‘Tis the season to cuddle up with a mug of hot chocolate and a cute holiday read. You’ll have to make the drink yourself (sorry), but luckily, we have the book recommendations! Check them out below and make sure to pick them up from your favourite local bookstore!
All I Want for Christmas
By Wendy Loggia 240 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593179833 | Underlined
Bailey Briggs is counting down the days to Christmas: she lives for holiday music, baking cookies, going on snowy sleigh rides,and wearing her light-up reindeer ears to work at Winslow’s bookstore. But all she really wants this year is the one thing she doesn’t have: someone special to kiss under the mistletoe. And she’s 100 percent certain that that someone isn’t Jacob Marley — athlete, player, and of questionable taste in girlfriends — and that Charlie, the mysterious stranger with the British accent, is the romantic lead of her dreams. Is she right? This will be a December to remember, filled with real-life Christmas magic . . . and, if she stays on Santa’s nice list, a wish that just might come true.
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
288 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593309605 | Knopf BFYR
16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges. What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories
Edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman
Foreword by Mayim Bialik 320 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780525646167 | Knopf BFYR
A Jewish boy falls in love with a fellow counselor at summer camp. A group of Jewish friends take the trip of a lifetime. A girl meets her new boyfriend’s family over Shabbat dinner. Two best friends put their friendship to the test over the course of a Friday night. A Jewish girl feels pressure to date the only Jewish boy in her grade. Hilarious pranks and disaster ensue at a crush’s Hanukkah party. From stories of confronting their relationships with Judaism to rom-coms with a side of bagels and lox, It’s a Whole Spiel features one story after another that says yes, we are Jewish, but we are also queer, and disabled, and creative, and political, and adventurous, and anything we want to be. You will fall in love with this insightful, funny, and romantic Jewish anthology from a collection of diverse Jewish authors.
Let It Snow
By John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle 368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9781101998618 | Speak
An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train, setting off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.
New Year’s Kiss
By Lee Matthews 256 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593179857 | Underlined
Tess and her opinionated older sister Lauren are spending the week after Christmas at the snowy Evergreen Lodge in Vermont and they aren’t happy about it. Their stern grandmother, who owns the holiday resort, is not known for her warmth and good humor. But when shy, straight-laced Tess meets Christopher in the lobby, things are suddenly looking up. And when she decides to get out of her comfort zone and create a bucket list of things to accomplish before the New Year-like singing in public and skiing a black-diamond slope-Christopher is happy to help, even as he keeps a secret that could turn everything upside down. When the ball drops, will Tess and Christopher share a magical kiss-or will Tess start the new year off alone?
By Jay Asher 272 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780448493640 | Razorbill
Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon — it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other. By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.
Our Marketing and Publicity Director, Vikki VanSickle, was on CTV’s Your Morning today to talk about her top picks for holiday gifts. Check out our titles from her recommended list below and don’t forget to watch her segment!
Princesses Versus Dinosaurs
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Joy Ang
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264298 | Tundra Books
This is a princess book! No, it’s a dinosaur book! No, it’s . . . a T. rex book? A dragon book? A rubber ducky book?! From Linda Bailey, award-winning and critically acclaimed author, and Joy Ang, Adventure Time-artist and illustrator of the Mustache Baby series, comes an irresistibly irreverent picture book in which plucky princesses and determined dinosaurs have a battle royale over whose book this is. When they start calling in the big guns – or rather, the big carnivores – and decide to build a wall to resolve their differences, princesses and dinosaurs alike learn a thing or two about open-mindedness and sharing.
Wreck This Picture Book
By Keri Smith
64 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593111024 | Dial BFYR
What if there were a book that changed every time you read it? Actually, every book does this. We are all part of the books we read, because our individual reactions, ideas, and emotions make the book whole, and these things are changing all the time. Keri Smith has helped millions of people free their creativity and find their own voice with her interactive books, and now she brings that sensibility to children and to the act of reading. This picture book is an invitation to honor your own vision and to welcome imperfection. Kids will discover that reading can engage all five senses, and that what they themselves bring to a book is an important contribution. (And of course they’ll be invited to do a bit of harmless “wrecking”!).
Happy Narwhalidays! (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #5)
By Ben Clanton
76 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262515 | Tundra Books
Dive into three new stories about Narwhal’s favorite time of the year! It’s the festive season in the world wide waters, and Narwhal is looking forward to cozying up with a good book, singing and partying with his pod pals and enjoying some warm waffle pudding. But most of all he’s excited about the arrival of the Merry Mermicorn! According to Narwhal, she’s part mermaid, part unicorn and completely mer-aculous! Jelly is of course skeptical about the existence of the “Mira-Miny-What-A Corn” . . . even when he receives a mysterious present. It must be from Narwhal. Now Jelly has to get the perfect gift, but finding a present for someone as unique as Narwhal is no easy feat, even when you have six tentacles. How will Jelly ever come up with a whaley great gift for a best pal who spreads cheer all through the year?
