Books·Spring Preview

33 Canadian picture books to watch for in spring 2022

Here are the Canadian picture books we can't wait to read this season.

Here are the Canadian picture books we are excited about this season.

A Long Way Home by Jean Little, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

A Long Way Home is a picture book by Jean Little, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. (Scholastic Canada)

A Long Way Home tells the story of Jane and Maya, two girls who are two very different people. While Maya is a quiet girl, a refugee and new to this country, Jane is chatty and outgoing and has lived in the same place her whole life. After learning about the plight of endangered animals, the two bond over watching over butterflies and planting a milkweed garden. A Long Way Home is about togetherness and understanding the ways we are alike and different.

A Long Way Home is for ages 4 to 8.

Canadian children's writer Jean Little was the author of over 50 books, including Dancing Through the SnowMama's Going to Buy You a MockingbirdFrom Anna and Orphan at My Door. Born with scarred corneas that severely limited her vision, Little often wrote stories about children with physical disabilities. Her work earned her many honours, including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and being named a Member of the Order of Canada. Little died on April 6, 2020 at the age of 88.

Gabrielle Grimard is an author and illustrator from Quebec. She wrote and illustrated the picture books Lila and the Crow and Nutcracker Night and illustrated the books Stolen Words by Melanie Florence and The Magic Boat by Kit Pearson and Katherine Farris.

Mina by Matthew Forsythe

Mina is a picture book by Matthew Forsythe. (Paula Wiseman Books, Matthew Forsythe)

The picture book Mina is a colourful and heartful look at the bond between father and daughter. Mina lives with her dad in a tree stump on the edge of the forest. When her father brings home a surprise, an anxious Mina learns more about the power of trust and loyalty.

Mina is for ages 4 to 8.

Matthew Forsythe is the Toronto-born author-illustrator of Pokko and the Drum, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, a recipient of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor, and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book.

I Love You More by Emil Sher and Barbara Reid

I Love You More is a picture book by Emil Sher, left, and Barbara Reid. (Rafael Goldchain, North Winds Press, Scholastic Canada)

I Love You More is a picture book about  a child named Des and the power of love. The story is an affirming look at how kindness in the community crosses lines of gender, race and age. 

I Love You More is for ages 3 to 8.

Emil Sher is a Toronto author and playwright. His work includes Young Man with Camera, Away and the picture book Mittens to Share, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher. Sher has written the stage play adaptations of Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine and The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown, and the script and lyrics for a stage musical of Roch Carrier's The Hockey Sweater

Children's author Barbara Reid, who uses plasticine to illustrate her stories, has written several bestselling books including Picture a Tree and Sing a Song of Mother Goose. In 2013, Reid was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. Among her many awards, her picture book The Party won the 1997 Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature. In 2013, Reid received the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People, which recognizes a writer's entire body of work.

Her book Picture The Sky was a finalist for the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and received the most votes from young readers in the CBC's Fan Choice Contest

Giju's Gift by Brandon Mitchell, illustrated by Veronika Barinova and Britt Wilson

Giju's Gift is a picture book by Brandon Mitchell, left, illustrated by Veronika Barinova and Britt Wilson (not pictured). (HighWater Press)

In the first volume of this graphic novel series inspired by traditional stories, a Mi'kmaw girl, Mali, is sad after her favourite hair clip goes missing. Her mom thinks she lost it, but Mali knows deep down it was stolen by the pugulatmu'j, or Little People, the original guardians of the land who make their presence known by the tricks they play. When she meets Puug, he's wearing her hair clip, but she has to help him hunt for the objects on his list before she can get it back. One small problem: first they have to outsmart the ancient giant that's chasing them.

Giju's Gift is for ages 6 to 8.

Brandon Mitchell is the Fredericton-based founder of Birch Bark Comics and creator of the Sacred Circles comic series, which draws on his Mi'kmaq heritage.

Veronika Barinova is an emerging illustrator currently living in Calgary. She has a Bachelor in visual communication design from the Alberta University of the Arts and works primarily in digital media. 

Britt Wilson is an Ontario ceramic artist, illustrator, cartoonist and letterer. A graduate from Sheridan College, Britt is the author-illustrator of Britt Wilson's Greatest Book on EarthGhost Queen, and Cat Dad, King of the Goblins.

