The Deakin Review of Children's Literature <p>The <em>Deakin Review of Children’s Literature</em> is an electronic quarterly 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> University of Alberta Libraries en-US The Deakin Review of Children's Literature 1927-1484 <p>Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:</p> <ol type="a"> <li>Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a <a href="" target="_new">Creative Commons Attribution License</a> that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.</li> <li>Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.</li> <li>Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See <a href="" target="_new">The Effect of Open Access</a>).</li> </ol> A Bevy of 4-Star Books to Delight Readers <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dear Readers,</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We are delighted to recommend a diverse group of children’s books for your reading pleasure. Remarkably, more than half of the books in this issue were “highly recommended” by Deakin reviewers, so I wanted to take this opportunity to explain the significance of a 4-star rating. Our reviewers are looking for books with captivating stories from start to finish that are worthy of reading over and over. Many of the books we review are illustrated, so we also pay close attention to the artful marriage of words and pictures. A four-star rating demands excellence in the book’s design and writing quality, and of course, the book should have a story that inspires readers to think and learn. It certainly isn’t easy to earn a 4-star review from our reviewers, and for that reason, I would like to congratulate the authors, illustrators, and publishing teams who produced the eight books that earned a 4-star rating in this issue: </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cheerful Chick</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Down by the River</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gluten Free is Part of Me</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here Comes Rhinoceros</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">That’s Not Hockey</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Una Huna?: What Is This?</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">What’s My Superpower?</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">You Hold Me Up</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. The creators of these excellent books deserve commendation for a job well done, and we owe them our thanks for capturing our interest and imagination.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I am thrilled to see so many books recommended by Deakin reviewers for their overall quality and I hope you’ll find something in this issue to fire </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">your</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> imagination.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Happy reading!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Robert Desmarais,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Managing Editor </span></p> Robert Desmarais ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-04-18 2019-04-18 8 3 10.20361/dr29425 Cheerful Chick by M. Brockenbrough <p>Brockenbrough, Martha. <em>Cheerful Chick</em>. Illustrated by Brian Won, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2019.</p> <p>Accompanied by Brian Won’s vibrant illustrations, Martha Brockenbrough tells the story of an energetic chick with a passion for cheerleading. Waving her pompoms and performing her best moves, Cheerful Chick tries to spread cheer around the barnyard. However, the grown-up animals do not seem to share her enthusiasm and Cheerful Chick soon finds herself feeling discouraged. In the end, Cheerful Chick realizes that her high spirits have not gone unappreciated after all.</p> <p>This picture book explores the fact that we cannot always count on others to share in our passions. Brockenbrough’s use of the descriptor <em>grown-up</em> for the animals too busy for Cheerful Chick’s antics opens up room for discussions about the stressors that can make adults seem grumpy to energetic children who want others to share their cheerful moods. Although Cheerful Chick finds there is a troupe of chicks ready to join her cheers, the lesson about learning to feel joy even when joy is not shared by others proves to be the most interesting aspect of this story.</p> <p>Packed with colourful full-page spreads and rhyming text that is perfectly paced for reading aloud, <em>Cheerful Chick</em> is sure to become a story time favourite. The obvious place for this picture book is in a farm-themed story time, but librarians, educators, and parents will also find it lends itself well to themes such as feelings and friendship. This picture book is an irresistible burst of optimism that is sure to delight preschoolers and older children alike.</p> <p>Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars<br> Reviewer: Samantha Nugent</p> <p>Sam works as a librarian at Hinton Municipal Library.