July 10, 2024

See You Later, Alligator!

Written by Lana Button
Illustrated by Noémie Gionet Landry
Scholastic Canada
32 pp.
Ages 3-8
July 2024
A lot of kids have anxiety about school. It's being away from home, it's being without the comfort of family, it's a day of unknowns, and it's a day of other's expectations that need to be met. Flora is not necessarily fearful of school but it sure is nice to be with her family and dog, and leaving that to enter a school of strangers isn't very easy.
From See You Later, Alligator!, written by Lana Button, illustrated by Noémie Gionet Landry      
When Flora's moms drop her off at school, getting Flora to get past the gate and into the school yard becomes a monumental feat. It would seem that, though Flora thinks going to school is easy-peasy, she continues to be drawn back to them and her dog for one last hug, or one more kiss, or another goodbye wave. With each rhyming phrase for goodbye–who knew there were so many?–Flora continues to be distracted from joining her classmates in the school yard.
From See You Later, Alligator!, written by Lana Button, illustrated by Noémie Gionet Landry
Some may think that Flora is anxious about school but I suspect it has more to do with wanting to be close to her family than not being at school. She's not crying or complaining about an upset stomach or misbehaving; she just obviously loves her family. It may be a "See you later, Alligator!" and a "Take care, Polar Bear!" and even a "See you soon, Raccoon!" plus extra hugs and kisses and elbow bumps and more before she enters the school, but she does, and is happy to be among her classmates.
If you have a little one starting school for the first time, or a young child returning to school after summer holidays, there may be some hesitancy but a reading of Lana Button's See You Later, Alligator! will reassure them that many children feel some unease at leaving the comfort of home for the classroom. In addition to writing a wonderful collection of picture books (e.g., What If Bunny's Not a Bully?, My Teacher's Not Here! and Raj's Rule (For the Bathroom at School)), Lana Button is an early child educator and knows young children and their fears, worries, expectations, and more. As such, she has always aimed her books for their needs, and See You Later, Alligator! is just another stellar example of understanding and addressing how children perceive and react with regards to school and how to best address their needs.
From See You Later, Alligator!, written by Lana Button, illustrated by Noémie Gionet Landry
Noémie Gionet Landry, an illustrator (and doctor!) from New Brunswick, is a new name for me but she is no newcomer to children's book illustration. Her digital artwork has an ease and brightness to it, seeing young children with their animal backpacks, colourful clothing, and diversity in everything about them. Noémie Gionet Landry makes sure that every child will recognize themselves somewhere in See You Later, Alligator! and will find the familiar in its setting and story. She brings the visual to Lana Button's story, ensuring children will appreciate it at a personal level.

Summer vacations may have just started for many children but September (or August or whenever) is around the corner and See You later, Alligator! will be just as important as pencil crayons and a new backpack to starting the year off right. Help your young children see that going to school can be easy-peasy once they get in the door.

July 08, 2024

Jacinta's Orderly World

Written by Margaret Sullivan
Illustrated by Scot Ritchie 
Plumleaf Press
32 pp.
Ages 3-7
May 2024
We  all like to have our things where can find them. For some, like Jacinta, having routines and things in order makes all the difference to having her day so smoothly. But then she meets someone who does things a little differently and still makes it work for them.
From Jacinta's Orderly World, written by Margaret Sullivan, illus. by Scot Ritchie
Jacinta likes order in her life, whether it's how her socks are organized in a drawer or using an egg carton to house her 12 most special rocks. (She's also very good at repurposing objects.) That control over what she does and how she does it brings her contentment. But outside of her control, things are always different and sometimes difficult.
From Jacinta's Orderly World, written by Margaret Sullivan, illus. by Scot Ritchie
Jacinta finds it stressful when her grandmother comes over to babysit and throws off Jacinta's order. Doesn't Grandma Nancy know that the cereal and cookie boxes are organized according to the colour spectrum ROY G BIV? And what is she supposed to do with the new stuff Grandma Nancy brings that don't fit in to her organization scheme?
From Jacinta's Orderly World, written by Margaret Sullivan, illus. by Scot Ritchie
But a trip to Kenny's garage to pick up their car gives Jacinta a new perspective. Without knowing it, she finds the beauty of her order in the chaos outside of her home. Whether it's the rainbow she discovers in spilled oil or a tiny mouse that resides in Kenny's garage, Jacinta finds that she can appreciate that which initially seems disorganized.
Margaret Sullivan, a poet and writer from Salt Spring Island, shares her experiences of seeking comfort in organizing her room via Jacinta whose own quest for order gives her satisfaction. Growing up in a military family who often moved locations, Margaret Sullivan found stability in the organization of her own space. Most young children feel a lack of control in their lives, having their activities from eating to sleeping, learning and play dictated by the adults in their lives so for Jacinta to be able to exercise some level of authority over her surroundings is important.  But, while Margaret Sullivan could have made Jacinta an anxious child, she made her one who appreciates order but could see beyond that which appears disorganized. She gives us a character that is multi-dimensional, who knows what she likes and how to get it but is open to others who may want something different.
From Jacinta's Orderly World, written by Margaret Sullivan, illus. by Scot Ritchie
Scot Ritchie's illustrations depict both the order and the chaos effectively and with kindness. His art shows the complexity of colour in our lives but also that it's up to us how we live with all that colour. He makes sure we don't see Jacinta's life as anything less than full. She doesn't live in a world of black and white, or even grays. Her life has everything she needs and likes and she still is able to look beyond herself. Her openness to new experiences and to the needs of others demonstrates that the richness of her life reaches beyond herself.

I like Jacinta. She's a cool kid. I like how she organizes and repurposes objects and how she opens her heart. She could have closed herself off to protect herself from that which might disturb her but, from her grandmother and mishaps and meeting Kenny, Jacinta takes it all in stride to find a way to cope. In fact, she does better than cope. She finds a way to appreciate them all. Life can be jumbled but Jacinta shows us that there is a way to see within and beyond and give it an order that works for us.

