On the Bookshelf

By Jane Muller

Maisy at Home
By Lucy Cousins
This bright and cheery boardbook helps little ones keep tabs on Maisy. Instead of simply going from page to page, tabs allow tiny fingers to flip right to a specific page identified by a simple illustration. Choose the fish tab and discover a bunch of other neat animals. Names and pictures throughout feature everything from Maisy’s dress up clothes and musical instruments to her living room and food preferences. Equally delightful are “Maisy’s Farm” and “Maisy’s Day Out”. Ages 0 to 3 – Publisher, Candlewick Press – $11.99 boardbook

What’s a Woofy?
By Judy Singer
It’s not often that an author reaches out by phone and when it does happen, it’s regarding a self-published book. The book this author was promoting was already on the review pile for this month. Her book reminded me, as I’m sure it will with other readers, of the funny words our kids create when they’re learning to speak. Her illustrations are just juvenile enough to depict the fractured words. Just so that you don’t forget your child’s sweet little words, there are a couple of pages at the end to add them. Ages 3 to 7 – Publisher, Judy Singer – $22.69 hardcover

You’re Missing It!
By Brady Smith and Tiffani Thiesse
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Pay attention to your kid or miss out. That’s the message that gets a humorous spin from a Hollywood couple that poke fun at distracted parents glued to their phone. Lively art helps to present the timely message that we need to slow down and savour our moments together. Ages 3 to 5 – Publisher, Penguin Random House – $17.99 hardcover

Believe: A Pop-up Book of Possibilities
By Robert Sabuda
This beautiful pop-up book from renowned paper artist Robert Sabuda explores many of life’s possibilities. A phrase and image presents a potential possibility that is answered with the turn of the page bursting into an amazing 3-D image. It’s an ideal gift for graduates from kindergarten to college and beyond as a celebration of life’s passages and new horizons. Ages 5 to 8 (and up) – Publisher, Candlewick Press – $29.99 hardcover

The Cold Little Voice
By Alison Hughes, illustrator Jan Dolby
We can be our own worst enemy, as the cold little voice illustrates in this story of self-acceptance and self-love. That cold little voice inside our own head can tell us that we aren’t good enough or smart enough to matter. It can dash our dreams and say we’ll never succeed and that we look weird and can’t do anything right. It’s up to us to warm up that stabbing cold and this sweet story shows us how. Ages 5 to 8 – Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $19.95 hardcover

I Didn’t Stand Up
By Lucy Falcone, illustrator Jacqueline Hudo
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As long as they aren’t picking on you it’s okay, or is it?  A picture book inspired by the iconic poem “First They Came for the Socialists” written by Pastor Martin Niemöller in opposition to the oppression from the Nazi regime, it looks at common circumstances of oppression that children encounter through the eyes of the bystander — until he or she becomes a victim. Beautifully illustrated, kids will see themselves as well as the arbitrary cruelty of bullying. Ages 5 to 8 – Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $19.95 hardcover

Mya’s Strategy to Save the World
By Tanya Lloyd Kyi
This book had me from its opening sentences in which the protagonist describes two types of people. Those who have a box of Kleenex on the bedside table and those who pick their noses and wipe their boogers on the sheets. It’s an entertaining read that will appeal to young readers with a social conscience and are on a quest for their own cell phone. Ages 8 to 12 – Publisher, Random House – $18.99 hardcover

Moon Mission
The Epic 400-year Journey to Apollo 11
By Sigmund Brouwer
Told from the astronauts’ points of view, readers relive the incredible real-life adventure that was Apollo 11’s successful moon landing in July 1969. The award-winning author presents his thorough research in a highly readable, engaging book complete with NASA-sourced photographs throughout. The use of modern graphic design will help to engage a broad range of readers who will learn the practical applications of math, engineering, science and technology in the real world. Ages 10 to 13 –  Publisher Kids Can Press – $18.99 hardcover

The Centre of the Universe
By Ria Voros
You want a novel with a journalist as a main character to be well-written and this one certainly is. Suspenseful and relatable, it features Grace Carter, daughter of the celebrity news anchor GG Carter who mysteriously disappears. The story weaves together first love, friendship, mother-daughter relationships, and family dynamics all while allowing unanswered questions to simmer with intrigue. Grace’s fascination with astronomy and astrophysics adds another dynamic to the story that is supplemented by an interview with real-life astrophysicist Elizabeth Tasker. Ages 14 to 18 – Publisher KCP Loft – $19.99