Annick Favourites

 
 

Birthday Suit

Written by Olive Senior
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Johnny loves nothing better than splashing in the ocean waves—naked. But Mom says now that he’s four he’s too old to run around without clothes on. She even buys him a pair of overalls with genuine 100 percent child-proof snap fasteners! But they’re no match for Johnny as he wriggles out of them.

Johnny’s father explains that big boys wear clothes. Doesn’t he want to be big like Dad? As Johnny gazes up, he decides that wearing clothes may be a small price to pay to reach such heights. Everyone is happy as Johnny practices putting on his clothes. And now when he runs into the ocean, he makes sure to take his red swimsuit—but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll always wear it!

Imbued with the lilt of the Caribbean and featuring illustrations that capture the warmth and humour of the text, this charming picture book is sure to amuse young children—naked or not!

 

Dogs Don’t Eat Jam

Written by Sarah Tsiang
Illustrated by Qin Leng

New babies have a lot to learn; lucky for them, the older sibling in this delightful picture book is here to tell them everything they have to remember … and look forward to. Whether it’s advice on turning regular people into parents, learning how to go—and stop—or figuring out the most important words (Mama! Dada! Up!), Dogs Don’t Eat Jam is filled with useful tips and lessons from an experienced older sibling that will help newborns navigate the uncertainties of their new world. It’s the ultimate guide for newborns from an older, wiser sibling

 

A Flock of Shoes

Written by Sarah Tsiang
Illustrated by Qin Leng

Abby loves her pink and brown sandals with the lime green trim, and she wears them wherever she goes. But as summer draws to a close, Abby’s mom announces that it’s time for the sandals to go. Abby is determined to keep them on—until one day, while swinging at the park, her sandals flip off and fly away.

All winter long, Abby wonders what her sandals are up to. Postcards of sandy white beaches and glorious sunsets reassure her that they are having a wonderful time in far away places.

Come February, Abby realizes that she has also grown to love her cozy, comfy boots. As the warm weather comes, she watches sadly as they march off, but a swish in the sky announces the return of her pink and brown sandals—all ready for another summer of fun.

Full of whimsy, this circular tale is enhanced by rich, evocative language and delicate pastel illustrations that are sure to delight any young child. 

 

The Fox Who Ate Books (hardcover)

Written by Franziska Biermann

Meet Mr. Fox, who loves books so much that every time he finishes one, he eats it (with a little salt and pepper, of course)! His insatiable appetite drives him to seek more and more books, until one day, he discovers the local library, where he can “devour” books to his heart’s content. Eventually, the librarian catches him “sampling” from the collection and bans him from the library.

Down on his luck, the crafty Mr. Fox must find other ways to satisfy his cravings. His attempt to rob the local bookstore, however, ends badly. Arrested for stealing, Mr. Fox lands in jail, where he discovers a surprising way to satisfy his literary cravings (and become rich and famous).

With its deft combination of humour and whimsy, The Fox Who Ate Books is a tongue-in-cheek approach to promote a love of books and reading.

 

Harry and Walter

Written by Kathy Stinson
Illustrated by Qin Leng

Harry may be four and three-quarters and Walter may be ninety-two and a half, but that doesn’t stop them from being best friends. Harry loves to go next door to play games with Walter and draw pictures together. And when the snow falls, Walter clears a path to Harry’s house so that they can visit every day.

But one day, a For Sale sign appears on Harry’s lawn. Harry is devastated that he and Walter will no longer be neighbors. Harry’s new house is bigger and better than his old one, but without Walter to share things with, nothing seems to be much fun … until one day, Harry hears a familiar voice. Walter, too, has moved—to a nearby seniors’ residence. Now, Harry and Walter can still be best friends.

 

Kenta and the Big Wave

Ruth Ohi

When tragedy strikes Kenta’s small village in Japan, he does all he can to hang on to the things that matter to him most. But amidst the chaos of an emergency evacuation brought on by the tsunami, Kenta and his family must quickly leave their home, taking with them only the barest necessities. Climbing to safer ground, Kenta watches helplessly as his prized soccer ball goes bouncing down a hill and gets swept away by the waves, never to be seen again… that is until it washes up on a beach on the other side of the world, into the hands of a child who takes it upon himself to return the ball to its rightful owner.

