Books

65 Canadian picture books to check out in spring 2021

Here are the Canadian picture books we are excited to read in the first half of 2021!

Here are the Canadian picture books we are excited to read in the first half of 2021.

Little Wolf by Teoni Spathelfer, illustrated by Natassia Davies

Little Wolf is a picture book by Teoni Spathelfer and illustrated by Natassia Davies. (Heritage House)

The picture book Little Wolf tells the tale of a major life transition as a young Indigenous girl and her family move to the city. The girl learns to make sense of her new surroundings and, with the help of her mother, she makes connections with the human and natural world. Little Wolf is the first in a trilogy. 

Little Wolf is for ages 4 to 8.

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

Natassia Davies is an artist and graphic designer from Victoria and is of Coast Salish ancestry.

Hare B&B by Bill Richardson, illustrated by Bill Pechet

Hare B&B is a picture by Bill Richardson (pictured) and illustrated by Bill Pechet. (Running the Goat)

Hare B&B is a fun picture book about a group of young hares who set out to outwit a wild coyote who visits their home while their parents are away. 

Hare B&B is for ages 4 to 8.

Bill Richardson is an author and former broadcaster and CBC host from Vancouver. His previous books for children include The Bunny Band, Waiting for Gertrude, After Hamelin and The Alphabet Thief.

Bill Pechet is an artist, graphic designer and instructor from Vancouver. He is a faculty member of the architecture and environmental design programs at the University of British Columbia.

Forest Magic by Sarah Grindler

Forest Magic is a picture book written and illustrated by Sarah Grindler. (Nimbus Press)

Forest Magic is the second picture book by B.C. author and illustrator Sarah Grindler. The nonfiction book encourages children to explore and use their senses to identify and understand the nature all around them.

Forest Magic is for ages 4 to 8.

Grindler is an artist and author who grew up on Salt Spring Island in B.C. She is also the author of the picture book Seaside Treasures.

The Land Puffin by Lori Doody

The Land Puffin is a picture book by Lori Doody. (Nimbus Press, Meta Rose Photography)

The Land Puffin is set on the east coast and tells a story about a parrot who wishes he could be a puffin. Pete the parrot comes from a seafaring family of birds and decides to leave city life behind and live the rugged puffin life. But Pete soon misses the comforts — and food — of home and has to decide if life on the coast is for him after all.

The Land Puffin is for ages 4 to 8.

Lori Doody is a Canadian author and illustrator. Her folk art illustrations have previously been featured in books The Puffin Problem and Mallard, Mallard, Moose.

The Sun is a Shine by Leslie A. Davidson, illustrated by Slavka Kolesar

The Sun is a Shine is a picture book written by Leslie A. Davidson (left) and illustrated by Slavka Kolesar.  (Orca Book Publishers, Sarah Mickle Photography, David + Katie)

The Sun is a Shine is a board book about the wonders of weather systems and the diverse world around us. It features children from different locations in the world and highlights their connection to the sun, rain, snow and wind.

The Sun is a Shine is for children up to 3 years old.

Leslie A. Davidson is a retired teacher and writer from B.C. She is also the author of the picture book In the Red Canoe, which was shortlisted for the Shining Willow Award. Davidson won the 2016 CBC Nonfiction Prize for her essay Adaptation.

Slavka Kolesar is an artist, illustrator and painter from B.C.. She also illustrated the picture book La Légende de Carcajou, which was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award.

My Heart Beats by Rina Singh

My Heart Beats is a picture book by Rina Singh. (Orca Book Publishers)

My Heart Beats is a photographic board book all about love. It features images of babies from all around the world in a celebration of happiness, joy and mortality.

My Heart Beats is for children up to 2 years of age.

Rina Singh is an author who was born in India and now lives in Toronto. She has written more than a dozen books for children, including 111 Trees, Diwali Lights, A Forest of Stories and Moon Tales and Grandmother School.

Otter Lagoon by Nancy Deas, illustrated by Mike Deas

Otter Lagoon is a picture book by Mike Deas (left) and Nancy Deas (Orca Book Publishers, Billie Woods)

Otter Lagoon is the second book in the Sueño Bay Adventures series. It is a tale of ocean adventure involving a group of young detectives and a mystery including marine life.

Otter Lagoon is for ages 6 to 8.

Mike Deas is a Canadian author and illustrator from B.C. His other books include Tank and Fizz, Dalen and Gole and Meet Willie O'Ree. He is also the illustrator of the Graphic Guide Adventure series. 

Nancy Deas is an author and creator of children's books from B.C.

Shark Bait by Jeff Szpirglas & Danielle Saint-Onge, illustrated by Dave Whamond

Shark Bait is a picture book by Jeff Szpirglas and Danielle Saint-Onge (both pictured), and illustrated by Dave Whamond. (Orca Book Publishers, Tim Basile)

Shark Bait is a story about a girl and her love of sharks. Orly is a girl who spends summers with her family on the coast. Orly loves the ocean and swimming — but when her parents sign her up for sailing lessons, Orly has other ideas: she wants to use her tracking skills to locate a great white shark.

Shark Bait is for ages 6 to 8.

Jeff Szpirglas is a writer, editor and educator from Kitchener, Ont. He is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, including Wild Cards, Tales from Beyond the Brain and You Just Can't Help It

Danielle Saint-Onge is an educator and author from Ontario. She is the co-author of Messy Miranda, X Marks the Spot and Something's Fishy.

Dave Whamond is a cartoonist from Calgary who draws the newspaper comic strip Reality Check, which has been published daily since 1995.

