The Deakin Review of Children's Literature 2019-10-22T22:48:48-06:00 Robert Desmarais Open Journal Systems <p>The <em>Deakin Review of Children’s Literature</em> is an electronic review of contemporary English-language materials of interest to children and young adults.&nbsp; Of particular use to librarians, parents, teachers and anyone working with young people, we also publish news relevant to children’s literacy.</p> Deakin Interviews Author of "Fake News and Dinosaurs" 2019-10-22T22:48:43-06:00 Robert Desmarais <p>Dear Deakin Readers,</p> <p>I recently had an opportunity to interview Dr Jason M. Harley (pictured in this editorial) about his new book, <em>Fake News and Dinosaurs</em>, and I am pleased to publish it below.</p> <p>1. What compelled you to write a picture book about fake news? Is your book the first of its kind for young readers?</p> <p>&nbsp;JH: The main motivation behind <em>Fake News and Dinosaurs</em> was the lack of resources about media literacy aimed at young people. Advertising, sure, but not evaluating information and news. This was particularly striking for me given how young people are now when they begin to interact with the Internet and associated devices. I found myself wondering what resources I could provide to some of my pre-service teachers (i.e., future elementary and high school teachers) in a course I taught at the U of A that covered media literacy. When I couldn’t find anything that would speak to young readers about fake news and media literacy—even with help from the Head Librarian of the Faculty of Education, Katherine Koch, back in the summer of 2017, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. By which I mean, I also roped my partner and professional illustrator, Daniel Beaudin, in to helping.</p> <p>2. One of the key messages in the book is “just because all your friends agree with you doesn’t mean that you’re right” (44). Do you think young readers are learning enough about ideological echo chambers from their teachers or parents? Are you hopeful that more will be done to educate young people about the importance of fact-checking?</p> <p>&nbsp;JH: The lack of books available for young people suggest that we need to do more. Providing resources is an important starting point. As it stands, many adults are also struggling with concepts such as echo chambers and biases. We hope our book appeals to both audiences so that teachers and parents can also identify teachable moments to bring these concepts up outside of planned lessons and talks. Media literacy and associated skills are practical ones and important to practice in order to cultivate. By helping teachers, parents, and peers become more familiar with good practices, such as fact-checking, skills can more easily become habit. And good media literacy habits are the best inoculation against fake news.</p> <p>3. The character named Gill is described as “a gossipy neighbor and farmer” (11) who is shown to spread misinformation, and readers clearly see how distorted information can spread very quickly. Gill’s behaviour certainly gives one the impression that gossip has considerable potential to be harmful to others. Is there such a thing as “good gossip”? If so, what would you like your readers to understand about it?</p> <p>&nbsp;JH: Gossip is typically characterized as being a less-than-reliable source of information. If there is a good side to gossip, it is the social component: an enjoyment of sharing information with other people. Communication with others is, in a broad sense, a generally healthy tendency—just like eating. But like eating, how “healthy” communicating might be (for oneself and others) often depends on what is being shared, under what conditions, and to whom. Media literacy provides a toolset to help foster a healthier exchange of information. In <em>Fake News and Dinosaurs</em>, Gill reminded us that false information isn’t always spread by malicious people, nor is it always spread through the web.</p> <p>4. At what age do you think children are capable of becoming fact checkers? What can adults do to help the young people in their lives become better at fact checking?</p> <p>&nbsp;JH: Checking facts can start with something as simple as looking for the name of an author or remembering where something came from. These lower-hanging fruits are strategies young people can start practicing relatively quickly. As they mature, so can the strategies they use. For example, rather than just looking to see if an author’s name is present, they might also reflect on what the author’s affiliations and credentials are and the role that these might play in helping them discern the credibility of a particular story.</p> <p>5. Do you think young readers have heard or read that we are living in a “post-truth age”? How does your book handle this topic, if at all?