</p> Samantha Nugent ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29418 Down by the River: A Family Fly Fishing Story by A. Weiner <p>Weiner, Andrew.&nbsp; <em>Down by the River: A Family Fly Fishing Story</em>. Harry N. Abrams, 2018.&nbsp;</p> <p>This is a beautifully illustrated book that tells a simple story about a boy, Art, who goes on a fly-fishing trip with his mother and grandfather. The story recalls a time when Art’s grandfather taught his mother to fish.&nbsp; April Chu has used a subdued palette for her two-page riverine landscapes, with lots of green and rich autumn colours in the environment. The book has a calm and peaceful feel about it that mirrors the contemplative nature of fly-fishing.&nbsp;</p> <p>The text is simple and descriptive of a day spent on the river. The reading level is too difficult for the intended Kindergarten to Grade 2 audience, so an adult will need to read the book aloud, especially those sentences that could confuse young readers with difficult concepts or complicated jargon: “The line arced forward and the fly landed softly a few feet above the rock. It drifted with the current past the rock. There was a splash and the line went tight.”&nbsp;</p> <p>The last three pages contain information about fly fishing, the clothing worn by fly fishers and where to get more information about the sport. The end pages are decorated with images of intricate flys with such fun and mysterious names as: “Ian’s Crunch Caddis,” “Black Fur Ant,” and “Purple Parachute Adams.”</p> <p>This book is a good introduction to fly fishing for younger children that also tells a charming story. Highly recommended for school and public libraries.</p> <p>Highly Recommended: 4 stars out of 4<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> Sandy Campbell ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29412 Gluten Free is Part of Me by L. Oestreich <p>Oestreich, Laurie. <em>Gluten Free is Part of Me.</em> Illustrated by Kayla Gartenberg. Mascot Books, 2018.</p> <p><em>Gluten Free Is Part of Me</em> follows a young girl as she describes what it is like living with celiac disease. It presents information in an sensitive way, anticipating and empathizing with children living with celiac disease. The little girl in the story talks about how it can be difficult to attend events where she cannot eat the same foods as other children and how she wishes her celiac disease would go away. She also describes the strategies she uses to stay healthy and to educate those around her. The story is written in verse with simple rhymes and age-appropriate vocabulary for young readers.</p> <p>Author Laurie Oestreich is a New York-based child and family therapist whose inspiration fo<em>r Gluten Free is Part of Me</em> was her granddaughter who was diagnosed with celiac disease. She presents an overall positive message,&nbsp; helping children to understand celiac disease and how to manage it successfully. Oestreich uses her story to put celiac disease in the context of a variety of health conditions, such as food and environmental allergies, visual and hearing deficits that people experience. Importantly, the story reinforces to young readers that a health condition is merely one aspect of their being, and not what defines them. At the end of the story, a <em>Note From the Doctor</em>, written by physician, Dr Peter Green, director of Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center, endorses and reinforces the story’s messages.</p> <p>The colourful illustrations accompanying the story, complement and enhance the text. Children will enjoy re-reading the story to examine small details in the illustrations, such as the notes on the bulletin board. Artist and photographer, Kayla Gartenberg’s strategic inclusion of anatomical details in her illustrations, introduces young children to body parts and medical vocabulary relevant to the digestive system and to celiac disease.&nbsp;</p> <p>Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars<br> Reviewer: Maria Tan</p> <p>Maria is a health sciences librarian at the University of Alberta and a former editorial team member of the Deakin Review. She is the co-author, with Sandy Campbell, of <u><a href="">A Selective Collection of Children’s Health Fiction 2014-2016</a></u>, which is an update of the Children’s Health Fiction Checklist <u><a href="">presented in the October 2014 Special Issue of the Deakin Review (Vol. 4, No. 2)</a></u>.</p> Maria Tan ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29414 Here Comes Rhinoceros / Kommt das Nashorn by H. Janisch <p>Janisch, Heinz.&nbsp;<em>Here Comes Rhinoceros / Kommt das Nashorn. </em>Illustrated by Helga Bansch. Translated and edited by Evan Jones, Fitzhenry &amp; Whiteside, 2018.&nbsp;</p> <p>This picture book is a paean to solidity. Its central character, Rhinoceros, is as “beautiful as a mountain.” He “holds his ground,” stands “silent in the storm.”&nbsp; Though he does voice a wish to be as free as the tiny white bird who is his friend (his “chirping snowflake”) he also realizes that many creatures appreciate his stalwart, earthbound presence; they need him “to stand on,” “to rest on.”