This Is a Dog Book! by Judith Henderson, illustrated by Julien Chung

This Is a Dog Book! is a picture book by Judith Henderson (left) and illustrated by Julien Chung. (Kids Can Press)

This Is a Dog Book! is a playful and humorous tale of a bunny who wishes to be included in this book about dogs. Through the use of dialogue and funny illustrations, the bunny is determined to demonstrate that it has what it takes to be a dog. 

This Is a Dog Book! is for ages 3 to 7.

Judith Henderson is a children's TV composer and producer based in Montreal. She is also the author of the Big Words Small Stories series.

Julien Chung is a Montreal designer and illustrator. He has created licensed characters for brands worldwide and works as a designer for La Presse.

This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby, illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, translated by Alvin Ted Corbiere & Alan Corbiere

This Is How I Know is a picture book by Brittany Luby (left) and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley. (Groundwood Books)

This Is How I Know is a vibrant story poem about an Anishinaabe child, her grandmother and a look at the wonders and beauty of the natural world.

This Is How I Know is for ages 3 to 7.

Brittany Luby is an academic and children's book author. She is the great-granddaughter of Chief Kawitaskung, an Anishinaabe leader who signed the North-West Angle Treaty of 1873. 

Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley is an Ojibway multidisciplinary artist from Ontario, whose family is from Wasauksing First Nation.

Alvin Ted Corbiere and Alan Corbiere are Anishinaabe from M'Chigeeng First Nation. The father and son duo translated the Anishinaabemowin text for the book.

On the Other Side of the Forest by Nadine Robert, illustrated by Gérard DuBois

On the Other Side of the Forest is a picture book by Nadine Robert (pictured) and illustrated by Gérard DuBois. (Greystone Kids, Julia Marois)

On the Other Side of the Forest is a picture book that shares the importance of community and cooperation to achieve a big dream.

On the Other Side of the Forest is for ages 4 to 8.

Nadine Robert is a Canadian author, editor and video game designer from Montreal.

Gérard DuBois is a graphic designer from Montreal. He has illustrated more than 20 picture books. 

I Am a Peaceful Goldfish by Shoshana Chaim, illustrated by Lori Joy Smith

I Am a Peaceful Goldfish is a picture book by Shoshana Chaim (left) and illustrated by Lori Joy Smith (right). (Greystone Kids)

I Am a Peaceful Goldfish is a picture book with mindfulness in mind. It's about two children who imagine they are things around them — be it animals or flowers — and learn how deep breathing can help them overcome anxiety and feel calm.

I Am a Peaceful Goldfish for ages 2 to 6.

Shoshana Chaim is a kindergarten and physical education teacher turned podcaster and wellness expert from Toronto.

Lori Joy Smith is a children's book illustrator from P.E.I. Her work has been exhibited in galleries around the world.

Show Us Where You Live, Humpback by Beryl Young, illustrated by Sakika Kikuchi 

Show Us Where You Live, Humpback is a picture book by Canadian author Beryl Young (left) and illustrated by Japanese artist Sakika Kikuchi. (Greystone Kids)

Structured in call-and-response format, the picture book Show Us Where You Live, Humpback features fun facts about the humpback whale. It's about the loving bond between the animal and her calf and how their lives under the ocean are filled with wonder.

Show Us Where You Live, Humpback is for children up to the age of 7.

Beryl Young is a Vancouver-based author of several for children, including picture books, middle-grade novels and biographies.

Sakika Kikuchi is a Japanese artist and illustrator of children's books.

Goldibooks and the Wee Bear by Troy Wilson, illustrated by Edwardian Taylor

Goldibooks and the Wee Bear is a picture book by Canadian Troy Wilson (left) and illustrated by American Edwardian Taylor. (RP Kids)

Goldibooks and the Wee Bear is a twist on the classic fairy tale. The picture book reimagines the story to tell a tale about sharing books, reading and fun. 

Goldibooks and the Wee Bear is for ages 4 to 8.

Troy Wilson is a children's book author from Victoria. He is also the author of Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf and has published numerous stories in children's magazines.

Edwardian Taylor is an artist and illustrator born and raised in Hawaii. 

Bedtime Ballet by Kallie George, illustrated by Shanda McCloskey

Bedtime Ballet is a picture book by Kallie George (left) and illustrated by Shanda McCloskey. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Luke Spencer Byrd)

Bedtime Ballet is a bedtime story that features rhyming verse, French words and a flair for dancing. The picture book features a little girl who loves ballet and dances her way into nighttime slumber.

Bedtime Ballet is for ages 4 to 8.

Kallie George is a writer for children from Vancouver. Her books include the Heartwood Hotel series and Anne Arrives.

Shanda McCloskey is an American illustrator and author of children's books.

Happy Dreams, Little Bunny by Leah Hong

Happy Dreams, Little Bunny is a picture book by Leah Hong. (Little, Brown and Company)

Happy Dreams, Little Bunny is the first picture book by author Leah Hong. It's about a small rabbit who is having trouble sleeping but, after singing a lullaby with her mother, learns that dreams can be magical. 

Happy Dreams, Little Bunny is for ages 4 to 8.

Hong is an artist, author and illustrator from Vancouver.

Spark by Ani Castillo

Spark is a picture book by Ani Castillo. (Little, Brown Young Readers, Jamie Campbell)

Spark is the sophomore picture book by Ani Castillo. The book features a newborn child, and the special and wondrous journey the baby embarks on as it learns what it means to be human. 

Spark is for ages 4 to 8.

Castillo is a Mexican Canadian illustrator. Her art has been exhibited in Mexico, Canada and the United States, and her popular cartoon, Pupa & Lavinia, ran for 10 years in Mexican newspapers. She is also the author of the picture book Ping.

