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Category: Picture Books

22 Rep Picks to Read this Spring

by Brooke
Animals & Nature + Biography & Memoir + Fiction + Food & Drink + Graphica + Home & Garden + Humour + Kids + Picture Books + Psychology & Self-Help + Travel + YA Fiction / February 20, 2017



A new year means new books and we've got all of the recommendations you could possibly need! Kick the year off right with these hand-picked selections for the early spring season!
 

Dani Farmer

This Is That
by Chris Kelly, Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring
"Sometimes this great country of ours seems a little too good to be true. You, being Canadian, already know the wonders of Flin Flon’s tropical beaches and how to portage the Rideau Canal (with or without a protective toque) but there may be people in your life that don’t. Thankfully, the This is That: Travel Guide to Canada is both hilarious and faux-informative. You’ve heard the show on CBC, now let it guide you through our magnificent nation!"
 
The River
by Marc Martin
"Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of sailing down a long and winding river, watching the jungles or forests or cities pass me by as I make my way to a faraway sea. I don’t know how, but Marc Martin managed to bring my childish imagining to reality. I only wish I could fall into its lush pages for real!"
 
 

Ali Hewitt

Unf*ck Your Habitat
by Rachel Hoffman
"You have until January to make room on your bookshelf for the only housekeeping and organizational book that acknowledges that you might not even remember what your bookshelf looks like under all that stuff you’ve piled on it. Or possibly even where your bookshelf is."
 
XO, OX
by Adam Rex, illustrated by Scott Campbell
"In this charming epistolary picture book, you and Gazelle will both fall in love with lovelorn Ox. A winner for sure!"

 

Judy Parker

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
by Kathleen Rooney
"We Canadians are lucky enough to have an afforable trade paper edition of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. Lillian is a one of a kind character — an 85 year old Manhattanite who worked in the “Mad Men” era of advertising and who is walking across the rundown Manhattan of 1984. In one novel (and one walk) the reader gets a glimpse into a life that traversed the century and into the city that shaped her.”
 
Caraval
by Stephanie Garber
"The promise of a new fantasy novel with an original magical world, an intense and unbreakable sisterly bond and a mesmerizing romance hooked me immediately. Rights have been sold in over 25 countries, film rights were pre-empted and the early reads and reviews are spectacular. Caraval has all the hallmarks of being a sensation!"
 
 

Lorna MacDonald

Letters to a Young Muslim
by Saif Ghobash
"This is a highly readable manifesto for young Muslims written as informal letters by Saif Ghobash, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Russia. Ghobash explores what it means to be a Muslim in today’s changing world; he seeks to make sense of the violent nature of extreme Islam and separate it from the moderate Islam embraced by the majority of Muslims today. How can moderate Muslims unite and find a voice that is true to Islam while actively and productively engaging in the modern world?"
 
The Edge of Everything
by Jeff Giles
"In this sci-fi fantasy debut, the first of a new series, 17 year old Zoe, reeling from her father’s sudden death and her neighbour’s mysterious disappearance, is brutally attacked and then rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter called 'X.' X is from a hell called the Lowlands and has been sent to capture the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker. As Zoe and X learn more about their different worlds, they begin to question the past and their fate. Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) found this novel, 'Gripping, utterly original, beautifully written.' Now that is an endorsement!"

 

Saffron Beckwith

Terms and Conditions
by Robert Sikoryak
"Wow! What an entirely crazy and brilliant concept. Sikoryak makes one of the most boring documents on the planet unputdownable."
 
The Night I Followed the Dog (new in trade paper)
by Nina Laden
"I loved this book when it first came out and 20 years later it is more awesome than ever!"
 
 

Ryan Muscat

An Atlas of Countries that Don't Exist
by Nick Middleton
"The Principality of Sealand was declared in 1967 on an unused air defence platform in the North Sea, about 12 kilometres off the coast of England. It has a population of 27, issues stamps, coins, licence plates, passports, has a national anthem, has been invaded, and fields a football team. It is not a real country. Find out about Sealand and dozens of other non-existent countries with no diplomatic recognition in An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist. The book is a beautifully illustrated and fascinating compendium of weird and wonderful places, and is a perfect gift for friends and family from Christiania to Moreset to Circassia."
 
Noisy Night
by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Brian Biggs
"Have you ever wondered who’s making the noises you hear coming from the apartments above you? Mac Barnett, the king of the children’s picture book, has the answers in Noisy Night: sheep, opera singers, babies, and others. This fun book, beautifully illustrated in split-level spreads by Brian Biggs, is a fantastic read-along picture book for little kids."
 
 

Jenny Enriquez

The World's Best Spicy Food (2nd edition)
by Lonely Planet
"Embark on a culinary journey and explore spicy food from all over the world — then make them at home with the 100 recipes included! Because who doesn’t love food and travel? This book seamlessly combines the best of both worlds and is perfect for foodies and those afflicted with wanderlust."
 
The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco
"The first book is a new YA dark fantasy series from Rin Chupeco! You’ll find lots of necromancy, magic, and witches within these pages. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sara Raasch, and Garth Nix’s The Old Kingdom series."
 