</p> <p>Heinz Janisch, the author of this charming narrative, has won the Austrian State Prize for Poetry, as well as that nation’s Children’s Literature Prize. The poetic quality of his writing style is effectively conveyed in Evan Jones’ translation. Helga Bansch’s illustrations are a perfect match for the text. She draws quite expertly; her rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, zebra, and deer are appropriate in detail and in proportion to one another. In an inventive and humorous vein, she lets us see the tiny white bird being blown “right off the page” by the storm. Though all of her work has an endearing quality, the little meerkat with his red umbrella is, in particular, a heart-stealer.</p> <p>The story line of this picture book is very suitable for both preschool and primary school aged children.&nbsp; Janisch’s vocabulary, syntax, and use of metaphor, however, suggest the need for adult assistance—at least initially—if children are to fully comprehend and appreciate the beauty of the text. A child enjoying the book as a bedtime story would pore over the illustrations; those illustrations would, as well, be perfectly large and clear enough for small group presentation in a classroom or library. In sum, <em>Here Comes Rhinoceros</em> is an excellent choice for home, school, and public libraries.&nbsp;</p> <p>Reviewer: Leslie Aitken<br> Rating: 4 out of 4 stars</p> <p>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> Leslie Aitken ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29420 Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by D. Stein <p>Stein, David E. <em>Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise</em>. Candlewick Press in Association with Penguin Random House Canada, 2018.</p> <p>In this, his second picture book starring Interrupting Chicken, Stein begins with a delightful pun: Chicken declares that every good story has “an elephant of surprise.” Papa tries to convince her that she has misheard her teacher, that every good story has “…an element of surprise.” To demonstrate, he attempts to read aloud classic folk and fairy tales: The Ugly Duckling; Little Mermaid; Rapunzel. Chicken, of course, interrupts. The Ugly Duckling gazes at his reflection and sees “…an Elephant.” The prince ascends the tower on a rope of hair to discover that his love is “…an ELEPHANT!”. Papa is dogged; he keeps trying. Chicken is relentless; she keeps interrupting. The story hour goes on with appealing silliness until Papa graciously allows it to end, not surprisingly, with elephants.</p> <p>A former Caldecott Honor winner, Stein creates not only this amusing storyline, but its illustration as well. He employs a variety of artistic techniques to great effect. The basic narrative, (including Chicken’s interruptions of Papa’s readings) is presented in cartoon style and bold crayon; the classic readings are highlighted with line drawings and water colour. Thus the theme of “interruption” is both conveyed and sustained by the art work.</p> <p>There are a few provisos about sharing this book with primary school children: a child will more fully enjoy the inappropriateness—and silliness—of Chicken’s outbursts if he or she is familiar with the plotlines of the classic tales that Papa attempts to read. The wise parent, or teacher, or librarian will ensure this familiarity in the most obvious and enjoyable way: sharing the stories. There is a further consideration: the hilarity of Chicken’s behaviour arises because she either cannot, or will not, acknowledge the literary concept of a “surprise element.” Children who, themselves, can grasp that concept will laugh harder than children who cannot. Depending on the age and maturity of the child listener, a little didacticism on the part of the adult reader may be appropriate. With these requirements satisfied, this book is a winner.</p> <p>Recommended: 3 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 is a former Curriculum Librarian of the University of Alberta.</p> Leslie Aitken ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29409 Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party by M. McDonald <p>McDonald, Megan.&nbsp; <em>Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party</em>. Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Candlewick Press, 2018.</p> <p>The multi-volume Judy Moody series continues here as Judy attempts to complete a grade three assignment: create a family tree. Learning that one of her British ancestors was “Mudeye” Moody, rescuer of a prisoner from the Tower of London during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Judy embellishes: the rescuer was a young prince; the prisoner was a princess; she, herself, is akin to royalty, a future Queen. There is, however, a rival for her title, her schoolmate, Jessica Finch. Jessica, too, has British roots. She, too, claims kinship with Mudeye Moody. Jessica’s Mudeye, however, was a rat catcher who rescued his lady from the Tower in the time of Queen Victoria. Unaware that more than two centuries elapsed between the reigns of Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, the two girls decide that Mudeye Moody, the one-and-the-same, is their mutual ancestor. They ally; they are “step sisters.” They will keep secret Judy’s relationship to the rat catcher, but, together, they will stage a “Right Royal Tea Party.