9 hot picture books for cool kids this summer

It's summer! These children's picture books are great for family reading at the beach, at home or on vacation.

It's summer! These children's picture books are great for family reading at the beach, at home or on vacation.

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Anoosha Syed

Bilal Cooks Daal is a picture book by Aisha Saeed and illustrated by Anoosha Syed. (Simon & Schuster, Aisha Saeed, submitted by Anoosha Syed)

Featuring colourful illustrations by Canadian artist Anoosha Syed, Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed is a charming story about a young child who loves the lentil dish from South Asia and wants to share it with his friends.

Using the themes of patience, sharing and teamwork, this picture book addresses the power of culture and community and also features a recipe for daal at the end.

Bear for Breakfast by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Jay Odjick

Bear for Breakfast is a picture book by Robert Munsch and Jay Odjick. (Submitted by Scholastic Canada)

Children's author Robert Munsch and illustrator Jay Odjick team up for a second picture book called Bear for BreakfastIn this tale, a boy named Donovan decides to catch a bear to eat for breakfast, just like his grandfather used to eat. When he goes hunting, Donovan discovers the bear might have other plans.

Bear for Breakfast is inspired by a 1990 visit with the Chippewan community in La Loche, Sask., where Munsch met a boy named Donovan who said he loved to eat bear.

When I Found Grandma by Saumiya Balasubramaniam, illustrated by Qin Leng 

When I Found Grandma is a picture book by Saumiya Balasubramaniam and Qin Leng. (Rajni Radja, Groundwood Books, Lian Leng)

Maya is very excited that her grandma has come thousands of miles to visit her family. But she doesn't love how loudly her grandmother speaks or how her morning prayer bells wake her up. When I Found Grandma is a heartwarming tale about navigating differences that are both cultural and generational.

When I Found Grandma is Saumiya Balasubramaniam's first picture book. Qin Leng has illustrated several children's books including Sara O'Leary's A Family is A Family is A Family and her own book I Am Small.

Moon Wishes by Patricia Storms & Guy Storms, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic 

Moon Wishes is a picture book by Guy Storms, Patricia Storms and Milan Pavlovic. (Helen Booker, Jelena Reljic, Groundwood Books)

A bedtime story by Patricia Storms and Guy Storms, Moon Wishes describes how a moon's glow can light a path, glisten on snow and give peace to the weary. Milan Pavlovic, an illustrator from Toronto, creates dreamy watercolour paintings for this picture book. 

My Cat Looks Like My Dad by Thao Lam

My Cat Looks Like My Dad is a picture book by Thao Lam. (Submitted by Thao Lam)

A narrator, whose surprising identity is revealed at the end of the picture book, describes the ways in which their cat and dad are similar: they both have orange hair, love to nap and are occasionally brave.

Thao Lam is also the author of the picture book Wallpaper.

Boonoonoonous Hair! by Olive Senior, illustrated by Laura James

Boonoonoonous Hair! is a picture book by Olive Senior and Laura James. (Caroline Forbes, Neville Gordon, Tradewind Books)

In this charming picture book for young readers, a girl learns to embrace her wild, hard-to-manage curly hair. Olive Senior is an award-winning writer. Her books include the short story collection The Pain Tree and the picture book Anna Carries Water, which is also illustrated by New York artist Laura James.

The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette, illustrated by Julie Flett

The Girl and the Wolf is a picture book by Katherena Vermette and Julie Flett. (Theytus Books, KC Adams)

In this picture book, a little girl gets lost in the woods while picking berries. A large grey wolf is able to tell where she is from by smelling her and helps her get home. In the meantime, the girl realizes she had the skills to find her way back all along. Both Katherena Vermette and Julie Flett are Governor General's Literary Award-winning artists — Vermette for the poetry collection North End Love Songs and Flett for the children's book When We Were Alone.

The Owl and the Two Rabbits by Nadia Sammurtok, illustrated by Marcus Cutler 

The Owl and the Two Rabbits is a picture book by Nadia Sammurtok & Marcus Cutler. (Inhabit Media)

In this traditional Inuit story, two rabbit sisters play on the open tundra in spite of their parents' warnings. When a hungry owl finds the sisters, a wild chase ensues and the rabbits must use their guile to escape.

Nadia Sammurtok is an Inuk writer and educator now based in Iqaluit. Marcus Cutler is a children's illustrator from Ontario.

Wolverine and Little Thunder by Alan Syliboy

Wolverine and Little Thunder is a picture book by Alan Syliboy. (Nimbus Publishing,

Wolverine and Little Thunder is a picture book that recounts the aquatic adventures of two friends known as Little Thunder and Wolverine. While fishing one evening, Little Thunder and Wolverine encounter a giant eel who enjoys hunting humans.

Alan Syliboy is a Mi'kmaq artist based in Nova Scotia, whose previous children's books include The Thundermaker and Mi'kmaw Animals.



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