers makes it clear that not all friendships are rainbows and unicorns, just as she did in her earlier book Finding Ruby Starling (2014).  Some relationships are darker and deeper like crows and tumultuous waters, but they still build our life experiences, good or bad. Sloane and Soup, and yes, even Piper, can take from this chapter and move forward. Sometimes it is what it is. And All That Was just was.

July 07, 2018

Sterling, Best Fork Dog Ever: Book launch (Salt Spring Island, BC)

Join author-illustrator

Aidan Cassie 

for the launch of her first picture book

Sterling, Best Fork Dog Ever

 Written and illustrated by Aidan Cassie
Farrar Straus Giroux
978-0-374-30614-4
40 pp.
Ages 3-6
July 2018 

on

Saturday, July 28, 2018

1-2 p.m.

at

Salt Spring Island Public Library
129 McPhillips Ave.
Salt Spring Island

There will be:
• an author reading
• a book giveaway
• crafts for children
• Sterling bookmarks and stickers
and
• cupcakes!

If you're fortunate enough to live in the vicinity of Salt Spring Island, 
do take in this book launch.  

Sterling, Best Fork Dog Ever
is a special picture book that is sure to be enjoyed by children, parents and teachers.

 

July 06, 2018

Meet Viola Desmond (Scholastic Canada Biography)

Written by Elizabeth MacLeod
Illustrated by Mike Deas
Scholastic Canada
978-1443163873
32 pp.
Ages 6-9
August 2018

The story of Viola Desmond is now part of the history books. You know that's got to be true when the Google Doodle for today, July 6, is honouring and celebrating her birth in 1914.  Many internet searches today will begin with a quick look at the ten panels that chronicle her life in that Doodle but young readers can learn about her life in greater depth in Meet Viola Desmond, one of the first in the new Scholastic Canada Biography series.

Though Elizabeth MacLeod touches on Viola Desmond's beginnings as part of a large family and the determination she had ("when Viola made up her mind to do something, she did it"; pg. 2), motivating her to open her own hair salon for black women who weren't allowed in those used by white women, developing her own hair creams and face powders, and starting a beauty school, the story centres around the injustice perpetrated against her as a black woman.
From Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod, illus. by Mike Deas
The story is sadly familiar. While travelling on business, Viola Desmond's car runs into mechanical problems and she is waylaid in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.  To bide the time, she goes to the movie theatre. But, unlike theatres in Halifax where black people could sit wherever they liked, this theatre gives Viola Desmond a ticket for the balcony. When Viola Desmond insists on sitting on the main floor, willing to pay the additional cost, the management calls the police who forcibly drag her out to jail. In court the next day, she is found guilty and fined, and though "No one said anything about the colour of Viola's skin...everyone knew that's what this case was really about." (pg. 19)
From Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod, illus. by Mike Deas
In the aftermath, Viola Desmond reconsidered her desire to just put the incident behind her, and with the support of many people, including the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, Viola Desmond went to court to fight for her rights.  But the judges refuse to hear her case, citing her delay in bringing it to court.  Still, this event advanced the cause for ensuring the rights for black persons and ultimately for justice for Viola Desmond.
From Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod, illus. by Mike Deas
Because here is so much more to this remarkable woman's story, Elizabeth MacLeod, a highly effective writer of non-fiction of history, goes on to elaborate on Viola Desmond's story beyond the unfairness of both court cases. We learn of her sister Wanda's efforts to bring attention to Viola's story through speaking engagements, of the province's apology to Viola and all black people in Nova Scotia about the unfair treatment they endured, of the pardon bestowed on Viola Desmond long after her death, and of the new ten-dollar bill that features her image.  Viola Desmond's story and her achievements in illuminating the injustices that black Canadians experienced is one for the history books and one relevant for teaching about social justice, empowerment, determination and so much more.