The Magic Shell by Jillian Christmas, illustrated by Diana G. A. Mungaray

The Magic Shell is a picture book by Jillian Christmas, illustrated by Diana G. A. Mungaray. (Flamingo Rampant)

The Magic Shell is a picture book about Pigeon Pea, a young person who has a lot of questions about identity and family. When Auntie gives them the magic key to all the answers, Pigeon Pea travels across time and space to learn more about their past and who their ancestors were. 

The Magic Shell is for ages 6 to 8.

Jillian Christmas is an educator, activist and community organizer who focuses on increasing anti-oppression initiatives in spoken word. She is the former Artistic Director of Vancouver's Verses Festival of Words. Christmas won the 2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers and CBC Books named her a 2020 writer to watch.

Raised in Stoneville, N.C., Diana Mungaray grew up enthralled by the world around her. She started her journey painting watercolour pine trees in her composition book, going on to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Interactive Design.

Journey of the Midnight Sun by Shazia Afzal, illustrated by Aliya Ghare

Journey of the Midnight Sun is a picture book by Shazia Afzal, illustrated by Aliya Ghare. (Orca Book Publishers)

In Journey of the Midnight Sun, a true story comes to life in picture book form. The book is based on the journey of the Midnight Sun Mosque — in 2010, a Winnipeg-based charity raised funds to build and ship a mosque to Inuvik, one of the northernmost towns in Canada's Arctic. This set off a 4,000-kilometre journey filled with bad weather, even worse roads and a pressing deadline to make it there before the first winter freeze. 

Journey of the Midnight Sun is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: March 15, 2022

Shazia Afzal is an Ontario teacher and storyteller. Having immigrated to Canada in 2002, Shazia sought to live near her community mosque with every move. Because of her firsthand understanding of the challenges Muslim families face in new communities, the incredible story behind the construction and transportation of the Midnight Sun Mosque resonated with her. 

Aliya Ghare is a Toronto artist and illustrator. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration and Adobe, and has been awarded by and published in the Applied Arts and 3x3 magazines.

Martin and the River by Jon-Erik Lappano, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

Martin and the River is a picture book by Jon-Erik Lappano, left, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. (Groundwood Books)

In this poetic story about the relationship between children and the natural world, young Martin is faced with moving away from his beloved river in the countryside. When he visits the city with his parents to explore their new home, none of its charms can compare with the river. But when he encounters a stream running through the park, Martin discovers that his connection with nature can be just as wondrous in the city.

Martin and the River is for ages 3 to 6.

Jon-Erik Lappano is a children's book author from Ontario. His picture book, Tokyo Digs a Garden, won the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustration.

Josée Bisaillon is a children's book writer and illustrator based outside Montreal. Her other books include Leap! written by JonArno Lawson, and The Snow Knows written by Jennifer McGrath.

I'm Not Sydney! by Marie-Louise Gay

I'm Not Sydney! is a picture book by Marie-Louise Gay. (Groundwood Books)

I'm Not Sydney! introduces young readers to Sydney and his friends — or are they animals? Sydney likes to imagine he's a sleepy sloth hanging from a tree, while his friend Sami prefers to become a fast spider monkey. They're joined by the other neighbourhood kids in this story about the power of play, imagination and the slow-moving magic of a childhood summer.

I'm Not Sydney! is for ages 3 to 6.

Marie-Louise Gay is a prolific author and illustrator of children's literature from Montreal. She has won the Governor General's Literary Award for children literature — illustration twice, for Rainy Day Magic and Yuck, A Love Story. Her other children's books include MustafaAny Questions? and the Stella & Sam series.

I Am Everything in Between by Sydney Sunderland

I Am Everything in Between is a picture book by Sydney Sunderland. (Rebel Mountain Press)

I Am Everything in Between explores gender ideals, differences and stereotypes. The picture book is a celebration of youth and focuses on a positive and empowering message for those who want to be seen for who they truly are. 

I Am Everything in Between is for ages 4 to 8.

Eighteen-year-old Sydney Sunderland is a writer and illustrator who grew up in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, B.C.

Sangeet and the Missing Beat by Kiranjot Kaur

Sangeet and the Missing Beat is a picture book by Kiranjot Kaur. (Rebel Mountain Press)

Sangeet and the Missing Beat celebrates the joy of music. Sangeet loves to create and play music, and especially loves playing the tabla, her favourite instrument. One day, Sangeet overhears an awesome beat but can't quite play it on the tabla. She needs to figure out the missing beat to make the music sound complete.