The Fabled Stables: Willa and the Wisp By Jonathan Auxier
Illustrated by Olga Demidova 96 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735267725 | Puffin Canada Auggie Pound is eight years old and has the greatest job of all time: he cares for all the animals in the Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables house the rarest creatures in existence – all of them one-of-a-kind. Auggie’s job is to care for these creatures, as well as track down and safely capture endangered magical beasts in the wild. Some mornings, he arrives to find an empty stall with the name of a new creature to rescue. One day, the Stables rearrange themselves out of the blue, creating a new stall. The sign over the gate says, “Wisp.” But what is a wisp and where is it? All Auggie can see is a moonlit swamp stretching out before him. Then a hungry HOWLLLLLLL rings out in the darkness. It’s up to Auggie to go into the swamp to find the wisp before it’s too late.
Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: Peril at Owl Park
By Marthe Jocelyn
Illustrated by Isabelle Follath
400 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265493 | Tundra Books
Aspiring writer Aggie Morton is looking forward to Christmas. Having just solved a murder and survived her own brush with death in her small town of Torquay on the coast of England, Aggie can’t wait to spend the holidays with her sister Marjorie, the new Lady Greyson of Owl Park, an enormous manor house in the country, Grannie Jane and her fellow sleuth and partner in crime, Hector Perot. Owl Park holds many delights including Aggie’s almost-cousin Lucy, exciting and glamorous visitors from Ceylon, and disguises aplenty in the form of a group of travelling actors. Not to mention a secret passageway AND an enormous, cursed emerald. Not even glowering old Lady Greyson (the Senior) can interfere with Aggie’s festive cheer. But when Aggie and her friends discover a body instead of presents on Christmas morning, things take a deadly serious turn. With the help of a certain nosy reporter, Aggie and Hector will once again have to put their deductive skills and imaginations to work to find the murderer on the loose.
Here at Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, we’re lucky to work with so many different lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post is all about Penguin Young Readers.
By Ibram X. Kendi
Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky 32 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593110508 | Kokila
From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist comes a new 9×9 picture book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves, now with added discussion prompts to help readers recognize and reflect on bias in their daily lives. With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.
Before the Ever After
By Jacqueline Woodson 176 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780399545436 | Nancy Paulsen Books
For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that–but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can’t remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?
By Misty Copeland
Illustrated by Setor Fiadzigbey 32 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780399547645 | Putnam BFYR
From prima ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland comes the story of a young Misty, who discovers her love of dance through the ballet Coppélia–a story about a toymaker who devises a villainous plan to bring a doll to life. Misty is so captivated by the tale and its heroine, Swanilda, she decides to audition for the role. But she’s never danced ballet before; in fact, this is the very first day of her very first dance class! Though Misty is excited, she’s also nervous. But as she learns from her fellow bunheads, she makes wonderful friends who encourage her to do her very best. Misty’s nerves quickly fall away, and with a little teamwork, the bunheads put on a show to remember. Featuring the stunning artwork of newcomer Setor Fiadzigbey, Bunheads is an inspiring tale for anyone looking for the courage to try something new.
Girl on a Motorcycle
By Amy Novesky
Illustrated by Julie Morstad 48 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593116296 | Viking BFYR
One day, a girl gets on her motorcycle and rides away. She wants to wander the world. To go . . . elsewhere. This is the true story of the first woman to ride a motorcycle around the world alone. Each place has something to teach her. Each place is beautiful. And despite many flat tires and falls, she learns to always get back up and keep riding. Award-winning author Amy Novesky and Governor General’s Award-winning illustrator Julie Morstad have teamed up for a spectacular celebration of girl power and resilience.
The Last Kids on Earth and the Skeleton Road
By Max Brallier
Illustrated by Douglas Holgate 320 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9781984835345 | Viking BFYR
Now wielding the Midnight Blade, Jack Sullivan and the gang are furiously searching for the villainous Thrull and his skeleton army. The clock is ticking: the enemy has begun constructing the Tower–a portal with the power to bring Rezzoch the Ancient, Destructor of Worlds, to our dimension. Equipped with a crucial clue discovered by June on her Wild Flight, the group does the once-unthinkable: they leave Wakefield behind and embark on an . . . EPIC ROAD TRIP! That means music blasting, kitschy roadside attractions, snacks snacks snacks, dangerous detours, and a slew of skeletons and monsters at every turn. But this is no ordinary post-apocalyptic joyride. Because soon, they are pursued by a new threat: the return of a monster they thought long dead, who has taken on a terrifying new form. Jack, June, Quint, and Dirk will be lucky to make it far enough to find the answers they seek. But when the future of the world depends on it, these heroes don’t pump the brakes–they go full throttle.
Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer
By Gillian Goerz
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525552857 | Dial BFYR
Jamila Waheed is staring down a lonely summer in a new neighborhood – until she meets Shirley Bones. Sure, Shirley’s a little strange, but both girls need a new plan for the summer, and they might as well become friends. Then this kid Oliver shows up begging for Shirley’s help. His pet gecko has disappeared, and he’s sure it was stolen! That’s when Jamila discovers Shirley’s secret: She’s the neighborhood’s best kid detective, and she’s on the case. When Jamila discovers she’s got some detective skills of her own, a crime-solving partnership is born. The mystery of the missing gecko turns Shirley and Jamila’s summer upside down. And when their partnership hits a rough patch, they have to work together to solve the greatest mystery of all: What it means to be a friend.
Stand Up, Yumi Chung!
By Jessica Kim 320 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9780525554974 | Kokila
On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her “Yu-MEAT” because she smells like her family’s Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she’s reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage. Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she’s a girl named Kay Nakamura–and Yumi doesn’t correct them. As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.
Super Fake Love Song
By David Yoon 368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover ISBN 9781984812230 | Putnam BFYR
When Sunny Dae–self-proclaimed total nerd–meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom–with its electric guitars and rock posters–for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band. Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp. Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it. But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it–and if it’s possible to ever truly change.
The Kingdom of Back
By Marie Lu 336 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9781524739010 | Putnam BFYR
Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age--her tyrannical father has made that much clear. And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything.
The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
By Watty Piper
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Introduction by Dolly Parton 48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593094396 | Grosset & Dunlap
The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain. This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
The holidays are coming! Whether you’re looking for a gift to celebrate the holidays or just because, we have a cool list of winter-themed books to choose from – make sure you pick them up from your favourite bookstore!
The Wheels on the Bus at Christmas
By Sarah Kieley 24 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593174852 | Doubleday BFYR
Families will love creating a new Christmas tradition as they sing along to this joyful, boistrous, holiday version of the classic song “The Wheels on the Bus”. With a gaggle of adorable Christmas passengers, including reindeer, elves, snowmen, Christmas cookies, and of course Santa himself as the bus driver, this bright and festive book is sure to have children eager to read it (and sing it!) again and again. Peek-through “windows” in the front cover give kids a sneak glimpse of the characters they’ll find inside.
Christmas in the Country
By Barbara Collyer and John R. Foley
Illustrated by Retta Worcester 24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593119952 | Golden Books
Betty and Bob are excited to spend Christmas in the Country with their grandparents in this classic Little Golden Book, originally published in 1950. From chopping down a Christmas tree to stringing cranberries and singing carols, this is a holiday to cherish. The colorful illustrations by Walt Disney animator Retta Worcester will delight children ages 2 to 5 as well as their parents and grandparents! Makes a great stocking stuffer.
Christmas is Joy
By Emma Dodd 24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536215458 | Templar
An enchanting celebration of the true meaning of Christmas, featuring two adorable reindeer. Christmas is love that lasts all year.
It’s all of us, together, here.
Christmas is peace, stars twinkling above,
a night of sweet dreams and a heart full of love.
Emma Dodd’s joyful celebration of this wonderful time of year, as seen through the eyes of two reindeer, is a pure delight.
By Penny Dale 32 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536214499 | Nosy Crow
Our favorite dinosaurs are back, and this time they must save Santa Claus from a snowstorm! Join them as they plow the road, whizz down a mountain on snowmobiles, zoom through the icy water on a hovercraft, and much more! But where is Santa? And will they manage to dig out his sleigh in time for Christmas day?
Mouse’s Night Before Christmas
By Tracey Corderoy
Illustrated by Sarah Massini 32 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536214406 | Nosy Crow
It’s Christmas Eve, and everyone is fast asleep except for a lonely mouse that lives in the grandfather clock. When Santa arrives, lost in a blizzard and called by Mouse’s wish, it’s Mouse who is there to show Santa the way. Together they embark on a magical sleigh ride, delivering presents all around town. But the best present of all is for Mouse: his wish to make a new friend to share Christmas Day with has finally come true.
We Wish You a Merry Christmas: Sing Along with Me!
Illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang 8 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Board Book ISBN 9781536216455 | Nosy Crow
Share the holiday song with this interactive board book edition that includes five slider mechanisms. A QR code inside links to both instrumental and vocal versions of the festive song. Simply scan the code to listen and sing along – merry Christmas!
A Polar Bear in the Snow
By Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Shawn Harris 40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536203967 | Candlewick Press
Follow a magnificent polar bear through a fantastic world of snow and shockingly blue sea. Over the ice, through the water, past Arctic animals and even a human . . . where is he going? What does he want? Acclaimed author Mac Barnett’s narration deftly balances suspense and emotion, as well as poignant, subtle themes, compelling us to follow the bear with each page turn. Artist Shawn Harris’s striking torn-paper illustrations layer white-on-white hues, with bolts of blue and an interplay of shadow and light, for a gorgeous view of a stark yet beautiful landscape. Simple and thought-provoking, illuminating and intriguing, this engaging picture book will have readers pondering the answer to its final question long after the polar bear has continued on his way.