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Judy Moody is a domineering child. No constitutional monarch is she; she is a despot, her younger brother the target of her bullying. In both conversational and narrative passages, scatology is the norm. Judy and her friends belong to the “Toad Pee Club.” They meet in the “Toad Pee Tent.” Her younger brother’s Siamese Fighting&nbsp; Fish is named “Prince Redmond the Farter.” It communicates, of course, by ”farting.” Throughout the book, the young brother is referred to as “Stink.” (There is never any adult censure of this talk.) Dubious diction continues in Judy’s letter to the current Queen Elizabeth. She asks: “...Did you ever ride a hinny? (That’s a cross between a horse and a donkey, not a hiney?) … P.S. Sorry if I’m not supposed to say hiney in a letter to the Queen.” (Among its various uses, “hiney” is slang for “buttocks.” It is, as well, a derogatory 20th-century term for a German soldier.)</p> <p>Questions spring to mind as one reads this book: does the writing merely reflect the anal obsessions of children, or does it encourage them? The same could be asked about bullying behaviours.</p> <p>It is also curious that the historical dates of Elizabeth I (who died in 1603) and Queen Victoria (who came to the throne in 1837) are never given. There are natural opportunities within the story to do so: Peter Reynold’s illustration of “Famous Women Rulers” is one such opportunity; the Moody family’s trip to Wolff Castle is another. Of course, if Judy and Jessica discover the dates, they must give up their assumptions about Mudeye; he would have to have lived for more than two centuries to perform his dual acts of gallantry. Are the presumed readers (upper primary, lower elementary school children) thought to be too immature to appreciate this absurdity? Or must they be kept in ignorance lest the contrivance of the plot be revealed?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>In Canada, school children are taught that the Queen is a constitutional monarch, a symbol of national unity, not a ruler. Because she lives in England, she has a Canadian representative who performs her ceremonial duties. A Canadian Judy Moody might dream differently—perhaps pretending that she is an astronaut like Governor General Julie Payette.</p> <p>While much imagination went into the premise of this book, it lacks thoughtful, well considered composition.&nbsp; However popular the Judy Moody books, this entry in the series is weak.</p> <p>Not recommended: 1 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 is a former Curriculum Librarian of the University of Alberta.</p> Leslie Aitken ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29411 Poetree by C. Pignat <p>Pignat, Caroline. <em>Poetree</em>. Illustrated by François Thisdale, Red Deer Press, 2018.</p> <p>Caroline Pignat is a two-time Governor General Award winner and it’s easy to see why when one looks at her latest beautiful book. Each page of <em>Poetree</em> is simply delightful with short simple poems complemented by François Thisdale’s excellent illustrations. The illustrations perfectly invoke the feeling of the poem whether it be the frosty cold of a silent winter’s morning or the pure warm delight of a warm summer's day. The short length of the poetry and the everyday-vocabulary chosen by Pignat makes this book accessible to many readers, even those working on their English skills or who are new to poetry.</p> <p>For educators and librarians, this book would be an excellent addition to a program celebrating poetry. In fact, the style of the short poems and illustrations focusing on daily life could be showcased in the reading of this book and then learners could work on creating their own illustrated poems in the style of <em>Poetree</em>. The combination of eye-catching illustrations with high contrast text will no doubt delight audiences of all ages if used in story times and the overall simplicity of the language would allow newer readers to still engage, making this an excellent addition to classrooms and libraries.</p> <p>Recommended with Reservations: 3 stars out of 4<br> Reviewer: Lorisia MacLeod</p> <p>Lorisia MacLeod is an Instruction Librarian at NorQuest College Library and a proud member of the James Smith Cree Nation. When not working on indigenization or diversity in librarianship, Lorisia enjoys reading almost any variation of Sherlock Holmes, comics, or travelling.</p> Lorisia MacLeod ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29419 That’s Not Hockey! by A. Poulin <p>Poulin, Andrée.