The story is told well but told better with Mike Deas's illustrations. The ink and watercolour artwork may give the impression of a comic book with characters speaking via speech bubbles, but there is nothing silly or simple about Mike Deas's art. The settings give the flavour of the 1940s and other times, and the people, from their clothing and hairstyles, shapes and colour, are realistic and varied. Illustrating Viola Desmond's story this way will draw readers in and hold their attention while telling an important story that shouldn't have happened in the first place but which hopefully helped promote justice for all.

July 05, 2018

Sterling, Best Fork Dog Ever

Written and illustrated by Aidan Cassie
Farrar Straus Giroux
978-0-374-30614-4
40 pp.
Ages 3-6
July 2018

If ever there was a picture book that promoted the idea that you can be anything you want to be but being yourself is probably best, it's Sterling, Best Fork Dog Ever

Sterling is a silver dachshund who lives in a box outside of the Butlery Cutlery Company which purports to be "Now Shipping to All the Best Homes." Home sounds like a nice promise to Sterling whose box was  "... like a house. But not much like a home. No home had wanted to keep Sterling, not for long." So Sterling slips into the factory and into a box of forks ready for shipping.
From Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aidan Cassie
Determined that "This time will be different, he thought. I'll be different", Sterling makes sure that he is the best fork he can be. He stays as straight and as quiet and as silver as the other forks so that he can stay with the Gilbert family who see that he is different but quiet, small and "the most adorable thing ever!" But when the young girl wants to take him for  a walk or get him to sleep on her bed, Sterling remains fork-like. Then, when he's worried the family might not need him to be a fork, he reinvents himself as a whisk, a rolling pin, and more. It's not until he realizes the little girl is unhappy, and he finally sees all her puppy posters on the wall, that Sterling recognizes that "she just wanted him to be himself."
From Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aidan Cassie
This picture book is darling! The angst of poor Sterling trying to be whatever is needed so that he could have a forever home is both heart-breaking and humourous.  He really thinks he can be a fork, a golf club and a paper towel holder. He's always been under the impression that being himself, a dog, just wasn't good enough. Shame on those who ever made him feel less for being himself.  And kudos to the little girl who saw him as "the huggable, snuggable, perfectly lovable dog" that he was.  To all the Sterlings and dogs and children and people who think they're not enough just being whom they are, you're wrong.  You are enough and you're perfect as you are.
From Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aidan Cassie
Aidan Cassie is a new name in the youngCanLit world for me. Though this is her first published picture book, she was trained as an illustrator and animator and has been creating stories for many years, including the hand-drawn short film Sitting Next to Bernie (which also has an adorable puppy). If Sterling, Best Fork Dog Ever is any indication of the storytelling and artwork that Aidan Cassie can conceive, then I anticipate much positivity and more teachable moments in her future books.

July 03, 2018

My Deal with the Universe

Written by Deborah Kerbel
Scholastic Canada
978-1-4431-5756-8
240 pp.
Ages 8-12
June 2018

The uplifting cover of My Deal with the Universe hides the anxieties with which twelve-year-old Daisy is overwhelmed but thankfully it does tip us off to a resolution that is lightness and sparkle.

School is ending for the year and, though Daisy enjoys days with her best friend Willow playing at their Junglecamp, scheduled days of activities, too soon Willow would be off to summer camp for seven weeks. Sadly, there are no other friends, as Daisy, often called "Weed" lives in a house overgrown with vines and a yard dense with vegetation–called the Jungle–which is a source of ridicule and even contempt by schoolmates and neighbours. Mr. and Mrs. Pitt, next door, are especially horrid, always filing complaints against Daisy's parents and spraying Daisy with water "accidentally." Though the Jungle may be a source of embarrassment, Daisy loves her home, especially the quiet and darkness that comes with vine-covered walls and windows.

But Daisy's greatest concern is for her twin, Jack, who'd been diagnosed with cancer just before they turned eight. At the time, she'd made a deal with the universe: her life for Jack's. Coincidentally, as Jack went through treatment and started getting better, Daisy stopped growing. Apparently her deal worked. But now her parents are taking Jack, who is in remission, for doctors' appointments and tests, and Daisy comes up with a new plan to save him.