A Very Quacky Christmas
By Frances Watt
Illustrated by Ann James 40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593173770 | Doubleday BFYR
“We wish you a quacky Christmas!” Samantha Duck is getting ready for Christmas. “I’m going to give presents to animals all over the world!” But tortoise pal Sebastian is not so sure: “Christmas is not for animals!” With the help of her farmyard friends, who all give something to help make and deliver the presents, this determined duck sets out to prove that Christmas is for EVERYONE – and to make sure animals all around the world have a very quacky Christmas. Families will enjoy snuggling up to read this warm and friend-filled Christmas tale of giving and sharing. It’s a joyous reminder that with a bit of faith and the love of those around you, anything is possible. . . .
Christmas is Every Day
By Isabel Otter
Illustrated by Alicia Más 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593178966 | Rodale Kids
Through adorably-illustrated vignettes, this gifty, light-hearted picture book captures and celebrates the true meaning of Christmas and encourages readers to embrace the spirit of Christmas every day! With an array of family structures and communities enjoying all the kind moments that make Christmas special throughout the year, Christmas is Every Day shares the message that generosity, hope, kindness, and community are relevant all year round.
Glory on Ice: A Vampire Hockey Story
By Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Mark Fearing
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524714512 | Knopf BFYR
After centuries alone in his old castle, Vlad is ready to try something new. When he hears the local hockey team gushing about how they’ll crush and destroy their opponents in the next game, he knows he’s found the activity for him! Vlad immediately gives the game his all, but he soon realizes that super-human powers don’t mean much in hockey without a mastery of the basics. After weeks of practice, he’s finally ready for the big game . . . but can a hundreds-of-years-old vampire really learn new tricks? This hilarious, energetic picture book encourages teamwork, perseverance, and a love of hockey that will last a lifetime, even for an immortal being.
If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here
By Simona Ciraolo 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536215304 | Candlewick Press
Nothing is better than summer, with its joys of swimming every day and eating ice cream. One little boy’s older sister tells him he’d better make the most of it, because summer is going to end soon. When winter comes, she assures him, it will be cold and dark, and the icy rain will turn to snow. They’ll be stuck on the sofa for days and won’t even dream of eating ice cream. . . . Simona Ciraolo’s expressive illustrations belie the bleak forecast with images of glowing autumn leaves, cozy couch snuggles, wintry play, and sweet desserts. A celebration of the changing of the seasons, this inviting tale shows how much fun can be found around every sunny – or snowy – corner.
Little Unicorn’s Christmas
By Rhiannon Fielding
Illustrated by Chris Chatterton 32 Pages | Ages 3-6 | Hardcover ISBN 9780241484708 | Ladybird
It’s Christmas Eve, and Twinkle has ten minutes before she has to go to sleep. But when Santa needs her help, Twinkle wonders if she could help save Christmas and still get to bed on time? Written for bedtime, this story follows Twinkle the Unicorn as she finds herself on a Christmas-themed nighttime adventure. With a ten-minute countdown at the heart of this enchanting story, little ones will love following Twinkle on a brand new adventure.
Mistletoe: A Christmas Story
By Tad Hills 40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593174425 | Schwartz & Wade
Mistletoe loves everything about Christmas – the twinkling lights, the cookies for Santa, and, most of all, the gently falling snow. Her best friend, Norwell, is an elephant who likes sitting by the fire and watching the snow from the comfort of his cozy house. On one particularly snowy walk, Mistletoe stops to appreciate the beauty and peace of a snow-covered world. She knows Norwell would love it too… if he weren’t so afraid of the cold. Then she has an idea! Mistletoe knits from morning to night – when she’s reading, when she’s baking, and even in the bath (which isn’t easy). By the time Christmas morning arrives, she puts down her knitting needles. Her gift for Norwell is ready – and it is perfect.
Pick a Pine Tree
By Patricia Toht
Illustrated by Jarvis 40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536216028 | Candlewick Press
Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. With style and warmth, debut author Patricia Toht and Jarvis, the author-illustrator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, evoke all the rituals of decorating the tree – digging out boxes jam-packed with ornaments and tree trimmings, stringing tinsel, and, at long last, turning on those twinkling lights. Joyously drawn and rhythmically written, this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday season is as merry as the tradition it depicts.
