Canadian Picture Books
Enjoy these beautiful and thoughtful picture books for young ones created by Canadians.
Albert's quiet quest
Arsenault, Isabelle, 1978- author, illustrator
Summer has arrived and Albert just wants a quiet place to read his book, but his friends keep interrupting him until he has an emotional outburst.
Awâsis and the world-famous bannock
Hunt, Dallas, 1987- author
As young Awâsis searches for the ingredients to make Kohkum's world-famous bannock recipe, they run into a variety of other-than-human relatives that help them along in their journey. Includes a pronunciation guide and Kohkum's world-famous bannock recipe at the back of the book.
Flett, Julie, author, illustrator
When a young girl moves from the country to a small town, she feels lonely and out of place. But soon she meets an elderly woman next door, who shares her love of arts and crafts. Can the girl navigate the changing seasons and failing health of her new friend? Acclaimed author and artist Julie Flett's textured images of birds, flowers, art, and landscapes bring vibrancy and warmth to this powerful story, which highlights the fulfillment of intergenerational relationships and shared passions.
Lee, Sherry J., author
Sophie and her dad have been invited to their neighbor Olive's birthday party, on the tenth floor of their apartment building. They bake cookies, which they put on a special platter, and then head to the elevator. At each floor, the elevator stops to let in other party guests. Along the way up, the elevator gets more and more crowded as a diverse cast of neighbors squeeze in. What will be waiting when the elevator reaches the tenth floor?
Hey little rockabye : a lullaby for pet adoption
Sainte-Marie, Buffy, author
In this tender and moving picture book, a puppy is looking for someone to love him. Will the girl who rescues him convince her parents to let her keep the little dog?
Hockey in the wild
Oldland, Nicholas author, illustrator
The lovable Life in the Wild trio can't wait to get out on the ice to play hockey. Except, well, they're going to have to!
I sang you down from the stars
Spillett-Sumner, Tasha, 1988- author.
An #OwnVoices love letter from an Indigenous mother to her new baby, new from celebrated author Tasha Spillett-Sumner and 2021 Caldecott winning illustrator Michaela Goade, that honors the beauty of a little one's arrival Drawing from Indigenous creation stories and traditional teachings and illustrated in dazzling watercolors, I Sang You Down from the Stars is a tribute to the bond between mother and child. The narrator gathers gifts for a medicine bundle in anticipation of her baby's birth; a fluffy white eagle plume, bunches of cedar and sage, a quilted star blanket, and a small stone from the river. When the baby arrives, the mother shares the bundle with her child and reveals the importance of each item inside. But when her family comes to meet the new arrival, she realizes the baby arrived with gifts of its own and that the baby is also a sacred bundle: a baby bundle. Writing in simple, lyrical text, author Tasha Spillett-Sumner draws from her cultural heritage in order to celebrate Indigenous traditions and the universal nature of a mother's love, with stunning art by the 2021 Caldecott medal winner for We Are Water Protectors, Michela Goade.
I talk like a river
Scott, Jordan, 1978- author
When a child has a "bad speech day" at school, his father gives him a new perspective on his stuttering.
A young Indigenous girl moves to the big city and learns to find connections to her culture and the land wherever she goes, despite encountering bullies and feelings of isolation along the way.
Storms, Guy, author
Invites readers to imagine being the moon as it shines to guide a journey home, glistens beautifully on icy snow, and wishes peace and safety for travelers, friends, and troubled hearts.
My family, your family!
Cole, Kathryn, author
A board book for babies about families. This book includes a diverse array of characters and celebrates gay parents, single parents, blended families, and other family groups rarely seen in board books.
The name I call myself
Namir, Hasan, 1987- author
A sweet and moving picture book depicting Ari's gender journey from childhood to adolescence in order to discover who they really are.
Nattiq and the land of statues : a story from the Arctic
Landry, Barbara, author
A ringed seal, known in Inuktitut as nattiq, has returned to his Arctic home after a long journey south. His friends -- a polar bear, caribou, raven, walrus and narwhal -- gather round to hear about his adventures. "What did you see beyond our land?" shouts the polar bear. Nattiq describes the amazing sights he has seen -- from crystal clear waters full of giant icebergs to the tundra in full summertime bloom to strange, tall statues, far to the south. The statues swayed in the autumn breeze, howled when winter storms set in and opened their arms to nesting birds in the spring.
Our little kitchen
Tamaki, Jillian, 1980- author, illustrator
A rhyming picture book about volunteering in a soup kitchen.
