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Recommendations For Children's Books

If you're a parent and you've been to a bookstore lately, you might have noticed a growing trend in issue oriented books for children. These are books that address topics such as global warming, poverty, and food sustainability. Mary Ito looked at what's behind this trend with Dory Cerny, Books for Young People Editor at Quill and Quire.

A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Karen Patkau (Pajama Press, ages 5+). - In this book, a young Ugandan boy embarks, barefoot, on a lengthy journey to get water from the pump located outside of his village. When he receives an unexpected gift from an aid worker who has come to the village square, he devises a meaningful way to say thank you. The message here is clear, but delivered with a soft touch, reminding young readers that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.

You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey, illustrated by Soyeon Kim (Owlkids Books, ages 4+). - In her first picture book, scientist and author Elin Kelsey introduces children to the concept of how humans and nature interconnect, explaining in simple, yet effective scientific terms, how our actions impact our environment. Soyeon Kim¹s incredible diorama illustrations add wonder, and the combination of text and images act to capture children¹s attention and imaginations while informing them of important issues.

Gift Days by Kari-Lynn Winters, illustrated by Stephen Taylor (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, ages 8+). - In another story set in Uganda, Nassali longs to go to school, but after her mother¹s AIDs-related death, she must take over the responsibility of running the household. Eventually, Nassali¹s older brother volunteers to do her chores one day a week so that she can learn how to read, as their mother would have wanted.

Really and Truly by Émilie Rivard, illustrated by Anne-Claire Delisle (Owlkids Books, ages 4+). - Charlie¹s grandpa used to tell him the best stories. When Grandpa begins to act differently, becoming forgetful and distant, Charlie takes over storytelling duties to maintain their bond. This is a delicate approach to teaching young children about dementia and Alzheimer¹s Disease, relayed in a manner that is easy for them to understand.

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