Sangeet and the Missing Beat  is for ages 4 to 10.

When you can read it: March 15, 2022

Kiranjot Kaur is a B.C.-based multi-disciplinary artist, author and engineer. Her work aims to celebrate her artistic influences including her Panjabi, Sikh and Canadian heritages.

Sing in the Spring! By Sheree Fitch, art by Deb Plestid

Sing in the Spring! is a picture book by Sheree Fitch, illustrated by Deb Plestid (not pictured). (Nimbus)

Sing in the Spring! is a poetic celebration of the season when flowers bloom. The book looks at all the weather changes that spring brings, including melting snow, blowing winds, dripping rain. The book is about budding flowers, muddy puddles and the joy the season brings. 

Sing in the Spring! is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: March 30, 2022

Sheree Fitch is the author of more than 25 books, including Kiss the Joy As It Flies. Her children's books include Mabel Murple and young adult novels, like The Gravesavers. She received the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People in 2000.

Deb Plestid plays with fabric, thread, and paint. Her eye is drawn mostly to nature, mathematics, light, and shadow; exploring colours, textures, and life. Her work is in collections in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Her singular pleasure is eliciting a smile with her work.

Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes by Mahak Jain, illustrated by Anu Chouhan

Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes is a picture book by Mahak Jain, left, illustrated by Anu Chouhan. (Sarah Bodri, Annick, Ishu Klerages)

A story about navigating different cultural identities, Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes follows Paro, a girl who dances Bharatanatyam with her mom at home and is also excited to learn ballet. While they might be very different, Paro navigates how to appreciate and excel at both.

Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes is for ages 3 to 6.

When you can read it: March 29, 2022

Mahak Jain is a Toronto writer and author of books for young people and adults. Her picture book Maya, illustrated by Elly Mackay was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award. Mahak lives in Toronto.

Anu Chouhan is an illustrator from Burnaby, B.C. A trained animator and character designer, Anu often combines her love of Bollywood, anime and global fashion into her art. She enjoys creating art that celebrates diversity and empowerment.

Hot Cross Buns For Everyone by Yolanda T. Marshall, illustrated by Daria Lavrova

Hot Cross Buns For Everyone is a picture book by Yolanda T. Marshall, illustrated by Daria Lavrova (not pictured) (Chalkboard)

Hot Cross Buns For Everyone involves a diverse group of children and an Easter party. When Jackson's friends and their families bake assorted hot cross buns for his Easter party, it becomes a feast of different foods and spices from different cultures and countries. The book features themes of community and a shared understanding around food.

Hot Cross Buns For Everyone is for ages 3 to 6.

When you can read it: April 1, 2022

Yolanda T. Marshall is a writer of children's books including My Soca Birthday Party. Marshall was born in Guyana and grew up in Scarborough, Ont., surrounded by Caribbean culture. The children's books she writes are full of her love and appreciation for that culture and food is a big part of it.

Daria Lavrova is a children's book illustrator and painter based in Amsterdam.

As Glenn as Can Be by Sarah Ellis, illustrated by Nancy Vo

As Glenn as Can Be is a picture book by Sarah Ellis, illustrated by Nancy Vo. (Groundwood Books)

As Glenn as Can Be is a picture book that looks at the life of the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. A child prodigy, the classical musician lived an interesting life of mindfulness, learning and sounds. Gould always wanted to do what he loved best, while being true to himself in the process. 

As Glenn as Can Be is for ages 3 to 6.

When you can read it: April 1, 2022

Sarah Ellis is a Vancouver author, teacher and children's literature expert. She has written more than 20 books across the genres, and her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She has won the Governor General's Literary Award for Pick-Up Sticks and the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for Odd Man Out.

Nancy Vo was born on the prairies and now lives in Vancouver. She studied fine arts and architecture, and now works as a facility planner and a picture-book maker. She is the author and illustrator of the first two books in the Crow Stories trilogy. 

When I Listen to Silence by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by Carmen Mok

When I Listen to Silence is a picture book by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by Carmen Mok. (Groundwood Books)

When I Listen to Silence is a story of the power of silence when navigating your world. A girl looks out her window and discovers a space with breathing trees, dancing bears and a smoky dragon. It takes a bit of imagination and a dash of silence to save the day. 