By Kate Gardner
Illustrated by Brandon James Scott
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919217 | Tundra Books
Snow softens, snow tricks, snow tracks, snow glows and snow snows and snows and snows, transforming a small village into a winter wonderland. A girl and her dog set out and make the most of every snow-filled moment: sledding, building snowmen and snowforts, making snowangels (and snowdogs), and drinking cocoa by a cozy fire as the snow continues to fall. This luminous and lively picture book celebrates the beauty, magic and excitement of snow with simple, easy-to-read text, comprised almost solely of verbs and action words, and gorgeous art that highlights the amazing colors of a snowy day. As inviting as the first snowfall, but so much warmer, Snow Falls encourages little people and big people to go outside and enjoy the snow . . . before it goes!
When Santa Was a Baby
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9781770495562 | Tundra Books
Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh . . . and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.
Bear Goes Sugaring
By Maxwell Eaton, III 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780823444489 | Neal Porter Books
Did you know that it takes forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup? “How many pancakes can I eat with that gallon?” wonders Dog. Every step of the process of making maple syrup is covered in this sweet (but never saccharine) informational picture book by Maxwell Eaton III, the creator of the popular “Truth About” series. It begins with Bear assembling the tools she’ll need for the project, continues with a discussion of the types of maples found in the area and why sugar maples are best for tapping, then on to drilling, tapping, evaporation and at the end of the process, real maple syrup and best of all, PANCAKES! Along the way there are hilarious asides from increasingly ravenous Dog and Squirrel, making this a book as funny as it is informative.
Bobby Orr and the Hand-me-down Skates
By Kara Koostra and Bobby Orr
Illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265325 | Tundra Books
Bobby eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. So, with his birthday is coming up, he only wants one thing: new skates. He’s seen the exact pair he wants in the shop window: sparkling blades, shiny leather, clean new laces tied in perfect bows. But when Bobby opens his gift, he’s dismayed to find hand-me-down skates: scuffed leather, nicked blades, floppy laces. Once Bobby breaks them in, though, he and the hand-me-down skates become inseparable, and he can’t imagine life without them . . . until the brand-new skates come into his life. How can he leave his hand-me-down skates behind? Log Driver’s Waltz illustrator Jennifer Phelan brings this classic story to life with timeless, gorgeous art, and Kara Kootsra’s words evoke the joy and dedication that Bobby Orr brought to his favorite sport.
By Jan Brett 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593109793 | Putnam BFYR
Cozy is the softest musk ox in Alaska, with the warmest fur you ever did feel. When a storm hits while he’s separated from his family, he starts to feel lonely – but not for long. As the snow piles up, animals start to notice just how warm and cozy Cozy really is! One mama lemming has a bright idea . . . maybe the best place to spend the winter is under Cozy’s fur! As more and more animals burrow in, Cozy adds to the house rules: quiet voices, gentle thumping, claws to yourself, no biting, and no pouncing. That seems easy enough . . . until the lemmings, snowshoe hare, snowy owl, arctic fox, and wolverine begin to bicker. Luckily, signs of spring soon appear, and that means Cozy can find his herd and his new friends can head to their summer homes. But not before promising to get cozy with Cozy next year!
Llama Llama Holiday Helper
By Anna Dewdney
Illustrated by JJ Harrison 32 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593222591 | Penguin Young Readers Licenses
In this beautiful picture book, Llama Llama and Mama Llama are just about done with getting ready for the holidays. So Llama decides to help out his friends – hanging wreaths, decorating trees, and baking cookies. Join Llama, Gilroy, Nelly, Euclid, and Luna as they celebrate their favorite time of year. Celebrate the holidays with Llama Llama and all his friends in this beautifully illustrated picture book, based on the hit animated Netflix series!
Once Upon a Winter Day
By Liza Woodruff 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780823440993 | Margaret Ferguson Books
Milo wants a story, but his mom is too busy to entertain him. Instead, she encourages him to go out and play in the snow. At first, Milo is disappointed – he doesn’t want to play outside, he wants a story. But when he starts to follow a trail of mouse-prints, he discovers signs of activity all around, prompting him to ask, “What happened here?” Before long, he’s using his imagination – depicted in lush wordless spreads that capture the vividness of Milo’s fantasies – to fill in the gaps. By the time Milo comes home, he’s the one with stories to tell.
Snow is Fun
By Steve Henry 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780823446001 | Holiday House
Snow is fun, and snow is quiet – but snow is heavy, too. A tiny bird is perched upon a branch that begins to strain under the weight of a heavy snowfall. When the branch breaks, the bird falls into the deep, deep snow. His friends – a bunny, two mice, a squirrel, and an owl – try to rescue him. Luckily, little bird can fly! He can help himself. The friends rejoice. Snow is fun – and snow is especially fun with friends.
Ten Ways to Hear Snow
By Cathy Camper
Illustrated by Kenard Pak 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780399186332 | Kokila
One winter morning, Lina wakes up to silence. It’s the sound of snow – the kind that looks soft and glows bright in the winter sun. But as she walks to her grandmother’s house to help make the family recipe for warak enab, she continues to listen. As Lina walks past snowmen and across icy sidewalks, she discovers ten ways to pay attention to what might have otherwise gone unnoticed. With stunning illustrations by Kenard Pak and thoughtful representation of a modern Arab American family from Cathy Camper, Ten Ways to Hear Snow is a layered exploration of mindfulness, empathy, and what we realize when the world gets quiet.