In this evocative picture book, Ruth Ohi’s glowing art transports the reader to Japan with gentle images that offer reassurance amidst the background of an environmental catastrophe. Inspired by true stories of personal items being washed ashore thousands of miles away after the tsunami of 2011, Kenta and the Big Wave is about the strength of the human spirit and the power of Mother Nature.

 

Leo’s Tree (hardcover)

Written by Debora Pearson
Illustrated by Nora Hilb

When Leo is born, his father plants a tree—a scratchy, branchy linden tree. Soon Leo is growing hair and the tree is sprouting buds, the first of many delightful changes that boy and tree experience during their early years together. As the seasons change, Leo and his tree continue to grow strong and true.

Then, when a baby sister joins the family, her tender new sapling is planted next to Leo’s sturdy tree.

Debora Pearson has created a gentle and heart-warming tale. Softly illustrated by Nora Hilb, this is a story for growing young children and their parents to cherish and share for years to come.

 

The Man With the Violin

Written by Kathy Stinson
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić

Dylan is someone who notices things. His mom is someone who doesn’t. So try as he might, Dylan can’t get his mom to listen to the man playing the violin in the subway station. But Dylan is swept away by the soaring and swooping notes that fill the air as crowds of oblivious people rush by. With the beautiful music in his head all day long, Dylan can’t forget the violinist, and finally succeeds in making his mother stop and listen, too.

This gorgeous picture book is based on the true story of Joshua Bell, the renowned American violinist who famously took his instrument down into the Washington D.C. subway for a free concert. More than a thousand commuters rushed by him, but only seven stopped to listen for more than a minute. In The Man with the Violin, bestselling author Kathy Stinson has woven a heart-warming story that reminds us all to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

 

Mattland

Written by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić

Matt is miserable. The subdivision where he now lives is surrounded by nothing but muddy fields of rocks and sticks. But when Matt ventures out, his imagination kicks in. He draws a muddy, winding line and names it Snake River. A pile of rocks becomes the Dog Tooth Mountains. Just like that, Mattland is born.

Soon a little girl shows up with a handful of helpful odds and ends. Piece by piece, she and Matt expand their new world with popsicle-stick bridges and scrap-paper boats. And when a rainstorm finally threatens to wash everything away, all the neighborhood kids appear and help stave off the flood.

Evocative of childhood friendships and with sublime illustrations that brighten in color as the story progresses, Mattland is an inspiring ode to cooperative play.

 

Move It, Miss Macintosh!

Written by Peggy Robbins
Illustrated by Meghan Lands

It’s the first day of school and Miss Macintosh is certain about one thing: she isn’t going! As she snuggles back under the covers, the doorbell rings. In comes Mr. Bellweather, the school principal who assures her that all kindergarten teachers have first day jitters.

Soon, other teachers arrive to help get her out the door. Mrs. Burger, the lunch lady, makes sure she has a good breakfast; Mrs. Sketcher, the art teacher, helps her pick out clothes. Still, Miss Macintosh is anxious. What if she can’t find her class? What if no one likes her?

When she finally stands at the front of her class, she can tell that the children are nervous too. That’s when she comes up with an idea to put everyone at ease — including herself.

 

The Nutmeg Princess

Written by Richardo Keens-Douglas
Illustrated by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko

Best friends Aglo and Petal live on a small island in the Caribbean called the Isle of Spice (based on Grenada). When Petite Mama tells them the story of a mysterious nutmeg princess whom only she has seen, Aglo and Petal decide they must go and find the elusive princess themselves.

The beautiful princess appears, but Aglo is the only one who can see her. As the rest of the village rushes up the mountain in the hopes of acquiring the princess’s riches, Aglo and Petal learn that greed and selfishness aren’t rewarded, and they receive an unexpected reward of their own—the knowledge that true riches come from experiencing beauty and selflessness.