July 05, 2024

The Museum of Very Bad Smells: A Dare to Scratch 'n' Sniff Mystery

Written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo
Katherine Tegen Books
32 pp.
Ages 4-8
July, 2024
Though we might all pooh-pooh a museum of very bad smells, I'll bet the premise will delight young readers who enjoy a frisson of irreverence in their stories. And if irreverence comes in the form of farts and toilet humour, all the better.
From The Museum of Very Bad Smells, written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo
Yes, there is a Museum of Very Bad Smells, and it has suffered a great loss: the World Famous Rotten Egg has been stolen! The hamster gallery attendant or perhaps docent, has a mystery to solve and readers are invited to help. Throughout the book, there are spots where readers are invited to scratch and sniff. But what will the clues tell us? And who are the suspects?
From The Museum of Very Bad Smells, written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo
The possible suspects include a busy dung beetle curator named Beetle; TJ, a mouse who works in the gift shop; Pickles, the wet dog; and Herman, a hermit crab and the docent's boss. Using his very fine nose for smells, the kepi-wearing hamster begins to follow the clues, and they are some very stinky ones, according to his telling comments. (I'm reviewing this book from an epub so cannot attest to the malodorous whiff that might arise from scratching the spot clues.) And though the hamster detective initially eliminates all the suspects, his sense of scents leads him to each of his museum colleagues. 
From The Museum of Very Bad Smells, written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo
But in a Museum of Very Bad Smells there is a plethora of stinky exhibits, from onions and Pickles the farting dog, to dirty socks and wet sneakers, and loads to throw our intrepid detective and his assistants, the readers, off the scent. (Or is it onto the scent?) Fortunately, his very capable sniffer finds the culprit and a new exhibit for the Museum.
From The Museum of Very Bad Smells, written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo
I recently lauded Monica Arnaldo for her picture book Mr. S, a perfect first-day-of-school book. Just as she got into the heads of very young children heading to school for the first time and not knowing what to expect, including the possibility that a sandwich might be their teacher, Monica Arnaldo knows that kids will love, love, love The Museum of Very Bad Smells and laugh, laugh, laugh as they scratch and sniff and solve the mystery of the missing rotten egg. Her story is hysterical and, while I'm thankful I didn't need to scratch and smell anything, I know children will find it a hoot to do just that. (Be prepared: there's no lavender or bubble gum smells here.) 
From The Museum of Very Bad Smells, written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo
Her art is as playful as the text. This museum is a blend of bold and busy, colour and shape. Monica Arnaldo makes us look at and into each exhibit, follow the detective's progress, and sniff for clues, always helping readers find those sniffing spots with a tiny pointing hand. And her characters have so much individuality. From the sullen hermit crab carrying his herring tin around–for mystery lovers, you'll notice it's a red herring tin–and the defensive TJ and guilty-looking Pickles, so big and so loved and so much a dog, Monica Arnaldo makes us see a motley group of potential suspects and become part of her story of mystery.
The Museum of Very Bad Smells has everything a kid would want in a picture book: laughs, stinks, animals, illustrations with lots of details, colour, and a puzzle to solve. They might not be able to find the missing rotten egg on their own, but they'll be pleased to be part of the investigation. It might even encourage them to visit a real museum, though I think they'll be hard-pressed to locate one dedicated to offensive odours.

July 03, 2024

Plague Thieves

Written by Caroline Fernandez
DCB Young Readers
208 pp.
Ages 9-12
May 2024
It's 1665 and twelve-year-old Rose lives with her parents and sixteen-year-old brother Lem above their spice shop in London, England. Though Lem hates working in the shop, instead sneaking off to join his delinquent friends, Rose loves helping her father out, learning about spices for cooking, medicines, and cleaning. And then "the sickness crept into London." (pg. 5) When Mother comes back from the market with flea bites and takes to her bed, Father closes the shop and sends the children to stay there. Via notes, he instructs Rose to collect ingredients for him so that he might create a medicinal oil to heal Mother. But his efforts are to no avail and Mother dies. Before Father also succumbs to the illness they should not name aloud, he gives Rose the recipe for an oil he believes will protect them. He tells them all the ingredients but one, though Rose knows what it is. They are instructed to place the oil on a handkerchief and set it over their noses and mouths as a mask. His last warning is to not to tell anyone about the oil and to do whatever they must to survive.
 Steal. Trade. Survive. (pg. 18)
When they have left, Father burns the shop, and the two young people are truly homeless. With but a few coins and some silver spoons to trade, Rose and Lem each take one of the three bottles of oil she has made from Father's recipe and bury the third beneath a bridge where they also find shelter for themselves. And so begins their lives on the streets of London, finding any means to survive, including becoming thieves. That is, until Lem does not return one night. Now Rose is alone, evading anyone who recognizes her as the daughter of the spice merchant who was rumoured to know the cure for the Great Plague.

Rose builds a new life on the street with others who have lost jobs or homes because of the plague and are now struggling as she is to survive. Among these displaced persons are Elizabeth and her five-year-old daughter Clove; Amon, the son of a trader from Shanty Town; and two former farmhands Cinn and Cal. Rose doesn't know whom she can trust but she does know to avoid the black-clad man with the strange bird mask whom she calls the beast and who always seems to be around plague houses. 

From the mundane life of household chores, working with her father, and the drudgery of life in 1665 London, Rose's life becomes one of a dubious nature, never knowing whether there will be food, whether there will be shelter, who might be dangerous, and, worse of all, if they will be able to evade the plague itself. Accompanying Rose as she navigates arduous roads of grief and fear and desperation, young readers will get a very good idea about the historic hardships of an epidemic of which little was known, during which all actions were driven by fear. Caroline Fernandez tells Rose's story as an edge-of-your-seat read, keeping us wondering the whole time. We know there won't be a happy ending–it is the time of the Great Plague of London after all–but Caroline Fernandez invests us in Rose and other characters, most notably Amon, hopeful that they will survive and find some light out of the darkness. She definitely gives the atmosphere of anxiety and even despair, but she doesn't overdo it, never frightening the reader with the circumstances but instead helps us understand what life would have been like in 1665 London both before and during the Great Plague. With Plague Thieves, Caroline Fernandez has given us a spell-binding read that captivates but also enlightens about a time in which bleakness was almost inescapable.

