Book Shelf

By Jane Muller

The Lost Picnic
By B. B. Cronin
Be sure to enjoy a picnic with your family this summer but be careful to secure the lid of the picnic basket. As the title of this story implies, for this family, the picnic meal is lost. While it would not be fun to find that your picnic basket is empty, it is fun to search for the lost food in the detailed double page spreads. The search will captivate kids and even though they’ll know where everything is the next time the story is read, they’ll enjoy pointing the items out again and again. Ages 3 to 6 – Publisher, Viking – $24.99 hardcover

The Mermaid
By Jan Brett
The amazing artistry of Jan Brett shines as she depicts a vibrant underwater paradise brimming with intricate details. She anchors this twist on the classic “Goldie Locks and the Three Bears” fairy tale in a magical setting inspired by the seas off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. This enchanting story that puts a beautiful mermaid in the role of Goldie Locks, is a perfect summertime read aloud. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher, Penguin – $24.99 hardcover

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do
By Ashley Spires
This delightful picture book from Ashley Spires, bestselling author of “The Most Magnificent Thing”, perfectly depicts what children go through when faced with something difficult. She uses humour to sensitively portray Lou as she procrastinates, makes excuses, imagines alternatives and denies she cares. Ultimately, Lou faces her fear, and although she fails, the effort empowers her, encouraging a view that supports growth. All the while, Lou’s friends display compassion by offering to teach her how to climb the tree that is challenging her and then moving the game. The story reinforces the joy of imaginative play in the outdoors. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher, Kids Can Press – $18.95 hardcover

Animals Do, Too!
By Etta Kaner, illustrator Marilyn Faucher
Learning new things is made easier when there is a connection, like when animals like to do the same thing that a child likes to do. That’s the hook of this non-fiction picture book that presents interesting animal facts that begin with a simple and engaging question  such as: “Do you like to dance?”. The answer, “Honeybees do, too!” leads to an explanation of the ways that honeybees use dance-like movements to communicate. The series of relatable fun children’s activities continues throughout the book, matching with similar things animals do. It’s a fun way to explore animal behaviour and a great book to share in the shade of a tree this summer. Ages 4 to 7 – Publisher, Kids Can Press – 17.95 hardcover

The World’s Worst Children 2
By David Walliams, illustrator Tony Ross
One would think that the first book of the World’s Worst Children would have covered the worst of the worst but this second volume features even worse. This master storyteller creates 10 nasty, horrible, awful, beastly and sometimes gruesome children for these amusing stories. The wacky illustrations add to the hilarity and help make this entertaining book an easy read. Ages 7 to 9 – Publisher, Harper Collins – $21.99 hardcover

Heartwood Hotel: A True Home
By Kallie George, illustrator Stephanie Graegin
Described as Downton Abbey meets The Tale of Peter Rabbit this new chapter book series has been created by the author of the enchanting “Magical Animal Adoption Agency” books. The protagonist in this series is Mona the mouse, who finds refuge from a storm in the middle of the woods at the wondrous Heartwood Hotel. The author introduces early readers to foreshadowing as the mystery of Mona’s connection to the hotel is revealed, along with how she saves the hotel from attack. This well-paced tale will have readers thinking about friendship, courage and community as they get to know this sweet and smart little mouse. Ages 7 to 10 – Publisher, Harper Collins Canada – $16.99

Moana: The Beat of Your Heart
By Hal Leonard associates
This musical exploration activity book makes learning fun. It’s part of the Disney Learning “Explore Music” series of books that teach kids musical skills through creative play. In this edition, Princess Moana, who lives in a tropical island paradise, shares her culture with young readers who discover how the natural rhythms of Moana’s environment are interpreted through hand clapping, body rhythm, and drumming. Kids play along with the drums of Motonui on percussion instruments that they create from household objects. The beautifully illustrated book comes with online musical enhancements. Ages 4 to 8 – Publisher, Disney and Hal Leonard – $19.99

Mickey’s Fun Sounds
By Hal Leonard associates
Another in the series of picture books with additional online content that takes a playful approach to developing musical skills, this one features Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy Duck and friends. Kids are guided through craft activities and experience the sounds of a variety of instruments. To add to the fun, additional online activities, including video read-alongs, audio sing-alongs, and more, are provided for each title at www.halleonard.com. Ages 4 to 8 – Publisher, Disney and Hal Leonard – $19.99 hardcover