 

Pablo Finds a Treasure

Written by Andrée Poulin
Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant

Pablo and his sister spend every day at “Treasure Mountain,” the local dump. There, they rummage through the mounds of garbage looking for items that their mother can sell in order to provide food for the family.

Occasionally, they find a “real” treasure like some still-edible food, or a picture book, which Pablo delights in, even though he can’t read. The work is exhausting, and sometimes not very lucrative, but the worst thing they have to contend with is Filthy-Face, a brutish bully who steals the finds of all the children.

But one day, Pablo discovers a real treasure. Will he be able to keep it from falling into the hands of Filthy-Face? Simply written with highly expressive illustrations, this book brings home the reality of poverty around the world.

 

A Pocket Can Have a Treasure in It

Written by Kathy Stinson
Illustrated by Deirdre Betteridge

Celebrated children’s writer Kathy Stinson explores “what’s-in-what” concepts for young children. With a chorus of questions that encourage interaction, children will delight in playing with the language of spatial relationships, from a pocket holding treasure to a spoon with a face reflected in it.

For one little girl, a day on the farm is full of familiar sights that lead to the unexpected. The barn has a horse in it … just like a house can have a “me” in it. A sock can’t have a head it in, but it can have a toe in it. A pond can even have a splash in it. Best of all, when Mommy comes home, she has a blanket that has a wiggle in it–a brand new baby.

 

Shoe Shakes

Written by Loris Lesynski
Illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Loris Lesynski definitely knows how to get kids clapping their hands and stomping their feet. In Shoe Shakes, a collection of 10 poems, she set her sights on preschoolers who get a kick out of wacky sounds and off-the-wall ideas. Rhythm lovers will hit the ground running with the join-in beat of “The Boot Boot Bounce.” Kids will giggle at the thought of “Snowshoes” that are shoes made from snow, and will pause to ponder “Feet Thoughts.”

Complete with uproarious illustrations by Michael Martchenko and surprises on every page, Shoe Shakes is a guaranteed to set toes a-tappin’ and funny bones a-laugin’.

 

Snap! (hardcover)

Written by Hazel Hutchins
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić

What could be more perfect than a brand new set of crayons? Evan can’t wait to use them, until Snap!, the brown one breaks in two. Then one by one, the others break, get crushed, are blown away, or simply disappear. How can he possibly draw when there’s no green, purple, or even black?

Evan feels like throwing things, but instead, he scribbles using all the bits and pieces that are left. But what’s this? Where yellow and blue cross, there’s green, and when blue and red get all mixed up, it creates just the right purple to draw monsters. Soon, all he’s left with are tiny stubs of red, yellow, and blue, but Evan discovers that even with just a few crayons, he can create new and exciting art—his imagination is the only tool he needs.

 

The Stone Hatchlings

Written by Sarah Tsiang
Illustrated by Qin Leng

"When Abby finds two warm, round stones in the backyard, she “adopts” them, pretending they’re unhatched birds. She lovingly builds them a cozy nest and watches over them constantly until one day she imagines that with a crick and a crack, the stones hatch to reveal two gray chicks. With a flourish of her paintbrush, Abby colors the birds yellow, blue, and green, and proceeds to take excellent care of them.

Then the make-believe birds stop singing. Soon they also stop eating, and when they start to lose their feathers Abby realizes it is time to let them go. She waves goodbye as they fly off. But every morning, two new birds appear at the window and sing to Abby."

 

Wiggle Giggle Tickle Train

Written by Nora Hilb and Sharon Jennings
Illustrated by Nora Hilb

A pony inspires a child to ride high on her father’s shoulders; a sailboat stirs two others to set off to sea in a cardboard box; and an airplane invites kids to soar like a bird. In 13 stunning spreads, we see how children use the world around them as the inspiration for play.

Vibrant photographs are juxtaposed with lively drawings to reveal the child’s own inventive interpretation. Short bursts of action-packed, rhythmic poetry encourage children to identify the patterning throughout the text and the sounds associated with each idea