July 01, 2024

Upcoming Releases for Summer and Fall 2024

Our first seasons of 2024 books have come and gone and have led the way to a summer and fall of new titles being released. There's so much hope for authors and illustrators and their publishers with new releases, dreaming that young readers will take note of their books, wishing for award nominations, and anticipating great reviews. As a reviewer, I see a lot of promise in the titles coming out, whether because they're written by favourite authors, illustrated by fabulous artists, continuing a series of which I'm already a fan, or because of some other reason entirely. I can't possibly tell you all the books that are crying out to be reviewed, but here are a few that I will be looking for on my TBR list:

• ABCs for a Peaceful Me by Shelly Becker for the valuable self-help for all readers;

• I Want to Read ALL the Books by Debbie Ridpath Ohi;

• the touching picture book The Rock and the Butterfly from Kathy Stinson and Brooke Kerrigan;

new Gordon Korman titled Faker;

• Mystery at the Bilmore by Colleen Nelson, illus. by Peggy Collins

• a long-awaited middle-grade book from Deborah Ellis, The Outsmarters;

• more Nutty Adventures of Scaredy Squirrel from Melanie Watt, Scaredy Squirrel Scared Silly;

• and titles that promise a little something different like

  • It's Not Me, It's You by Alex Light;
  • The Last Hope School for Magical Delinquents by Nicki Pau Preto;
  • Zombie Apocalypse Running Club by Carrie Mac; and
  • Taxi Ghost by Sophie Escabasse.
As you enjoy your Canada Day, start preparing your list of new books to read. There's loads of great books from which to choose.


Picture Books 
How to Eat a Mango by Paola Santos, illus. by Juliana Perdomo (Holiday House)
Into the Goblin Market by Vikki VanSickle, illus. by Jensine Eckwall (Tundra) 
Lobster's Vacation by Michelle Robinson, illus. by Paul G. Hammond (Nimbus)
Mooncakes Mean Family by Benson Shum (Penguin Workshop)
The Museum of Very Bad Smells: A Dare to Scratch "n' Sniff Mystery by Monica Arnaldo (HarperCollins)
Sea Snooze by Sarabeth Holden, illus. by Emma Pedersen (Inhabit Media)
See You Later, Alligator! by Lana Button, illus. by Noémie Gionet Landry (Scholastic)
Somewhere In Between by Laan Cham (Random House Books for Young Readers)
Stars in My Crown by Antonio Michael Downing, illus. by Richy Sánchez Ayala (Tundra) 
The Walking School Bus by Aaron Friedland and Ndileka Mandela, illus. by Andrew Jackson Obol (Greystone)

Early Books and Middle Grade
Atlantis Complete Collection by Kate O-Hearn (Aladdin) >>> boxed set of Escape from Atlantis, Return to Atlantis, and Secrets of Atlantis
Dot the Ladybug: The Missing Dot by Kallie George, illus. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman (HarperCollins)
Faker by Gordon Korman (Scholastic)
Gamerville by Johnnie Christmas (HarperAlley) >>> graphic novel 
Liar, Liar by Sarah Mlynowski (Scholastic) >>> Whatever After #16
Wings to Soar by Tina Athaide (Charlesbridge)

Young Adult
Sparks: Portals by Revel Guts (Dark Horse Books) >>> graphic novel, Book 1 in new series

Making Rope Out of Bearded Sealskin by Susan Avingaq and Elisapee Avingaq, illus. by Lenny Lishchenko (Arvaaq Press)
There Are No Ants in This Book by Rosemary Mosco, illus. by Anna Pirolli (Tundra) 


Picture Books
ABC'S for a Peaceful Me: A Mindfulness Seek-and-Find Book by Shelly Becker, illus. by Dan Yaccarino (Abrams Kids) 
Adela's Mariachi Band by Denise Vega, illus. by Erika Medina (Charlesbridge)
Agnes's Garden by Lori Doody (Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides) 
Anne of the Library-on-the-Hill by Catherine Little, illus. by Sae Kimura (Plumleaf Press)
Bea's Paper Imaginarium by Rachael Speirs (Plumleaf Press)
Birds On the Brain by Uma Krishnaswami, illus. by Julianna Swaney (Groundwood) >>> sequel to Book Uncle and Me
Broom for Two by Jennifer Maruno, illus. by Scot Ritchie (Pajama Press)
The Comfort Tree by Holly Carr (Plumleaf Press)
Dad, I Miss You: A Residential School Story by Nadia Sammurtok, illus. by Simji Park (Inhabit Media)
Divya Far from Home by Sita Jit, illus. by Abhilasha Khatri (Capstone) 
Farm Crimes! The MOO-sterious Disappearance of Cow by Sandra Dumais (Owlkids)
The Good Game by Arihhonni David (Holiday House)
Honk Honk, Beep Beep, Putter Putt! by Rukhsana Khan, illus. by Chaaya Prabhat (Tundra)
I Am Cherished by Onome Ako, illus. by Ken Daley (North Winds Press)
It Bears Repeating by Tanya Tagaq, illus. by Coo Pootoogook (Tundra)
Momma's Going to March by Jennifer Maruno, illus. by Vivian Rosas (Groundwood) 
Mummy & Me: A Monster’s Tale by Danesh Mohiuddin (Owlkids)
Noodles on a Bicycle by Kyo Maclear, illus. by Gracey Zhang (Random House Studio)
The Pup by Lori Doody (Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides)
The Runaway by Nancy Vo (Groundwood)
Sarah Ponakey, Storycatcher and Âhâsiw's Forest Powwow by Sita MacMillan, illus. by Azby Whitecalf (Annick)
Sprout, Seed, Sprout! by Annika Dunklee, illus. by Carey Sookocheff (Owlkids)
The Weedflower by Elizabeth Davaze, illus. by Marianne Ferrer (Owlkids)
What's in Alanna's Secret Sauce? by Sarah Jane Conklin, illus. by Venus Angelica (Monster House Publishing)

