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CBC Debut Picture Books – Fall 2023

On October 26, the CBC School and Library Marketing Committee presented their picture books at a debut Buzz Panel. Watch the video today and find here the great books recommended by the panel.

Once, a Bird, by Rina Singh; illustrated by Nathalie Dion (Orca Book Publishers)

Once, as the winter ended, a little bird emerged to find the world had gone quiet. The streets were empty and the playgrounds still. Puzzled but determined, the bird explores the town in search of a suitable place to nest. The residents of an apartment building notice her resting in a tree outside and take comfort in her song. Watching through their windows, they look beyond their lives and pause to appreciate the wonders of nature. The bird chooses to make this community her home and builds a nest, an act of resilience and hope that inspires the humans to emerge as well, reminding them that natural rhythms continue, seasons change, and life goes on. Once again. This wordless picture book is a hopeful contemplation of our interconnectedness with the natural world and the joy that nature brings us, even in unusual times.

We Belong to the Drum, by Sandra Lamouche; illustrated by Azby Whitecalf (Orca Book Publishers)

The drum represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth. We all belong to the earth and we all belong to the drum. Nikosis grew up going to powwows with his family, happily immersed in music, dance, and the sounds of the drum. But when he starts going to daycare, he doesn’t feel like he belongs. Nikosis cries every time his mother leaves him in the unfamiliar environment until, one day, she and the teachers use drums to help Nikosis find connection and comfort. Inspired by her son’s experience—and her family’s love of powwow music and dance—Indigenous educator and champion hoop dancer Sandra Lamouche shares this uplifting true story of the transformative effects of culturally safe and inclusive early childhood education.

Genious Noses: A Curious Animal Compendium, by Lena Anlauf; illustrated by Vitali Konstantinov; Translated by Marshall Yarbrough (NorthSouth Books)

An illustrated collection about animal noses and their amazing functions! Early STEM has never been more fun. Everything kids ever wanted to know about animal noses around the world! This special collection of animals takes us around the globe and amazes us with the curious diversity of nature. Whether it’s the musk weevil, the elephant, the pig, or the saiga antelope— they all have wonderful noses. In addition to a wide array of functions, noses tell us a lot about animal habits and habitats. Author Lena Anlauf has compiled the most exciting facts and stories about noses from the animal kingdom, while illustrator Vitali Konstantinov introduces us to the individual animals in impressive portraits—with wit and attention to detail. Which animal can smell underwater? Which one uses their nose as a snorkel? What can animals do with their noses besides smell? Readers will find out this and more in this entertaining collection filled with surprising and unusual facts.

Rumi–Poet of Joy and Love, by Rashin Kheiriyeh (NorthSouth Books)

Rumi’s words are needed now more than ever. A picture book biography of the renowned Persian poet that introduces children to Rumi’s life and teachings. Even the greatest poet was once a child. And so it was with Rumi. When he was young, he was enchanted by birds and books. He later became a scholar, but it was the loss of his best friend, Shams, that inspired Rumi to his most important realization: Love is in us and everywhere. The Persian mystic and poet Rumi is one of the best-known and most widely-read poets in the world. The renowned illustrator Rashin Kheiriyeh herself comes from Iran. With this picture book, she creates a touching memorial to Rumi’s wisdom and warmth. The strong colors and ornamental details transport us to the Persian Empire in the 13th century. Yet Rumi’s story and his poetry are timeless. Written by award-winning Iranian-American artist Rashin Kheiriyeh, this narrative nonfiction picture book has been published to honor his life and the 750th anniversary of his death.

Taco Falls Apart, by Brenda S. Miles; illustrated by Monika Filipina (American Psychological Association / Magination Press)

Taco Falls Apart gets kids thinking about how their thoughts shape feelings and behavior. Friendly and funny, this evidence-based science-informed book skillfully presents a fundamental concept of cognitive-behavior psychology in a way kids can understand—how the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and behavior shape who we are and how we experience everything. Meet Taco. The world expects so much from him… tacos must stay strong without much support, tacos must stay open without much room, and tacos must keep it all together, all the time! With all these expectations piling on, Taco starts to wonder if he has what it takes to be a terrific taco. Can he even do this? Should he even try? As his thoughts start to pester him, Taco’s shell starts to crack and his toppings begin to tumble, and Taco falls apart! Fantastically foodie and pun-fully delicious, this book is bound to help little ones understand common thinking mistakes and how unhelpful self-talk can get in the way of feeling strong and confident and able to get through rough spots in their day.

How Are You, Verity?, by Meghan Wilson Duff; illustrated by Taylor Barron (American Psychological Association / Magination Press)

A neurodivergent child interacts with their neighbors to discover the true meaning behind greetings and salutations. When people say, “How are you?” are they really asking or just saying hello? Verity, who is neurodivergent, plans an experiment to figure this out. Verity is bubbling with excitement about an upcoming school field trip to the aquarium! When neighbors ask, “How are you?” Verity shares their excitement and fascinating facts about sea animals. Their older brother John kindly suggests that the question “How are you?” is actually a greeting and not an invitation to share so much. Verity plans an experiment to find out if their brother is right. But when the trip to the aquarium is canceled, Verity is heartbroken. When people ask, “How are you?” what should they say then?

