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New Canadian Picture Books based on real life people and events

Meet Terry Fox: Scholastic Canada Biography by Elizabeth Macleod, Illustrated by Mike Deas

 

 

Just in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, we have two stories about the life of Terry Fox!

The first, is from the award-winning Scholastic Canada Biography series that highlights the lives of remarkable Canadians, whose achievements and legacies have inspired and changed the lives of those that followed them.

In Meet Terry Fox, the legendary story of how Terry Fox came to run the Marathon of Hope is chronicled: —his love of sports as a child and teenager; his devastating bone cancer diagnosis; the hospital stay that inspired him to do something to raise awareness about this disease; the poignant moment he dipped his artificial leg in the waters of St. John’s, Newfoundland; and the heartbreaking moment he ended his run. This was also the moment his truly inspiring legacy began.

Written by award-winning author Elizabeth MacLeod, this portrait of Terry Fox couples simple yet compelling writing with full-colour, comic-flavoured illustrations by Mike Deas that help bring this unforgettable story to life!

Aimed at Ages 6-10.

ELIZABETH MACLEOD is the author of many notable Canadian non-fiction titles including Bunnycheval de guerreCanada en vedette (co-authored with Frieda Wishinsky), as well as many critically acclaimed biographies. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

 

 

Terry Fox and Me, by Mary Beth Leatherdale, Illustrated by Milan Pavlovic

 

   

The second Terry Fox picture book just released, is from Mary Beth Leatherdale and Milan Pavlovic.

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.

Suitable for ages 4-10

 

MARY BETH LEATHERDALE writes, edits and consults on books, magazines and digital resources for children and youth. She is the editor of Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees, a Quill & Quire Book of the Year, a Booklist Editor’s Choice, and a Silver Birch Award, Honor Book among other honors. Recently, Mary Beth co-edited #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, an anthology that showcases the strength, diversity, and talent of Indigenous girls and women across North America. Among other honours, it received the American Indian Library Associations’ Youth Literature Award, was honoured as an Amelia Bloomer Project List Top Ten title, named a Book of the Year by Quill & Quire, an Excellence in Non-fiction for Young People Finalist, YALSA and a Indigenous Literature Finalist, First Nations Communities READ.

The Great Grizzlies Go Home by Judy Hilgemann

     

Two curious young grizzly bears go on A very long swim, far from their usual home in the Great Bear Rainforest. They crunch tart red cranberries in the bog then dig for crabs on the beach. They wander through backyards and feast on plums. Then they sniff something even more delicious—mmm, barbecued salmon. But a village full of people is no place for grizzly bears, no matter how sweet the plums or how tasty that salmon smells. Time for a helicopter ride home!

The Great Grizzlies Go Home tells the story of the bears’ adventurous journey, ending in their safe relocation back to the mainland. Featuring detailed watercolour paintings, engaging text and a concluding section with bear safety tips, the book will capture the imagination of readers young and old.

Suitable for ages Ages PreK – Grade1

JUDY HILGEMANN has been creating art since childhood. She has illustrated many books, including B is for BasketballMagical Beings of Haida Gwaii, The True Story of Sheba & Rex and Children of the Sea. She is a member of the Island Illustrators Society and Federation of Canadian Artists. She lives in Queen Charlotte on Haida Gwaii, BC.

 

 

Ocean Speaks by Jess Keating, Illustrated by Katie Hickey

 

Meet Marie Tharp (1920-2006), the first person to map the Earth’s underwater mountain ridge, in this inspiring picture book biography from the author of Shark Lady.

From a young age, Marie Tharp loved watching the world. She loved solving problems. And she loved pushing the limits of what girls and women were expected to do and be. In the mid-twentieth century, women were not welcome in the sciences, but Marie was tenacious. She got a job at a laboratory in New York. But then she faced another barrier: women were not allowed on the research ships (they were considered bad luck on boats). So instead, Marie stayed back and dove deep into the data her colleagues recorded. She mapped point after point and slowly revealed a deep rift valley in the ocean floor. At first the scientific community refused to believe her, but her evidence was irrefutable. She proved to the world that her research was correct. The mid-ocean ridge that Marie discovered is the single largest geographic feature on the planet, and she mapped it all from her small, cramped office.