Then the Pitts' great niece and nephew, Violet and Zack, come to stay and befriend Daisy and Jack. This new friendship could change everything but would it help or hurt?

As in her most recent middle-grade novel Feathered (Kids Can Press, 2016), Deborah Kerbel makes us realize that young people, when faced with difficulties, find the means to mitigate those concerns through action. They may do so by unconventional means but making deals with the universe is probably less offbeat for children and those who are desperate than some medical treatments purported to benefit those who are ill. It would seem that Daisy is far more normal than she suspects: she's embarrassed by her parents but loves them; she's angry when she feels ignored by her friend; she doesn't want her twin to die; and she wants to be liked. But Deborah Kerbel makes it clear that normal is different for everyone and it can change with circumstances and these are lessons that Daisy ultimately learns. But she learns more than that. Daisy also accepts that some answers to life's problems can be a lot closer than anticipated and even a child can help make things right.
And how sometimes life's not all that different from a crossword puzzle.  How there's usually a solution lurking behind the blank spaces. You just have to keep trying different things to find that one that fits. (pg. 231)

July 01, 2018

Upcoming releases for summer and fall of 2018

The late summer and fall of 2018 are going to be banner times of year for the publication of new youngCanLit.  There are over 200 books listed below (!!) and you know that I've probably missed a few dozen and will be amending this list for a few weeks as new titles are brought to my attention.  FYI: I'm happy to correct my omissions.

Some of the titles I'm most looking forward to reading include:
  • The Eleventh Hour by Jacques Goldstyn (Owlkids), a picture book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice
  • Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond (Kids Can Press)>>>from the art genius who brought us My Think-A-Ma-Jink and Oddrey
  • The Almost Epic Squad: Mucus Mayhem,  a new series from Kevin Sylvester (yeah!) 
  • Billy Stuart and the Zintrepids, the English translation of the wildly popular French graphic novels by Alain M. Bergeron and illustrated by Sampar (from Orca)
  • Birdman, a picture book by Troon Harrison and illustrated by François Thisdale, about abolitionist and ornithologist Alexander Milton Ross (Red Deer Press); and
  • North to Benjamin by Alan Cumyn, because it always seems to be too long between books.
I hope you find at least a few great books here to which you can look forward to reading this fall.

Fiction
Bone Beds of the Badlands by Shane Peacock (Nimbus)>>>Dylan Maples Mystery series re-release
Heartwood Hotel #4: Home Again by Kallie George, illus. by Stephanie Graegin (Disney Hyperion)
The Land of Yesterday by K. A. Reynolds (HarperCollins)
The Secret of the Silver Mines by Shane Peacock (Nimbus)>>>Dylan Maples Mystery series re-release

Non-Fiction
Meet Chris Hadfield by Elizabeth MacLeod, illus. by Mike Deas (Scholastic)
Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod, illus. by Mike Deas (Scholastic)




Picture Book and Board Books
At the Pond by Werner Zimmerman (North Winds Press) 
Brady Brady and the Great Rink by Mary Shaw, illus. by Chuck Temple (Scholastic Canada) 
Brady Brady and the Runaway Goalie by Mary Shaw, illus. by Chuck Temple (Scholastic Canada) 
Buddy and Earl Meet the Neighbors by Maureen Fergus, illus. by Carey Sookocheff (Groundwood)>>>newest story Buddy and Earl series
The Bunny Band by Bill Richardson, illus. by Roxanna Bikadoroff (Groundwood)
Counting in Mi'kmaw / Mawkiljemk Mi'kmawiktut by Loretta Gould (Nimbus)
Deep Underwater by Irene Luxbacher (Groundwood)
Diwali Lights by Rina Singh (Orca) 
Fox and Squirrel Help Out by Ruth Ohi (North Winds Press) >>> another wonderful Fox and Squirrel book
I'm Glad You're Happy by Nahid Kazemi (Groundwood)
Moving Day! by Robert Munsch, illus. by Michael Martchenko (Scholastic Canada)
Mustafa by Marie-Louise Gay (Groundwood)
Out of the Blue by Wallace Edwards (North Winds Press)
Pinny in Fall by Joanne Schwartx, illus. by Isabelle Malenfant (Groundwood)>>>follow up to Pinny in Summer
Poppy and Sam and the Leaf Thief by Cathon (Owlkids)  
Sloth at the Zoom by Helaine Becker, illus. by Orbia (Owlkids)  
Splish, Splash, Foxes Dash! by Geraldo Valerio (Owlkids)