Poetry Prompts: All sorts of Ways to Start a Poem From Joseph Coelho, by Joseph Coelho; illustrated by Amanda Quartey (The Quarto Group)

A compendium of poetry prompts from Joseph Coelho (Children’s Laureate 2022-2024). Each fun and engaging prompt for writing a poem helps children discover how to write poems and then read them out loud. This is a book to build confidence and literacy skills through channeling children’s imaginations. This is a book for the whole family to enjoy; bright, cheerful but cool illustrations will appeal to children of all primary ages.

Kid Christmas, written and illustrated by David Litchfield (The Quarto Group)

This charming tale tells the story of little Nicky Claus, who wanted to make every child happy, if only just for one day. Nicky Claus works with his three uncles in the Claus Brothers Toy Emporium. Uncle Hanz makes the toys, Uncle Louis checks them and Uncle Levi adds the… what’s the scientific term for it? Ah, yes. The magic! Each toy made at the Emporium has a special sparkle that means it will find the child it is perfect for. One day, Nicky notices a young girl with her face pressed up to the glass. When she disappears, he follows her and finds her living on the streets with lots of other children, none of whom can afford a toy. Nicky vows that for one night only, every child will have the toy of their dreams and—with the help of his uncles and some flying reindeer—the legend of Father Christmas is born. This magical and heartwarming story from bestselling author–illustrator David Litchfield is a truly festive treat centered on kindness, generosity, and looking after each other. 

The Magnificent Mischief of Tad Lincoln, by Raymond Arroyo; illustrated by Jacqui Davis (HarperCollins / Zonderkidz)

Tad Lincoln was forever getting into trouble. He bounced around the White House, making mischief and annoying almost everyone but the president. Yet Tad was his father’s joy and comfort amidst a brutal war, a family tragedy, and the toll of holding the nation’s highest office. When Tad befriends a turkey meant to be a holiday dinner, his plea for the pet to be spared teaches Abe a lesson about mercy. It also starts the tradition of the presidential turkey pardon, a tradition that presidents carry on to this day. In The Magnificent Mischief of Tad Lincoln, readers 4-8 will learn about the larger-than-life personality of Tad Lincoln and his father, President Abe Lincoln, highlighting the importance of family see the impact of empathy and understanding towards others be inspired by Tad’s resilience and determination, as he overcomes challenges learning to read and dealing with a speech impediment enjoy Tad’s mischievous and adventurous spirit, encouraging children to embrace their curiosity, explore new ideas, and make a difference in the lives of others by being themselves.

Girls of the World: Doing More Than Ever Before, by Linsey Davis and Michael Tyler; illustrated by Lucy Fleming (HarperCollins / Zonderkidz)

Encourage children to use their voices, talents, and intelligence to help the world and raise awareness of girls and all the amazing things they do! An inspiration for readers of all ages, Girls of the World: Doing More Than Ever Before calls attention to the truth that it’s never too soon to become aware of and speak up about things that are important to you. Now is the perfect time for girls to show the world just who they are and what they’re capable of! Written by ABC News anchor and New York Times bestselling author Linsey Davis, together with co-author Michael Tyler, Girls of the World invites us to celebrate the equality and fairness we should all experience. It encourages girls to be strong, brave, and curious about the world and their place in it.

Alithia Ramirez Was an Artist, by Violet Lemay (Brown Books Kids)

Alithia Ramirez dreamed of studying art in Paris. She drew the world as it should be—full of color and joy, creativity and fun. From her teachers to her family and friends, Alithia shared her gifts with an open heart. Being an artist is never easy, but she drew every day to practice her skills and help everyone feel the love that art can bring. Written to honor Alithia and all the lives affected by the Uvalde school tragedy, Alithia Ramirez Was an Artist will help preserve the memory of this talented young girl through her story and her artwork.

Bing! Bang! Chugga! Beep!, by Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson; illustrated by Nathalie Beauvois (Brown Books Kids)

Bing! Bang! Chugga! Beep! is the latest charming tale from rhyming pair Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson. This old car has been everywhere, from the backyard to the sky, from the hills to the water. Bouncing between the mud in the ground and the clouds up high, the old car is loved by a clever young boy, just as readers will love this singsong story from an iconic children’s author duo.

The Littlest Weaver, by Robin Hall; illustrated by Stella Lim (Familius)

Far from the sea
in the hills and hollers of Appalachia’s great Southern Highlands
lived Laurel, the littlest weaver, and her pa. 
Together they wove story rugs filled with honeysuckle and summer sunshine. 
For Laurel, though small, had a gift for weaving as if her mama’s angel hands guided hers.

Laurel and her father weave beautiful rugs for the people of their mountain town. When a stranger moves to town with sadness in his eyes and a lonely doll on his table, Laurel wants to help. With gorgeous illustrations of the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and depictions of the Appalachian weaving tradition, The Littlest Weaver shows us how to hold space for grief and warms your heart like a woven blanket.

Hear Them Roar, by June Smalls; illustrated by Becky Thorns (Familius)

All around the world, animals that were once thriving are now endangered, from the black-footed ferret to the kakapo. Eventually, these amazing animals could be lost. With this fully illustrated guidebook + sound pad, kids can learn about the calls, snorts, squeaks, and roars of 14 endangered animals, discover the characteristics that make them special, and see how we are helping bring them back from the edge of extinction. Hear Them Roar: 14 Endangered Animals from Around the World will make sure these animals are around for many generations to come!

Watch the full panel today!

Learn more about the CBC School and Library Committee.

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