 

Laurie Martella

The Forgetting Time (new in trade paper)
by Sharon Guskin
"The Forgetting Time is not a book that can easily be forgotten. It stays with you. It haunts you with thoughts of the after-life. I found myself so engaged with this mother’s quest to do whatever she could to help her son, who did not fully belong to her alone. Chilling. Compelling. Read it!"
 
Frankie
by Mary Sullivan
"Frankie will charm you. Through few words, and speech bubbles, much is expressed about building a new friendship, and learning to share.”
 
Cheryl Fraser
 

Bites on a Board
by Anni Daulter
"A perfect book to show you how to impress your guests with creative food served on unique cutting boards."
 
C is for Canada
by Trish Madson, illustrated by David M. Miles
"A great book for little ones to learn about Canada on our 150th birthday. A perfect addition to a Canadian’s list."
 
 
Karen Stacey
 

Birds of Prey
by Pete Dunne with Kevin T. Karlson
"Stunning photography, well documented and invaluable information — Birds of Prey is a superb book for all book lovers and any popular nature collection. This is much more than an identification guide. It discusses raptor ecology, behavior, conservation, and more. Another great addition to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s valued collection in the field of ornithology."
 
Max
by Sarah Cohen-Scali
"A must read for 14+ and adults. Originally published in France, the subject matter is WW2 Germany and the Lebensborn project, creating and defining a 'pure race.' Unlike The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, our young protagonist is not an innocent; he has been bred and trained to be the prototype of the 'exceptional people' — pure evil. The wonder of this novel and its extraordinary writing is it allows you to understand and grow to love him against all your instincts to despise him. A disturbing, thoughtful and important book for anyone interested in history, fine writing and the wish to understand a perspective other than our own. Compulsive reading, impeccably researched and utterly disturbing."
 
 
Morgen Young
 

In the Great Green Room
by Amy Gary
"Like so many parents before me, I read Goodnight Moon to my son daily, and still have most of it committed to memory. How amazing it is to find out that Margaret Wise Brown was so vivacious, creative and ground-breaking! 70 years after its original publication, we finally get to learn the details of this force to be reckoned with."
 
Mosquitoes Can't Bite Ninjas
by Jordan P. Novak
"A hilarious debut that captures the playfulness of childhood and the aggravation of mosquitoes! I have been looking for the secret to beating those little pests, and I finally have it! A perfect way to distract and retract from those annoying little bugs that buzz in all our ears."
 

24 Rep Picks to Read this Fall

by Brooke
Art & Photography + Biography & Memoir + Essays + Fiction + Food & Drink + Graphica + Humour + Kids + Picture Books + YA Fiction / October 03, 2016



Fall is here! And fall = not feeling guilty about staying in all weekend with your books. So if you're ready to curl up with a blanket and a good read, but not sure which book to pair with your pumpkin spice beverage, let some of the pros help you out with some of their favourite books of the fall season.
 

Judy Parker

The Guineveres
by Sarah Domet
"I am eagerly anticipating The Guineveres. The editors at Flatiron Books have not yet let me down as they have introduced me to new voices and new stories in the past. Debut author Domet’s story of the complicated nature of female friendship is already receiving early rave reviews, including a comparison to The Virgin Suicides. I can’t wait!"
 
Waiting for Snow
by Marsha Diane Arnold, illustrated by Renata Liwska
"Despite complaints about long winters, we prairie people love the first snow! Waiting for Snow charmingly reflects the excitement and impatience of children waiting for those first snowflakes. Renata Liwska’s adorable illustrations of the cast of animals coming together to try to make it snow and learning that everything happens in its own time are spot on. This is a wonderful celebration of snow and an ode to the virtues of patience!"

 

Dani Farmer

Bad Girls Throughout History
by Ann Shen
"I’m a fan of any book that puts historical figures like Ada Lovelace alongside modern heroines like Malala Yousafzai. These 100 women deserve to be remembered for challenging the establishment with their politics, innovations and talents; after all, in the immortal words of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, 'Bitches get stuff done.'”
 
Vassa in the Night
by Sarah Porter
"Urban fantasy and Russian folklore make for page-turning magic when Brooklyn is plunged into darkness and Baba Yaga is to blame."
 
 

Ryan Muscat

We Gon' Be Alright
by Jeff Chang
"Jeff Chang is one of America’s most astute cultural observers, and in We Gon’ Be Alright, he turns his attention to race in America in light of police killings of unarmed civilians, Ferguson, and Black Lives Matter. Chang is the acclaimed author of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation, and Who We Be. Built around a central essay on Ferguson and the killing of Michael Brown, We Gon’ Be Alright is an impassioned and charged look at the most contentious issues in the current discussion of race in America."
 
Gertie's Leap to Greatness
by Kate Beasley, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
"In what’s sure to be an instant classic in the vein of Ramona Quimby, Gertie’s Leap to Greatness is a sweet and heartwarming story about a precocious and sassy young girl trying to be the best fifth grader ever, in order to show her absent mother what she’ll be missing if she leaves town. This is a masterful debut novel for Kate Beasley, and the book is also filled with gorgeous illustrations by the fantastic Toronto cartoonist Jillian Tamaki, a Governor General’s Award and Caldecott-winning veteran."
 