Early Books and Middle Grade
Anne Dreams by Kallie George, illus. by Abigail Halpin (Tundra) >>> An Anne Chapter Book 6
Buffalo Dreamer by Violet Duncan (Nancy Paulsen Books)
Crystal Cave by Nancy Deas, illus. by Mike Deas (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Sueño Bay Adventures 5
Flow by Dana Goldstein (Young Dragons) >>> sequel to Shift 
The Genius Hour Project by Leanne Shirtliffe (Thistledown Press)
Misadventures in Ghost Hunting by Melissa Yue (HarperCollins) 
Otto Normal's Monsterton: The Disappearance of White Pine Beach by Danielle McKechnie, illus. by Simón Estrada (Andrews McMeel Publishing) >>> Monsterton 1
The Outsmarters by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood) 
Scaredy Squirrel Scared Silly by Mélanie Watt (Tundra) >>> Scaredy's Nutty Adventures 4
The Sleeping Giant by David A. Robertson (Tundra) >>> The Misewa Saga Book 5
Today I Am, ed. by Jael Richardson, written by Marty Chan, Rosena Fung, Michael Hutchinson, Chad Lucas, Angela Misri, Jael Richardson, Liselle Sambury, and Brandon Wint, illus. by Rosena Fung (Scholastic Canada) >>> short stories
Wish Maker by Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike, illus. by Henry Ezeokeke (Nwata) 

Young Adult
Dreams Come to Life  by Adrienne Kress, adapted by Christopher Hastings, illus. by Alex Arizmendi (AFK / Scholastic) >>> Bendy Graphic Novel 1
Ghostsmith by Nicki Pau Preto (Margaret K. McElderry) >>> House of the Dead Duology, Book 2
Visions by Cheryl Rainfield >>> A Kate Robbins Teen Psychic Suspense
We Are the Medicine by Tasha Spillett, illus. by Natasha Donovan (HighWater Press) >>Surviving the City 3
Zombie Apocalypse Running Club by Carrie Mac (Crown Books for Young Readers)

Do Fire Ants Fight Fires?: How Animals Work in the Wild by Etta Kaner, illus. by Jenna Piechota (Owlkids)
Do NOT Eat Like a Tiger Shark!: Wacky Ways Animals Slurp, Chomp and Gulp by Etta Kaner, illus. by Heather Wilson (Orca Book Publishers)
Extraordinary Eyeglasses: The Amazing Invention That Helps Us See by Caroline Stevan illus. by Francois Vigneault, trans. by Jeffrey K. Butt (Helvetiq) 
Little By Little: You Can Change the World by Sonya Ballantyne, illus. by Rhael McGregor (HighWater Press) >>> graphic novel 
What About an Octopus?: A fact-filled underwater adventure by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Dawn Lo (Owlkids)


Picture Books 
Adventures in Desolation Sound by Grant Lawrence, illus. by Ginger Ngo (Harbour Publishing)
The Alphabet of Unloved Beasts by Kelly Ward-Wills, illus. by Jazmine Gubbe (Eye of Newt Books)
Animals at Play in Mi'kma'ki by Mel Beaulieu (Formac)
Bannock in a Hammock by Masiana Kelly, illus. by Amiel Sandland (Inhabit Media)
Barefoot Skateboarders by Rina Singh, illus. by Sophie Casson (Orca Book Publishers)
Barnaby Unboxed! by The Fan Brothers (Tundra)
Beautiful Junk by Melissa Assaly, illus. by Samantha Lucy Haslam (Red Deer Press)
The Boldest White: A Story of Hijab and Community by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S. K. Ali, illus. by Hatem Aly (Little, Brown Books for Young People)
The Book Witch, the Wee White Dog, and the Little Free Library by Lana Shupe, illus. by Tegan Thomas (Nimbus)
Boozhoo! /Hello! by Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, trans. by Mary Ann Corbiere (Groundwood) >>> in English and Anishinaabemowin
Bounce! by Robert Munsch, illus. by Michael Martchenko (Scholastic Canada) 
The Case of the Disappearing Castle by Eric Hogan and Tara Hungerford (Firefly Books) >>> A Gumboot Kids Nature Mystery
The Case of the Noisy Neighbor by Eric Hogan and Tara Hungerford (Firefly Books) >>> A Gumboot Kids Nature Mystery
Courage, Every Day by Wai Mei Wong, illus. by Kirsti Beautyman (Tilbury House Publishers)
A Dragon for Hanukkah by Sarah Mlynowski, illus. by Ariel Landy (Orchard Books/Scholastic Canada)
A Face Is a Poem by Julie Morstad (Tundra)
Fighting Words by Leonarda Carranza, illus. by Erika Medina (Annick)
Getting Glam at Gram's by Sara Weed, illus. by Erin Hawryluk (Arsenal Pulp Press)
The Hawk Shadow by Jan Bourdeau Waboose, illus. by Karlene Harvey (Kids Can Press)
The Home Sweet Home Newfoundland Collection by Jeff Cox, illus. by Stefanie St. Denis (MacIntyre Purcell Publishing) >>> boxed set includes Home Sweet Home Newfoundland, Counting with Newfoundland, and A Newfoundland Alphabet
The Home Sweet Home Nova Scotia Collection by Vernon Oickle, illus. by Stefanie St. Denis (MacIntyre Purcell Publishing) >>> boxed set includes Home Sweet Home Nova Scotia, Counting with Nova Scotia, and A Nova Scotia Alphabet
How Do You Spend? by Cinders McLeod (Nancy Paulsen Books) >>> A Moneybunny Book
How to Staycation Like a Snail by Naseem Hrab, illus. by Kelly Collier (Owlkids) >>> Snails and Stump 2
I Am a Courageous Cub by Shoshana Chaim, illus. by Lori Joy Smith (Greystone)
I Dream of Ganesha by Sonali Zohra (Bala Kids)
I Hear You, Mountains by Kallie George, illus. by Carmen Mok (Greystone) >>> Sounds of Nature series
I, Too, Am Here by Morgan Christie, illus. by Marley Berot (Second Story Press)
I Want to Read ALL the Books by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Simon Kids)
It’s Powwow Time! by Martha Troian, illus. by Hawlii Pichette (Greenwillo Books)
Life in the Wild: The Collected Adventures of the Bear, the Moose and the Beaver by Nicholas Oldland (Kids Can Press)
The Mango Monster by Derek Mascarenhas, illus. by Meneka Repka (Owlkids)
Muhammad's Recipe for Remembering by Maidah Ahmad, illus. by Shruti Prabhu (Annick)
My Grammie's House by Lana Button, illus. by Skye Ali (Tundra)
Nish: Northern Lights by Isabelle Picard, trans. by Kateri Aubin Dubois (Scholastic Canada)
Oh! Look, a Boat! by Andrew J. Ross (Flying Eye Books)
One Box by Andi Vicente, illus. by Allan Matudio (Roseway Publishing)
Playdate Surprise by Karen Autio, illus. by Laura Watson (Scholastic Canada)
A Roof! by Stephanie Ellen Sy, illus. by Daniel Tingcungco (Kokila)
Raven Gets Tricked by Andrea Fritz (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Coast Salish Tales
Seaside Lullaby by Briana Corr Scott (Nimbus)
Squirrel-ish by Bambi Edlund (Owlkids)
This Land is a Lullaby / cistomâwasowin ôma askiy by Tonya Simpson, illus. by Delrée Dumont (Orca Book Publishers) >>> bilingual English and Plains Cree edition
Three City Kitties by Ashley Barron (Owlkids)
Ups and Downs by Nancy MacNairn, illus. by Doruntina Beqiraj (Second Story Press)
What Inspires by Alison Hughes, illus. by Ellen Rooney (Orca Book Publishers)
What's In The Cookie Tin? by Yolanda T. Marshall, illus. by Moini Golnoush (Chalkboard Publishing)
The Wind and Amanda's Cello by Alison Lohans, illus. by Sarah Shortliffe (Shadowpaw Press)