Fiction
Almost Invisible by Maureen Garvie (Groundwood)
Called Up by Steven Sandor (Lorimer)>>>Lorimer Sports Stories
Elephant Secret by Eric Walters (Puffin Canada)
Empty Net by David Starr (Lorimer)>>>Lorimer Sports Stories 
Food Fight by Deborah Sherman (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)  
Inkling by Kenneth Oppel, illus. by Sydney Smith (HarperCollins)
In the Buff by Vicki Grant (Orca)>>>Orca Currents 
Lucky Break by Brooke Carter (Orca)>>>Orca Sports 
The Mask by Eric Howling (Orca)>>>Orca Sports
Megabat by Anna Humphrey, illus. by Kass Reich (Tundra)
Night of the Living Dolls by Joel A. Sutherland (Scholastic Canada)>>>newest horror in the Haunted series
Princess Pistachio Treasury by Marie-Louise Gay (Pajama Press)>>>collection of the three Princess Pistachio early readers
Offbeat by Megan Clendenan (Orca)>>>Orca Limelights
Raw Talent by Jocelyn Shipley (Orca)>>>Orca Limelights 
Running Behind by Sylvia Taekema (Orca)>>>Orca Currents
Tough Call by Kelsey Blair (Lorimer)>>>Lorimer Sports Stories  
Unity Club by Karen Spafford-Fitz (Orca)>>>Orca Currents 
Wildfire by Deb Loughead (Orca)>>>Orca Currents

Young Adult
Bonjour Girl by Isabelle Laflèche (Dundurn)
Charming by Mette Bach (Lorimer)>>>Lorimer Real Love
Cinders by Mette Bach (Lorimer)>>>Lorimer Real Love
Cold Grab by Steven Barwin (Lorimer)>>>Lorimer Sidestreets  
Hide and Shriek by Alison Hughes (Orca)>>>Orca Soundings 
Mayan Murder by Martha Brack Martin (Orca)>>>Orca Soundings 
Push Back by Karen Spafford-Fitz (Lorimer)>>>Lorimer Sidestreets
Stowaway by Pam Withers (Dundurn)
The Thing You're Good At by Lesley Choyce (Orca)>>>Orca Soundings 

Non-Fiction
Breaking Through: Heroes in Canadian Women's Sport by Sue Irwin (Lorimer)>>>Lorimer Recordbooks 
Hayler Wickenheiser by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, illus. by D.A. Bishop (Scholastic Canada) >>>Amazing Athletes collection
My River: Cleaning Up the LaHave River by Stella Bowles with Anne Laurel Carter (Lorimer)
Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey, illus. by Julie Sarda (Tundra)
A Whale's World by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read (Orca)