 

Laurie Martella

The Other Einstein
by Marie Benedict
"This is the untold story of Mileva Maric Einstein, a brilliant math scholar and Albert Einstein’s first wife. It’s the subject of debate just how much scientific contribution she had made to her husband’s famous works. A little more recognition would be nice."
 
The Trap (new in trade paper)
by Steven Arntson
"It’s A Wrinkle in Time set in the 1960s, small town Iowa. A sci-fi mystery that has four friends who travel through the “subtle plane” (sound familiar?) and discover that they are not the only ones with this amazing ability to have out-of-body experiences. Fun middle grade read!"

 

Lorna MacDonald

Table Manners
by Jeremiah Tower, illustrated by Libby VanderPloeg
"An entertaining and practical guide to manners for everyone and every occasion by Jeremiah Tower — a larger than life celebrity chef and food entrepreneur. Tower has advice on everything: food allergies, RSVPs, iPhones, running late, thank-yous, restaurant etiquette, even what to do when you are served something disgusting. Witty design and line drawings, couples with practical bits of advice make this an ideal gift for anyone of any age. This is Strunk & White for the table."
 
The Storybook Knight
by Helen Docherty, illustrated by Thomas Docherty
"From the author illustrator team who brought us the best-selling Snatchabook, The Storybook Knight celebrates the power of reading and the love of a good book. Leo is a gentle knight — a reader not a fighter. But his parents want him to battle griffins and trolls and slay dragons. Leo sets out on a quest with a sword and a shield and plenty of books. He manages to tame a number of unruly beasts in his own way — through the power of a good story. Written in rhyming text and richly illustrated, this is a story to delight children and parents alike."
 
 

Saffron Beckwith

Small Victories
by Julia Turshen, foreword by Ina Garten
"This is a fantastic book filled with tricks and tips and more importantly, yummy things to eat!"
 
The Odyssey: A BabyLit Monsters Primer
by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Alison Oliver
"What a great addition to this awesome series... finally I can get all those mythical creatures straight!"
 
 

Jenny Enriquez

Mooncop
by Tom Gauld
"I absolutely loved Tom Gauld’s Goliath so I’m very excited for Mooncop, the story of the last policeman on the moon. This may be a sci-fi tale, but at its core it’s a very human story about looking to connect with others that’s perfect for both sci-fi fans and the general reader."
 
Bunny Slopes
by Claudia Rueda
"This very entertaining interactive picture book is like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, but with an adorable skiing bunny! Tilt, turn, and shake the book to help Bunny make it down the hill and avoid dangerous obstacles. Lots o’ fun!"
 
 

 Karen Beattie

Ont-Pot Pasta
by Sabrina Fauda-Role
"This cookbook is the answer to every exhausted-at-the-end-of-the-day person’s dreams. Find 1 pot. Put the simple and few ingredients into the pot. Cook this pot over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Let pot rest off the heat for 5 minutes. Pour yourself a glass of wine and dinner is ready. No kidding! The design is fresh and hip with each recipe shown in arty before and after full colour photos. The yummy solution for workweek meals."
 
Other-Wordly
by Yee-Lum Mak, illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
"Here’s this season’s gift book for word nerds: an illustrated collection of words and definitions for unexpected things — like the sunlight that filters thru’ the leaves of trees. The illustrations are done in a dreamy palette of soft pinks, greys and blues, giving this wee gem a wistful vibe."
 
 
Cheryl Fraser
 

The Travel Book
by Lonely Planet
"With 800 new images in this third edition, The Travel Book features images from every country in the world. A perfect gift for anyone curious about the world. The interior pictures are compelling and the updated cover demands that you pick up this beautiful edition."
 
Busy Builders: Airport
by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
"A book, and airport set and model pieces — what a great way to start a trip, or just learn about busy airports. Little travelers can read all they need to know about airports on the plane, and have a total entertainment package when they arrive at their destination."
 
 

Ali Hewitt

A Beauty Collected
by Rachel Garahan
"Graceful and meditative, the abecedarium of photos for adults encourages all of us to find the beauty in the natural world."
 
Muddle & Mo
by Nikki Slade Robinson 
"This charmingly illustrated picture book shows what happens when you realize that your friend isn’t the same as you. Fortunately Muddle and Mo learn that even though one is a duck, and the other a goat, they can still be best friends!"
 
 
Karen Stacey
 

The Other Paris (new in trade paper)
by Luc Sante
"The Other Paris is a cross between Brassai’s and Bresson’s world, albeit a slightly grittier side of Parisian life; the cabarets, the bohemian world, the darker side of the city of lights. With vivid narration, impeccable research and an aesthete’s taste for anecdotes, Luc Sante’s newest collection will intrigue. Highly recommended for all history and culture collections."
 
How Cities Work
by Lonely Planet
"For fans of David McAuley’s How Things Work, another fabulous book for kids (ages 6+) to discover the inner workings of their world!"
 
 
Scott Fraser
 

The African Svelte
by Daniel Menaker, illustrated by Roz Chast
"An illustrated collection of malapropisms, eggcorns, and unintentional wit, sure to please all lovers of language."
 
Apocalypse Bow Wow
by James Proimos
"Many dog parents wonder what their fur babies get up to when they’re not home. But what if there were no humans around at all? The dogs in Apocalypse Bow Wow are learning to live in a world without people. What will they do now that they’re the leaders of the pack?"
 