When I Listen to Silence is for ages 3 to 6.

When you can read it: April 1, 2022

Jean E. Pendziwol is an author from Ontario. She is the author of the novel The Lightkeeper's Daughters and the children's books Once Upon a Northern NightMe and You and the Red Canoe and The Red Sash.

Carmen Mok is an illustrator. She has illustrated numerous books, including Ride the Big Machines in Winter: Waiting for Sophie by Sarah Ellis and Look at Me Now by Carol McDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones.

Abuelita and Me by Leonarda Carranza, illustrated by Rafael Mayani

Abuelita and Me is a picture book by writer Leonarda Carranza and illustrator Rafael Mayani. (Annick Press )

Abuelita and Me is a picture book about a girl and her beloved abuelita. One day while travelling across the city, the girl and her grandmother encounter racist actions directed at them. But the duo are empowered to be strong and stare down negativity. Abuelita and Me is about how believing in yourself can defeat even the most negative of people around you.

Abuelita and Me is for ages 4 to 7.

When you can read it: April 12, 2022

Leonarda Carranza is a writer who was raised in Tkaronto, and born in Cuscatlán (El Salvador) to a mixed-race family of Afro-Indigenous ancestry. She holds a Ph.D. in social justice education from the University of Toronto. She is the winner of Briarpatch Magazine's Writing in the Margins contest, and Room's 2018 Short Forms contest. Carranza lives in Brampton, Ont., part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.

Rafael Mayani is a Mexican artist based in Vancouver. He draws inspiration from the vibrant colours and shapes of Mexico and the natural beauty of Canadian landscapes.

Pink is for Everybody by Ella Russell, illustrated by Udayana Lugo

Pink is for Everybody is a picture book by Ella Russell, illustrated by Udayana Lugo. (Owlkids)

Pink is for Everybody is a picture book about colour, love and acceptance. When a diverse group of children find a pink treasure chest, the collection of pink-coloured items inside set them on a playful adventure fuelled by fun and imagination. 

Pink is for Everybody is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: April 15, 2022

Ella Russell grew up in a house that had a box full of costumes for rainy-day play. The box allowed them to become anybody they wanted — from a swashbuckling pirate to a proper palace-dweller. Russell lives in Toronto, with two cheeky but lovable furballs named Saffron and Juniper.

Udayana Lugo worked as a designer of products, interiors and graphics before her love of drawing and children's books led her to become a children's book illustrator. Lugo was born in Russia, grew up in Mexico City, and now lives in Richmond, B.C., with her husband and two kids.

In the Clouds by Elly MacKay

In the Clouds is a picture book by Elly MacKay. (Tundra Books)

In the Clouds is a tale for children about dreams, clouds and a world of imagination. When a little girl wishes for a bit of sunshine on a cloudy day, a friendly bird flies her off to a skyward adventure to learn more about the scientific magic that is rain, clouds and nature. 

In the Clouds is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: April 19, 2022

Elly MacKay is an Ontario author and illustrator. Her previous work includes Butterfly ParkIf You Hold a Seed, Shadow Chasers, Waltz of the Snowflakes and The Tallest Treehouse.

Mermaid Lullaby by Briana Corr Scott

Mermaid Lullaby is a board book by Briana Corr Scott. (Nimbus Book Publisher,

Mermaid Lullaby is a picture book that evokes a sense of underwater wonder in its depiction of mermaids. The story is a lullaby about mer-moms and their mer-babies at bedtime.

Mermaid Lullaby is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: April 26, 2022

Briana Corr Scott paints and writes from her home studio in Dartmouth, N.S., where she lives with her husband and three children. Her paintings and stories capture the beauty of the natural world, particularly the overlooked details found in the weeds and flowers found along the Nova Scotia coast. She is also the author of WildflowerThe Book of Selkie, and She Dreams of Sable Island.

Abalone Woman by Teoni Spathelfer, illustrated by Natassia Davies

Abalone Woman is a picture book by Teoni Spathelfer, illustrated by Natassia Davies. (Heritage House)

Abalone Woman is the third book in the Little Wolf series for young readers. In Abalone Woman, Little Wolf has a bad dream but it reminds her to learn more about Indigenous culture and the importance of passing on knowledge to the new generation. When Little Wolf encounters injustice in her community, she turns to her family for the strength to fight back.