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold
By Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735268708 | Tundra Books
Santa has a problem. This kid? Harold? Santa doesn’t think he’s real. He WANTS to believe in Harold – after all, Harold is one of the most magical parts of Christmas. Getting Harold’s letters, eating the cookies he leaves out, feeding his carrots to the reindeer . . . what would Christmas be without that? But Santa’s just not sure. Some of his friends are telling him they think Harold’s not real. And the Harold that sat on his knee last Christmas looked AWFULLY different. Santa comes up with a plan to find out once and for all if Harold really exists . . . with hilarious consequences.
The Eight Knights of Hanukkah
By Leslie Kimmelman
Illustrated by Galia Bernstein 48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780823439584 | Holiday House
It’s the last night of Hanukkah and everyone is doing their part for the big celebration, but a dragon called Dreadful has other ideas. He roams the countryside, interrupting the party preparations. Lady Sadie must call upon the Eight Knights of Hanukkah to perform deeds of awesome kindness and stupendous bravery and put an end to the dragon’s shenanigans. When Dreadful eats all the special donuts the baker made, Sir Lily helps the baker make more sufganiyot. Sir Alex makes a young lad a new dreidel after Dreadful scorched his original one. And on the Knights go – but when they finally catch up to Dreadful, a funny surprise awaits them!
The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol
By Arthur A. Levine
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes 40 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780763697419 | Candlewick Press
Nate Gadol is a great big spirit with eyes as shiny as golden coins and a smile that is lantern bright. He can make anything last as long as it is needed, like a tiny bit of oil that must stretch for eight nights, a flower that needs to stay fresh to cheer up someone ailing, or a small lump of chocolate that grows to allow the Glasers to treat their children over the holiday and, during a harsh winter when medicine is needed more than sweets, spurs them to share what little they have with the O’Malleys. In this charming holiday hybrid story, well-known children’s author and editor Arthur A. Levine pairs with award-winning illustrator Kevin Hawkes to offer a mythical, magical take on the way Jewish families came to give and receive gifts over Hanukkah, just as their Christian neighbors do at Christmas, thanks to a loving spirit named Nate Gadol working behind the scenes – together with a certain jolly old soul.
The Square Root of Possible: A Jingle Jangle Story
By Lyn Sisson-Talbert and David E. Talbert 32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593203835 | Razorbill
A heartwarming picture book story based on the song “The Square Root of Possible” from the Netflix holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey! A holiday tale set in the snow-covered town of Cobbleton, Jingle Jangle follows eccentric toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when a betrayal by a former protégé (Keegan-Michael Key) leaves Jeronicus withdrawn and down on his luck, it’s up to his bright and adventurous granddaughter, Journey (newcomer Madalen Mills) – and a singularly magical invention – to save the day. From the imagination of writer/director David E. Talbert and featuring original music by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, and Davy Nathan, Jingle Jangle reminds you that anything is possible. . . if you believe.
By Ben Clanton 76 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735262515 | Tundra Books
Dive into three new stories about Narwhal’s favorite time of the year! It’s the festive season in the world wide waters, and Narwhal is looking forward to cozying up with a good book, singing and partying with pod pals and enjoying some warm waffle pudding. But most of all Narwhal is excited about the arrival of the Merry Mermicorn! According to Narwhal, she’s part mermaid, part unicorn and completely mer-aculous! Jelly is of course skeptical about the existence of the “Mira-Miny-What-A Corn” . . . even when he receives a mysterious present. It must be from Narwhal. Now Jelly has to get the perfect gift, but finding a present for someone as unique as Narwhal is no easy feat, even when you have six tentacles. How will Jelly ever come up with a whaley great gift for a best pal who spreads cheer all through the year?
Jingle Jangle: The Invention of Jeronicus Jangle
By Lyn Sisson-Talbert and David E. Talbert 176 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback ISBN 9780593203804 | Razorbill
A delightful middle grade story based on the Netflix holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey! A holiday tale set in the snow-covered town of Cobbleton, Jingle Jangle follows eccentric toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when a betrayal by a former protégé (Keegan-Michael Key) leaves Jeronicus withdrawn and down on his luck, it’s up to his bright and adventurous granddaughter, Journey (newcomer Madalen Mills) – and a singularly magical invention – to save the day. From the imagination of writer/director David E. Talbert and producer Lyn Sisson-Talbert, featuring original music by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, and Michael Diskint. Jingle Jangle reminds you that anything is possible. . . if you believe.
On November 11, we will celebrate Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the USA). Here are some books that will help children and young adults reflect on war and the sacrifices made by men and women on the front lines and the home front.