&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;JH: One of the decisions Daniel and I made in creating <em>Fake News and Dinosaurs</em> was to use what is called a “secondary world”. In our book, this meant a world populated by dinosaurs rather than humans. Following the adventures of two young Troodons rather than humans was both more fun (we love dinosaurs) but also stands to help readers focus on the story and lessons it imparts without getting weighed down with associations with contemporary issues. We hope this helps make the book accessible and friendly to as wide an audience as possible—and help avoid it falling into an echo chamber.</p> <p>6. How do you think your book will help young readers to be less vulnerable to the lure of fake stories?&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;JH: Research has shown that narrative (story) is a powerful way to teach. We hope that learning about media literacy with concrete but fun examples embedded in a dino mystery story will help young (and old!) readers remember, recognize, and appropriately respond to fake news.</p> <p>7. Do you have any other book projects in mind for the future?&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;JH: We are currently working on a French translation of <em>Fake News and Dinosaurs</em>.</p> <p>8. Do you encourage readers to get in touch with you?</p> <p>&nbsp;JH: We are always happy to hear what readers think of our book through social media @JasonHarley07 and @DanielBeaudin3. Neither of us, however, are full-time writers/creators and both of us have demanding careers, so we are not typically able to respond to specific questions via social media (or otherwise), unfortunately.&nbsp; We do attend some writing conventions such as CanCon, however, and would be delighted to chat there (or at academic conferences)!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Links to get the book:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><em>Fake News and Dinosaurs: The Hunt for Truth Using Media Literacy</em>&nbsp;is&nbsp;available through&nbsp;<a href=";sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGqr9ejDO6Df6dPcxtUYm7BQSRdDw">Indigo-Chapters</a>,&nbsp;<a href=";sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNFN5c4SNX7b1vBs-MyWn8Q_PugXRg">Barnes &amp; Noble</a>,&nbsp;<a href=";sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHKkGkdrLu-W8RBsU_k0eeuqoDBAQ">Amazon</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="">Friesen Press</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Links to prior interviews:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Links to media interviews about the book:&nbsp;<em><a href="">Global News</a></em>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<em><a href="">Toronto&nbsp;and&nbsp;Edmonton Star</a></em>&nbsp;papers</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2019-09-17T16:27:11-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Arctic Wolf by W. Flaherty / Bowhead Whale by J. Karpik / Walrus by H. Paniaq 2019-10-22T22:48:46-06:00 Sandy Campbell <p>Flaherty, William.&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Arctic Wolf.</em>&nbsp;Illustrated by Sean Bigham. Inhabit Media, 2018.<br> Karpik, Joanasie.&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Bowhead Whale.</em>&nbsp;Illustrated by Sho Uehara. Inhabit Media, 2018.<br> Paniaq, Herve.&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Walrus.</em>&nbsp;Illustrated by Ben Shannon. Inhabit Media, 2017.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Inhabit Media has published three more volumes in their successful “made in the Arctic”&nbsp;<em>Animals Illustrated Series</em>. Herve Paniaq’s <em>Walrus</em>, Joanasie Karpik’s <em>Bowhead Whale</em> and William Flaherty’s <em>Arctic Wolf </em>follow the pattern of the earlier works in this series (see review <a href=""></a>). Each book is a natural history of the animal, including range, physical characteristics, diet, babies, and fun facts. Each book also has one or two sections specific to the animal. For example, in <em>Arctic Wolf</em>, there is a section for “Wolves in Human Form.” Both <em>Bowhead Whale</em> and <em>Walrus</em> have sections on “Traditional Uses.”</p> <p>Although there is a different illustrator for each volume, the styles are similar and the content of the images are parallel throughout the three books. For example, page 6 of each book shows a naturally coloured skeleton on a black background, while page 12 is about Babies, and each book shows a mother and baby image. The illustrations are excellent throughout and extend to the end pages.&nbsp;</p> <p>This series would be good research material for elementary school children studying the North. These books are highly recommended for public libraries and elementary school libraries.&nbsp;</p> <p><br>Highly recommended:&nbsp; 4 out of 4&nbsp;stars&nbsp;<br>Reviewer:&nbsp; Sandy Campbell</p> <p>Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has&nbsp;written&nbsp;hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines.&nbsp;Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.&nbsp;</p> 2019-08-12T13:20:27-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Day War Came by N. Davies 2019-10-22T22:48:48-06:00 Leslie Aitken <p>Davies, Nicola.