26 Rep Picks to Read this Spring

by Brooke
Art & Photography + Fiction + Food & Drink + Graphica + Humour + Picture Books + YA Fiction / May 04, 2016



Looking for something to read this spring? In a reading slump? Let some of the pros help you out with some of their favourite books of the season.
 

Cheryl Fraser

Spill Simmer Falter Wither
by Sara Baume
"A man and a dog — a who-rescues-who tale told in a beautiful language over four seasons. An absolute must read."
 
If I Was Your Girl
by Meredith Russo
"A great teen intro to the topic that left me both afraid for, and proud of, the main
character Amanda. A very honest approach to a very topical subject. This should
be read by all teens and their parents."

 

Dani Farmer

Literary Starbucks
by Nora Anderson Katz, Wilson Isaac Josephson, and Jill Madeline Poskanzer
"What would your favourite author or character order to drink at their local Starbucks? Who would be the most frustrating person to stand behind in line? (Definitely Hamlet.) I am a huge fan of the blog that inspired the book and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy for myself!"
 
D Is For Dress Up
by Maria Carluccio
"Celebrate just how fun clothes and dressing up can be with a cast of culturally diverse boys and girls. This is a great, modern twist on the classic ABC book with pages like 'Y is for Yoga Pants' that both kids and adults can get behind. Plus the art is fantastic!"
 

 Laurie Martella

The Book of Speculation (new in trade paper)
by Erika Swyler
"The Book of Speculation is magical. A book revolving around the circus, historical family sagas, and a mysterious antiquarian bookseller would be magical, of course. But this book had me bewitched with its quirky characters and their quirky house that is literally falling off of a cliff. Nothing to speculate — this is a fantastic read!"
 
Gena/Finn
by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
"Gena/Finn is a book for digitally-minded young adults. It is a story of friendship between two young girls, written with varied forms of electronic communication, such as instant messaging, emails, and blogs. Good for a reluctant reader, and for the lover of fan fiction. This book is a fun read, it’s relatable to teens, and it’s a unique format."
 
 

Judy Parker

They May Not Mean To, But They Do
by Cathleen Schine
"I am always excited about a new Cathleen Schine novel and her upcoming title promises to have the heart and insight of The Three Weissmanns of Westport. As in that wonderful novel, Schine is examining how three generations of a family make the journey through life and into old age. I know that she will handle this “coming of age” in her usual perspective, empathetic and often very funny fashion."
 
The Bear and the Piano
by David Litchfield
"The Bear and the Piano is a beautifully illustrated book about finding a passion and following your dreams but also about the value of friendship and community. The illustrator has created evocative light-filled images that bring to life the bear’s journey from his home in the forest to the big city and the accolades of performing, and back again to the love and support of his forest friends. This is a lovely debut picture book from a very talented U.K. author."
 
 

Saffron Beckwith

The Pharos Gate
by Nick Bantock
"I am so thrilled that there is a new volume in this wonderful series; it is as charming and beautiful as the first three. Yay!"
 
The Square Root of Summer
by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
"Time travel, romance and physics... what more do you need!"
 
 

Karen Beattie

Posh Toast
by Louise Hagger
"Toast is not just for breakfast anymore. Try it at lunch, dinner and snacktime too. Have it with savoury or sweet toppings. Move over cake pops and cupcakes, toast is the new, NEW THING! Pistachio Dukkah and Avocado on Rye anyone?"
 
 
Maybe Something Beautiful
by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
"Mira is a little girl who lives in the heart of a gray city where she loves to draw in colour. She gives her colourful pictures to her neighbours until one day she meets a painter. The painter invites her to help him create a large picture on a city wall. Soon, everyone in the community joins in to create art on the walls and transform gray into beauty and joy. A truly inspiring picture book about how public art can transform the spirit."

 

Mark Penney

The Intelligent Conversationalist
by Imogen Lloyd Webber
"I think everyone has trouble sometimes making small talk — especially if you are a sales rep! This one gives you cheat sheets on all of the most important things in the world you know nothing about. Very handy."
 
Nobody Likes a Goblin
by Ben Hatke
"Except you — after you read this delightful tale of goblin fun! It’s like The Hobbit in reverse."
 
 

Ali Hewitt

I had an interesting French Artist to see me this summer
by Colin Browne
"A beautiful book that explores the relationship between the art of Austrian Wolfgang Paalen, Emily Carr and the monumental art of the Pacific Northwest."
 
Too Many Moose
by Lisa Bakos, illustrated by Mark Chambers
"My dealings with moose have been fairly limited, but this adorable picture book is making me reconsider. Perhaps a (single) moose, delivered by post, would make the perfect pet?"
 
 
Ryan Muscat
 

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
by Max Porter
"Reviving Ted Hughes’ crow protagonist created in the wake of Sylvia Plath’s suicide, Max Porter’s Grief Is the Thing with Feathers promises to be a profound meditation on grief and loss. A brief book looking at the aftermath of the sudden death of a wife and mother, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is experimental in the best sense of the word — effortlessly moving between prose and poetry. The book has also drawn comparisons to Jenny Offill’s masterful Dept. of Speculation, Heidi Julavits, and Ali Smith."
 