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion By Jane Barclay Illustrated by Renné Benoit 24 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Ebook ISBN 9781770491274 | Tundra Books Much has been written about war and remembrance, but very little of it has been for young children. As questions come from a young grandchild, his grandpa talks about how, as a very young man, he was as proud as a peacock in uniform, busy as a beaver on his Atlantic crossing, and brave as a lion charging into battle. Soon, the old man’s room is filled with an imaginary menagerie as the child thinks about different aspects of wartime. But as he pins medals on his grandpa’s blazer and receives his own red poppy in return, the mood becomes more somber.
Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War By Mireille Messier Illustrated by Kass Reich 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735264427 | Tundra Books During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and made his way across the ocean to be part of the war effort. Billy trained with the soldiers, got snuck into the frontlines in a box of oranges, ate some secret documents and was arrested for treason, head-butted soldiers into a trench and saved them from a shell, and came back home a decorated war hero. This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments, sad moments, moments of camaraderie and moments of celebration.
Innocent Heroes: Stories of Animals in the First World War By Sigmund Brouwer 208 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Paperback ISBN 9780735267978 | Tundra Books Never before have the stories of animal war heroes been collected in such a special way. This book consists of eight connected fictional stories about a Canadian platoon in WW1. The Storming Normans have help from some very memorable animals: we meet a dog who warns soldiers in the trench of a gas attack, a donkey whose stubbornness saves the day, a cat who saves soldiers from rat bites, and many more. Each story is followed by nonfiction sections that tell the true story of these animals from around the world and of the Canadian soldiers who took Vimy Ridge. Through the friendship that grows between three of these soldiers in particular, we get a close-up look at life in the trenches, the taking of Vimy Ridge, the bonds between soldiers and their animals and what it meant to be Canadian in World War I.
War Is Over By David Almond Illustrated by David Litchfield 128 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536209860 | Candlewick It’s 1918, and war is everywhere. John’s father is fighting in the trenches far away in France, while his mother works in a menacing munitions factory just along the road. His teacher says that John is fighting, too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany. One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a dreamlike meeting with a German boy named Jan. John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can one day scatter the seeds of peace. David Almond brings his ineffable sensibility to a poignant tale of the effects of war on children, interwoven with David Litchfield’s gorgeous black-and-white illustrations.
A Soldier’s Sketchbook: The Illustrated First World War Diary of R. H. Rabjohn By John Wilson 112 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover ISBN 9781770498549 | Tundra Books Award-winning author John Wilson brings his skills as a historian and researcher to bear, carefully curating the diary to provide context and tell the story of Private Rabjohn’s war. He has selected each of the diary entries and the accompanying images, and has provided the background that modern-day readers need to understand what a young soldier went through a century ago. The result is a wonderfully detailed and dramatic account of the war as seen through an artist’s eyes.
Broken Strings By Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer 288 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Paperback ISBN 9780735266261 | Puffin Canada It’s 2002. In the aftermath of the twin towers, Shirli Berman is intent on moving forward. The best singer in her junior high, she auditions for the lead role in Fiddler on the Roof, but is crushed to learn that she’s been given the part of the old Jewish mother in the musical rather than the coveted part of the sister. But there is an upside: her “husband” is none other than Ben Morgan, the cutest and most popular boy in the school. Deciding to throw herself into the role, she rummages in her grandfather’s attic for some props. There, she discovers an old violin in the corner -strange, since her Zayde has never seemed to like music, never even going to any of her recitals. Showing it to her grandfather unleashes an anger in him she has never seen before, and while she is frightened of what it might mean, Shirli keeps trying to connect with her Zayde and discover the awful reason behind his anger. A long-kept family secret spills out, and Shirli learns the true power of music, both terrible and wonderful.
Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis By Paul B. Janeczko 304 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover ISBN 9780763681531 | Candlewick In his third book about deception during war, Paul B. Janeczko focuses his lens on World War II and the operations carried out by the Twenty-Third Headquarters Special Troops, aka the Ghost Army. This remarkable unit included actors, camouflage experts, sound engineers, painters, and set designers who used their skills to secretly and systematically replace fighting units — fooling the Nazi army into believing what their eyes and ears told them, even though the sights and sounds of tanks, war machines and troops were entirely fabricated. Follow the Twenty-Third into Europe as they play a dangerous game of enticing the German army into making battlefield mistakes by using sonic deceptions, inflatable tanks, pyrotechnics and camouflage in more than twenty operations. From the Normandy invasion to the crossing of the Rhine River, the men of the Ghost Army — several of whom went on to become famous artists and designers after the war — played an improbable role in the Allied victory.
