In the Middle of the Night

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By Aileen Fisher

When a girl doesn’t want a puppy or toy or any other traditional birthday gift, but only wants to go out for a walk in the middle of the night, the result is this poetic picture book with lovely retro illustrations. Join the girl and her dad as they discover the mystery and beauty of the night with small, fascinating, middle-of-the-night nature discoveries—the girl’s best birthday present ever.

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Picturebook

Ages 3-10

Available second-hand

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Perfect

Perfect

by Nicola Davies

The mix of real-life and abstract artwork in this emotionally-charged book closely echoes the feelings of a boy who is excited to have a new sibling, but finds out she will never run and chase him as he had hoped. His rejection of her is beautifully changed when he helps a small bird and sees that his sister might just need a little help too. It’s a short picture book with a warm ending as the big brother, full of love, carries his little sister out into the garden and tells her how it’s going to be, the two of them, together.

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Picturebook

Available from public libraries

Ages 4-10

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

The Seven Silly Eaters

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by Mary Ann Hoberman

We were given this book as a baby gift with our seventh baby—very fitting! A picture book to make the kids laugh (and maybe see a little of themselves if they have picky eating habits?), but also a book to make the parents laugh as the mom goes from patient and good-humoured to discouraged and throwing in the towel. Things turn around, however, when the kids make a haphazard attempt to help out…

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The pictures are half the appeal of this rhyming story, as the family grows and tumbles about the farmhouse by the sea, with books and staircases lining the little house where an attic serves as a jumbled bedroom for all the kids. Heart-warming and fun!

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Picturebook

Ages 3-8

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Outside your Window: A First Book of Nature

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by Nicola Davies

Another book for when you are eager to begin sharing the great world outside with your three year old, but in a more gentle, poetic way. Again, each page spread covers a different topic, but with more whimsical artwork than the Usborne My Very First Our World book. A very thick, full-colour, picture book.

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Ages 2-8

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Silent Night: The Song and its Story  

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by Margaret Hodges

History comes to life in this picture book with lovely illustrations throughout. The story is well-told and children will learn of how the Austrian priest Father Mohr’s dilemma one Christmas season brought the world this carol.

Ages 4-12

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

 

 

Little Night Cat

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By Sonja Danowski

This author does something amazing with her illustrations, pencilling and painting a warm, wonderful world, with houses overflowing in creative activity.

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Tony gives up his stuffed animals for the animal shelter cause, then misses his animals, but in the end gets a real live cat. A warm simple story, although the animal shelter raffle and prizes does take place on a Sunday.

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Also by Sonja Danowski: The Forever Flowers.   The story-line again is quite simple, although the lesson is not as clear (about letting go), but may open the  door for a discussion.

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Ages 4-8

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

The Private World of Tasha Tudor

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by Tasha Tudor and Richard Brown

Best known for her children’s artwork from half a century ago, this book gives a photographic look and biography into Tasha’s later life as an elderly lady in America who was convinced she should have lived 150 years ago.

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Her story and pictures will inspire adult readers who love the idea of being self-sufficient, working with pioneer-time tools, corgis, or true English-style cottage gardens.

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Ages 16 and up

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

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The Cardboard Box Book: 25 Things to Make and Do with Empty Boxes

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By Danny, Jake, and Niall Walsh

Another great cutting up, gluing, rainy afternoon book. Big projects with lots of boy-appeal, using ordinary supplies: “No expensive equipment required. Absolutely no talent whatsoever required!” says the back cover of the book.  As a parent, I liked the “no frustration” of this book.

Ages 6-12

Recommended

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

I Can Make That! Fantastic Crafts for Kids

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By Mary Wallace

Who likes craft books that are complicated, frustrating, and require lots of parental help? Not me! This library book by Wallace gave simple straightforward steps and used common household odds and ends to make costumes, puppets, nature crafts, toys and games. Full colour, and with lots and lots of ideas, your kids are sure to find something they want to make on a rainy day…

Ages 6-10

Recommended

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen