On the Bookshelf

By Jane Muller

Let’s Play Hockey
By Ginger Swift, illustrator Kathryn Selbert
Board books and especially lift-a-flap board books are indispensable additions to the diaper bag where they are on hand to amuse a toddler when the need arises. This sweet little book will appeal to the hockey fan in your household. Lift the flap to reveal hockey words and lots of surprises. The act of lifting the flaps encourages the use of fine motor skills and finding what is hiding is so much fun. Ages 0 to 3 – Publisher, Cottage Door Press – $10.98 board book

I Want My Hat Back
By Jon Klassen
This author has a great sense of humour, even if it might be a little twisted. Although the fate of the rabbit that steals bear’s hat is somewhat up in the air at the end of the story, we can guess what might have happened. Bear has after all spent the entire story asking the other animals if they have seen his hat and he’s upset that it’s gone missing. Cheeky and fun, this story first published in 2011, has just the right amount of repetition to help kids chime in. Ages 2 to 5 – Publisher, Candlewick Press – $11.99 board book

Spend It!
By Cinders McLeod
The concept of money can be a challenge for kids especially when it comes to making spending decisions. This charming tale shows how Sonny the rabbit solves his spending problems by using some simple math and making choices. He may be dealing with carrots as currency but kids will get the point. This is one of a series of finance-related books by the creator of the book and comic strip “Broomie Law”. Ages 3 to 5 – Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada – $22.99 hardcover

Swarm of Bees
By Lemony Snicket, illustrator Rilla Alexander
New York Times bestselling author Lemony Snicket has created a buzz with his most energetic picture book aimed at his youngest audience yet. The young readers will identify with how it feels to be angry and also how good it feels to get over it. They’ll witness a mischievous boy who unleashes a swarm of angry bees that riles up a whole town. Even bad behaviour and unbridled emotion can be resolved through the comfort and unconditional love of a community. Bright primary colours and lots of stripes and dots enliven the illustrations that simply sing. Ages 3 to 7 years – Publisher, Penguin Random House – $21.99

The Happy Book and other feelings
By Andy Rash
A book about feelings can get sappy fast but this story takes a creative approach to exploring happiness, sadness and anger. It’s funny, beginning with the characters, Camper, a boy who is as happy as a clam and Clam who is a clam and a happy camper. We can’t be happy all the time though as the two happy friends learn when one of them eats an entire cake by himself without sharing. The thoughtful journey through many moods will help kids learn about their emotions. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada – $23.99 hardcover

The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank
By David Lee Miller & Steven Jay Rubin, illustrator Elizabeth Baddeley
Knowing Anne Frank’s story, there could be a concern that this might be a sad story. Not to worry. This story is told from the perspective of a beloved cat that reveals Anne as a bright, kind and loving girl who dreams of freedom and becoming a writer whose words can change the world. There actually was a cat that lived with Anne in the Amsterdam annex where she hid from the Nazis. This telling of her story offers young readers a new way to learn about this tragic yet hopeful life. Ages 4 to 8 – Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada – $23.99 hardcover

Skateboard Sibby
By Clare O’Connor
There’s nothing like a competition to get everyone revved up. Kids don’t need to be into skateboarding to get on board with 11-year-old Sibby Henry who is trying to fit into a new school and adjust to life with her grandparents. The only good thing is that there is a skateboard park next to her school. The bad thing is that she’s lost her skateboard. It’s not hard to like this girl who sets herself up to take of the local skateboard superstar to defend her newfound friend. Great for kids who like funny, action-packed and touching stories. Ages 9 to 12 – Publisher, Second Story Press – $10.95 paperback

Gardening with Emma: A Kid-to-Kid Guide
By Emma Biggs and Steven Biggs
Toronto’s Emma Biggs is a 13-year-old with a passion for gardening. She inherited her green thumb from her father and is eager to pass it along to other kids. In this inspirational guide, illustrated with lively photos, she shares how to combine fun with growing healthy food and raising awesome plants. Her original, practical, and entertaining advice will be an inspiration to other kids. Written in Emma’s own voice she communicates her love of the outdoors and digging in the dirt. Ages 8 to 12 – Publisher, Storey – $26.95 paperback

Bone Beds of the Badlands A Dylan Maples Adventure
By Shane Peacock
Part of the Dylan Maples Adventure series, this re-issued edition takes the action to Alberta’s badlands. In the scariest book in the series, Dylan and three friends win a science fair competition and are awarded a trip to a renowned dinosaur museum in Drumheller, Alberta. But soon their adventure turns terrifying. Lost in Dinosaur Provincial Park, they are pursued by a man on the run from the RCMP, a 7-foot murderer known as “the Reptile.” See why it’s hard to put down? Ages 10 to 12 – Publisher, Nimbus – $12.95 paperback