&nbsp;<em>That’s Not Hockey</em>! Annick Press, 2018</p> <p>This picture book tells the story of the famous hockey player, Jacques Plante, who loved hockey as a child, but had to improvise because he did not have a lot of hockey gear. The title phrase “That’s Not Hockey” appears when Jacques uses a ball because he didn’t have a puck, uses a tree root for a goalie stick and has goalie pads made out of potato sacks and wooden slats. Andrée Poulin uses the bold-face phrase, “Hey, that’s not hockey” throughout the book, as though it had been shouted at the young Plante to indicate that people were not happy with his changes to the game. This foreshadows the reaction to one of Plante’s greatest and most memorable contributions to the game—the introduction of the goalie mask. While Plante initially faced booing, teasing, and taunting from “reporters, players, goaltenders and crowds”, helmets and facemasks became standard equipment in hockey and players now have far fewer head and face injuries as a result.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Félix Girard’s cartoon illustrations capture pond hockey in rural Quebec well. Girard also accurately portrays a bare-headed 1959 era hockey team hoisting the Stanley Cup.</p> <p>This is a good story about a Canadian hockey legend that also carries a lesson about continuing to work at making things better, even when most people seem to be against you.&nbsp;</p> <p>Highly Recommended:&nbsp; 4 stars out of 4<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;&nbsp;</p> Sandy Campbell ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29415 Una Huna?: What Is This? by S. Aglukark <p>Aglukark, Susan. <em>Una Huna?: What Is This? </em>Illustrated by Amanda Sandland and Danny Christopher, Inhabit Media, 2018. &nbsp;</p> <p>Juno-award-winning Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark has had tremendous success blending languages (Inuktitut and English) to tell the stories of her people through popular music. She has now published the first in a planned series of six picture books intended for both Inuit and non-Inuit readers, a series that celebrates the resilience of the Inuit people. The series focuses on a period of tremendous change, beginning late in the nineteenth century, when more and more European traders began to regularly visit Inuit camps. This changing world is seen through the eyes of a young Inuk girl named Ukpik.</p> <p>Ukpik is a happy little girl who is excitedly seeking the perfect name for her new puppy. A precocious child, she is eager to try new things, to ask questions, and to share newfound knowledge with the other children in camp. She is eager to understand and embrace the European tools for which her family trades—in this story, it is cutlery (knives, forks, and spoons)—but she wonders if these objects will forever change their happy way of life. Ukpik’s grandmother offers reassurance and helps the little girl to thoughtfully consider her family’s place in a rapidly changing world.</p> <p>As she has done so successfully with her music, Aglukark has peppered <em>Una Huna?</em> with Inuktitut words that will introduce young readers to Inuit culture without confusing them or significantly slowing the pace of the story. The charming illustrations by Amanda Sandland and Danny Christopher are very suitable for children and lend a fairly realistic sense of place. Appropriately, this book was published by the first independent publishing company in Nunavut; Inuit-owned Inhabit Media seeks to promote and preserve Inuit mythology and traditional knowledge. <em>Una Huna? </em>is highly recommended for readers aged 5 to 7.</p> <p>Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars<br>Reviewer: Linda Quirk</p> <p>Linda taught courses in Canadian Literature, Women's Writing, and Children's Literature at Queen's University (Kingston) and at Seneca College (Toronto) before moving to Edmonton to become a librarian at University of Alberta’s Bruce Peel Special Collections.</p> Linda Quirk ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29423 We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by R. Higgins <p>Higgins, Ryan T.&nbsp;<em>We Don’t Eat Our Classmates</em>. Disney-Hyperion, 2018</p> <p>This is a messy book. Ryan Higgins' drawings are much messier and less precise than his earlier books about Bruce, the bear. However, when you are Pamela Rex, a Tyrannosaurus rex starting school with a room full of delicious human classmates, things get messy, particularly when you have to spit them out.</p> <p>Ryan Higgins taps the absurd in both his images and text to keep children laughing. Penelope still wants to eat the children, even though her father “packed her a lunch of three hundred tuna sandwiches." There is also an image of Penelope trying to “make friends at recess,” but she is standing at the bottom of the playground slide with her mouth open. Penelope does eventually learn a small lesson in empathy when Walter, the class goldfish, bites her.&nbsp;</p> <p>Higgins draws Penelope as a stuffed toy Tyrannosaurus rex, perhaps to prevent children from being frightened. The children are represented by the usual politically correct collection of stereotypes, often identified by clothing. There is one Jewish (yarmulke), one Muslim (hijab), two black (tight curly hair), one Indigenous (braids), one Japanese (the only child with a shirt and tie), and several generic “brown” children.