Early Books and Middle Grade
After the Wallpaper Music by Jean Mills (Pajama Press)
Bee & Flea and the Fall Fiasco by Anna Humphrey, illus. by Mike Deas (Owlkids) >>> Bee & Flea 3
Captain Skidmark Dances with Destiny by Jennifer A. Irwin (Charlesbridge)
Creature Powers: The Biggest! (Wild Kratts) by Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt (Random House Books for Young People) >>> Step Into Reading series
Crimson Twill: Witch in the Spotlight by Kallie George, illus. by Birgitta Sif (Candlewick)
Danica dela Torre, Certified Sleuth by Mikaela Lucido, illus. by Joanna Cacao (Annick)
Eyes on the Ice by Anna Rosner (Groundwood)
The Final Buzzer by Kevin Sylvester (Scholastic Canada) >>> Hockey Super Six 8
Hannah Edwards Secrets of Riverway by Ashley Hards (Fabled Films Press)
Haunted Canada The Graphic Novel: Four Terrifying Tales by Joel A. Sutherland, illus. by Hannah Barrett (Scholastic Canada)
How to Kidnap a Mermaid by Andy Tolson (Nimbus) >>> The Quests of Tiny Wilde 1
The Ice Chips and the Killer Wave by Roy MacGregor and Kerry MacGregor, illus. by Kim Smith (HarperCollins) >>> Book 6 in The Ice Chips series
Izzy Wong’s Nose for News by Marty Chan (Orca Book Publishers)
The Last Witch on Skye by Carolyn Nicholson (OC Publishing)
Library Girl by Polly Horvath (Puffin Canada)
Moonbeam Meets the Medicine Man by Gail Francis, illus. by Emma Hassencahl-Perley (Monster House Publishing)
On a Wing and a Tear by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Heartdrum/HarperCollins)
Penny's Triumphant Turnaround by Stacey MacLean, illus. by Danelle Vautour (Monster House Publishing)
Steve, A Pretty Exceptional Horse by Kelly Collier (Kids Can Press) >>> new early graphic novel based on Steve the Horse picture books series
Super Frenemies! by Cale Atkinson (Tundra) >>> Simon and Chester 5
Swan: The Girl Who Grew by Sidura Ludwig (Nimbus) >>> novel in verse
Taxi Ghost by Sophie Escabasse (Random House Graphic) >>> graphic novel
Team Park by Angela Ahn (Tundra) 
Teddy vs. the Slimy Evil by Braden Hallett (Annick) >>> Secrets of Ravensbarrow
Tig by Heather Smith (Tundra)
Waltraut by Gabriele Goldstone (Wandering Fox/Heritage House)

Young Adult
The Beauty of Us by Farzana Doctor (ECW Press)
Between the Pipes by Albert McLeod, illus. by Alice RL (HighWater Press)
Both Sides Now by Peyton Thomas (Penguin Teen Canada)
A Constellation of Minor Bears by Jen Ferguson (Heartdrum/HarperCollins)
Desert Echoes by Abdi Nazemian (HarperCollins)
God Flare by David A. Robertson, illus. by Scott B. Henderson and Andrew Thomas (HighWater Press) >>> The Reckoner Rises 3
The Great and the Small by A. T. Balsara (Common Deer Press) 
Hacking Heartbreak by Kevin heronJones (Lorimer) >>> Lorimer Real Love series
Line Drive to Love by Angel Jendrick (Lorimer) 
The Mongol Ascension by Andrew Varga (Imbrifex Books) >>> A Jump in Time Novel 3
No One Left by You by Tash McAdam (Soho Teen)
Not My Crew by Carlos Alexander (Lorimer) 
The Rez Doctor by Gitz Crazyboy, illus. by Veronika Barinova, Azby Whitecalf and Toben Racicot (HighWater Press) >>> graphic novel 
Secrets of Stone by Coltrane Seesequasis (Kegedonce Press)
Star Wars: Padmé Amidala: Queens Trilogy by E. K. Johnston (Disney Hyperion) >>> boxed set of Queen’s Shadow, Queen’s Peril, and Queen’s Hope
Summer with Sunil by Alison Lister (Lorimer) >>> Lorimer Real Love series
Undergrowth by Ricky Lima, illus. by Daniele Aquilani (Top Shelf)
The Unfinished by Cheryl Isaacs (Heartdrum)