&nbsp;<em>The Day War Came.</em>&nbsp;Illustrated by Rebecca Cobb. Somerville, Massachusetts, Candlewick Press, in association with Help Refugees, 2018.</p> <p>A young school girl begins her day happily by breakfasting with her family, walking to school with her mother, and commencing the normal, pleasant learning activities of her classroom. In an instant, her world changes; she is orphaned and alone in a devastated landscape. War has come; she articulates its reality:</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “War took everything.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; War took everyone.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I was ragged, bloody, all alone.”</p> <p>Simple, forceful, poetic lines such as these carry forward this story of a child refugee. Though it could be read and understood by primary school children, it would resonate with readers young and old alike.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nicola Davies indicates that her book was inspired by the <em>Guardian</em> newspaper website which featured an account of a refugee child who was refused school entry because there was no chair for her to sit on. In Davies’ own words:</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “…hundreds and hundreds of people posted images of empty chairs, with the hashtag #3000 chairs, as symbols of solidarity with children who had lost everything and had no place to go.”</p> <p>Davies’ interpretation of this reality for young readers is engrossing and moving. Her storyline is perfectly interpreted by the watercolour and graphite pencil illustrations of Rebecca Cobb. Using an expressionistic style, Cobb captures the feelings of confusion and disbelief, abandonment and isolation felt by the displaced child. She also brings a sense of hope to the story’s conclusion.</p> <p>The teamwork of Davies and Cobb is brilliant. Together, they have created a moving and memorable piece of children’s literature.</p> <p>Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars<br>Reviewer: Leslie Aitken<br><br>Leslie Aitken’s long career in librarianship included selection of children’s literature for school, public, special and academic libraries. She is a former Curriculum Librarian of the University of Alberta.</p> 2019-08-12T13:18:58-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Good Egg by J., J., and P. Oswald 2019-10-22T22:48:45-06:00 Tara Gordon <p>John, Jory and Pete Oswald. <em>The Good Egg.</em> HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2019.</p> <p>This imaginative picture book by bestselling creators Jory John and Pete Oswald uses beautiful illustrations and humour to tackle social and emotional skills. <em>The Good Egg </em>is the counterpart to the duo’s book <em>The Bad Seed</em>.</p> <p>As the title suggests, the main character of this book is a good egg, “A verrrrrry good egg.”</p> <p>The beginning of the book shows how the good egg stands apart from the rest of the rowdy dozen in his carton by trying to do good deeds—he’s rescuing a cat when we first meet him.</p> <p>But as the story progresses, we see that the good egg is trying so hard to be good, while everyone around him is rotten, that he reaches a breaking point. The good egg literally begins to crack from all of the self-imposed pressure. Deciding that it is in his best interest to leave the carton, the good egg embarks on a journey of self-care, and self-reflection.</p> <p>On his journey, the good egg finds peace by taking walks, reading, writing in his journal, and just breathing. Eventually, the good egg starts to feel like himself again. At the same time, he realizes that he is lonely without his friends. He learns that even though the other eggs aren’t perfect, he doesn’t have to be either. The good egg decides that it is much better to be with those you love than to be alone, so he returns to his carton.</p> <p>The detailed and expressive illustrations by Oswald bring the characters in <em>The Good Egg </em>to life, making them relatable to kids. The story flows nicely with just the right amount of words, making it a good read-aloud, and useful for class and family discussions on topics like perfectionism, self-care, and accepting yourself and others as they are. It is one of those picture books that gives kids an opportunity to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and to empathize. Overall, <em>The Good Egg </em>reminds us of the importance of balance and self-care, and accepting those we love, even if they are a bit rotten sometimes.</p> <p>Highly recommended: 4 stars out of 4<br>Reviewer: Tara Gordon<br><br>Tara Gordon is a University of Alberta SLIS student with a lifelong passion for children’s books. Outside of school, Tara enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.&nbsp;</p> 2019-08-12T13:21:33-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## How mamas love their babies by J. Fitzgerald & E. Peterson 2019-10-22T22:48:48-06:00 Alexandra Adams <p>Fitzgerald, Juniper, and Elise Peterson. <em>How mamas love their babies. </em>The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2018.