Abalone Woman is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: April 26, 2022

Teoni Spathelfer is a radio journalist and author who is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation from coastal British Columbia.

Natassia Davies is a Victoria-based artist and graphic designer and is of Coast Salish ancestry.

Ben the Sea Lion by Roy Henry Vickers

Ben the Sea Lion is a picture book by Roy Henry Vickers. (Harbour Publishing)

Ben the Sea Lion was inspired by an adventure from Tsimshian storyteller and artist Roy Henry Vickers' own childhood in the Indigenous village of Kitkatla, on B.C.'s north coast. When Uncle Johnny accidentally catches an orphaned sea lion pup in his fishing net, young Roy and his cousin Bussy nurse it back to health. They name the pup Ben, short for Teeben — the Tsimshian word for sea lion. But eventually Ben must return to the wild, leaving his human friends to remember him fondly.

Ben the Sea Lion is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: April 30, 2022

Roy Henry Vickers is a B.C.-based carver, painter and printmaker. He is the co-author of the popular children's Northwest Coast Legends series: Raven Brings the Light in 2014, Cloudwalker in 2015, Orca Chief in 2016 and Peace Dancer in 2017.

Sun Wishes by Patricia Storms, illustrated by Milan Pavlović

Sun Wishes is a picture book by Patricia Storms, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic. (Groundwood Books)

The duo behind 2019's bedtime story Moon Wishes now turns to a daytime tale. This colourful picture book is a celebration of the sun as it shines around the world, lighting up the gloomiest skies, celebrating the harvest and delighting in the diversity of life all over the globe.

Sun Wishes is for ages 3 to 6.

When you can read it: May 1, 2022

Patricia Storms has worked as a short-order cook, a library technician, and a graphic designer, but her favourite thing to do by far is to make books for kids! She wrote and illustrated The Pirate and the Penguin and the much-loved Never Let You Go. She is the author of The Dog's Gardener, illustrated by Nathalie Dion, and collaborated with her husband, Guy Storms, to write Moon Wishes, illustrated by Milan Pavlović. 

Milan Pavlović is a Toronto-based illustrator, graphic artist and educator. He is the illustrator of several children's books in Canada, including The Boy Who Invented the Popsicle by Anne Renaud.

Lizzy and the Cloud by Eric Fan and Terry Fan

Lizzy and the Cloud is a picture book by the Fan Brothers (Eric Fan, Simon & Schuster, Terry Fan)

Lizzy and the Cloud is a picture book about a girl named Lizzy and the pet cloud named Milo that she loves and cares for. But as Milo continues to grow and grow, the time is fast approaching when Lizzy has to let her pet go free. 

Lizzy and the Cloud is for ages 3 to 8.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Eric Fan and Terry Fan are brothers and frequent collaborators on children's books. Their books include The Night Gardener and Ocean Meets SkyThey also illustrated The Darkest Dark by astronaut and author Chris Hadfield.

Runs with the Stars by Darcy Whitecrow and Heather M. O'Connor, illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko

Run with the Stars is a picture book by Darcy Whitecrow and Heather M. O’Connor, illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko. (Second Story Press)

Runs with the Stars is a picture book featuring the Ojibwe Horses that used to roam the forests of northwestern Ontario. The horses once ran wild and free, but when Grandfather was a boy, they almost disappeared. Now he is the caretaker of his own small herd, keeping the breed alive for future generations and teaching his grandchild about the loving bond between human and animals. 

Runs with the Stars is for ages 6 to 8.

When you can read it: May 3, 2022

Author Darcy Whitecrow is Ojibwe and Dakota; he is a member of the Seine River First Nation band in Northwestern Ontario, where he lives. Whitecrow practices traditional lifestyles like trapping, fishing, and ricing, as well as traditional spirituality in both the Midewiwin and Sundance traditions. 

Heather M. O'Connor is a children's author and freelance writer based in Peterborough, Ont. She first learned about Ojibwe Horses while writing for the Ontario Parks blog and quickly became obsessed.

Lenny Lishchenko is an Ontario illustrator, graphic designer and comics maker who will never give up the chance to draw a good birch tree. Ukrainian-born and Canadian-raised, she's interested in telling stories that people remember years later in the early mornings, when everything is quiet and still.