Picture Books and Board Books
Africville by Shauntay Grant, illus. by Eva Campbell (Groundwood)
Angus All Aglow by Heather Smith, illus. by Alice Carter (Orca)
The Animals of Chinese New Year by Jen Sookfong Lee, trans. by Kileasa Wong (Orca) 
Anna at the Museum by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert, illus. by Lil Crump (Annick) 
Brady Brady and the Great Exchange by Mary Shaw, illus. by Chuck Temple (Scholastic Canada) 
Brady Brady and the Puck on the Pond by Mary Shaw, illus. by Chuck Temple (Scholastic Canada) 
Classic Munsch ABC by Robert Munsch, illus. by Michael Martchenko (Annick)
The Cold Little Voice by Alison Hughes, illus. by Jan Dolby (Clockwise Pres)
Florence & Leon by Simon Boulerice, illus. by Delphie Côté-Lacroix (Orca)
A Good Day for Ducks by Jane Whittingham, illus. by Noel Tuazon (Pajama Press)
Goodnight, Anne by Kallie George, illus. by Genevieve Godbout (Tundra)>>>inspired by Anne of Green Gables
Grandmother's Visit by Betty Quan, illus. by Carmen Mok (Groundwood)
The Imperfect Garden by Melissa Assaly, illus. by April dela Noche Milne (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
Island in the Salish Sea by Sheryl McFarlane, illus. by Leslie Redhead (Orca) 
It's Time for Bed by Ceporah Mearns and Jeremy Debicki, illus. by Tim Mack (Inhabit Media)
Kiss by Kiss/ Ocêtôwina by Richard Van Camp, trans. by Mary Collins (Orca)>>> a counting book in Plains Cree and English 
The Log Driver's Waltz by Wade Hemsworth, illus. by Jennifer Phelan (Simon & Schuster)
Lucy Tries Hockey by Lisa Bowes, illus. by James Hearne (Orca)>>>part of Lucy Tries Sports series 
Mamaqtuq! by The Jerry Cans, illus. by Eric Kim (Inhabit Media)>>>based on a song by The Jerry Cans
One House by Sarah MacNeill (Orca)
On My Swim by Kari-Lynn Winters, illus. by Christina Leist (Tradewind)>>>newest title in series that includes On My Walk and On My Skis
The Reptile Club by Maureen Fergus, illus. by Elina Ellis (Kids Can Press)
Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond (Kids Can Press)
Santa Never Brings Me a Banjo by David Myles, illus. by Murray Bain (Nimbus) 
Sir Simon: Super Scarer by Cale Atkinson (Tundra)
Team Steve by Kelly Collier (Kids Can Press)>>>A Horse Named Steve is back
Threads by Torill Kove (Firefly)>>>based on the NFB short
A West Coast Summer by Caroline Woodward, illus. by Carol Evans (Harbour Publishing)
Whose Bum? by Chris Tougas (Orca)
The Wild Beast by Eric Walters, illus. by Sue Todd (Orca)>>>African creation story of the wildebeest
The Zombie Prince by Matt Beam, illus. by Luc Melanson (Groundwood)

