Titles with a 🍁 indicate this is a Canadian Author and or Illustrator.
Clicking on the title will take you to the Goodreads page of the book.
Queenie Quail Can't Keep Up by Jane Whittingham & Emma Pederson (Illustrations) 🍁
I enjoyed this story about a little quail who is distracted by the world around her. Consequently, she is always trailing behind her siblings. This turns out to be a good thing when she is diverted by a flash of orange and tracks it to find out what it is. Queenie ends up being a hero and her family come to appreciate the way she sees the world.
I live in the middle of quail country and watch them scuttle around my neighborhood everyday. So here's the rub, the quail in this book are cute, but they just don't look enough like my real ones.
Seaside Treasures: A Guidebook for Little Beachcombers by Sarah Grindler 🍁
This is an introduction to all the different things you can find on beaches around the world. It discusses shells, animals, sea glass and garbage. I appreciated the informative bits about the different kinds of flotsam and jetsam to be discovered on seashores.
If Pluto Was a Pea by Gabrielle S. Prendergast & Rebecca Gerlings (Illustrations) 🍁
I appreciate how this book translates our solar system into common everyday objects. It provides readers with a way to relate to the immensity of the planets and our sun. I like the diversity represented in the two children camping out in a backyard.
This will make a fabulous addition to a collection of books about space for primary school readers.
Dog vs. Ultra Dog by Troy Wilson & Clayton Hanmer (Illustrations) 🍁
This book is full of layers of meanings. It's the story of Dog, who can't live up to the commercial portrayal of a superhero, Ultra Dog. His doubts about his worth are exacerbated by the neighbor's cat. Dog tries his best to compete with Ultra Dog with mostly distressing, albeit hilarious results.
NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS
Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Elsie MacGill by Elizabeth MacLeod, Mike Deas (Illustrator) 🍁
Elsie MacGill was one heck of a woman! She lived a life of many 'firsts.' Born in 1905, she was the first Canadian woman to get an engineering degree and the first woman in the world to to get her master's degree in aeronautical engineering. Getting polio in her twenties might have slowed her down a bit, but it sure didn't stop her! In 1938 she became the chief aeronautical engineer in charge of all airplane work at the Canadian Car and Foundry Company. During WW2 she was in charge of a team building Hawker Hurricane planes for the airforce. In 1942, children got to read about her in a comic called 'Queen of the Hurricanes: Elsie MacGill." After the war Elsie became involved with the UN as technical advisor to the International Civil Aviation Organization. In the 1960's she was active in the women's rights movement and became one of the commissioners for the 1967 Royal Commission on the status of Women.
Elsie MacGill is a role model for young women all over the world. She received many awards and honors during her lifetime and now has an award named after her. The Elsie MacGill awards are given out to recognize achievement of women in aviation.
Mike Deas' comic style illustrations are the perfect match for this biography. They provide context to Elizabeth MacLeod's words. I especially appreciate the use of text bubbles to add humour and reality to the story.
This book is a brilliant introduction to this amazing woman's life.
Stowaway by Pam Withers 🍁
If you are searching for a read that gets your adrenaline pumping, look no further than Pam Withers. Do not read this book before going to bed because you will either stay up all night reading, or not be able to sleep because of all that epinephrine coursing through your system.
Owen and his parents live on an island off the coast of British Columbia. His is a solitary life without peers nearby. Eventually we learn how and why this came to be.
When his folks leave him alone for a week, Owen connects to Arturo, a young man who, with his 'uncle,' have sheltered at their marina. When Owen stows away on what he thinks is Arturo and his uncle's friendly boat expecting to get dropped off at the nearest center, is he ever wrong. He finds himself caught up in an international human smuggling syndicate.
Pam Withers takes her readers from one hairbreadth adventure and escape to the next. I like how she alternates the two perspectives of Arturo and Owen in different chapters.
The Horse of the River: A Camp Canyon Falls Adventure by Sari Cooper 🍁
This surprised me. I'm not much of a horse riding fan, but was completely engaged by this coming of age tale.
Gillian is nervous to be attending a horse riding/training camp for the first time. It seems to be going fine until the thoughtless actions of another girl damages her horse. She ends up paired with The Beast, a horse who challenges even more confident riders. When Gillian loses control of The Beast, she lands in a raging river where she is pulled downstream through rapids and over a waterfall. At this point it becomes a survival story with Gillian and The Beast coming to terms with one another.
I appreciated that all the characters end up being thoughtfully rendered with authentic back stories.
The Body Under the Piano (Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen, #1) by Marthe Jocelyn & Sarah English (Narrator) 🍁
I loved this audiobook. It has the feel of Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series. Aggie Morton is a precocious, imaginative twelve year old writer growing up around the turn of the century in 1902. Many of the characters Agatha Christie would come to write about are integrated into this murder mystery for middle grade readers. Aggie's newest best friend, Belgian immigrant Hector Perot, and her perceptive Grannie Jane, help solve this mystery of the murder in a dance studio. I especially appreciate the depth of characters here and the complexity of the plot.
I can hardly wait for the next one in the series. Unfortunately that won't be until September of this year!
I'm reading Embrace the Chicken by Mahtab Narsimhan. I'm listening to The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead.
I started listening to Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee, but my life has been already so full of anxiety, that I put it aside. Maybe I will get back to it this week, or I might just try and find the book in text format. This coming week I'm planning of reading Tick Tock Terror by Melanie Jackson, Dressed to Play by Jennifer Manuel, and Cold Falling White by G. S. Prendergast.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MustReadIn2020: 8/25 one in progress
25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors: 9/25
100 books by Canadian Authors: 87/100
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 166/333