Tanna's Lemming by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, illustrated by Tamara Campeau

Tanna's Lemming is a picture book by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, illustrated by Tamara Campeau. (Inhabit Media)

Inspired by a true story, in this follow-up to Tanna's Owl, Tanna finds a small grey lemming — far too cute to turn over to the scientist who had sent kids out to gather lemmings for his research. Instead, Tanna deems Fluffi to be a family member and attempts to raise the lemming in her home. But when Fluffi strays from its cozy bed behind the stove and into Tanna's mother's things, Tanna is forced to consider whether she has really done what is best for the creature.

Tanna's Lemming is for ages 6 to 8.

When you can read it: May 10, 2022

Born in an Arctic wilderness camp and of Inuit ancestry, Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley is a scholar specializing in world religions and cultures. Her numerous articles and books concerning Inuit magic and lore have earned her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Of Scottish-Mohawk ancestry, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley is a folklorist and fantasist, specializing in mythology, magic, and Inuit lore. He has won an award for writing short science fiction ("Green Angel"), but his focus is on fiction and nonfiction for a young audience.

Tamara Campeau is a Montreal-based artist who works digitally to create her painterly storytelling illustrations. Her work has a strong sense of lighting, naturalistic colours, and dynamic composition. She is strongly inspired by wildlife, children, and the environments in which they reside. 

Where Do Your Feelings Live? by Catherine Hernandez, illustrated by Myriam Chery

Where Do Your Feelings Live? is a picture book by Catherine Hernandez, left, illustrated by Myriam Chery. (Noor Khan, HarperCollins, Gina Simard)

Where Do Your Feelings Live? is the latest book by Canadian author Catherine Hernandez. Young readers are encouraged to show compassion to themselves, their families and their communities, and to imagine where inside themselves they keep their feelings.

Where Do Your Feelings Live? is for ages 4 to 7.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Catherine Hernandez is a Canadian writer, author and playwright. Her 2017 novel, Scarborough, was a shortlisted finalist for the 2017 Toronto Book Award, the 2018 Trillium Book Award and the 2018 Edmund White Award. Scarborough was also adapted to screen as a feature film and premiered at TIFF in 2021. Malia Baker is defending Scarborough on Canada Reads 2022.

Myriam Chery is a Quebec artist and illustrator.

Sitting Shiva by Erin Silver, illustrated by Michelle Theodore

Sitting Shiva is picture book by Erin Silver, left, illustrated by Michelle Theodore. (Orca Book Publishers)

Sitting Shiva is a picture book that reflects on loss and grief. When a child loses her mother, friends and family gather to sit shiva, a seven-day period of mourning for the death of a family member observed in Jewish homes. The child learns more about love and healing during the process. 

Sitting Shiva is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Erin Silver is a Toronto-based journalist, author and blogger. 

Michelle Theodore is an Edmonton artist and illustrator.

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee, illustrated by Natalia Colombo Brown

Nature is an Artist is a picture book by Jennifer Lavallee, left, illustrated by Natalia Colombo Brown. (Greystone Kids, Domestika)

This picture book is for kids who love to draw and create, featuring craft ideas that also foster an appreciation for nature. In the book, a group of children get out into nature. As they witness beautiful landscapes and unusual creatures, they're inspired to create their own work of art. Nature is an Artist encourages kids to appreciate the art in their own outdoor environment.

Nature is an Artist is for ages 3 to 8.

When you can read it: May 17, 2022

Jennifer Lavallee is an author from the Canadian prairies where she lives with her busy family of five. An avid reader and crafter, Jennifer grew up experiencing all the wonder and beauty of nature, including the soaring Rocky Mountains, curious Alberta Badlands and lush boreal forests of the north. Nature is an Artist is her first book.

Natalia Colombo is a Brazilian illustrator and graphic designer whose picture books have been published in multiple languages around the world. Her book, Cerca, was awarded the first International Compostela Prize for Picture Books. 

Wildflower by Melanie Brown, illustrated by Sara Gillingham

Wildflower is a picture book by Melanie Brown, left, illustrated by Sara Gillingham. (Greystone Kids, Robert Huynh)

In Wildflower, a daisy growing in a garden is told by a rose that she's just a weed. Daisy begins comparing herself to the other plants in the garden — she's not tall like Sunflower, nor sweet like Strawberry and not even fragrant like Rose. But another strange and beautiful plant offers Daisy another perspective, making her realize that others don't get to decide who she is — it's up to her to define herself.