Let’s Play
by Hervé Tullet
"Let’s Play is the latest imaginative book by Hervé Tullet, a veritable rock star for the little kid set. Young readers follow along with an adventurous dot through the book, in typical Tullet fashion — the book is suffused with lots of colour, motion, and shape. Unlike his previous books, Let’s Play also delves into a new theme: emotion. The dot expresses humour, joy, fear, and more in this amazing follow-up to Press Here and Mix It Up!"
 
 

Lorna MacDonald

A History of the World in 500 Walks
by Sarah Baxter
"From prehistory to present day. A History of the World in 500 Walks relates the tales behind trekking routes that have shaped our society. Travel back in time as you read about convicts and conquistadores, silk traders and Buddhists. Whether you are inspired to lace up your boots and get walking or put up your feet and enjoy armchair travel — this book will give you a new perspective on the world. An intrepid walker, author Sarah Baxter writes for Wanderlust magazine and Lonely Planet publications."
 
Gator Dad
by Brian Lies
"A delightful romp about three little gators and their Dad who 'squeeze the day' — finding joy in the daily rhythm of meal times, shopping, household tasks, and of course the playful moments in between. The lyrical text is a perfect accompaniment to the lively illustrations. New York Times best-selling author Brian Lies (Bats at the Beach) captures the very special relationship between a father and his children."
 
 
Jenny Enriquez
 

Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus
by Chester Brown
"Best-selling cartoonist Chester Brown is back with a graphic novel that offers a sure-to-be controversial interpretation of the Bible. In Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus, Brown posits that the Virgin Mary was actually a prostitute by trade and that biblical stories about sex work were clues to her profession. Compelling, well-researched, and sure to ruffle some feathers!"
 
The Star-touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi
"A beautifully written and vividly imagined young adult fantasy inspired by Indian mythology that’s sure to satisfy readers yearning for diverse books!"
 
 
Scott Fraser
 

The Dog Master (new in paperback)
by W. Bruce Cameron
"I read this book on the couch in the living room with my beloved dog at my side. I don’t know if it was dusty in there, or someone was chopping onions, but there were many moments in this pre-historic action/adventure about the first dog where I had to pause because I guess there was something in my eye. We all know that W. Bruce Cameron knows how to turn on the waterworks. What I didn’t know is that he could spin such a transporting epic adventure. Plus DOGS! What more do you need to know?"
 
Anna & Froga: Out and About
by Anouk Ricard
"The Anna and Froga comics are quite simply hilarious. The adorable cast of characters never learn any life lessons, aren’t particularly nice to one another, and show no sign of self-improvement during the course of the series. They’re all kind of nitwits actually, but somehow you feel like they’ll be okay as long as they have each other. As fun for adults as children."
 
 
Karen Stacey
 

Doing the Devil’s Work (new in paperback)
by Bill Loehfelm
"Bill Loehfelm is the real deal — a lauded thriller writer in the modern tradition of Dennis Lehane, Richard Price, and Michael Connelly. New Orleans is his town and his lead character, Maureen Coughlin, is a tough, smart cop, still in uniform. This is the third in the series and each one just gets better!"
 
Booked
by Kwame Alexander
"Another perfectly pitched novel from poet Kwame Alexander, winner of the Newbery Medal. Soccer is the game, divorce, bullying and first love are the themes, all written in verse. Booked packs the same powerful emotional punch as his previous novel, The Crossover!"
 

This Summer’s Best Beach Reads

by Alisha
Fiction + Mysteries and Thrillers + Gift & Stationery + Kids + Picture Books + YA Fiction / July 29, 2015

 
Searching for the perfect book to dive into this summer? These page-turners are some of our best reads to tote along in your beach bag. Warning: apply copious amounts of sunscreenyou won’t be able to put them down.
 

ADULT PICKS
 
 
  
 
Chevy Stevens
St. Martin's Press
Available Now
 
Chevy Stevens is back with this year’s must-have summer thrillera powerful, emotional story of survival and revenge (now a Globe and Mail bestseller!).
 
“This is Stevens’s best book to
  date.”The Globe and Mail
Jackie Collins
St. Martin’s Press
Available Now
 
No summer reading list is complete without Jackie Collins. In The Santangelos, she delivers an epic family saga, filled with love, lust, revenge and passion.
 
Read an excerpt here.
 

 

  

Kelli Estes
Sourcebooks
Available Now
 
Set in the Pacific Northwest and inspired by true events, Kelli Estes’s brilliant and atmospheric debut serves as a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories.
Lisa Scottoline 
and Francesca Serritella
St. Martin’s Press
Available Now
 
This breezy, laugh-out-loud beach read by mother-daughter team Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella “takes the…cake for best title of the summer.”USA Today

 

  

Stephanie Clifford
St. Martin’s Press
Coming Aug 18
 
Stephanie Clifford's "superb" debut
is “a 21st century version of a grand 19th century novelsmart, moving tale of class, ambition, and identity" (Malcolm Gladwell).
 
Look for it on the People, TIME, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping summer reading lists.
 
 
 
 
 
Louise Penny
Minotaur
Coming Aug 25
 
Celebrate 10 years of Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series with her newest installment, The Nature of the Beast.
 
