Playgrounds of Babel

This unusual, thought-provoking story begins with an old woman telling a tale to a group of children in a playground. One of the boys can’t understand what she is saying, so another offers to translate. The old woman’s tale is inspired by the Tower of Babel story: In the days when everyone spoke the same language, the people built a tower to reach God. But God was annoyed and sent a dragon to destroy the tower, then created new languages for everyone so that they couldn’t understand each other. Fortunately, two little girls find a way to communicate through song.

The Heart’s Language

How do you listen with your heart? For one small boy, the heart’s language is the only one he knows. With his heart he can speak to animals, trees, and creatures of the sea. But he cannot be understood by the people around him, even those who love him most — his mother and father. One day, when he is feeling sad and alone, he is visited by a magical blue bird. With the bird’s encouragement, the boy finds a way to make himself heard. And when his parents try to speak the boy’s language, they are finally able to express their love, and truly communicate with the shared language of the heart. This lyrical story of love and understanding will speak to anyone whose life has been touched by an exceptional child.

Me, Too!

There are many reasons why Annie is best friends with Lillemor, who is from Sweden. “They’re the same age ? They like the same colors ? They like doing the same things ? They can both speak another language. Okay, so Annie made hers up, but she is pretty sure it still counts.” Annie and Lillemor like each other so much they play together every day. But then Lilianne, a new girl from France, arrives. Annie can’t stand that Lillemor has become friends with Lilianne, and that Lilianne seems to have more things in common with Lillemor than Annie does — even their names, which both begin with “Lil”! Has Annie lost her best friend forever? This funny, honest picture book by Annika Dunklee perfectly captures the rhythms of youngsters’ friendships and emotions, while also reminding them that there’s always room for new people in their lives.

Boy On The Edge

Henry has a clubfoot and he is the target of relentless bullying. One day, in a violent fit of anger, Henry lashes out at the only family he has — his mother. Sent to live with other troubled boys at the Home of Lesser Brethren, an isolated farm perched in the craggy lava fields along the unforgiving Icelandic coast, Henry finds a precarious contentment among the cows. But it is the people, including the manic preacher who runs the home, who fuel Henry’s frustration and sometimes rage as he yearns for a life and a home.

Talk, Talk, Squawk!

Find out what animals say to each other when they think humans aren’t listening! From amorous stink bugs to territorial dogs, from wise old elephants to monkeys with a grudge, “Talk, Talk, Squawk!” has everything you need to know about animals and how and why they communicate. Covering topics of mating, predation, language, territory and looking at all the different ways that animal talk, including smell, touch, colour and sound, “Talk, Talk, Squawk!” is biology made fun and accessible. It comes with hugely entertaining drawings by artist Neal Layton. It is a companion title to “Extreme Animals” (9781406305593) and “Poo” (9781844287512), which has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. It is a fun and appealing introduction to biology for children. It features witty illustrations from an award-winning illustrator.

My Name Is Elizabeth!

Elizabeth has an excellent pet duck, a loving granddad and a first name that’s just awesome. After all, she’s got a queen named after her! So she’s really not amused when people insist on using nicknames like “Lizzy” and “Beth.” She bears her frustration in silence until an otherwise ordinary autumn day, when she discovers her power to change things once and for all. In the process, Elizabeth learns about communication and respect — and their roles in building better relationships with family and friends.

The Elephant Scientist

In the sprawling African scrub desert of Etosha National Park, they call her “the mother of all elephants.” Holding binoculars closely to her eyes, American scientist Caitlin O’Connell could not believe what she was seeing from these African elephants: as the mighty matriarch scanned the horizon, the other elephants followed suit, stopped midstride, and stood as still as statues. This observation would guide the scientist to a groundbreaking discovery about elephant communication: elephants actually listen with their limbs.