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4 great picture books to chase away the winter blahs


Photo by Amanda Tipton licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

The joy of the holidays is over and the snow has settled on the ground. You’re probably dreaming of warm summer days when you could go outside and play all day. Our friends over at CBC Books have put together a list of great picture books that are coming out over the next couple of months to chase away those winter blahs.

Book cover, The Night GardenerThe Night Gardener

By Terry Fan & Eric Fan
Ages: 4-8 | Simon & Schuster Canada

One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William's grey little town is full of colour and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William - and his town - are changed forever.

Available February 2016

Book cover, KabungoKabungo

By Rolli, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic
Ages: 7-10 | Groundwood Books

Ten-year-old Beverly is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary best friend. Her name is Kabungo, and she lives in a cave on Main Street. No one knows where she comes from or who she really is, but life is never dull when Kabungo is around. Beverly tries to teach her friend about the ways of the modern world ― the importance of teeth brushing, understanding strange holidays like Halloween, learning how to read. But Kabungo doesn’t take well to being civilized, and she can be stubborn, bossy, and plain infuriating. Sometimes Beverly gets so mad that she just wants to move to Cincinnati.

Available April 2016

Book cover, The White Cat and the MonkThe White Cat and the Monk

By Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Sydney Smith
Ages: 4-8 | Groundwood Books

A monk leads a simple life. He studies his books late into the evening and searches for truth in their pages. His cat, Pangur, leads a simple life, too, chasing prey in the darkness. As night turns to dawn, Pangur leads his companion to the truth he has been seeking. The White Cat and the Monk is a retelling of the classic Old Irish poem “Pangur Bán” - about the wisdom of animals and the wonders of the natural world.

Available March 2016

Book cover, The Stone ThrowerThe Stone Thrower

By Jael Ealey Richardson, illustrated by Matt James
Ages: 5-9 | Groundwood Books

Chuck Ealey grew up poor in a racially segregated community that was divided from the rest of town by a set of train tracks, but his mother assured him that he wouldn't stay in Portsmouth forever. Education was the way out, and a football scholarship was the way to pay for that education. So despite the racist taunts he faced at all the games he played in high school, Chuck maintained a remarkable level of dedication and determination. And when discrimination followed him to university and beyond, Chuck Ealey remained undefeated.

Available May 2016

Our list of great holiday books was put together with reviews from Common Sense Media and text from CBC Books and publishers.