“Splendid . . . Penny's books mix some   classic elements of the police      
  procedural with a deep-delving
  psychology, as well as a sorrowful
  sense of the precarious nature of
  human goodness, and the
  persistence of its opposite.”The
  New York Times on The Long Way
 

TEEN PICKS
 
 
  
 
Jillian Tamaki
Drawn & Quarterly
Ages 14 and up
Available Now
 
Art School Confidential meets X-Men” (The Globe and Mail) in Jillian Tamaki’s newest graphic novelone of TPL’s top 10  "Summer Reads for Teens".
 
 
 
 
Mary E. Pearson
Henry Holt and Co.
Ages 14-18
Available Now
 
The 2nd title in the New York Times bestselling Remnant Chronicles does not disappoint: "It's rare that the second book in a series is as good—or perhaps better—than the first, but that's the case here.  Anticipation for the next volume will start as soon as this one is put down."Booklist starred review 

 

  

Ali Novak
Sourcebooks
Available Now
 
Ali Novak (My Life with the Walter Boys) delievers “a fun summer romance that doesn’t shy away from the deeper issues of family, illness, and self-discovery” (School Library Journal).
Natasha Preston
Sourcebooks
Coming Aug 4
 
Don't miss the latest gripping, high-stakes thriller from Wattpad sensation Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar.
 
 
 

KIDS PICKS
 
 
 
John Wang and Holman Wang
Chronicle Books
Ages Infant-3
Available Now
 
Jedi apprentices, little princesses, and Star Wars fans of any age will delight in this (heart)felt retelling of the Star Wars saga (a Today’s Parent summer reading pick).
Gilad Soffer
Feiwel and Friends
Ages 2-5
Available Now
 
If your vacation isn’t going entirely swimmingly, Duck’s Vacation will give you a laugh. This fun, interactive read will entice kids (and young-at-heart adults) to turn the pages over and over.

 

 

Beth Ferry,
illustrated by Ben Mantle
Chronicle Books
Ages 3-5
Coming Aug 4
 
While we hope your holiday is shark-free, trouble comes in all shapes and sizes in this picture book about a first pet.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)
Ages 9-14
Available Now
 
This action-packed mystery is the perfect page-turner for middle-grade bookworms.
 
"Full of heart and replete with
 challenging ciphers for readers to
 decode, Bertman's debut is literary
 cousin to classic puzzlers likeThe
 Westing Game, and a story that
 values books and reading above
 other pursuits . . . sure to be popular
 with voracious readers."Publishers
Weekly, starred review
 

If one book isn’t enough (and let’s face itit never is), these bookish totes will help you carry your haul:
 
 
      
 
 


My Favourite Books of 2013, Crystal Allen

by Crystal
Kids + Picture Books + YA Fiction / December 20, 2013

I can't believe that 2013 is about to wrap up. Where did time go? It's too hard to pick just one book as my favorite for 2013 so I'm going to pick two. One picture book and one YA.

The Bear's Song

My favorite picture book for 2013 has to be The Bear’s Song by French author and illustrator Benjamin Chaud. With it’s extra tall format and incredibly detailed illustrations, this is a book that you will find something new in every time you read it... and trust me, show this to your kids and you will be reading it again and again and again.

Father Bear thinks that he and baby bear are settling down to hibernate for the winter but when he awakes Baby Bear has set off for the city following a bumble bee. Father Bear sets off to find Baby Bear. Each spread has an almost "Where's Waldo" type feel to it with lots of characters, things happening and beautiful forest and city scape scenery. Kids (and adults) will have fun exploring each page searching for the Baby Bear and bumble bee hidden in each spread.

If you only pick up one picture book from 2013 this should be it. Keep an eye out for I Didn't Do My Homework Because... also illustrated by Benjamin Chaud coming March 2014.

Fangirl

My favorite YA novel for 2013 is hands down, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. While I was on maternity leave my boss sent me the manuscript and asked me to read it. When I was 3/4 of the way through the book I sent him this email:

"I'm reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell right now. It's so good. The type of good where I'm simultaneously wanting to put it down so that it lasts longer but keep saying "Just one more page" because I love the main character so much and want to keep on spending time with her. I'm very excited to work with Rainbow when I come back."

Fangirl is about Cath and her twin sister Wren who both have just left home for college. Wren devestates Cath by telling her that she doesn't want to room with her at university and that she no longer wants to write Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) fan fiction with Cath anymore. Cath continues to write Simon Snow fan fiction as she waits for the final Simon Snow book to be released, discovers first love and figures out what it means to be independent.

I think one of the reasons that I connected with this book so much was because I started working as a bookseller right when the buzz around Harry Potter began. Later, I was hired as a Children's Book Publicist here at Raincoast, who at the time published the Harry Potter novels. I worked on the Harry Potter marketing campaigns. I was (and still am) a huge fan of the books and feel so blessed to have been involved with them as part of my career.

Fangirl spoke to me as someone who loves books with all of their heart. It spoke to me as someone who fantasizes about visiting fictional worlds. It spoke to me as someone who has yearned for that character they love to come alive and to become my friend or even boyfriend. It also spoke to me as someone who once was awkward, clueless about boys, and a total booknerd (ok maybe I still am).