Stand Like a Cedar by Nicola I. Campbell, illustrated by Carrielynn Victor

Stand Like a Cedar is a picture book by Nicola I. Campbell (left) and illustrated by Carrielynn Victor. (Highwater Press, Nadya Kwandibens, Red Works Photography)

Stand Like a Cedar is a picture book about nature, animals and the wonder of the wilderness. It is an educational look at what it means to "stand like a cedar" and features the names of animals in the Nle7kepmxcín or Halq'emeylem languages.

Stand Like a Cedar is for ages 3 to 5.

Nicola I. Campbell is Nłeʔkepmx, Syilx and Métis from the Nicola Valley in B.C. She is also the author of Shi-shi-etko, Shin-chi's Canoe, Grandpa's Girls and A Day With Yayah.

Carrielynn Victor is an artist and illustrator of Stó:lö, Coast Salish & settler heritage from the XwChí:yóm (Cheam) community in B.C. 

We Dream Medicine Dreams by Lisa Boivin

We Dream Medicine Dreams is a picture book by Lisa Boivin. (Highwater Press)

We Dream Medicine Dreams tells a touching tale about the dreams of a little girl and how they connect to her Indigenous ancestors. While her grandfather falls ill, the little girl dreams of Bear, Hawk, Caribou and Wolf to learn more about what it means to have lived a good life.

We Dream Medicine Dreams is for ages 6 to 8.

Lisa Boivin is an interdisciplinary artist and PhD student at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at University of Toronto and a member of the Deninu Kue First Nation. She is also the author of the YA novel I Will See You Again.

When Mom's Away by Layla Ahmad, illustrated by Farida Zaman

When Mom's Away is a picture book by Layla Ahmad (left) and illustrated by Farida Zaman. (Second Story Press)

When Mom's Away is a picture book that reflects on life in a pandemic. When a little girl's mother, who is a doctor, is forced to be in quarantine, the girl's father helps her be brave. The father-daughter duo work together to make dinner, deliver groceries and join their neighbours in thanking essential workers for their hard work.

When Mom's Away is for ages 6 to 8.

Layla Ahmad is a Toronto author with a background in marketing and communications.

Farida Zaman is a Toronto artist, author and illustrator.

The Doll by Nhung Tran-Davies, illustrated by Ravy Puth

The Doll is a picture book written by Nhung Tran-Davies, left, and illustrated by Ravy Puth.  (Second Story Press, Eloise Turgeon)

The Doll follows a young girl and her refugee family as they look to make a new life in a new land. When the girl is gifted a new doll by strangers when her family arrives at the airport, she grows up grateful and now looking to return the favour. 

The Doll is for ages 3 to 7.

Nhung Tran-Davies is an Alberta author, physician and advocate for social justice through education. Her family came to Canada as refugees from Vietnam in 1978. 

 Ravy Puth is a visual artist and illustrator from Montreal.

The Bare Naked Book by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Melissa Cho

The Bare Naked Book is a picture book by Kathy Stinson (left) and illustrated by Melissa Cho (right). (Annick Press)

The Bare Naked Book is a classic picture book that has been revised with gender diversity and inclusion in mind. The book highlights and celebrates different people and different types of bodies.

The Bare Naked Book is for ages 3-5.

Kathy Stinson is a prolific Canadian children's writer from Ontario. She is the author of more than 30 children's books, including Red Is Best and The Man with the Violin.

Melissa Cho is a Canadian designer, illustrator and animator.

48 Grasshopper Estates by Sara de Waal, illustrated by Erika Medina

48 Grasshopper Estates is a picture book written by Sara de Waal and illustrated by Erica Medina (Paulina Moreno, Annick Press, Esther de Waal)

48 Grasshopper Estates is a picture book that features a little girl who uses her imagination to make the community she lives in a bit more friendly. 48 Grasshopper Estates is about the power of creativity and finding friends whenever you are.

48 Grasshopper Estates is for ages 4 to 7.

Sara de Waal is a writer and educator from B.C.

Erika Medina is a Mexican illustrator and art instructor based in Vancouver. 

Malaika's Surprise by Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher 

Malaika's Surprise is a picture book written by Nadia L. Hohn (left) and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher. (Groundwood Books)

Malaika's Surprise is a picture book that continues the story of Malaika from the books Malaika's Winter Carnival and Malaika's Costume. This time around, Malaika learns she will soon have a new baby brother or sister and she doesn't initially know how to react or feel. Malaika's Surprise is a story of celebrating love and family. 

Malaika's Surprise is for ages 4 to 8.

Nadia L. Hohn is an educator and author from Toronto. Hohn was named one of six Black Canadian writers to watch in 2018. Her past books include Malaika's Winter Carnival and Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter

Irene Luxbacher is an artist and illustrator whose projects include the I Can... series for Kids Can Press. She is based in Toronto.

The Big Bad Wolf in My House by Valérie Fontaine, illustrated by Nathalie Dion, translated by Shelley Tanaka

The Big Bad Wolf in My House is a picture book by Valérie Fontaine (left) and Nathalie Dion (right), and translated by Shelley Tanaka (not pictured). (Groundwood Books, Isabelle L'Italien, Jinny Montpetit)

The Big Bad Wolf in My House is a moving picture book about hope in a world of domestic violence.

The Big Bad Wolf in My House is for ages 4 to 8.

Valérie Fontaine is a Quebec writer and French-language author who has published more than 25 books for young people.

Nathalie Dion is an artist and illustrator from Montreal. She also illustrated the picture books The Biggest Puddle in the World by Mark Lee and I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree by Jean E. Pendziwol.

