Books·Fall Book Preview

10 picture books you'll want to check out this fall

This fall, make time for these 10 picture books by tour-de-force storytellers and illustrators from Canada and beyond.

This fall, make time for these 10 picture books by tour-de-force storytellers and illustrators from Canada and beyond.

You can see the complete CBC Books fall preview here. Want a PDF of the entire preview? Find that here.

My Wounded Island by Jacques Pasquet, illustrated by Marion Arbona, translated by Sophie B. Watson

My Wounded Island is a picture book written by Jacques Pasquet (above), illustrated by Marion Arbona (bottom left) & translated by Sophie B. Watson. (Orca Book Publishing)

What it's about: The Iñupiat love their home, the island Sarichef. But rising water levels force residents to move inwards, and may soon mean leaving their home for good. 

Why we chose it: Originally published in French in 2010, this newly translated book by Jacques Pasquet addresses the growing climate crisis. Illustrations are by Quebec artist Marion Arbona, with translation by Sophie B. Watson.

When you can read it: Aug. 29, 2017

Picture the Sky by Barbara Reid

Barbara Reid is an award-winning author and illustrator of children's books. (Ian Chrysler)

What it's about: A whimsical picture book about the sky's many stories.

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Why we chose it: Barbara Reid, famous for her vibrant Plasticine artwork, is one of Canada's best storytellers, and many of her books — like Picture a Tree and Sing a Song for Mother Goose — are considered classics.

When you can read it: Aug. 29, 2017

Kisimi Taimaippaktut Angirrarijarani / Only in My Hometown by Angnakuluk Friesen, illustrated by Ippiksaut Friesen, translated by Jean Kusugak

This picture book, written in English and Inuktitut, portrays life in a small Inuit community. (Groundwood Books)

What it's about: Written in English and Inuktitut, this picture book portrays life in a snowy Nunavut town. 

Why we chose it: Poetic text coupled with vivid illustrations of Canada's magnificent north, this collaboration by Nunavut sisters Angnakuluk Friesen and Ippiksaut Friesen received a starred review by Kirkus.

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2017

I Love My Purse by Belle DeMont, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer

Halifax's Belle DeMont (above) is the author and Germany's Sonja Wimmer is the illustrator of I Love My Purse. (Annick Press)

What it's about: When Charlie wears his big red purse to school, his father, his friends and the crossing guard question his look. But Charlie keeps bringing his purse and inspires the people around him to be unafraid of expressing themselves.

Why we chose it: I Love My Purse is Halifax artist Belle DeMont's first book and looks to be a touching tale of self-expression and acceptance. DeMont's words are illustrated by award-winning German artist Sonja Wimmer.

When you can read it: Sept. 12, 2017

Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Esmé Shapiro

Yak and Dove was written by Kyo Maclear (above) and illustrated by Esmé Shapiro. (Tundra Books/Kyo Maclear)

What it's about: Yak and dove are best friends, but one day they realize how different they are. Yak decides to hold auditions for a new pal, and the best contestant turns out to be a familiar, feathered friend.

Why we chose it: Kyo Maclear is an established talent in Canadian children's literature. Her award-nominated work includes Virginia Wolf and The Liszts. Esmé Shapiro's star is on the rise; her debut picture book Ooko was shortlisted for a 2016 Governor General's Literary Award.

When you can read it: Sept. 19, 2017

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom, illustrated by Kai Yun Ching & Wai-Yant Li

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea is an ode to self-expression by Kai Cheng Thom (top) with illustrators Wai-Yant Li (middle illustration) and Kai Yun Ching. (Arsenal Pulp Press/Jackson Ezra/Contributor illustrations by Wai-Yant Li)

What it's about: Miu Lan is a child that can change into any shape, but can't decide whether they should be a boy or girl, fish or flower, bird or shooting star. As Miu Lan faces challenges from outsiders, their mother echoes this beautiful refrain: "whatever you dream of / i believe you can be / from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea."

Why we chose it: Kai Cheng Thom, one of CBC Books' 2017 writers to watch, won the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers this year. Her multi-genre work includes a novel, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, and the poetry collection a place called No Homeland. Montreal artists Kai Yun Ching and Wai-Yant Li bring Cheng Thom's vision to life with their stunning illustrations.

When you can read it: Oct. 1, 2017

Shelter by Céline Claire, illustrated by Qin Leng

French author Céline Claire (above) and Canadian illustrator Qin Leng collaborated on this picture book Shelter. (Kids Can Press)

What it's about: A big storm drives animals of the forest into their homes. A pair of strangers go door-to-door asking for shelter, but are turned away. When the fox family find themselves out in the cold, they ask the outsiders for help.

Why we chose it: Toronto-based artist Qin Leng's many accomplishments include being shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary Award for the book Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin. Céline Claire lives in France and is the author of many children's books.

When you can read it: Oct. 3, 2017

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

The latest collaboration from award-winning team Mac Barnett (right) and Jon Klassen is The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse. (Penguin Random House)

What it's about: A mouse and duck make a comfortable home for themselves inside a wolf's stomach — until a hunter appears.

Why we chose it: Bestselling Canadian children's author and illustrator Jon Klassen is the artist behind the I Want My Hat Back trilogy and is one of the most sought-after illustrators in the country. Two of his previous collaborations with American writer Mac Barnett, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn, were Caldecott Honor Books.

When you can read it: Oct. 10, 2017

Sam & Eva by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Debbie Ridpath Ohi is an author and illustrator based in Toronto. Her picture book Sam & Eva is available in October 2017. (Simon & Schuster/Annie T.)

What it's about: Sam isn't too thrilled when Eva tries to add to his drawing of a velociraptor. The two start an art battle that gets increasingly out of hand, until they decide to work together. 

Why we chose it: This sweet story about the power of teamwork promises to be both imaginative and funny. Toronto-based artist Debbie Ridpath Ohi is the author of Where Are My Books? and has illustrated several Judy Blume books.

When you can read it: Oct. 17, 2017

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel

You Hold Me Up was written by Monique Gray Smith (above) and illustrated by Danielle Daniel. (Orca Book Publishers/Centric Photography/

What it's about: This picture book illustrates the power of strong relationships — between friends, family members and classmates — and the need to encourage empathy when it comes to discussions about reconciliation.

Why we chose it: Monique Gray Smith is a Cree, Lakota and Scottish writer whose books, including the award-winning title Tillyshine much-needed light on the violent legacy of residential schools, the Sixties Scoop and the colonization of Canada. Danielle Daniel, award-winning Métis illustrator from Sudbury, provides vibrant artwork for this book. 

When you can read it: Oct. 31, 2017