&nbsp; All of the children have dark hair. Blue-eyed blonds are conspicuous by their absence.&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition to being a fun book, this volume allows every child to claim the moral high ground. Every child can say, “I wouldn’t ever do that!”, because all children know that “we don’t eat our classmates.”</p> <p>While this is a book about being different, clashes of values, and learning to get along, it is mainly a book that will amuse children. Recommended for elementary school and public libraries.</p> <p>Recommended:&nbsp; 3 out of 4 stars<br> Reviewer:&nbsp; Sandy Campbell&nbsp;</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; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Sandy Campbell ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29413 The Whale Child by C. Simpson <p>Simpson, Carroll. <em>The Whale Child</em>. Illustrated by Carroll Simpson. Heritage House Publishing Co. Ltd. 2016.</p> <p>Simpson does not list an Indigenous community affiliation so I will be referring to this work as Indigenous-inspired based on the author information provided.</p> <p><em>The Whale Child </em>by Carroll Simpson is a story about a young girl who is swept out to sea after her village is destroyed and develops a connection with a whale to find her way back to her sister. It features Simpson’s signature West Coast First Nation inspired art style and style of storytelling creating a visually beautiful book that even younger readers might enjoy for the illustrations. Simpson acknowledges that this tale is not a traditional tale but rather one of her own creation with biological facts about whales at the end of the story; however, the artwork and phrasing in the story would likely mislead readers to believe it to be a traditional retelling. This is similar to her other titles in her Coastal Spirit Tales series which feature Indigenous-inspired art and storytelling making them a resource to be used only with critical thought.</p> <p><em>The Whale Child</em> has all the trappings of a book that would be easy to use as Indigenous content in early grades; however, doing so would displace Indigenous voices that could be used so I would caution against using this title only because it fits the assumptions of what Indigenous works look like.</p> <p>For both librarians and educators, I would recommend engaging with your Indigenous connections prior to using this book to ensure that it is catalogued or implemented into the curriculum appropriately. It is possible that there may be Indigenous voices that your community would like highlighted in place of Indigenous-inspired works and that should be something critically discussed when looking at this book as an educational resource.</p> <p>Recommended with reservations: 2 out of 4 stars<br> Reviewer: Lorisia MacLeod</p> <p><strong>Reviewers Biography</strong></p> <p>Lorisia MacLeod is an Instruction Librarian at NorQuest College Library and a proud member of the James Smith Cree Nation. When not working on indigenization or diversity in librarianship, Lorisia enjoys reading almost any variation of Sherlock Holmes, comics, or travelling.</p> Lorisia MacLeod ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29408 What's My Superpower? by A. Johnston <p>Johnston, Aviaq. <em>What's My Superpower?</em> Illustrated by Tim Mack, Inhabit Media. 2017.</p> <p>Following her debut novel, <em>Those Who Run in the Sky</em>, Johnston and illustrator Tim Mack have put together the delightful story of a young Inuit girl named Nalvana who sees superpowers in all her friends, but isn't sure if she has one of her own. The book has a bright and colourful style highlighting a young girl's world in the Canadian Territories.</p> <p>Following Nelvana through her story, the reader is introduced to her mother, her unnamed (but adorable) dog, her friends and her community. Her infectious smile and positive attitude come through on every page and as she discovers each of her friends’ superpowers, she, and the reader, begin to wonder about her own.&nbsp; The book mixes Inuktitut terms throughout, and includes a glossary at the end.</p> <p>An excellent introduction to a young girl's world in Northern Canada and with a positive message and vibrant illustrations, the book would work well for young schoolchildren as well as those who might be interested in a view of Canada's different communities and questions about their own superpowers. A great read!</p> <p>Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars<br> Reviewer: Kirk MacLeod</p> <p>Kirk is the Open Data Team Lead for the Government of Alberta’s Open Government Portal. A Life-Long reader, he moderates two book clubs and is constantly on the lookout for new great books!</p> Kirk MacLeod ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29417 Who Do I Want To Become? by R. Billan <p>Billan, Rumeet.