It’s that time of year again. That “what-do-you-mean-we-only-have-two-weeks-left-before-we-have-to-go-back-to-school” kind of time. Summer has flown, and as we make our way towards September, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of preparation for the first days of the new term. The funny thing about going back to to school is that it’s always a first time of one kind or another- and maybe behind all of the excitement there are a few butterflies. It’s times like these we need a little boost, something really special, something magic.
Our friends at Raincoast Books and certainly think so. We’re thrilled that they will be sending one of our readers a prize pack of 6 fantastic Chronicle Books titles, and a tote bag, with a total value of CAD 175. A little literary love from us to you.
The package includes the following titles:
Our review – Leo has everything a ghost could want: A house on the edge of the city, plenty of books to read, and enough dust to draw as many pictures in as he’d like. Just the same, when a new family moves in, he’s happy to have them. Unfortunately, the feelings aren’t mutual, and Leo ends up leaving his home in search of a place where he is wanted.
On his journey he meets a young girl named Jane, who teaches him the true meaning of friendship, and acceptance. Leo the Ghost is a tale of self exploration, independence, and self worth. In it, our hero discovers that he is strong enough to leave the past behind, brush off the negativity of detractors, and to endeavor to find the place where he can be happiest. Many of these perils will be relatable to the reader; perhaps they’re moving, being bullied, or are unable to express who they are for fear they won’t fit in. Even if these issues are not at hand, Leo teaches resilience through an engaging and believable story.
Mac Barnett’s text is unadorned, and perfect. The dialogue captures the quickfire pace and tone of two children play-acting. Christian Robinson’s pictures, in the style of screen printing, are beautiful. Instead of using the entire colour wheel, he works in shades of blue, dabbling in some alternate tones for contrast. It’s a treat to discover new things in the picture upon reading it again and again, as is inevitable for parents. This book is well loved at our house, and will be in yours. Highly recommended.
Our review – Pierre the Maze Detective is an extraordinary search and find of epic proportions. This over-sized book is akin to a high art Where’s Waldo, delighting all ages. You must rediscover the Maze stone, stolen by a mysterious Mr. X. In order to do so, you must make your way through a number of different mazes, all unique and challenging. Each page is a feat; the pictures are intricately detailed, and great fun to search.
The format, which includes the directions on the left hand side, and additional challenges, clues, and items to search for on the right, is ideal for a curious mind, providing the right amount of mystery. The intensity builds maze to maze, through plot and mounting tasks; each new search requires one to find a few more items than the last.
The book is by Hiro Kamigaki & Hiroshima-based illustrators’ collective IC4Design, with text written by Chihiro Maruyama, translated by Emma Sakamiya and Elizabeth Jenner. Their portfolio is accomplished, and it appears that this is their first foray into a full-fledged book. It is clear from the level of detail in the artwork that it would take a talented team to accomplish what they have put together. What results are hours of entertainment; to discover the missing items and follow the maze, you may wish to do a few pages at a time. Either way, it’s a book that will enthrall the child in your life… Or the one in you.
The Bear’s Surprise
Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
From the publisher – Hibernation is over and Little Bear is ready for another adventure! But where is Papa Bear? Never fear, Little Bear will find him! Follow the curious cub through interactive cutouts on every page of this detail-rich extravaganza: into a bustling forest, deep beneath a mysterious cave, and en route to a rollicking circus in full swing. What will Little Bear discover when he finally locates his high-flying papa? The ultimate showstopping, sweet surprise awaits in this third installment of Benjamin Chaud’s acclaimed series that includes the New York Times Notable Book The Bear’s Song and The Bear’s Sea Escape.
Big Bear, Little Chair
Written and Illustrated by Lizi Boyd
From the publisher – In this artful and deceptively simple book, master book creator Lizi Boyd is at it again. Using her inimitable style to expand upon a familiar concept, she has created a compendium of unexpected opposites that is also a charming and emotionally warm story about Big Bear, little bear, and the stories that bring them together.
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
Written by Laurel Snyder
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
From the publisher – One night, her mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. Anna finds a beauty inside herself that she cannot contain. So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendentally gifted Anna Pavlova. Beautiful, inspirational, and triumphant, Anna Pavlova’s life is masterfully captured in this exquisite picture book.
From the publisher – Pascal, the Very Brave Platypus, lives in a most incredible town with his most incredible friends. There’s everyone from Fancy the roller-skating turtle, to Zelda the frog with the underwater trampoline and Ringo, the motor-cycle wearing bear who is the madcap inventor of the Piggy Bouncer.
There are silly carrot recipes, a collections of chewed-up gum, an ant-powered toilet and ever-so-much more crammed onto spreads and spreads of hilariously detailed drawings, maps, illustrations and more… Everything guaranteed to have Pascal fans poring over for hours and hours… And roaring with laughter.
Much love and luck,
The Kinderlit Team