Shelley Tanaka is a Canadian writer, editor and translator.

Percy's Museum by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Carmen Mok 

Percy's Museum is a picture book by Sara O'Leary (left) and illustrated by Carmen Mok. (Groundwood Books)

In the picture book Percy's Museum, a young boy moves with his family from the city to the country, and he misses his old home. But living in the country offers new experiences and encounters with nature. Percy becomes a collector of interesting things in his new world and finds a way to cope with his feelings in the process. 

Percy's Museum is for ages 3 to 7.

Sara O'Leary is a writer based in New Brunswick. She is the author of the novel The Ghost in the House and the children's books Owls Are Good at Keeping Secrets, illustrated by Jacob Grant, A Family Is a Family Is a Family, illustrated by Qin Leng, and This Is Sadie, illustrated by Julie Morstad. 

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

THAO by Thao Lam

Thao is a picture book by Thao Lam. (Owlkids)

THAO is a picture book about feeling comfortable in one's own skin and identity. Based on Thao Lam's own childhood, THAO is about a young Vietnamese girl who is frustrated that the other kids just can't pronounce her name. During lunch, Thao is put at ease when she opens her lunchbox to discover that her mother made her favourite food — Vietnamese spring rolls.

THAO is for ages 4 to 8

Lam is an author and illustrator from Toronto. Her other picture books include Wallpaper and My Cat Looks Like My Dad.

Snooze-O-Rama by Maria Birmingham, illustrated by Kyle Reed

Snooze-O-Rama is a picture book by Maria Birmingham, left, and illustrated by Kyle Reed, right. (Owlkids)

Snooze-O-Rama is a fun nonfiction book that looks at the bedtime habits of humans and animals. Snooze-O-Rama highlights how animals all over the world get ready for bed using humour and collage illustrations.

Snooze-O-Rama is for ages 4 to 8.

Maria Birmingham is an Ontario author of several books for young people, including Acting Wild, Biometrics and A Beginner's Guide to Immortality.

The Wind and the Trees by Todd Stewart

The Wind and the Trees is a picture book by Todd Stewart. (Owlkids)

The Wind and the Trees is a picture book about the wonders of nature. It's about a small pine seedling who gains wisdom and knowledge thanks to a nearby tree. As the tiny pine tree grows, the older tree speaks about the heavy wind that blows through the forest. The young tree learns about nature, wisdom and loss.

The Wind and the Trees is for ages 4 to 8.

Todd Stewart is a Montreal illustrator, children's book author and screen printer. The Wind and the Trees is his first picture book.

I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, illustrated by Michaela Goade

I Sang You Down from the Stars is a picture book by Tasha Spillett-Sumner (pictured) and illustrated by Michaela Goade. (Leonard Sumner, Submitted by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, Owlkids)

I Sang You Down from the Stars is a story of birth and creation for younger readers. Using poetic language and  watercolours, the picture book uses Indigenous creation stories and traditional teachings to celebrate nature and the bond behind mother and child.

I Sang You Down from the Stars is for ages 2 to 5.

Tasha Spillett-Sumner is an educator, poet and scholar of Nehiyaw and Trinidadian descent.  She is also the author of graphic novel Surviving the City, which won the $2,000 Indigenous Voices Award for works in an alternative format in 2019.

Michaela Goade is an American-born illustrator from the Tlingit and Haida tribes. Goade won the 2021 Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in the book We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom.

Journey Around the Sun by James Gladstone, illustrated by Yaara Eshet

Journey Around the Sun is a picture book by James Gladstone (pictured) and illustrated by Yaara Eshet. (Owlkids)

Journey Around the Sun is a picture book that tells the story of Halley's Comet, visible from Earth only once every 75 years. Journey Around the Sun uses poetic language to highlight the wonder of human progress and innovation over the decades through the comet's eyes.

Journey Around the Sun is for ages 4 to 8.

James Gladstone is a Canadian editor and author of books for children. His picture book Turtle Pond won the 2019 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction and his picture book Earthrise was a 2020 Silver Birch Express Award finalist.

Yaara Eshet is an Isreali-born artist and illustrator now based in Toronto. She has illustrated more than 30 children, youth and adults books.

Dragon! by Caroline Adderson, illustrated by Alice Carter

Dragon! is a picture book by Caroline Adderson (left) and illustrated by Alice Carter. (Owlkids)

Dragon! is the latest children's book in the Pierre & Paul series by author Caroline Adderson. Told in both English and French, the book features easy-to-read language and quirky illustrations to tell a story to two friends on their latest adventure, this time on the hunt for treasure in the trash.

Dragon! is for ages 5 to 8.

Adderson is the author of five novels, including The Sky is Falling, Ellen in Pieces and A Russian Sister. Adderson is also a three-time winner of the CBC Literary Prizes. She has published two short story collections, including the 1993 Governor General's Literary Award finalist Bad Imaginings

Alice Carter an artist, illustrator and storyteller from Ottawa.

The Sorry Life of Timothy Shmoe by Stephanie Simpson McLellan, illustrated by Zoe Si

The Sorry Life of Timothy Shmoe is a picture book by Stephanie Simpson McLellan, left, and illustrated by Zoe Si. (Owlkids, JoAnne & Dennis Murphy)

The Sorry Life of Timothy Shmoe is a picture book featuring a boy named Timothy who keeps making mistakes and apologizing for it by writing letters. When he ruins his sister's dance recital, he writes a final letter to his sister and learns more about impulse control and acceptance. 

The Sorry Life of Timothy Shmoe is for ages 4 to 8.