All Consuming: Shop Smarter for the Planet by Erin Silver, illus. by Suharu Ogawa (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Think
Amazing Hockey Stories: Sidney Crosby by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, illus. by David Bishop (Scholastic Canada)
Amazing Hockey Trivia for Kids by Eric Zweig (Scholastic Canada)
Be a Close-up Nature Detective: Solving the Tiniest Mysteries of the Natural World
by Peggy Kochanoff (Nimbus) >>> Be a Nature Detective 8
Bird Eggs: A Young Naturalist's Guide by Mark Peck (Firefly Books)
By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz
by Max Eisen with Kathy Kacer (HarperCollins)
Elizabeth Quocksister: Keeper of History by Haley Healey with George Quocksister Jr., illus. by Kimiko Fraser (Heritage House)
Folk Art Animal Sounds illus. by Barry Colpitts, written by Shanda LaRamee-Jones and Carol McDougall (Nimbus)
Hockey Superstars 2024-2025 by Paul Romanuk (Scholastic Canada)
How to Be a Color Wizard: Forage and Experiment with Natural Art Making by Jason Logan (Candlewick)
Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge by Deidre Havrelock and Edward Kay (Christy Ottaviano Books)
Loop De Loop: Circular Solutions for a Waste-Circular Solutions for a Waste-Free World by Andrea Curtis, illus. by Roozeboos (Groundwood)
Mother Aspen: A Story of How Forests Cooperate and Communicate by Annette LeBox, illus. by Crystal Smith (Groundwood)
Minerals and Rocks: A Beginner's Guide by Kim Tait (Firefly Books)
One Hen and Then: The Story of a Small Loan and a Big Dream by Katie Smith Milway and Mary Beth Leatherdale, illus. by Tequitia Andrews (Kids Can Press) >>> CitizenKid book based on One Hen story
Stitching Science: Exploring Science from A-Z by Lauren Wright Vartanian with Keltie Thomas (Firefly Books)
Taking Care of Where We Live: Restoring Ecosystems by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox, illus. by Amanda Key (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Think
Undaunted Ursula Franklin: Activist, Educator, Scientist by Monica Franklin and Erin Della Mattia (Second Story Press)
What Do We Eat?: How Humans Find, Grow and Share Food by Megan Clendenan, illus. by Meegan Lim (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Timeline
What Do We Know About the Yeti? by Ben Hubbard, illus. by Manuel Gutierrez (Penguin Workshop) >>> What Do We Know About? series
A Year on the Road to Nowhere by Jessie Hale, illus. by John Soleas (Arvaaq Press)
You Can Be an Activist: How to Use Your Strengths and Passions to Make a Difference by Charlene Rocha and Mary Beth Leatherdale, illus. by Drew Shannon (Kids Can Press)
Zoom In On Zombies by Kari-Lynn Winters and Catherine Rondina (Red Deer Press)


Picture Books 
An Anishinaabe Christmas by Wab Kinew, illus. by Erin Hill (Tundra)
The Bears and the Magic Masks by Joseph Dandurand, illus. by Elinor Atkins (Nightwood Editions)
Brady Brady and the Santa Search by Mary Shaw, illus. by Chuck Temple (Scholastic Canada)
The Brighter I Shine by Kamee Abrahamian, illus. by Lusine Ghukasyan (Lantana Publishing)
Counting at Kits Beach by Oliver McDonald (Kegedonce Press)
The Creator's Plan illus. by Jessica Jerome, written Richard Pellissier-Lush (Acorn Press)
Eli and the Real Live Dead Mummy by Sam Fisher, illus. by Judy Hilgemann (Red Deer Press)
Frostfire by Elly MacKay (Tundra)
Getting Us to Grandma's by Nadia L. Hohn, illus. by TeMika Grooms (Groundwood)
Grampy's Chair by Rebecca Thomas, illus. by Coco Lynge (Annick)
Halifax ABC by Yolanda Poplawska (Nimbus)
Hummingbird / Aamo-binashee by Jennifer Leason, trans. by Norman Chartrand (Orca Book Publishers) >>> bilingual edition in English and Anishinaabemowin (Saulteaux dialect) 
Iggy Who Breathes Fire by Carrie Kruck, illus. by Erika Meza (Disney Hyperion)
It’s Okay, Just Ask by Monique Leonardo Carlos, illus. by Salini Perera (Owlkids)
Kuekautsheu Creates the World by Annie Picard, illus. by Elizabeth Jancewicz (Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides) >>> available in dual-language editions with both English and Innu-aimun, either Sheshatshiu or Mushuau dialect
Lemming's First Christmas by Jamesie Fournier, illus. by Tim Mack (Inhabit Media)
The Light Keeper by Sheila Baslaw and Karen Levine, illus. by Alice Priestley (Second Story Press)
Mad at Dad by Janie Hao (Kids Can Press)
Mandeep's Cloudy Days by Kuljinder Kaur Brar, illus. by Samrath Kaur (Annick)
Mattie and Me by Michael McCreary, illus. by Tallulah Dumont (Annick) 
Message in the Mooncake by Sapphire Chow, illus. by Xiaojie Liu (Barefoot Books)
The Moon's Journey by Beryl Young, illus. by Sean Huang (Red Deer Press)
My Kwanzaa Wish by Yolanda T. Marshall, illus. by Jamie Ellis Pasquale (Chalkboard Publishing)
The Rock and the Butterfly by Kathy Stinson, illus. by Brooke Kerrigan (Orca Book Publishers)
Sally's Snow Day by Andrew Larsen, illus. by Dawn Lo (Orca Book Publishers) 
Snow Day by Lindsay Gloade-Raining Bird, illus. by Ashley Thimot (Nimbus)
Sunny Days in a Memphis Studio! by Bïa Krieger, illus. by Fanny Berthiaume >>> We're a Possum Family Band 3
Tanna's Puppy by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, illus. by Michelle Simpson (Inhabit Media) >>> Tanna's Animals 3
Tove and the Island with No Address by Lauren Soloy (Tundra)
Who's Walking Dawg? by Marie Prins, illus. by Leanne Franson (Red Deer Press)