I loved Fangirl. I wish I could read it again and again and again and have it be the first time every time. This book felt like an old friend, and that is something that is rare to find. Also, now 9 months after reading Fangirl I feel blessed to call the book's author, Rainbow Rowell a friend... which is pretty awesome. You can read about my time with Rainbow on her Toronto book tour on my blog Sew Creative.

Look for Rainbow Rowell's new novel, Landline, coming July 2014.

Crystal Allen, Publicist


My Favourite Books of 2013, Sandy Cooper

by Dan
Kids + Picture Books + Psychology & Self-Help / December 12, 2013

On a Beam of Light

On a Beam of Light

This is simply a beautiful and gentle book. In its text and its lovely pen and ink illustrations it explains how Einstein was an imaginary thinker… always questioning how things worked and why things were the way they were. What an inspiring story to get kids thinking about science and wonder about big magical ideas. Every parent, Grandparent and teacher will love this book.

Scarlet

Scarlet
I am not a sci-fi fan at all… but from the first book with Cinder (I loved her spunk and street smart intelligence), I became a fan. I eagerly anticipated and then devoured this second book in the Lunar Chronicle series.  Fairy tales mixed with sci-fi. Who knew? Scarlet is so feisty and such a survivor. The way the author brings these two character’s lives together is brilliant. I can’t wait until the third one.

Flora and Flamingo

Flora and the Flamingo
This book is such a delight. An unlikely friendship between a little ballerina (in her bathing cap), and a pink Flamingo… the little girl trying to mirror the dance moves of the Flamingo. Their relationship grows with each leap and lunge. I love this wordless picture book with interactive flaps… silent, beautiful and oh so graceful.

E-Squared

E-Squared
A fun and inspiring read. We are energy… and you can use that energy. Rather than take it on faith, you are invited to conduct nine 48-hour experiments to prove there really is a positive, totally loving force in the universe. Pam Grout is a funny and intelligent person so the book was an enjoyable read. I took this information with a grain of salt and am keeping an open mind. But it has certainly changed the way I think.. and focus my energy!

E-Squared proves the following: 

  1. There is an invisible energy force or field of infinite possibilities.
  2. You impact the field and draw from it according to your beliefs and expectations. 
  3. You, too, are a field of energy. 
  4. Whatever you focus on expands. 
  5. Your connection to the field provides accurate and unlimited guidance.
  6. Your thoughts and consciousness impact matter.
  7. Your thoughts and consciousness provide the scaffolding for your physical body.
  8. You are connected to everything and everyone else in the universe.
  9. The universe is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating.

Sandy Cooper, Director of Field Sales


My Favourite Books of 2013, Pete MacDougall

by Pete
Kids + Picture Books / December 10, 2013

The Snatchabook

My favourite book of the year is The Snatchabook. My daughter was about a year and half old when this book came home for the first time making she and I the perfect test audience. It was a huge hit the first night, and fast became a family favourite. Snatchabook is at times a mischievous brat who a toddler can relate to (not mine...), he gets sad and just wants to have books read to him by someone (something they all can relate to), and its a book about books which we both love. The illustrations are warm and nostalgic, and the story reads aloud beautifully. A bed time classic.

Vader's Little Princess

And being the Dad of a daughter Vader's Little Princess is up there as well. Jeffrey Brown's illustrations, and captions are right on point, and a not so welcome but funny window in to my future.

Peter Macdougall, Director of National Accounts


Intern Insights: A Raincoast Wishlist

by Janet
Picture Books + Travel + Vancouver + YA Fiction / December 13, 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I hope you have all been enjoying Egg Nog Hot Chocolates (Crystal's creation) and gingerbread cheesecakes! My favourite things this season include lighting the Christmas tree, watching old holiday classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Elf etc.) and enjoying cheery tunes that bring back many memories.

It's easy to forget how to enjoy the season with holiday shopping and wallet stress but I've narrowed down ten of my favourite things with Raincoast to give you some ideas - whether it's a gift for someone else or for YOU!

Here's my “little” wish list:

 

  1.  Moleskine:

    Who doesn’t love the feel of a new notebook waiting for your pen to scribble ideas and thoughts down? One of my top wishes from Moleskine, other than their pens, sketchbooks and new bag line, is their Passions Journal line. There’s one for everyone: the cinephile, the bookworm, the traveler etc.

    I definitely want the Book Journal, here’s a great YouTube trailer:
     
  2. Zombie Lovers!
    First it was vampires, then werewolves and now everyone's current obsession is ZOMBIES!
    Raincoast offers two great books for anyone who is a zombie fanatic. First, is the humorous “Dead Inside” which is like PostSecret mixed with the Zombie Apocalypse.

    Then there's The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, a back story graphic novel which explores one of the series' most sinister characters. (The Walking Dead is currently an acclaimed TV Series airing on AMC.)

     
  3. Ivy & Bean Paper Doll Play Set: Some great gift ideas for any Ivy and Bean fan! There's the Paper Doll Play Set where you can play out your own Ivy and Bean scenarios or the Mini Notes set which combines creative stationary with your two favourite trouble makers!





     
  4. Grandpa Green:
    What is greater than the gift of a good story and beautiful illustrations? Grandpa Green is a heartwarming book that you can give to anyone at any age. I am a personal fan of this book and think it would make a great gift for any loved one!