Stephanie Simpson McLellan is a Canadian author of books for children. Her first picture book, The Chicken Cat, won both The Mr. Christie Award and the Ruth Schwartz Award.

Zoe Si is a cartoonist, illustrator and lawyer from Vancouver. She is the illustrator of the Cary Fagan-authored chapter book Wolfie and Fly.

Carmen and the House That Gaudí Built by Susan Hughes, illustrated by Marianne Ferrer

Carmen and the House That Gaudí Built is a picture book by Susan Hughes (left) and illustrated by Marianne Ferrer. (Owlkids)

Carmen and the House That Gaudí Built is about a girl named Carmen, her imaginary salamander friend named Dragon and a love for nature. The picture book is a story of adventure and aims to help younger readers learn and love the natural world around them. Carmen and the House That Gaudí Built  was inspired by author Susan Hughes's visit to Casa Batlló, a residence architect Antoni Gaudí built in Spain.

Carmen and the House That Gaudí Built is for ages 4 to 8.

Susan Hughes is a Toronto editor and author who has written more than 30 books for children of all ages, including Off to Class and What Happens Next

Marianne Ferrer is an illustrator living in Montreal.

Barnaby by Andrea Curtis, illustrated by Kass Reich

Barnaby is a picture book by Andrea Curtis (left) and illustrated by Kass Reich. (Owlkids)

Barnaby is a picture book about a blue budgie who has it all — that is, until its owner decides to get a new yellow canary. Barnaby hates his new "friend" and leaves home in a huff. He soon realizes that he loves his home after all and has to find his way back.

Barnaby is for ages 3 to 7.

Andrea Curtis is an author of books for children and adults. Her children's nonfiction titles include Eat This! and What's for Lunch?. She is also the author of the young adult novel Big Water. Her adult books include Into the Blue and The Stop, which was co-authored by Nick Saul.

Kass Reich is an artist who specializes in illustration and making picture books from Toronto. Her board books include Hamsters Holding Hands and This Little Hamsters.

Outside, You Notice by Erin Alladin, illustrated by Andrea Blinick

Outside, You Notice is a picture book by Erin Alladin (left) and illustrated by Andrea Blinick. (Pajama Press)

Outside, You Notice is a nonfiction children's book geared for young scientists and keen observers. It is a book that uses lyrical language to show, from a child's-eye view, the magic of the backyards, parks and forests around them.

Outside, You Notice is for ages 4 to 7.

Erin Alladin is a Canadian editor, author and an ecology enthusiast who is passionate about the outdoors and nature.

Andrea Blinick is an Ontario artist and an art educator.

No More Plastic by Alma Fullerton

No More Plastic is a picture book by Alma Fullerton. (almafullerton.com, Pajama Press)

No More Plastic is a picture book that reminds children that protecting the environment is a goal worth pursuing. When ocean-loving Isley discovers a beached whale that perished after swallowing plastic, she is inspired to save the world by creating less waste. But when everyone around her isn't as passionate about her cause as she is, Isley finds a way to ensure the whale didn't die in vain. 

No More Plastic is for ages 4 to 7.

Alma Fullerton is a children's book writer from Ontario. Her other picture books include When the Rain Comes, In a Cloud of Dust, A Good Trade and Community Soup.

What the Kite Saw by Anne Laurel Carter, illustrated by Akin Duzakin

What the Kite Saw is a picture book by Anne Laurel Carter (left) and illustrated by Akin Duzakin. (Groundwood Books)

What the Kite Saw is a picture book about hope and inspiration in a time of war. A little boy's life is upended by trouble in his homeland — but a kite, a park and a bit of imagination helps him cope and dream of a better day.

What the Kite Saw is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: May 1, 2021

Anne Laurel Carter is writer who splits her time between Toronto and Nova Scotia. She has written nearly 20 books for children and young adults.

Akin Düzakin is a Turkish-Norwegian illustrator and children's author.

Travels in Cuba by Marie-Louise Gay, illustrated by David Homel

Travels with My Family is a picture book by Marie-Louise Gay (left) and David Homel. (Groundwood Books)

Travels in Cuba is about Charlie and his artist mother who travel to Cuba and embark on an adventure. Charlie thinks Cuba is strange and puzzling — but learns more about different people and perspectives along the way.

Travels in Cuba is for ages 7 to 10.

When you can read it: May 1, 2021

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 Mustafa, Any Questions? and the Stella & Sam series.

David Homel is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, journalist and translator.

Sunny Days by Deborah Kerbel, illustrated by Miki Sato

Sunny Days is a picture book by Deborah Kerbel (left) and illustrated by Miki Sato. (Pajama Press)

Sunny Days is a picture book for preschool readers about the joys of warm weather. Featuring textural collage art, the picture book explores the childhood magic of the perfect sunny day.

Sunny Days is for ages 2 to 5.

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Deborah Kerbel is a children's book author from Ontario. Her other books include the picture books Before You Were Born and Sun Dog, both illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo, the middle-grade books Feathered and Bye-Bye Evil Eye and the YA books Mackenzie, Lost and Found and Girl on the Other Side.

Miki Sato is a Japanese Canadian illustrator originally from Ottawa. Her work has previously appeared in Today's Parent, Reader's Digest and the Walrus.

1, 2, 3, Off to School! by Marianne Dubuc

1, 2, 3, Off to School! is a picture book by Marianne Dubuc. (Kids Can Press)

The picture book 1, 2, 3, Off to School! is an illustrated story about Pom and their first day of school. Pom is all ready for kindergarten and discovers that school is filled with fun, imagination and adventure. 

1, 2, 3, Off to School! Is for ages 3 to 7.