Early Books and Middle Grade
Alina in the Deep by Shenaaz G. Nanji (Second Story Press) >>> Book 2 in The Alina Books
Bad Bot by Pierre Dubé, illus. by Vigg, trans. by David Warriner (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Shivers
Bog Myrtle by Sid Sharp (Annick) >>> graphic novel
Boy vs. Shark by Paul Gilligan (Tundra) >>> graphic novel
Butter Tart Island by Hope Dalvay (Acorn Press)
Chai Jinxed by Emi Pinto (HarperCollins) 
Creepy Classroom by François Gravel, trans. by David Warriner (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Shivers
Ghosts of Gastown by Jessica Renwick (Yellow Dog)
I, Brax: A Battle Divine by Arthur Slade (Shadowpaw Press) >>> A Dragon Assassin Adventure
The Inside Scouts Help the Strong Cheetah by Mitali Banerjee Ruths, illus. by Francesca Mahaney (Scholastic) >>> The Inside Scouts 3
Katrina Hyena, Stand-up Comedian by Sophie Kohn, illus. by Aparna Varma (Owlkids)
The Last Hope School for Magical Delinquents by Nicki Pau Preto (Viking Books for Young Readers) >>> The Last Hope School Duology, Book 1
Little Moons by Jen Storm, illus. by Ryan Howe (HighWater Press)
Mystery at the Bilmore by Colleen Nelson, illus. by Peggy Collins (Pajama Press)
Pages of Doom by Jeff Szpirglas, illus. by Andrew P. Barr (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Book of Screams 2
Planes, Trains and Monster-Mobiles by Paul McAllister, illus. by Emily Brown (Monster House Publishing)
Puffin and Penguin by Helaine Becker, illus. by Kevin Sylvester (Kids Can Press) >>> early graphic novel
The Shape of Lost Things by Sarah Everett (HarperCollins) 
Stopping the Shots by Lorna Schultz Nicholson (Scholastic Canada)
The Time Keeper by Meagan Mahoney (DCB Young Readers) 
Two Tales of Twenty-Six by Stephanie Simpson McLellan, illus. by Mike Deas (Red Deer Press)
Unsinkable Cayenne by Jessica Vitalis (HarperCollins)

Young Adult
Beast by Richard Van Camp (Douglas & McIntyre)
Defy by Sara de Waard (DCB Young Readers)
The Dark Becomes Her by Judy I. Lin (Rick Riordan Presents/Disney)
The Door in Lake Mallion by S. M. Beiko (ECW Press) >>> Book 2 in The Brindlewatch Quintet
Fledgling: The Keeper's Records of Revolution by S. K. Ali (Kokila/Penguin Young Readers)
If We Tell You by Nicola Dahlin (Kids Can Press)
Light Enough to Float by Lauren Seal (Rocky Pond Books)
Under All the Lights by Maya Ameyaw (Annick) >>> When It All Syncs Up 2

5-Minute Hockey Stories: All-Star Edition by Peter Norman, illus. by Chelsea Charles (HarperCollins)
A Children's Guide to Arctic Birds by Mia Pelletier, illus. by Danny Christopher (Inhabit Media)
Clyde River, My Home by Louise Flaherty, illus. by Thalita Dol (Arvaaq Press) >>> Community Connections series
Genocide by Jane Springer, illus. by Santiago Solís (Groundwood) >>> revised edition
Grab a Pencil! by Elise Gravel (Scholastic Canada)
How to Know a Crow: The Biography of a Brainy Bird by Candace Savage, illus. by Rachel Hudson (Greystone)
Hungry for Engineering: Poems to Gnaw On by Kari-Lynn Winters and Lori Sherritt-Fleming, illus. by Dave Whamond (Fiitzhenry & Whiteside) >>> poetry
I Am Wind: An Autobiography by Rachel Poliquin, illus. by Rachel Wada (Tundra)
I Wonder About Worlds: Discovering Planets and Exoplanets by James Gladstone, illus. by Yaara Eshet (Owlkids)
It Is Good to Live in Beautiful Arctic Bay by Lucy Qavavauq, illus. by Amiel Sandland (Arvaaq Press) >>> bilingual Inuktitut and English edition
It's My Brain by Elise Gravel (North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada)
Living Light: Conserving Bioluminescent Plants and Animals by Stephen Aitken (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Wild
Lost at Windy River: A True Story of Survival by Trina Rathgeber, illus. by Alina Pete (Orca Book Publishers)
The Night Before Christmas by Kim Fernandes (Firefly Books) >>> poetry
Salt, Pepper, Season, Spice: All the Flavors of the World by Jacques Pasquet, illus. by Claire Anghinolfi (Orca Book Publishers)
She is Hope for Wildlife: The Story of Wildlife Rescuer Hope Swinimer by Wanda Baxter, illus. by Leah Boudreau (Nimbus)
A Whale Named Henry by M. Wylie Blanchet, illus. by Jacqueline McKay Mathews (Harbour Publishing)
Wildlife Crossing: Giving Animals the Right-of-Way by Joan Marie Galat (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Footprints