</p> <p>The first children’s book from sociology PhD Juniper Fitzgerald and artist-activist Elise Peterson, <em>How Mamas Love Their Babies </em>gently approaches an intersectional understanding of motherhood, while also connecting the many shared experiences of becoming and being a mother.</p> <p>Peterson creates a beautifully layered environment to accompany Fitzgerald’s bold, yet simple text. By overlaying colourful multimedia collage techniques with black and white retro photographs, the illustrations are dynamic and textured. The bright, engaging page design is inviting and makes this a wonderful selection for art educators looking for literacy tie-ins.</p> <p>This book is notable for its acknowledgment and celebration of the many ways mothers work, love and care for their babies. Fitzgerald draws upon her personal experiences labouring in the sex industry to bring forward a unique space within the text by including parents whose work may be stigmatized. In doing so, she underlines the importance of ensuring children can find themselves, their caregivers and communities represented respectfully within the pages of a book.</p> <p>A powerful, inclusive and decisively feminist addition to any children’s collection or storytime, Fizgerald and Peterson encourage readers to welcome, value and honour the presence of all mothers in the lives of their children and communities.</p> <p>Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars <br> Reviewed by: Alexandra Adams</p> <p>Alex is a busy mom, student and public library assistant, with a passion for Early Childhood Education and the Arts. She is currently working on her MLIS at the University of Alberta.</p> 2019-08-12T13:19:22-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## I'm Sad by M.I. Black and D.R. Ohi 2019-10-22T22:48:47-06:00 Sean Borle <p>Black, Michael I, and Debbie R. Ohi.&nbsp;<em>I'm Sad</em>. Simon &amp; Shuster Books for Young Readers, 2018.</p> <p>This book is about a sad flamingo and his friends, a girl and a potato, who try to cheer him up. This absurd collection of characters talk about whether or not flamingo will always feel sad and what makes them feel less sad.</p> <p>Much of the dialog is silly.&nbsp; When the potato says that he knows what cheers him up, the picture is of a happy potato and the word “DIRT!!!” in giant letters.&nbsp; Coming after a discussion of ice cream as a “cheer me up”, “dirt” is unexpected and funny.</p> <p>At the end of the book the flamingo asks, “Will you still like me if I’m sad again tomorrow?” The potato responds with an almost nasty, “I don’t even like you now.”&nbsp; This response is meant as a joke and the next two pages show uproarious laughter.&nbsp; However, young children may not understand that it is not usually an appropriate response and some people would find it hurtful. &nbsp;</p> <p>Debi Ridpath Ohi’s simple illustrations do a good job of presenting expressions and emotions. There are often broken black lines around the images, which, strangely, make the characters, particularly the flamingo, look like they are constantly trembling. Apart from that, the images are fun. The most amusing is the one showing the potato as a fourth scoop of ice cream on a cone, with whipped cream and a cherry on top.&nbsp;</p> <p>This book might give a sad young child a few moments of laughter and in the end delivers the message that it’s OK to feel a little bit sad. With these two thoughts in mind, this book is recommended for libraries for young children: daycares, schools, and public libraries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Recommended:&nbsp; 3 out of 4 stars<br>Reviewer:&nbsp; Sean Borle</p> <p>Sean Borle is a University of Alberta undergraduate student who is an advocate for child health and safety.</p> 2019-08-12T13:20:06-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Kiviuq and the Bee Woman by N. McDermott 2019-10-22T22:48:45-06:00 Sandy Campbell <p>McDermott, Noel.&nbsp; <em>Kiviuq and the Bee Woman</em>. Iqauit, NU, Inhabit Media, 2019.</p> <p>When we last heard of Kiviuq, he had just survived a harrowing encounter with scary monster mermaids or <em>tuutalik</em> (<a href="">Deakin Review by Kirk MacLeod</a>). In <em>Kiviuq and the Bee Woman</em>, the grandfather who narrated <em>Kiviuq and the Mermaid</em> continues the bedtime story to his grandchildren. Kiviuq begins paddling home, but comes upon a tent where an old woman invites him to rest and dry his clothing. She turns out to be a giant Bee Woman who wants to cut up Kiviuq and put him in her cooking pot.</p> <p>For a bedtime story, both the text and the illustrations are quite scary. Illustrator Toma Feizo Gas lets us see into the dark, dramatic and frightening world of the Bee Woman, who is a determined killer. “She shouted, ‘I am Iguttarjuaq, the Bee Woman, and I am going to kill you with my ulu’.”