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Marianne Dubuc is a Montreal author and illustrator of many books for children, including The Bus Ride, Lucy and Company and Mr. Postmouse's Rounds.

On the Trapline by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett 

On the Trapline is a picture book by David A. Robertson (left) and Julie Flett. (Tundra Books, Amber Green)

David A. Robertson and Julie Flett, of award-winning picture book When We Were Alone fame, team up again for On the Trapline. The picture book is a celebration of Indigenous culture and fathers and grandfathers as it tells the generational story of a boy and his grandfather.

On the Trapline is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Robertson is an author and graphic novelist based in Winnipeg. The multi-talented writer of Swampy Cree heritage has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Alone, illustrated by Julie Flett, and the YA book Strangers.

Flett is a Cree-Métis author, illustrator and artist. Flett has illustrated several picture books including Little You, My Heart Fills with Happiness and We Sang You Home. Birdsong was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustration.

Award-winning Cree author David A. Roberson journeys to his family's ancestral trapline with his father in his emotional memoir Black Water. 18:08

Gwendolyn's Pet Garden by Anne Renaud, illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh

Gwendolyn's Pet Garden is a picture book by Anne Renaud (left) and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. (Nancy Paulsen Books, Magenta Photo Studio)

Gwendolyn's Pet Garden is a picture book about a girl who longs to have a pet of her own. But when she receives a box of dirt from her parents, Gwendolyn discovers that the dirt is a pet that she can love after all.

Gwendolyn's Pet Garden is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: May 4, 2021

Anne Renaud is an award-winning children's author of picture books and historical non-fiction based in Westmount, Que. Renaud writes in French and English. Her work includes The True Tale of a Giantess, The Boy who Invented the Popsicle and Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament. She has also contributed to children's magazines such as Highlights, Pocket and Cricket.

Rashin Kheiriyeh is an Iranian-born, Washington D.C.-based, award-winning artist and author. She has published over 80 children's books internationally and won 50 international and national awards. 

Leopold's Leotard by Rhiannon Wallace, illustrated by Risa Hugo

Leopold's Leotard is a picture book by Rhiannon Wallace (left) and illustrated by Risa Hugo. (Orca Book Publishers, Aleisha Smith)

Leopold's Leotard is about a boy who loves to dance. The picture book is about what happens when Leopold learns more about acceptance and overcoming fears in time for the year-end recital.

Leopold's Leotard is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: May 11, 2021

Rhiannon Wallace is a children's author, librarian and archivist from Vancouver.

Risa Hugo is an artist and illustrator from B.C. Hugo is the illustrator for the picture book Why Are You So Quiet? 

Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin

Pride Puppy! is a picture book by Robin Stevenson (left) and illustrated by Julie McLaughlin. (Orca Book Publishers, Melanie Grisak, Stephanie Hull)

Pride Puppy! is a picture book about love, diversity and acceptance. When a family celebrates the annual Pride Day parade, their puppy goes missing. The rhyming alphabet book helps children learn their letters while following along as the family seeks to reunite with their beloved pet.

Pride Puppy! is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: May 11, 2021

Robin Stevenson is the Victoria author of more than 25 books for kids and teens, including the board book Pride Colors, the picture book Ghost's Journey: A Refugee Story and the nonfiction books Kid Activists and Pride.

Julie McLaughlin is and artist and illustrator from B.C. Her other books include Little Cloud and The Art of the Possible. She won the 2015 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction for Why We Live Where We Live.

Come, Read With Me by Margriet Ruurs, illustrated by Christine Wei

Come, Read With Me is a picture book by Margriet Ruurs (left) and illustrated by Christine Wei. (Orca Book Publishers, Kees Ruurs)

Come, Read With Me is a bedtime story that features characters from classic fairy tales that children can spot and identify. The read-aloud book is about two young children who go on an adventure in a magical land.

Come, Read With Me is for ages 3 to 5.

When you can read it: May 11, 2021

Margriet Ruurs is the author of 40 books for children, many of which are award winning titles, including Stepping Stones, which won the Bolen Books Children's Book Prize. She lives in B.C.

Christine Wei is an artist and illustrated based in B.C.

Every Home Needs an Elephant by Jane Heinrichs

Every Home Needs an Elephant is a picture book by Jane Heinrichs. (Orca Book Publishers, Bridget Wise)

Every Home Needs an Elephant is an early chapter book for younger readers about the challenges of having a pachyderm for a pet. When nine-year-old Sarah comes home with an elephant one day, it sets off an adventure about friendship, belonging and a love for animals. 

Every Home Needs an Elephant is for ages 6 to 8.

When you can read it: May 11, 2021

Jane Heinrichs is a Canadian children's book writer and the illustrator currently based in the U.K. She is also the author of The World Around Us series and the Princess Angelica series.

Raymond the Buffalo by Lou Beauchesne, illustrated by Kate Chappell

Raymond the Buffalo is a picture book by Lou Beauchesne, left, and Kate Chappell, right. (Orca Book Publishers, Chantale Lecours)

Raymond the Buffalo is a story of a buffalo who must learn how to be brave. When Raymond manages to magically escape his own book, he finds himself running amok in the public library. The picture book features a boy named Gilbert, a buffalo named Raymond and a librarian named Nicole who come together to help make sense of the situation. 

Raymond the Buffalo is for ages 6 to 8.

When you can read it: May 11, 2021

Lou Beauchesne is an author and illustrator from Quebec. She has created more than 20 books geared for young readers. 

Kate Chappell is an artist and illustrator based in Quebec. 