    The book trailer:

     
  5. The Cheesemongers Kitchen: For any foodie or cheese fan is a fantastic cookbook with creative recipes for everyone's favourite dairy product: CHEESE!
    Recipes include delicacies like Foccacia with Venetian Black Truffle and Squash Tuscan Devil's Pecorino with honey. 






     
  6. Your Playlist Can Change Your Life: For anyone looking for some inspiration or going through any life changing events I would recommend this lovely little book that states simply, music can change your life. 
     
  7. The Art of Pixar: I don't know a single person who has not loved at least one Pixar movie. As storytellers they have transcended animation from being just for kids or families to anyone. They have rooted their characters, their art and their stories deeply in our hearts. I love this large book that shows you the making of their films:

     
  8. Darker Still: Some good YA Fiction coming your way, this is a great read for anyone who enjoys sinister magic and fantastic situations. Imaginative and with an original concept this is a great stocking stuffer!

    "Many teens will be reeled in by the romance, but will also be left thinking about how different things were for women a century ago, trapped by gender and birthright. This smart novel will have wide appeal." (Shelf Awareness)

     
  9. Animals With Hangovers:
    A great and humorous photobook of animals with HANGOVERS! Share this with the animal lover in your life, you know the one – they always forward you cute animals on YouTube or are constantly posting funny cat photos on Facebook.





     
  10. Lonely Planet's Best of Travel 2012:
    Travel junkies will enjoy this book with its great tips and beautiful photography! The book includes:
  • Lonely Planet ranks the top 10 countries, regions and cities to visit in 2012.
  • The best travel experiences for the year ahead, from feeling the football fever in Ukraine to awaiting the Apocalypse on the Ruta Maya.
  • Over 35 events mapped out month by month in the 2012 travel planner.

 

Happy Holidays!


Selective Learning and Goodbyes

by Brian
Board Books + Fiction + Graphica + Humour + Kids + Parenting + Picture Books + Vancouver / August 09, 2011

Sad news everyone — it's my last day at Raincoast (cue crying and wailing of Raincoast staff here) and I'm still having trouble coming to grips with having to leave all this behind. But mostly I'm having trouble leaving...

Oh, and the people — they were great too.

Seeing as how this is my last day, I think it'll be a good idea to take a moment and reflect on all that I've learned here at Raincoast.

(I've also been watching a lot of late night talk shows)

The 10 Most Important Things I’ve Learned at Raincoast Books

#10 - You can put Zombies in anything

 

#9 - "Baby Rage” is real. And IS frightening.

#8 - Women really DO want to trade husbands for housekeepers

#7 – Taco in a Bag is delicious

#6 – "Moleskine" isn’t the same as “Vole Skin

#5- Vegetables are the “New Meat”

     

#4- Hand puppets and books DO go hand-in-hand

#3- There’s no such thing as “too much Darcy.”

   

#2- It takes 1 determined intern, 2 weeks and 3 americanos a day to input sales data for 800 titles into an e-catalogue.

#1 Googling The Naked Roommate at work does not produce the best results.

*I had a great time and learned a lot this past year. Thanks for reading about all the quirky things that happen at Raincoast Books through the eyes of a 20-something and I hope you continue to read about all the awesome people here and their love for books.

Cheers,

Brian


Favourite Books 2010: Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit, YoYoMama

by Dan
Kids + News + Picture Books / December 28, 2010

Play All DayPlay All Day
Taro Gomi
Chronicle Books ISBN 9780811871211
$22.99


Trust Taro Gomi to take it to the next level. While everyone else is now doing doodle books he’s moved on to playing. Play All Day is filled with things to punch out and make from games to toys to finger puppets. It’s literally hours of engaging entertainment and would be great for holiday travel with kids.

ShadowShadow
Suzy Lee
Chronicle Books ISBN 9780811872805
$17.99


Shadow, a two-word, two colour book about a dark attic, a light bulb and an imaginative little girl can be “read” right side up or upside down as one side shows what’s really in the attic while the other shows how the shadows of ordinary household items like a vacuum cleaner and a ladder morph into a tropical jungle complete with exotic animals, rampant vegetation and just a hint of danger. Kids of all ages are entranced by the shadow world and Lee's lovely art.

 

Ivy + Bean What's The Big IdeaIvy + Bean What's the Big Idea
Annie Barrows
Chronicle Books ISBN 9780811866927
$16.99

I've enjoyed reading this whole series with my now seven-year-old and the latest book in the series. The adventures of this unlikely BFF duo are everyday in a lovely way that kids can relate to and parents will appreciate. With nary a licensed character in sight, Ivy and Bean's shenanigans are based on imaginary play and they're just "naughty" enough that kids will thrill to it but parents won't be dismayed. Plus I was thrilled to be able to meet Annie Barrows when she came to town this fall, my kids thought I was a rock star!
 

Annemarie Tempelman-KluitAnnemarie Tempelman-Kluit founded yoyomama, a free daily e-newsletter for mums in Vancouver (and now Toronto), in 2007 when she couldn’t easily find local info on products and services for mums and their babies. As a mother-of-two girls and busy entrepreneur, she taps into her own front-line experiences to provide readers relevant, useful information that will (hopefully) make their life less harried.