The Great War: Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War By Various Illustrated by Jim Kay 304 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback ISBN 9781536208863 | Candlewick A toy soldier. A butter dish. A compass. Mundane objects, perhaps, but to the remarkable authors in this collection, artifacts such as these have inspired stories that go to the heart of the human experience of World War I. Each author was invited to choose an object that had a connection to the war — a writing kit for David Almond, a helmet for Michael Morpurgo — and use it as the inspiration for an original short story. What results is an extraordinary collection, illustrated throughout by award-winning Jim Kay, and featuring photographs of the objects with accounts of their history and the authors’ reasons for selecting them. This unique anthology provides young readers with a personal window into the Great War and the people affected by it, and serves as an invaluable resource for families and teachers alike.
The War to End All Wars: The Story of World War I By Jack Batten 160 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780887768798 | Tundra Books In this riveting account of a tragic episode in world history, author Jack Batten takes readers through a far bloodier conflict than mankind had ever before endured. Meet the soldiers who fought the deadly battles along the Western Front. Follow the trail of flying ace Billy Bishop as he tangles in the air with the Red Baron. Learn the strategy of Britain’s Grand Fleet of warships as it heads into the biggest sea battle in history. Discover how civilians decoded virtually all the messages the Germans sent to their ships around the world.
Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today By Candlewick Press 320 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Paperback ISBN 9781536208856 | Candlewick The Second World War was the most devastating war in history. Up to eighty million people died, and the map of the world was redrawn. More than seventy years after peace was declared, children interviewed family and community members to learn about the war from people who were there, to record their memories before they were lost forever. Now, in a unique collection, RAF pilots, evacuees, resistance fighters, Land Girls, U.S. Navy sailors, and survivors of the Holocaust and the Hiroshima bombing all tell their stories, passing on the lessons learned to a new generation. Featuring many vintage photographs, this moving volume also offers an index of contributors and a glossary.
Orphan Monster Spy By Matt Killeen 448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780451478757 | Viking BFYR After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah finds herself on the run from the Nazis in Third Reich-ruled Germany. While trying to escape, Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s part of the secret resistance against the Reich, and he needs her help. Sarah is to hide in plain sight at a boarding school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. She must befriend the daughter of a key scientist to gain access to the blueprints for a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe, and steal them. Sarah may look like the rest of the girls, innocent, blonde-haired, and young, but she refuses to become one of the monsters she’s surrounded by. She’s a brilliant con artist, convincing them she’s one of them even as she lives in terror of being found out. And she’s determined to get her revenge on them all.
The Blossom and the Firefly By Sherri L. Smith 320 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9781524737900 | Putnam BFYR Japan 1945. Taro is a talented violinist and a kamikaze pilot in the days before his first and only mission. He believes he is ready to die for his country . . . until he meets Hana. Hana hasn’t been the same since the day she was buried alive in a collapsed trench during a bomb raid. She wonders if it would have been better to have died that day . . . until she meets Taro. Here, with achingly beautiful prose, Smith weaves a tale of love in the face of death, of hope in the face of tragedy, set against a backdrop of the waning days of the Pacific War.
The Emperor of Any Place By Tim Wynne-Jones 336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9780763694425 | Candlewick Evan, overwhelmed and bereaved by his father’s sudden death, doesn’t know what to make of the hand-bound yellow book his dad had been reading when he passed away. Why was his father reading the diary of a Japanese soldier stranded on a small Pacific island during World War II? What is in this account that Evan’s estranged grandfather fears — and will he really do anything, even hurt his own grandson, to prevent it from being seen? In this riveting, time-shifting story within a story, the ghosts of war reverberate across hemispheres and generations.
The Enigma Game By Elizabeth Wein 448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780735265288 | Penguin Teen Canada A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland, and unwittingly bringing together four very different people who decide to keep it to themselves. Louisa Adair, a young teen girl hired to look after the pub owner’s elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it but doesn’t report it. Flight-Lieutenant Jamie Beaufort-Stuart intercepts a signal but can’t figure it out. Ellen McEwen, a volunteer at the local airfield, acts as the go-between and messenger after Louisa involves Jane in translating. The planes under Jamie’s command seem charmed, as Jamie knows where exactly to go, while other squadrons suffer, and the four are loathe to give up the machine, even after Elisabeth Lind from British Intelligence arrives, even after the Germans start bombing the tiny town.
The Red Ribbon By Lucy Adlington 288 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9781536201048 | Candlewick Three weeks after being detained on her way home from school, fourteen-year-old Ella finds herself in the Upper Tailoring Studio, a sewing workshop inside a Nazi concentration camp. There, two dozen skeletal women toil over stolen sewing machines. They are the seamstresses of Birchwood, stitching couture dresses for a perilous client list: wives of the camp’s Nazi overseers and the female SS officers who make prisoners’ lives miserable. It is a workshop where stylish designs or careless stitches can mean life or death. And it is where Ella meets Rose. As thoughtful and resilient as the dressmakers themselves, Rose and Ella’s story is one of courage, desperation, and hope — hope as delicate and as strong as silk, as vibrant as a red ribbon in a sea of gray.