&nbsp; The accompanying image shows a woman with pointy teeth and insect mouth pincers, who is shaking a sharp ulu (knife) at Kiviuq.</p> <p>As is the case with many of Inhabit Media’s publications, the reading level is higher than one would expect to find in a picture book. For younger children, this book will need some adult intervention. In addition to the scary content, human skulls talk, the woman eats her own eyelids and “Kiviuq, realized the woman was boiling human meat.” Some of the language is difficult. For example, Kiviuq “fainted” of fright, but “feinted” to get away. McDermott also intersperses many Inuktitut words, which will slow down younger readers. These are defined at the end of the book.</p> <p>Overall, this excellent product from Inhabit Media should be included in public library collections and school library collections, but should probably be placed in collections designed for older children.&nbsp;</p> <p>Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars<br>Reviewer: Sandy Campbell</p> <p>Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has&nbsp;written&nbsp;hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines.&nbsp;Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.&nbsp;</p> 2019-08-12T13:21:55-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Muskox and the Caribou by N. Mike 2019-10-22T22:48:48-06:00 Leslie Aitken <p>Mike, Nadia.&nbsp; <em>The Muskox and the Caribou.&nbsp;</em>Illustrated by Tamara Campeau. Iqaluit, Nunavut, Inhabit Media, 2017.</p> <p>In simple, sensitive, and well-structured prose, Nadia Mike relates the story of a lost muskox calf that is adopted by a female caribou. Her own fawn, like the other newborns in the herd, is short haired, long legged, and agile. The musk ox calf, by comparison, is shaggy, stocky, and stumpy. The herd’s young caribou tend either to ignore or reject him. The doe, however, instinctively protects him until he is mature enough to find his way to a muskox herd.</p> <p>The story is not sentimentalized; neither is it excessively anthropomorphized. Admittedly, the young caribou “giggle” as the muskox attempts to splash in the pond with them and the little muskox wonders, “Why do they make fun of me?” Anthropomorphizing to this degree seems reasonable in conveying to young children that animals of one species are instinctively cautious, sometimes hostile, toward those of another.</p> <p>Mike’s storyline is expertly enhanced by the line drawings and delicate colour palette of Tamara Campeau. An experienced wildlife illustrator, Campeau presents a realistic picture of both Canada’s tundra, and the animals which inhabit it in spring and summer.</p> <p>As well as a heart-warming story, there is an introduction to the natural sciences here, an opportunity to discuss the concept of species, to study a little further our northern ecosystems, and to explore the mothering instinct that leads a female of one species to temporarily adopt the infant(s) of another.</p> <p>Primary school teachers, school and public librarians, and parents across the nation would find this book an excellent introduction to the nature and culture of Canada’s Arctic. Hats off to Nunavut’s first independent publishing house for this fine piece of children’s literature.</p> <p>Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars<br>Reviewer:&nbsp; Leslie Aitken</p> <p>Leslie Aitken’s long career in librarianship involved selection of children’s literature for school, public, special and academic libraries. She was formerly Curriculum Librarian for the University of Alberta.</p> 2019-08-12T13:18:34-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Origin of Day and Night by P.I. Rumbolt 2019-10-22T22:48:46-06:00 Sandy Campbell <p>Rumbolt, Paula Ikuutaq.&nbsp;<em>The Origin of Day and Night</em>. Iqaluit, NV, Inhabit Media, 2018.</p> <p>This book is another in Inhabit Media’s collection of works that document traditional Inuit stories. Origin stories, which explain why things are the way they are, are common in Inuit storytelling. This one tells us how night and day came to be. In the time when animals and words had special powers, the Tiri, the Arctic fox, and Ukaliq, the Arctic hare, both want to hunt. The fox can see in the dark, so he uses his words to keep the world dark. The hare needs light to see, so she uses her words to bring light. They change night to day and day to night, frustrating each other, until they agree to give each other “enough time to find a meal or two” before changing the light. As a result, we have night and day.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lenny Lishchenko’s illustrations are simple, but support the story effectively. They are mainly in blacks, blues and whites, appropriate to night and day. The animals are outlined in black on white or white on black, with a few details added. There are a few reds and yellows, for the animals’ eyes, the sun, meat and berries.&nbsp;</p> <p>This rendition of the story will capture the interest of the young children, who are the intended audience. Highly recommended for public and elementary school libraries, as well as collections that specialize in polar children’s literature.