&nbsp;<em>Who Do I Want To Become? </em>&nbsp;Illustrated by Michelle Clement. Page Two Books, 2018.</p> <p>This picture book conveys an important approach to problem solving. When asked by his teacher, Mr. Janzen, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” the central character, Dylan, initially thinks in narrow terms: career choices. He is stymied. When he reframes the question as “Who do I want to become?” he arrives at a thoughtful answer.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “I want to be someone who tries new things and isn’t afraid to fail. I want to be someone who helps others and makes a difference in the world. Someone who isn’t afraid to be me.” [p.31]</p> <p>Dylan clearly has changed the problem from “What do I want to do for a living?” to “What kind of person do I want to be?” It should be pointed out that the actual words of his reframing are no guarantee of a philosophical result. Many children would still respond to the question, “Who do I want to become?” in terms of role models, generic or specific: “I want to become Prime Minister.” “Chris Hadfield.” “Tessa Virtue.” (Certainly, had I been asked that question at eight years of age as I struggled, in my brother’s old hockey skates, to navigate the frozen puddle that was our “rink” I would have replied, “Barbara Ann Scott.”)</p> <p>The culminating focus of the storyline is character development; parents and teachers could use this book to begin discussion of it. They may have to do some prompting, even a little rewording of the central question, to achieve that focus. It is worth the effort. Dillan’s answer opens up issues of self-acceptance, self-direction, and self-actualization in a manner suitable for school aged children. His conclusion also emphasizes that the business of childhood is personal growth and development, not career planning. Though this is a picture book, the inherent nature of its topic, as well as Billan’s writing vocabulary, suggest its use with children eight to twelve years of age. Michelle Clement’s humorous cartoon-style drawings should appeal to that age group as well. &nbsp;In sum, the total package seems age appropriate for pre-adolescent youngsters.</p> <p>Reviewer:&nbsp; Leslie Aitken<br>Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars</p> <p>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> Leslie Aitken ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29421 You Hold Me Up by M. Gray Smith <p>Gray Smith, Monique. <em>You Hold Me Up</em>. Illustrated by Danielle Daniel. Orca Book Publishers, 2017.</p> <p>Monique Gray Smith is not a prolific author, but her works have impact. She writes from her knowledge of the impact of the Indian Residential Schools on Canadian Indigenous people. Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage woman (Cree, Lakota and Scottish) who wrote this book “to remind us of our common humanity and the importance of holding each other up with respect and dignity.” “With this book,” she says, “we are embarking on a journey of reconciliation and healing.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Gray Smith uses simple terms and sentences, appropriate to a Kindergarten to Grade 3 audience, to describe the things that individuals can do in their relationships to move forward in reconciliation. Danielle Daniel’s brightly coloured, stylized illustrations reflect these concepts. The concepts include being kind to each other, sharing, learning, playing, laughing and singing together, and comforting, respecting and listening to each other.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls all Canadians to move forward together in reconciliation, a task that can appear to be daunting and overwhelming. Gray Smith provides a simple blueprint for small steps forward, the most basic being that we can “hold each other up.”</p> <p>This book is highly recommended for elementary school libraries and public libraries.</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> Sandy Campbell ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-12 2019-03-12 8 3 10.20361/dr29416 We've Got Lots of Good News for You! <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Greetings everyone!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Welcome to another issue and a round-up of children’s literature news. It has been a long and cold winter in Edmonton, but it seems to be finally winding down. There are some award and event news to share with you as well as some podcasts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I happen to be a big podcast lover and and my favourite ones help me get through the winter darkness with insightful ideas and discussions. It thought it would be fun to highlight a few children’s literature podcasts that may interest our readers. Here’s wishing you all a warm spring!