Ten years after Jodie Callaghan won The Mi’gmaq Writers’ Award for “The Train,” she published her short story as a charming picture book illustrated by Georgia Lesley. Everything about this book speaks of a long summer day on the East Coast, with gently undulating hills of green, plowed farmers’ fields, and the cold blue Atlantic stretching along the horizon.
Illustrated by Georgia Lesley
Second Story Press
Uncle explains how the train came to take the children away and what those children lived through in the residential schools. Ashley is angry and confused by these stories, and Uncle accompanies her through her pain, sharing his own pain and his hopes for the future. Jodie Callaghan leads the young reader through the trauma to a place where we understand that, by honouring the stories of survivors and nurturing the generations that follow them, we may be able to rediscover what was taken from Indigenous peoples in Canada.
High and Dry
Illustrated by Sabrina Gendron
Orca Books Publishers
The Boreal Forest is a combination of L.E. Carmichael’s comprehensive knowledge of the forest and Josée Bisaillon’s enchanting and award-winning signature collage style. A forty-eight-page ode to the priceless biome that covers 29% of Canada, The Boreal Forest extends its gaze beyond our borders into other regions that also contain this richly diverse and environmentally imperative ecosystem. Carmichael holds a PhD in genetics, and her understanding of the science behind the forest would make this book an excellent addition to classrooms and libraries across the country. By including references to other regions with boreal forests like Russia, Finland, Mongolia, China, and Japan, Carmichael shows us that when it comes to the environment, we are all connected and responsible for protecting the natural world.
The Boreal Forest
Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
Kids Can Press
The book opens with winter, and the scene glistens in silvery shades and sparkling whites. A wide-eyed boreal owl in full flight swoops off the pages, where we learn that owls warm their frozen prey by sitting on it before eating. Each season that follows brings its own glowing palette and charming depictions of forest creatures of all sizes, from the minuscule shrew to the lumbering brown bear.
Each season also inspires Carmichael to share trivia, from how bears control diarrhea by eating clay to an explanation of the water cycle. Thanks to her extensive research on the forest, including consultations with the Indigenous people who have been this biome’s stewards and guardians, Carmichael has created a timely and necessary celebration of the boreal forest in Canada and around the world.
Elizabeth MacLeod is the author of more than sixty books for young people, and her latest offering, Canadian Women Now and Then: More than 100 Stories of Fearless Trailblazers was created in collaboration with illustrator Maïa Faddoul. It’s clear that MacLeod did extensive research, with variety as one of her guiding principles when writing this book. The table of contents offers alphabetical sections by profession or accomplishment, from activist to anything you can imagine. As well as listing female doctors, engineers, and politicians, MacLeod includes more unusual categories like explorers and inventors. Each page shows a professional category, then features a contemporary woman and one from the past, with a portrait and paragraph about her life and work
Canadian Women Now and Then
More than 100 Stories of Fearless Trailblazers
Illustrated by Maïa Faddoul
Kids Can Press
The culture keepers section of Canadian Women Now and Then focuses on Indigenous women who fought against institutional racism to protect and preserve their cultures. Here we learn about Siyamiyateliyot (Elizabeth Phillips), born on Seabird Island in British Columbia, and Shanawdithit, from Newfoundland. These women, separated by a continent and a century, are brought together to introduce us to women who until now have been absent from our libraries, classrooms, and broader historical narrative.
And for those women who, while trailblazers, didn’t make the cut for a detailed biography and full-colour illustration in the main body of the book, there are five pages of shorter bios with black-and-white portraits. Also included are a timeline of important dates in Canadian women’s history and a resource list for further study. Because MacLeod and Kids Can Press are committed to encouraging future generations of amazing Canadian women, there is also a page where the writer directly asks readers how they will be inspired after reading about all the women profiled in the book.
The Postman from Space
Translated by Françoise Bui
Penguin Random House