Fiction
The Almost Epic Squad: Mucus Mayhem by Kevin Sylvester, illus. by Britt Wilson (Scholastic Canada) >>>new series!!!
Anne Arrives by Kallie George, illus. by Abigail Halpin (Tundra)
Anyone's Game by Sylv Chiang (Annick)>>>Cross Ups, Book 2
Billy Stuart and the Zintrepids by Alain M. Bergeron, illus. by Sampar (Orca)>>>first of the English language translations of the award-winning French graphic novels
Blackwells and the Briny Deep by Philippa Dowding (Dundurn)>>> newest book in Weird Stories Gone Wrong series
Bright Shining Moment by Deb Loughead (Second Story Press)
Bus to the Badlands by Margriet Ruurs, illus. by Claudia Davila (Orca)>>>Orca Echoes
A Cage Without Bars by Anne Dublin (Second Story Press)
Call of the Wraith by Kevin Sands (Aladdin)>>> fourth book in the Blackthorn Key series
Clara Humble and the Kitten Caboodle by Anna Humphrey, illus. by Lisa Cinar (Owlkids) >>>sequel to Clara Humble and the Not-So-Super Powers and Clara Humble Quiz Whiz
The Divided Earth by Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)>>>conclusion to The Nameless City graphic novel trilogy
Dodger Boy by Sarah Ellis (Groundwood)
A Grain of Rice by Nhung Tran-Davies (Tradewind)
The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter (Tundra)
Ice Chips and the Haunted Hurricane by Roy MacGregor and Kerry MacGregor (HarperCollins)>>>Book 2
The Lotterys More or Less by Emma Donoghue (HarperCollins)
Miles to Go by Beryl Young (Heritage House)
The Missing Donut by Judith Henderson, illus. by T.L. McBeth (Kids Can Press)>>> new series Big Words Small Stories
My Life as a Diamond by Jenny Manzer (Orca) 
The Mystery of Croaker's Island by Linda DeMeulemeester (Heritage House)
No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen (Tundra)
Planet Grief by Monique Polak (Orca)
Red River Resistance by Katherena Vermette, illus. by Scott Henderson (HighWater Press)>>>A Girl Called Echo Vol. 2, sequel to Pemmican Wars
Sabotage Stage Left by Casey Lyall (Sterling Children's Books)>>>Book 3 in Howard Wallace P.I. series 
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (Puffin Canada)
Tree Musketeers by Norma Charles (Ronsdale)
TV Six by Jeff Zentner (Tundra)
Very Rich by Polly Horvath (Puffin Canada) 
Weather or Not by Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle (Scholastic)>>>Upside Down Magic #5

Young Adult
The Band of Merry Kids by David Skuy (DCB) 
Body Swap by Sylvia McNicoll (Dundurn)
Children of the Bloodlands by S. M. Beiko (ECW Press)>>>Book 2 in The Realms of Ancient series, sequel to Scion of the Fox
Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashley Little (Penguin Teen Canada)
Deep Girls by Lori Weber (DCB)
Finding Grace by Daphne Greer (Nimbus)
The Garden by Meghan Ferrari (Red Deer Press)
The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker (Annick)
How Far We Go and How Fast by Nora Decter (Orca)
Infinite Blue by Darren Groth and Simon Groth (Orca)
Kate's Ring by Donna Grassby (Red Deer Press)
Kens by Raziel Reid (Penguin Teen Canada)
Sadie by Courtney Summers (Wednesday Books)
The Story of My Face by Leanne Baugh (Second Story Press)
Strangers by Meaghan McIsaac (Andersen Press) >>>follow up to Movers
The Third Act by John Wilson (Orca)

Non-Fiction
50 Things to See with a Telescope by John A. Read (Lorimer)
Africville: An African Nova Scotian community is demolished — and fights back by Gloria Ann Wesley (Lorimer)>>>Righting Canada's Wrongs series
After Life: Ways We Think About Death by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox (Orca) 
All About Anne Created by Anne Frank House, illus. by Huck Scarry (Second Story Press)
Black Women Who Dared by Naomi M. Moyer (Second Story Press)
Can Your Conversations Change the World? by Erinne Paisley (Orca) 
City Bugs by Antonia Banyard (Annick)>>>board book in new series Critters 
City Critters by Antonia Banyard (Annick)>>> Book 2 in new board book series Critters
Do Frogs Drink Hot Chocolate?: How Animals Keep Warm by Etta Kaner, illus. by John Martz (Owlkids) 
Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes by Wab Knew, illus. by Joe Morse (Tundra)
Hungry for Science: Poems to Crunch On by Kari-Lynn Winters and Lori Sherritt-Fleming, illus. by Peggy Collins (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) >>> from same collaborators who brought us Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On
My First Book of Canadian Birds by Andrea Miller, illus. by Angela Doak (Nimbus)
On the News: Our First Talk about Tragedy by Dr. Jillian Roberts, illus. by Jane Heinrichs (Orca)>>>part of The World Around Us series
Out of the Ice: How Climatic Change is Revealing the Past by Claire Eamer, illus. by Drew Shannon (Kids Can Press)
That's Not Hockey! by Andrée Poulin, illus. by Félix Girard (Annick)>>>picture book about legendary goalie Jacques Plante
The True Tale of a Giantess: The Story of Anna Swan by Anne Renaud, illus. by Marie Lafrance (Kids Can Press) 



Picture Books and Board Books
Ara the Star Engineer by Komal Singh, illus. by Ipek Konak (Page Two) 
Auntie Luce's Talking Painting by Francie Latour, illus. by Ken Daley (Groundwood) 
Birdman by Troon Harrison, illus. by François Thisdale (Red Deer Press) 
Bitter and Sweet by Sandra V. Feder, illus. by Kyrsten Brooker (Groundwood) 
The Eleventh Hour by Jacques Goldstyn (Owlkids) 
The Gathering by Theresa Meuse, illus. by Arthur Stevens (Nimbus) 
A Giant Man from a Tiny Town: A Story of Angus MacAskill by Tom Ryan, illus. by Christopher Hoyt (Nimbus) 
Giraffe and Bird Together Again by Rebecca Bender (Pajama Press)>>>yeah! another Giraffe and Bird book 
Hotel Fantastic by Thomas Gibault (Kids Can Press) 
I am Small by Qin Leng (Kids Can Press) 
Ira Crumb Feels the Feelings by Naseem Hrab, illus. by Josh Holinaty (Owlkids) 
The Moon Watched It All by Shelley Leedahl, illus. by Aino Anto (Red Deer Press) 
The Night the Forest Came to Town illus. by Annie Wilkinson (Orca) 
The Sinking of Captain Otter by Troy Wilson, illus. by Maira Chiodi (Owlkids) 
Sleep, Sheep! by Kerry Sparrow, illus. by Guillaume Perreault (Kids Can Press) 
Small Things Make Me Happy by Doretta Groenendyk (Acorn Press) 
Una Huna: What is This? by Susan Aglukark, illus. by Danny Christopher and Amanda Sandland (Inhabit Media) 
Will Ladybug Hug? by Hilary Leung (Cartwheel Books) 
A World of Kindness from the Editors and Illustrators of Pajama Press (Pajama Press)>>> art from Rebecca Bender, Suzanne Del Rizzo, Brian Deines, Wallace Edwards Kin La Fave, Dean Griffiths, Manon Gauthier, François Thisdale and Tara Anderson

Fiction
The Case of the Berry Burglars by Liam O'Donnell, illus. byAurelie Grant (Owlkids)>>>West End Detectives Book 3 
Connect the Scott by Evan Munday (ECW Press)>>>fourth book in The Dead Kid Detective Agency series
Follow the Goose Butt to Nova Scotia by Odette Barr, Colleen Landry and Beth Weatherbee, illus. by Odette Barr (Nimbus) >>> sequel to Follow the Goose Butt
The Fox Wife by Beatrice Deer, illus. by DJ Herron (Inhabit Media)>>>graphic novel based on author's song Fox
The Great Googlini by Sara Cassidy, illus. by Charlene Chua (Orca)>>>Orca Echoes 
Isobel's Stanley Cup by Kristin Butcher (Crwth Press)  
Lark Takes a Bow by Natasha Deen, illus. by Marcus Cutler (Orca)>>>Orca Echoes  
Rescue in the Rockies by Rita Feutl (Coteau) 
The Ruined City: The Golden Mask by John Wilson (Orca)   
Seeing Red by Sarah Mlynowski (Scholastic)>>>Whatever After series, Book 12 
Swallow's Dance by Wendy Orr (Pajama Press) 
Wicked Nix by Lena Coakley  (HarperCollins)

Young Adult
Lost Boy by Shelley Hrdlitschka (Orca)>>>companion book to Sister Wife
Monsters by David A. Robertson (HighWater Press)>>>second book in The Reckoner series that began with Strangers
Murder at the St. Alice by Becky Citra (Coteau)
Rank 6: Firestorm by Barry McDivitt (Thistledown)
Under the Floorboard by Wendy Ranby (Nimbus)  
Worthy of Love by Andre Fenton (Lorimer)
You Are the Every Thing by Karen Rivers (Algonquin)