</span></p> <p><strong>AWARDS</strong></p> <p><strong>Alberta Literary Awards </strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">were announced by the </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">Writers’ Guild of Alberta</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. The books shortlisted for the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature include: </span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jenny Keith (Edmonton) –</span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Day Cat, Night Cat</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mike Kerr (Calgary) –</span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Crafty Llama</span></em></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nhung Tran-Davies (Calmar) – </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ten Cents a Pound</span></em></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Shortlist reading events will be held this spring in Edmonton on May 5 and in Calgary on May 15.</span></p> <p><strong>The BC Book Prize</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> shortlists have been announced, and titles shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize include: </span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Learning to Breathe</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Janice Lynn Mather </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Journey Forward, A Novella on Reconciliation: When We Play Our Drums</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">They Sing!</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> / </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lucy and Lola</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Monique Gray Smith and Richard Van Camp </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nice Try, Jane Sinner</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Lianne Oelke </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">No Fixed Address</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Susin Nielsen</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Very Rich</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Polly Horvath</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Those shortlisted for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize include: </span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Nameless City: The Divided Earth</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Faith Erin Hicks, </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Robert Bateman: The Boy Who Painted Nature</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Robert Bateman, </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sir Simon: Super Scarer</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Cale Atkinson; </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sparks! </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">by Ian Boothby Illustrated by Nina Matsumoto</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sterling, Best Dog Ever</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Aidan Cassie</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Full details can be found at the </span><a href=""><strong>BC Book Prize Website.</strong></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>EVENTS</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Me and Mr. Carnegie: 16th Albert Lahmer Memorial Lecture</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books, Lillian H. Smith Branch, Toronto Public Library</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">April 25, 2019, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">See more at:</span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Canadian Children’s Book Centre</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CHILDREN’S AND YA PODCASTS</strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>YA Write</strong></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Every month, Amy Mathers talks to YA writers about their inspiration as a writer and their latest books.</span></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Picturebooking</strong></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Podcast About Creating and Sharing Picture Books</span></p> <p><a href=""><strong>The Yarn</strong></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A narrative adventure. The Yarn takes listeners behind the scenes of children's literature, and lets them look at all the threads that must be weaved together to create a book.</span></p> <p><a href=""><strong>The Children’s Book Podcast</strong></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hosted by Matthew Winner, elementary school librarian and co-founder of All The Wonders. The Children's Book Podcast features insightful and sincere interviews with authors, illustrators, and everyone involved in taking a book from a drawing board to bookshelf.</span></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Books Between</strong></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A podcast about books for tweens around the ages 8-12. The podcast offers trending topics, author interviews, and recommendations. </span></p> <p><br><br><br></p> Hanne Pearce ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-04-11 2019-04-11 8 3 10.20361/dr29424