Picture Books
The First Ones on the Ice by Lana Button, illus. by Alex MacAskill (Nimbus)
Good Boy Timmy by Eric Walters, illus. by Eugenie Fernandes (DCB Young Readers) 
Monster Friends, Where Are You? by Daniel Anctil, illus. by Corentin Hunter (Midtown Press)
Ode to Underwear by Helaine Becker, illus. by Abigail Burch (Bushel & Peck Books)
The Twins That Saved Izonbele by Michael Afenfia, illus. by Ijeoma Ossi (Nwata)
When Dogs Work by Opal Sinclair (Pajama Press)

Early Books and Middle Grade
Cave-In by Pam Withers (Yellow Dog)
Closer to Far Away by Kristin Butcher (Red Deer Press)
Elvis, Me, and the Postcard Winter by Leslie Gentile (DCB Young Readers) >>> Elvis, Me, and the Eagle Shores Trailer Park
Jordan and Max, Race Day by Suzanne Sutherland, illus. by Michelle Simpson (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Echoes
Like A Boss by Sarah Mlynowski and Hena Khan, illus. by Jennifer Bricking (Scholastic) >>> Best Wishes 4
Meg and Greg: A Handful of Dogs by Elspeth Rae and Rowena Rae, illus. by Elisa Gutiérrez (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Meg and Greg 5
The Secret Office by Sara Cassidy, illus. by Alyssa Hutchings (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Echoes
Tizzy and Me: Fifteen Ways to Love a Mink by N.M.L. Hazard, illus. by Alice Priestley (Red Deer Press)

Young Adult
The Dark Won't Wait by David A. Poulsen (Red Deer Press)
Dear Dad by Laura Best (Nimbus) 
Flash Flood by Gabrielle Prendergast (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Anchor
It's Not Me, It's You by Alex Light (HarperCollins)
Shock Wave by Sigmund Brouwer (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Soundings
Stranger Skies by Pascale Lacelle (Margaret K. McElderry) >>> sequel to Curious Tides of The Drowned Gods Trilogy
The Sun Runners by James Bow (Shadowpaw Press)
An Unbalanced Force by Valerie Sherrard (DCB Young Readers) 
A Wild and Ruined Song by Ashley Shuttleworth (Margaret K. McElderry) >>> Hollow Star Saga 4

Kid Musicians: True Tales of Childhood from Entertainers, Songwriters, and Stars
by Robin Stevenson, illus. by Allison Steinfeld (Quirk Books)
When I Visit Qikiqtarjuaq by Monica Ittusardjuat, illus. by Amiel Sandland (Arvaaq Press) >>> Community Connections series; dual language in Inuktitut and English
When You Read to Me by Carol McDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones (Nimbus) >>> multilingual edition in English, French, Spanish, Hindi, Simplified Chinese, and Arabic


Picture Books
Good Hair by Yvonne Sewankambo, illus. by Freda Chiu (Candlewick)
We Are Lion Dancers by Benson Shum (Penguin Workshop)

Early Books and Middle Grade
From Megabat with Love by Anna Humphrey, illus. by Kris Easler (Tundra)
A Recipe for Rhyme and Rescue by Wanda Taylor (HarperCollins)

Young Adult
Heavenly Tyrant by Xiran Jay Zhao (Tundra) >>> Iron Widow 2
The Revenge Game by Jordyn Taylor (Ember/Random House Children's Books)
When the Mapou Sings by Nadine Pinede (Candlewick)

Picture Books 
I Am Métis by Karen Hourie Ellefson, illus. by Leah Dorion (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
If A Bumble Bee Lands on Your Toe by Cynthia Mackey, illus. by Vikki Zhang (Yeehoo Press)
Nevin Knows by Mireille Messier, illus. by Elena Comte (Orca Book Publishers)
Runaway Blanket by Nancy Deas, illus. by Mike Deas (Orca Book Publishers)
Sometimes I Eat With My Hands by Kid Haile (Groundwood) 
Vampire Jam Sandwich by Casey Lyall, illus. by Nici Gregory (Tundra) 

Early Books and Middle Grade
Brianna Banana, Helper of the Day by Lana Button, illus. by Suharu Ogawa (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Echoes
The Factory by Catherine Egan (Scholastic)
Feathered Fiends by Jocelyn Boisvert, trans. by David Warriner (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Shivers
The Feeder by Heather Hartt-Sussman (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
Finding Harmony by Eric Walters (Orca Book Publishers) >>> prequel to The King of Jam Sandwiches
The Islands of Elsewhere by Heather Fawcett (Rocky Pond Books)
Meg and Greg: Train Day! by Elspeth Rae and Rowena Rae (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Meg and Greg Book 6
Under Attack (Kidnapped From Ukraine #1) by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Scholastic)
The Vanished Ones by Chad Lucas (Amulet Books)
What's in the Walls? by Julie Champagne, illus. by Geneviève Bigué (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Shivers 

Young Adult
Cheat Code by M.J. McIsaac (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Anchor
Ghost Queen by Mahtab Narsimhan (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Anchor
Just Kickin' It
by Julie Thompson (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Anchor
Recommended Reading by Paul Coccia (Zando Young Readers)  

The Friendship Guide by Dr. Jillian Roberts, illus. by Andrea Armstrong (Orca Book Publishers)
Game Changers: Stories of Hijabi Athletes from around the World by Charlene Smith, illus. by Natalya Tariq (Orca Book Publishers)
Great Apes: Protecting Our Animal Cousins by Christopher Gudgeon (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Wild 
Octopus Ocean: Geniuses of the Deep by Mark Leiren-Young (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Wild
Our Plastic Problem: A Call for Global Solutions by Megan Durnford (Orca Book Publishers) >>> Orca Footprints 


With so many wonderful upcoming releases of #youngCanLit,
there's something for every young reader.

Happy Reading!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Any omissions or errors in details, including release dates, are my own. Please share any additions or corrections with me in the comments below. I'm always happy to make the listing more complete and accurate.