Wildflower is for ages 3 to 8.

When you can read it: May 24, 2022

Melanie Brown has worked as both an elementary school teacher and an interior designer, and lives in Vancouver with her family and sweet silver labrador retriever named Rosie. Wildflower is her first book.

Sara Gillingham is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator, art director, and designer who has helped publish many bestselling books. Gillingham has written and illustrated more than 25 titles for children, including How to Grow a FriendSnuggle the Baby, the Empowerment series, and the bestselling In My series. She lives in Vancouver with her family.

I's the B'y illustrated by Lauren Soloy

I's the B'y is a picture book illustrated by Lauren Soloy. (Greystone Kids)

I's the B'y is an illustrated picture book based on the classic Canadian folk song of the same name. The song, which originated in Newfoundland, comes to life through illustrations of bobbing boats, leaping humpback whales, violin-playing fish, dancing people, starry skies and stormy seas. 

I's the B'y is for ages 3 to 8.

When you can read it: May 31, 2022

Lauren Soloy is an author and illustrator who lives in a 140-year-old house in the wilds of Nova Scotia. Her debut picture book, When Emily Was Small, was published in 2020 and was nominated for a 2021 Atlantic Book Award.

Tâpwê and the Magic Hat by Buffy Sainte-Marie, illustrated by Michelle Alynn Clement

Tâpwê and the Magic Hat is a picture book by Buffy Sainte-Marie, illustrated by Michelle Alynn Clement. (Greystone Kids)

Tâpwê and the Magic Hat is a chapter book by Indigenous icon Buffy Sainte-Marie involving oral histories and traditions. Set on a prairie reserve, Tâpwê receives a mysterious gift from Kokhom — a magical hat that comes with its own set of surprises. Tâpwê goes on a trip featuring trickster characters and adventure. 

Tâpwê and the Magic Hat is for ages 6 to 9.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie's long career includes an expansive catalogue of music, art and work in activism. Hey Little Rockabye, published in 2020, was her first children's picture book.

Michelle Alynn Clement is an award-winning book designer and illustrator from Vancouver.

Una Huna?: Ukpik Learns to Sew by Susan Aglukark, illustrated by Amiel Sandland & Rebecca Brook

A picture book by Susan Aglukark, left, illustrated by Amiel Sandland & Rebecca Brook (not pictured). (Inhabit Media)

This picture book from Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark follows Ukpik, whose mom is keen to teach her how to make mitts from caribou skin. But Ukpik can't stop thinking about the bright and beautiful beads her mother traded the Captain for on his last visit. Her mom knows it's more important that she learn the skills to make her own clothes in the cold Arctic climate — but she does have a surprise for Ukpik that will let her enjoy something beautiful while also doing something practical. 

Una Huna?: Ukpik Learns to Sew is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Susan Aglukark is an Inuk musician and author of children's books. Her picture book Una Huna? What is This? was published in 2018.

Amiel Sandland is an illustrator living in the Toronto area. He studied illustration at Seneca College, eventually specializing in comic arts and character design. 

Rebecca Brook is a Toronto-based artist working in the animation industry. While primarily a digital artist, she also works in traditional mediums such as oil paints and charcoal. 

My Lala by Thomas King, illustrated by Charlene Chua

My Lala is a picture book by Thomas King, illustrated by Charlene Chua. (CBC, Tundra Books)

My Lala is a picture book with themes of love, joy and confidence. A girl named Lala wants to own the world... and when she discovers a box full of shiny red dots and uses them to label things in the home, she just might get her wish!

My Lala is for ages 3 to 7.

When you can read it: June 7, 2022

Thomas King is a Canadian-American writer of Cherokee and Greek ancestry. He delivered the 2003 Massey Lectures, The Truth about Stories. His books include Truth & Bright WaterGreen Grass, Running Water, which was on Canada Reads 2004; The Inconvenient Indianwhich was on Canada Reads 2015; and The Back of the Turtlewhich won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2014. He also writes the DreadfulWater mystery series.

Charlene Chua is a Singapore-born Canadian author and illustrator. She has illustrated several picture books, including The Pencil by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula, Shubh Diwali! by Chitra Soundar and Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang.

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