The paper boat
Lam, Thao, author, illustrator
Thao Lam's family came to Canada as refugees during the Vietnam War. When Thao started thinking about how to tell this story, she couldn't stop thinking about ants: small, seemingly insignificant creatures who are able to travel amazingly long distances overwater, work hard, and thrive on almost every continent on the planet. Boat People starts with a story inspired by Thao's mother's life: a young girl watches as a bowl of sugar water is put out to attract (and get rid of) some pesky aunts. As the adults around her frantically make plans for escape, she dips her chopstick into the bowl to save the drowning insects. When the army arrives, the family must flee, and in the chaos, the girl and her mother become separated from the others, and get lost in the jungle. The mother gives the hungry girl a bun wrapped in paper, which she then folds into a paper boat. After they eat, the girl spots a trail of ants in the moonlight. They follow the insects to water and manage to meet up with the boat that will take them to safety. The story switches to the perspective of a family of ants who have boarded the paper boat. Their journey is full of peril. The sun is relentless, the ants are attacked by seagulls, they starve, a storm capsizes their boat, and many ants are lost. The survivors, however, cling to each other, creating a raft of their own bodies, eventually making it to shore. One ant ends up on a kitchen table, surrounded by food, much like the table from the first scene. But the family members around this table aren't quite the same. The grandmother is no longer there, the little girl has grown, and she's been joined by a baby sister. But they seem happy, and most importantly, they are safe. As the story ends, the reader zooms out to see that they are but one family in an apartment building full of families, in a busy city full of apartment buildings full of tiny, seemingly insignificant creatures, working hard and thriving. With this picture book, Thao is returning to an earlier format: the wordless picture book of sequential art. But she has pushed herself again with the artwork--and this story is a collage of simple shapes, clean geometry, and impressionistic washes of colour. Its simplicity belies its great depth of feeling. This is a heartfelt, one-of-a-kind book on every level.
Raven squawk, orca squeak
Vickers, Roy Henry, 1946- artist
With bright and bold illustrations by celebrated Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers, this sturdy board book introduces iconic sounds of the West Coast and supports the language development of babies and toddlers. From the "geek geek" of the eagle, to the creak and rustle of cedar branches in the wind, to the sacred drumming of a potlatch and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, the rhythmic text, vibrant illustrations and glossy tactile finish of Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak will delight the very youngest readers.
Salma the Syrian chef
Ramadan, Ahmad Danny, author
Newcomer Salma and friends cook up a heartwarming dish to cheer up Mama. All Salma wants is to make her mama smile again. Between English classes, job interviews, and missing Papa back in Syria, Mama always seems busy or sad. A homemade Syrian meal might cheer her up, but Salma doesn't know the recipe, or what to call the vegetables in English, or where to find the right spices! Luckily, the staff and other newcomers at the Welcome Center are happy to lend a hand--and a sprinkle of sumac.
From those first barefoot days, wobble-dy walking over rocks and pebbles, to wandering-wild while searching for sea glass and, finally, huddled-up cozy at a late-summer bonfire, these summer feet flutter kick, somersault, hide-and-seek, and dance in the rain, soaking up all the season has to offer.
Terry Fox and me
Leatherdale, Mary Beth, author
Before Terry Fox become a national hero and icon, he was just a regular kid. But even then, his characteristic strength, determination and loyalty were apparent and were the foundation for his friendship with Doug. The two first met at basketball tryouts in grammar school. Terry was the smallest - and worst - basketball player on the court. But that didn't stop him. With Doug's help, Terry practiced and practiced until he earned a spot on the team. As they grew up, the best friends supported each other, challenged each other, helped each other become better athletes and better people. Doug was by Terry's side every step of the way: when Terry received a diagnosis of cancer in his leg, when he was learning to walk - then run - with a prosthetic leg and while he was training for the race of his life, his Marathon of Hope. Written from Doug's perspective, this story shows that Terry Fox's legacy goes beyond the physical and individual accomplishments of a disabled athlete and honors the true value of friendship.
The truth about wind
Hutchins, Hazel, author
When Jesse finds a toy horse and makes it his very own, his imagination runs wild. This horse is the fastest horse in the whole world, so Jesse names him Wind. He can't wait to race him across the prairie (the kitchen table) and over deep canyons (the bathtub). There's just one problem: Wind doesn't actually belong to Jesse. He was left behind accidentally by his real owners. And though at first Jesse is full of joy as he plays with Wind, soon he starts to feel uneasy--Jesse knows Wind's real owners must miss him. But how can Jesse explain to his mother exactly where Wind came from?
Two drops of brown in a cloud of white
Balasubramaniam, Saumiya, 1979- author
"A little girl and her mother walk home from school on a snowy winter day. Ma misses the sun, warmth and colors of home, but her daughter sees magic in everything -- the clouds in the winter sky, the "firework" display when she throws an armful of snow into the air, making snow angels, tasting snowflakes. And in the end, her joy is contagious. Home is where family is, after all."-- Provided by publisher.
When we are kind
Gray Smith, Monique, 1968- author
This beautiful picture book looks at how the simple act of being kind, to others and oneself, affects all aspects of a child's life.