Ocean Speaks is suitable for ages 5-10.

JESS KEATING is a zoologist-turned-author who writes with the sort of wisdom you can only get from multiple crocodile bites and skunk sprays. Jess has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of eight, she even started a library in her room (mainly so she could charge her brother late fees). She is the author of Shark LadyPink is for BlobfishWhat Makes a Monster? and Cute as an Axolotl. She lives with her husband in Ontario, Canada, where she is hard at work on her next book.

 

 

When Emily Was Small, by Lauren Soloy

   

A joyful frolic through the garden helps a little girl feel powerful in this beautiful picture book that celebrates nature, inspired by the writings of revered artist Emily Carr.

Emily feels small. Small when her mother tells her not to get her dress dirty, small when she’s told to sit up straight, small when she has to sit still in school.

But when she’s in the garden, she becomes Small: a wild, fearless, curious and passionate soul, communing with nature and feeling one with herself. She knows there are secrets to be unlocked in nature, and she yearns to discover the mysteries before she has to go back to being small . . . for now.

When Emily Was Small is at once a celebration of freedom, a playful romp through the garden and a contemplation of the mysteries of nature.

When Emily Was Small is suitable for Ages 4 – 8

LAUREN SOLOY has lived on both coasts of Canada, always within reach of the sea. She has a Visual Arts BFA with Honours from the University of Victoria, and a certificate of Fine Furniture from Camosun College. Along the way, she has learned to make a Queen Anne Highboy, a pottery mug, a hand knit pair of socks, a headstand and a mess. She lives in a 140-year-old house in the wilds of Nova Scotia with her librarian husband, two curious children, an ever-expanding collection of books, two hives of bees and one cat.

 

 

Bobby Orr and the Hand Me Down Skates, By Bobby Orr, Karen Kootstra and Jennifer Phelan

 

 

Even hockey legends start with hand-me-downs. A beautifully illustrated true childhood story about hockey great Bobby Orr.

Bobby eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. So when his birthday is coming up, he only wants one thing: new skates. He’s seen the exact pair he wants in the shop window: sparkling blades, shiny leather, clean new laces tied in perfect bows. But when Bobby opens his gift, he’s dismayed to find hand-me-down skates: scuffed leather, nicked blades, floppy laces.

Once Bobby breaks them in, though, he and the hand-me-down skates become inseparable, and he can’t imagine life without them . . . until the brand-new skates come into his life. How can he leave his hand-me-down skates behind?

Log Driver’s Waltz illustrator Jennifer Phelan brings this classic story to life with timeless, gorgeous art, and Kara Kootsra’s words evoke the joy and dedication that Bobby Orr brought to his favorite sport. A perfect gift for readers and fans big and small, this book is destined to be a classic that is reached for time and time again.

Booby Orr and the Hand Me Down Skates is aimed at ages 4-8

 

KARA KOOTSTRA is a writer and classically trained singer and pianist. Her first book, The Boy in Number Four, was also about hockey legend Bobby Orr, and her second book, Jay Versus the Saxophone of Doom, is a middle grade reader also about hockey. Residing in her home town of Windsor, Ontario, Kara enjoys spending time with her husband Kyle and two children, Nate and Claire.

BOBBY ORR, born in Parry Sound, Ontario, in 1948, played for the Boston Bruins from 1966 through 1976, and helped lead the Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship in 1970 and 1972, and to the finals in 1974. He also played two years for the Chicago Blackhawks. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players–maybe the greatest hockey player–of all time. After his retirement in 1978, Orr was active with business and charitable works, and in 1996, Orr entered the player agent business, and today is president of the Orr Hockey Group agency. He has been awarded the Order of Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame is in Parry Sound, Ontario.

JENNIFER PHELAN is fulfilling her childhood dream of drawing pictures all day with the publication of her books, Hey, Boy and The Log Driver’s Waltz. Other childhood dreams include becoming Leonardo da Vinci, an archaeologist, and a dancer. Jennifer lives in Toronto with her artist husband, Gleb.