Sleep, My Baby by Lena Allen-Shore and Jacques Shore, illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle

Sleep, My Baby is a picture book by Lena Allen-Shore (left) and Jacques Shore (right) and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle. (Little Simon, Peter Warren)

Originally composed as a lullaby, Sleep, My Baby is a picture book by the late author and poet Lena Allen-Shore. This picture book, with co-creators Jacques Shore and Jessica Courtney-Tickle features expressive illustrations and words to tell a wonderful bedtime story that can be passed down to new generations of children.

Sleep, My Baby is for ages up to 3 years old.

When you can read it: May 11, 2021

Lena Allen-Shore was a Polish Canadian writer, composer, poet, educator and philosopher. A survivor of the Holocaust, she was determined to make the world a gentler place by sharing universal values. Sleep, My Baby was originally composed for her son Jacques. 

Jacques Shore is an Ottawa author, advisor and lawyer.

Jessica Courtney-Tickle is an author and illustrator of books for children. She is originally from Ontario but now lives in the U.K.

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem by Lauren Soloy

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem is a picture book by Lauren Soloy. (Tundra Books)

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem celebrates the power of the imagination through the eyes of a girl Henrietta (Etty) Darwin. Etty's dad is the famous naturalist Charles Darwin, but Etty is a keen observer in her own right. Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem imagines between Etty and Charles as they discover, and document, the wonders of the natural world. 

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: May 18, 2021

Lauren Soloy is an author and illustrator from Nova Scotia. Her first picture book, When Emily Was Small, was published in 2020 and was nominated for a 2021 Atlantic Book Award.

Out into the Big Wide Lake by Paul Harbridge and Josée Bisaillon

Out into the Big Wide Lake is a picture book by Paul Harbridge (pictured) and Josée Bisaillon. (Tundra)

Out into the Big Wide Lake is a picture book about love, independence and empowerment. It's about a young girl with Down syndrome who learns more about confidence, facing fears and enjoying nature after a trip to her grandparents who live in a lakeside home. 

Out into the BigWide Lake is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: May 18, 2021

Paul Harbridge is a Toronto-based author and illustrator originally from Muskoka. He is also the author of the picture book When The Moon Comes, which was was named a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Young people's literature — illustrated books and the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and it won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award at the 2018 award ceremony. 

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.

Trouble with Tattle-Tails by Jonathan Auxier, illustrated by Olga Demidova

The Fabled Stables book series is by Jonathan Auxier (left) and illustrated by Olga Demidova. (Puffin Canada, Libby Hilf)

Trouble with Tattle-Tails is the second chapter book in the The Fabled Stables series. It continues the adventures of a boy named Auggie, who worked in the magical place full of one-of-a-kind creatures known as the Fables Stables. This time out, there is a stable with a sign reading "Tattle-Tail." What happens next is an adventure with Auggie, his friend Willa and a host of magical creatures. 

Trouble with Tattle-Tails is for ages 6 to 9.

When you can read it: May 18, 2021

Jonathan Auxier is a children's book author from Vancouver. He is also the author of The Night Gardener, Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard and Sweep. Sweep won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text. Auxier wrote an original short story called Vanishing Point for the special CBC Books series Borders.

Olga Demidova is a Russian-born artist and illustrator.

Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell by Melanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell is a picture book by Melanie Watt. (Tundra Books)

Scaredy Squirrel is back in an all-new graphic novel for younger readers. The anxious squirrel is happy living in this nut tree— and doesn't ever want to leave! But when he is forced to travel outside of his beloved home, he discovers that the outside world isn't so bad after all. 

Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell is for ages 6 to 9.

When you can read it: May 25, 2021

Melanie Watt is an author and illustrator from Montreal. Her books include the Scaredy Squirrel series, the Chester series, Bug in a Vacuum, You're Finally Here!, Have I Got a Book for You! and Augustine.

We All Play by Julie Flett

We All Play is a picture book by Julie Flett. (Greystone Kids)

We All Play is the latest picture book by Cree author and artist Julie Flett. Through colourful illustrations, We All Play explores an Indigenous perspective as it celebrates nature and how we are all connected. We All Play includes a glossary of Cree words for wild animals and children repeating a Cree phrase throughout the book.

We All Play is for children up to the age of 7

When you can read it: May 25, 2021

Flett has illustrated several picture books including Little You, My Heart Fills with Happiness and We Sang You Home. Her picture book Birdsong is a finalist for the $50,000 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, which recognizes the best Canadian kids book for readers up to age 12, and the $20,000 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, which honours the best Canadian picture book for readers up to eight years old.

A Is for Anemone by Robert Budd and Roy Henry Vickers

A Is for Anemone is a picture book by Robert Budd and Roy Henry Vickers. (Harbour Publishing)

A Is for Anemone is by the duo of Robert Budd and Roy Henry Vickers. The picture book celebrates the alphabet, animals and imagery of the West Coast by way of vibrant illustrations. 

A Is for Anemone is for ages up to 7.

When you can read it: June 19, 2021

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

Budd is the co-author of the Northwest Coast Legends series and the author of Voices of British Columbia and its sequel, Echoes of British Columbia.

Harley the Hero by Peggy Collins

Harley the Hero is a picture book by Peggy Collins. (Pajama Press )

Based on a real-life story, Harley the Hero is about a classroom service dog named Harley and the normalization of neurodivergence. Harley the Hero honours service animals by telling a story about Harley, his human Ms. Prichard and a situation calling for quick thinking. 

Harley the Hero is for ages 4 to 7.

When you can read it: June 22, 2021

Peggy Collins is a graphic designer and children's book author-illustrator with more than 35 titles to her name, including Hungry for Math and In the Snow.

Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business by Bree Galbraith, illustrated by Morgan Goble

Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business is a picture book by Bree Galbraith, left, and Morgan Goble, right. (Kids Can Press)

Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business is a picture book about a young girl who is determined to be the best entrepreneur she can be. While her brother and her best friend are on her side, there are obstacles and opponents in her way that are working to stop her from saving the day. 

Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business is for ages 6 to 9.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Bree Galbraith is a Vancouver children's book author whose picture books include Usha and the Stolen Sun, Milo and Georgie and Once Upon a Balloon

Morgan Goble is a children's illustrator and artist based in Ontario.

See Where We Come From! by Scot Ritchie

See Where We Come From! is a picture book by Scot Ritchie. (Kids Can Press)

See Where We Come From! is a picture book that explores and celebrates the power of family connections. It's a look at how things like music, food and customs make up different family heritages and identities around the world. 

See Where We Come From! is for ages 4 to 7.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Scot Ritchie is a Vancouver author-illustrator of over 50 books including Join the No-Plastic Challenge!, Follow That Map! and Look Where We Live!.

Extremely Gross Animals by Claire Eamer

Extremely Gross Animals is a picture book by Claire Eamer. (Kids Can Press)

Extremely Gross Animals is a picture book that explores how even yucky things — like  snot, vomit, spit and poop — have a function in the natural world. By looking at animal diversity, it looks at how creatures have adapted over time to thrive and survive.

Extremely Gross Animals is for ages 7 to 10.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Claire Eamer is a writer of nonfiction books for children from B.C. Her books include Before the World Was Ready: Stories of Daring Genius in Science and The World in Your Lunch Box: The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods.

Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite! by Ashley Spires

Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite is a picture book by Ashley Spires. (Kids Can Press)

Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite! is a funny look at ability and being special. Burt is a June beetle who doesn't understand how unique he is — that is, until it's time for an exciting rescue! Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite! features lively illustrations and is a look at bugs and having a positive attitude. 

Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite! is for ages 4 to 7.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Ashley Spires is an author and illustrator from B.C. Her books include Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat

Wingmaker by Dave Cameron, illustrated by David Huyck

Wingmaker is a picture book by Dave Cameron (left) and illustrated by David Huyck. (Kids Can Press)

Wingmaker is a picture book about the magic of metamorphosis in the animal world. Featuring humorous dialogue and illustrations, Wingmaker helps children use their imagination and curiosity in learning more about nature's wonders. 

Wingmaker is for ages 4 to 7.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Dave Cameron is an Ontario magazine writer whose work has appeared in The Walrus, Reader's Digest and Cottage Life. Wingmaker is his first book for children. 

David Huyck is an American illustrator, printmaker, painter and a sculptor. He illustrated If Kids Ruled the World, which won both the Blue Spruce Award and the Shining Willow Award, and Manners Are Not for Monkeys

Poem in My Pocket by Chris Tougas, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

Poem in My Pocket is a picture book by Chris Tougas and Josée Bisaillon. (Kids Can Press)

Poem in My Pocket is a picture book about poetry, rhyme and wordplay. It's a kid-friendly allegory for the creative writing process that looks at the emotional energy that goes into creating poetry.

Poem in My Pocket is for ages 4 to 7.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Chris Tougas is a writer and illustrator from Victoria. His previous picture books include Mechanimals and Dojo Daycare

Josée Bisaillon is a Montreal artist and illustrator.  

That's No Dino! Or Is It? by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Marie-Ève Tremblay

That's No Dino! Or Is It? is a picture book by Helaine Becker, left, and Marie-Ève Tremblay, right. (Kids Can Press)

That's No Dino! Or Is It? is a fun look about what makes a dinosaur. The picture book features 10 prehistoric animals that look like dinosaurs — but they're missing at least one key characteristic that all true dinosaurs have. The hidden features are slowly revealed — helping children learn how amazing dinosaurs can be. 

That's No Dino! Or Is It? is for ages 6 to 9.

When you can read it: June 1, 2021

Helaine Becker is a Toronto children's author of more than 90 books, including Hubots, Monster Science, Zoobots, The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea and Lines, Bars and Circles. She is a two-time recipient of the Lane Anderson Award and a winner of the Silver Birch Award and the Red Cedar Award. 

Marie-Ève Tremblay is an artist and illustrator based in Montreal. Her work has appeared on posters, stamps and television, as well as in numerous magazines and children's books, including Inside Your Insides and Lines, Bars and Circles

T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes by Anna Lazowski, illustrated by Steph Laberis

T. Rexes Can’t Tie Their Shoes is a picture book by Anna Lazowski and Steph Laberis. (Doubleday Books for Young Readers)

T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes is an alphabet book that shows all the fun ways that animals are different from children. Comedy is used to teach younger readers their ABCs and humorous illustrations depict animals attempting to do different things.

When you can read it: June 29, 2021

Anna Lazowski is a Winnipeg author and producer at CBC Radio. T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes is her first picture book. 

Steph Laberis is an American artist and illustrator of children's books.

Lala's Words by Gracey Zhang

Lala's Words is a picture book by Gracey Zhang. (Scholastic Canada)

Lala's Words is a picture book about the power of kindness. Featuring muted colours and illustrations, it's a look at a girl named Lala who is determined to make a garden grow. She waters them everyday but it is her loving words and care that truly make her plants thrive. 

Lala's Words is for ages 4 to 8.

When you can read it: July 6, 2021

Gracey Zhang is a Canadian artist, illustrator and author from B.C. who is now based in New York. Lala's Words is her first picture book.

Corrections

  • For the book Hare B&B, the name of the publisher and the illustrator has been corrected.
    May 14, 2021 12:41 PM ET

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