From There To Here

A little girl and her family have just moved across the country by train. Their new neighborhood in the city of Toronto is very different from their home in the Saskatchewan bush, and at first everything about “there” seems better than “here.”

The little girl’s dad has just finished building a dam across the Saskatchewan River, and his new project is to build a highway through Toronto. In Saskatchewan, he would come home for lunch every day, but now he doesn’t come until supper. The family used to love to look at the stars, and the northern lights dancing in the night sky. But in the city, all they can see is the glare from the streetlights. All the kids used to run and play together, but now older brother Doug has his own friends.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 3

The Umbrella Queen

When Noot is finally allowed to paint umbrellas like the other women and girls in her villatge, she secrely hopes that she might be chosen as this year’s Umbrella Queen.  Carefully, she creates serene flowers and butterflies- exactly as she has seen her mother and grandmother do for years.

But soon her imagination takes over, and Noot finds herself straying from the old patterns to the dismay of her family, who depend on the traditionally painted umbrellas for their livlihood.

Her parents tell her she must go back to the old designs and Noot obeys, knowing that the King is coming soon to name the one who has painted the most beautiful umbrella.  after all, the King would never choose a queen who breaks from tradition…would he?

Lewis Clowns Around

Poor Lewis hates being a puffin. His brother Harris is great at catching fish, flying and doing puffin things, but Lewis just doesn’t fit in. He longs for a different life, far away from the crashing waves and tall cliffs of the Firth of Forth. But what else can a puffin do?Then, ‘Eureka!’ Lewis finds the answer, and heads off to the circus to become a clown. He meets many incredible creatures: Carla Koala, Zorro the Highwire Cat, the Flying Blue Monkeys and Daredevil Pat. But when his act goes terribly wrong, can Lewis overcome his fears, find some confidence and save the day?A charming and hilarious rhyming picture book about a young misfit puffin who learns that it’s okay to be different. The story is brought to life with colourful, characterful illustrations by Gabby Grant.

The Visconti House

Two lonely grade-eight kids in rural Australia develop a friendship as they work together to unlock a mystery. Laura feels like an outcast because of her family’s artist lifestyle, her curly hair and bushy eyebrows, and the decaying mansion she calls home. Leon, newer to the area, is ostracized for living with his grandmother, the rumors that circulate about his father being in prison, and his shabby appearance. The friendship between the two progresses slowly because Laura, desperate to fit in, is embarrassed to be seen with Leon. As they work together to uncover the history of Laura’s house and Mr. Visconti-its original owner-and his tragic love story, Laura learns to understand the value of friendship.

Wanda’s Freckles

Wanda has freckles. Lots and lots of freckles. They make her feel special, until the day in the park when a group of boys point, laugh, and tease her for having spots. All of a sudden, the freckles she’d liked become a problem. What can she do? Wanda decides that there’s only one thing: make her freckles disappear altogether!At a time when there’s pressure to conform to someone else’s idea of perfection, this playful story has an important message: individuality and self-acceptance are to be celebrated. In this poignant and playful sequel to Wanda and the Wild Hair and Wanda and the Frogs, the ever-resourceful Wanda puts her imagination to work to try to come to peace with those troublesome freckles once and for all. The critically acclaimed author/illustrator team of Barbara Azore and Georgia Graham bring another Wanda adventure to life with humor and wisdom.