</p> <p>Highly Recommended:&nbsp; 4 out of 4 stars<br>Reviewer:&nbsp; Sandy Campbell</p> <p>Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has&nbsp;written&nbsp;hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines.&nbsp;Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.&nbsp;</p> 2019-08-12T13:20:51-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Owls Are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet by S. O'Leary 2019-10-22T22:48:45-06:00 Leslie Aitken <p>O’Leary, Sara.&nbsp; <em>Owls Are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet.&nbsp;</em>Illustrated by Jacob Grant. Tundra Books, 2018.</p> <p>From first to last, the phonic examples in O’Leary’s alphabet book are disarming:</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Aa</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Alligators think you’d like them if you got to know them.”</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Zz</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Zebras would like to be first. Just once.“</p> <p>Unlike so many other authors of this genre, O’Leary rarely struggles to find simple, memorable examples of words that begin with the appropriate vowels and consonants. The sole exception in his work is the use of “Chipmunks” to illustrate the sound of the letter “C.” Child readers would have to be mature enough to recognize the digraph (ch) and be alert to its sound. That exception being noted, all of the other phonic illustrations—even the ones for the “difficult” sounds—are straight-forward, playful and engaging.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Qq</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Quail get quite tired of being told to be quiet.”</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Uu</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Unicorns believe in themselves.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Yy</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Yaks giggle at their own jokes.”</p> <p>Joseph Brant’s illustrations are all that they ought to be: large, clear, colourful and, most importantly in this type of book, unambiguous. His depiction of voles for the letter “V” is particularly endearing. Those of us involved in the field of children’s literature might want this illustration and its motto on our flag:</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Vv</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Voles always want just one more book.”</p> <p>In any case, we should ensure that this delightful book is on our children’s library shelves.</p> <p>Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars<br>Reviewer: Leslie Aitken</p> <p>Leslie Aitken’s long career in librarianship included selection of children’s literature for school, public, special and academic libraries. She was a Curriculum Librarian for the University of Alberta.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> 2019-08-12T13:21:12-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Windy Wyndham and the Wagon Who Couldn’t Swim by P. Gould 2019-10-22T22:48:47-06:00 Sandy Campbell <p>Gould, Peter.&nbsp;<em>Windy Wyndham and the Wagon Who Couldn’t Swim</em>. Bassendean, Western Australia, Peter Gould and Donna Franklin, 2018.</p> <p>This is the sixth volume in Peter Gould’s <em>Stories from the Engine Shed </em>series. These books tell the stories of the train engines and cars of the Bennett Brook Railway at Whiteman Park, near Perth in Western Australia. Apart from being a fun series of children’s books, this series is important because it demonstrates that the concept of anthropomorphized train cars is generic and does not belong to any particular franchise. The series has its own cast of characters and a unique Western Australian world in which they operate. While earlier volumes have been set in Whiteman Park, this is a story told by the large diesel locomotive, Windy Wyndham that harkens back to a time when Windy worked at the harbour in the northwestern Australian coastal town of Wyndham.&nbsp;</p> <p>The book is full of Donna Franklin’s brightly coloured pictures. The style of illustration varies significantly, even within pictures. Some of the images, particularly those with machines and people, are quite cartoonish. Drawings of people sometimes lack detail. However, when the subject is something in nature, Franklin’s work is stronger. Her rendition of a turtle, a crocodile, magpie-larks and seahorses are lovely.&nbsp;</p> <p>Each page is a picture with text overprinted. The text includes local references, such as the Freemantle Doctor, the cooling breeze that comes from the Indian Ocean. There are also some railway-specific words, such as “buffer beam”, “shunter”, and “cow catcher.” These words are explained in the glossary, “Ashley’s Railway Words”, at the end of the book. &nbsp;</p> <p>While not widely distributed, the series is available through the Bennett Brook Railway. This volume includes a loose single page insert that explains the history of the real Windy Wyndham engine, which has been at Whiteman Park since 1984.