Non-Fiction
Animals Illustrated: Arctic Fox by William Flaherty, illus. by Sean Bigham (Inhabit Media)
The Birdman: A Journey with the Underground Railroad's Most Daring Abolitionist by Troon Harrison (Red Deer Press)
Birds from Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick, illus. by Kwanchai Mariya (Kids Can Press)
Christmas: From Solstice to Santa by Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton (Orca>>>Orca Origins
Destination: Space by Dave Williams (Annick)>>>Dr. Dave - Astronaut series
Dive In!: Exploring Our Connection with The Ocean by Ann Eriksson (Orca)>>>Orca Footprints 
Do You Know Owls? by Alain M. Bergeron, Michel Quintin and Sampar, illus. by Sampar (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)>>>newest titles in Do You Know...? graphic non-fiction series
Do You Know Piranhas? by Alain M. Bergeron, Michel Quintin and Sampar, illus. by Sampar (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)>>>newest titles in Do You Know...? graphic non-fiction series
Dr. Jo: How Sarah Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America's Children by Monica Kulling, illus. by Julianna Swaney (Tundra)
Earthrise: Apollo 8 and the Photo That Changed the World by James Gladstone, illus. by Christy Lundy (Owlkids)
Flow, Spin, Grow: Looking for Patterns in Nature by Patchen Barss, illus. by Todd Stewart (Owlkids)
Growing Up in Wild Horse Canyon by Karen Autio, illus. by Loraine Kemp (Crwth Press)
Hubots: Real-World Robots Inspired by Humans by Helaine Becker, illus. by Alex Ries (Kids Can Press)
Too Young to Escape by Van Ho and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Pajama Press)
Wild Buildings and Bridges: Architecture Inspired by Nature by Etta Kaner, illus. by Carl Wiens (Kids Can Press) 




Picture Books and Board Books
Kiviuq and the Bee Woman by Noel McDermott, illus. by Toma Feizo Gas (Inhabit Media)
Our New Kittens by Theo Heras, illus. by Alice Carter (Pajama Press)
Owls are Good at Keeping Secrets by Sara O'Leary, illus. by Jacob Grant (Tundra)
Simonie and the Dance Contest by Gail Matthews, illus. by Ali Hinch (Inhabit Media)

Fiction
Flooded Earth by Mardi McConnochie (Pajama Press)
North to Benjamin by Alan Cumyn (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)
Penguin Days by Sara Leach, illus. by Rebecca Bender (Pajama Press)>>>sequel to Slug Days
Putuguq and Kublu and the Qalupalik by Roselynn Akulukjuk and Danny Christopher, illus. by Astrid Arijanto (Inhabit Media)>>> sequel to easy graphic novel Putuguq and Kublu

Young Adult
Going Viral by Amy Alward (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)>>>final book in the Potion Diaries series
Legacy of Light by Sarah Raughley (Simon Pulse)>>>final book in the Effigies trilogy











Of course there will be hundreds more books coming out in 2019 but here's a handful to start anticipating:

The Afterward by E. K. Johnston (Dutton Books for Young Readers)

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena (Penguin Random House Canada)

A Box of Bones by Marina Cohen (Roaring Brook Press)

Moon Wishes by Patricia Storms and Guy Storms, illus. by Milan Pavlovic (Groundwood)

Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray by Jess Keating (Scholastic)>>>first book in a new middle-grade series called Genius Academy

Princess Puffybottom ... and Darryl by Susin Nielsen, illus. by Olivia Chin Mueller (Tundra)

What are You Doing, Benny? by Cary Fagan, illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton (Tundra)

Who is Tanksy? by Bev Katz (Orca)