&nbsp;</p> <p>Overall, this is an excellent series, which is suitable for elementary school libraries and public libraries.&nbsp;</p> <p>Highly recommended:&nbsp; 4 out of 4 stars<br>Reviewer:&nbsp; Sandy Campbell</p> <p>Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has&nbsp;written&nbsp;hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines.&nbsp;Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.&nbsp;</p> 2019-08-12T13:19:44-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Many Wonderful Book Events to Announce 2019-10-22T22:48:44-06:00 Hanne Pearce <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Greetings Everyone,&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It has been a surprisingly rainy summer here in Edmonton and while gardens may be water-logged, many of us have taken the extra time indoors to read—I know I have. The news for this issue includes a few events and highlights some resources for teachers and parents making plans for the fall.</span></p> <p><strong>Upcoming Events</strong></p> <p><strong>Thin Air: The Winnipeg International Writers Festival</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will be held September 22-30, 2019. The festival includes a school program to highlight writing for children. For more information see the website at </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></a></p> <p><strong>Kingston Writers Fest </strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">runs Sep 25-29, 2019. The program includes Youth Programming. See the website for details at: </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></a></p> <p><strong>The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) Kids Book Fest </strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">will be held in Brampton, Ontario on Sep 27-29, 2019. Information is available on the festival website: </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></a></p> <p><strong>Canadian Children’s Book Centre to start a YouTube Channel</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">CCBC Website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">: “Plans are underway for a YouTube channel to showcase videos and links to resources about Canadian books for children and youth. Currently the CCBC is collecting videos for the channel. If you have ready-made videos that relate to Canadian children’s books you can email </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> with a title, video length and video description and she’ll include it in her database of prospective videos. The project is being funded by the Canadian Council for the Arts with an anticipated launch in 2020.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>Book Banks for Teachers and Parents</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the new school year underway, I thought it would be worthwhile to highlight a couple book banks offered by the CCBC. The </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">History Book Bank</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> highlights children’s books by subject, and is broken down by centuries. The </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">Social Justice Book Bank</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> enables searching titles by wide variety of categories that include Indigenous, me too, diaspora and immigration, physical handicaps, mental health, etc. Both these book banks offer great ideas for reading based on subject matter.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some readers may enjoy this interesting </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">article in </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The New Yorker</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> about Margaret and Hans Rey, the creators of the Curious George series.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To conclude, this issue of </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Deakin</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will be my last issue as the Communications Editor. For the past several years it has been a pleasure to serve on the editorial team of this journal. I have learned a great deal and I believe this journal provides great information about current children’s books and literature within the Canadian context. I wanted to thank our managing editor Robert Desmarais for his guidance and patience over the past few years. I also want to thank all the other editors on our team: Kim, Debbie, Allison, and Janice, and our reviewers and readers. I look forward to submitting book reviews in the future as my time permits.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Best wishes,&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hanne</span></p> 2019-09-09T12:32:21-06:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##