Sweater Weather by Matt Phelan

Cover image for Sweater Weather.

Sweater Weather by Matt Phelan (9780062934147)

It’s a lovely autumn day outside, so Papa Bear tells his seven baby bears to get their sweaters on. They head upstairs to get ready while Papa sits downstairs knitting. But it turns out that the baby bears need some help getting dressed successfully. After some disentangling, Papa gets them ready. All except for one, whose sweater unravels and he to be tucked into the stocking cap that Papa had been knitting. By the time they are all ready to go, it’s evening. The bear family makes the most of the nighttime, watching their breath frost the air and seeing a comet cross the sky. Then it’s time for pajamas on and bed.

Every parent will recognize the joy of getting ready for a day outside the house. This book is so cozy that the frustration of not getting ready quickly makes time for knitting and some extra hugs. Papa Bear is a delight of an adult character, seemingly on top of it all until the door opens and reveals how long it has actually taken for them all to get ready. With few words, the book relies on the illustrations to tell the story and share the love of this furry family.

Cozy, funny and full of autumn spice. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Greenwillow Books.

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – Oct. 29


19 Canadian books for kids and young adults to read this Halloween – CBC

20 magical children’s books about witches for all ages – Romper

50 years ago, ‘The Electric Company’ used comedy to boost kids’ reading skills – NPR

2021 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature shortlist announced – Quill & Quire

Anne Ursu’s magical thinking – Mpls St Paul

Announcing Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids List of 2021 – Evanston Public Library

Author Margarita Engle explores Cuban history in two new books for young readers – KVPR

How gruesome penny dreadfuls got Victorian children reading – Atlas Obscura

Let children choose their own ways to read, and you’ll make them lifelong readers – Desert Sun

A very busy fall for Ada Twist – Publishers Weekly


The Freedom to Read is a right and must be protected – Texas Library Association

‘Harmful content’ Cambridge University to put trigger warnings on children’s books – Express

I set out to build the next Library of Alexandria. Now I wonder: will there be libraries in 25 years? – TIME

How Memphis created the nation’s most innovative public library – Smithsonian Magazine

Texas House to launch investigation into school library books – The Hill


Jewish YA books: more than the Holocaust – Book Riot

The most underrated YA books of the pandemic – Book Riot

2022 Blue Peter Book Award Longlists

The Blue Peter Book Awards celebrate the best authors and illustrators in children’s fiction and nonfiction. The award is given by BookTrust in the UK. The 2022 longlists for the awards have been announced and will be shortened to three books per category on November 11th. The winners will be selected by over 200 children from schools across the UK with the winners announced in March 2022. Here are the longlisted titles:


The Amazing Edie Eckhart

The Amazing Edie Eckhart by Rosie Jones, illustrated by Natalie Smillie

Cover for Bad Panda

Bad Panda by by Swapna Haddow, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey

Cover for The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter

Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths

Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths by Maisie Chan, illustrated by Anh Cao (published in the U.S. as Danny Chung Sums It Up in September 2021.)

Cover for Dragon Mountain, 1

Dragon Mountain by Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang

Cover for The Last Bear

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold

October, October

October, October by Katya Balen, illustrated by Angela Harding

The Shark Caller

The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell, illustrated Saara Söderlund

Cover for When Life Gives You Mangos

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten

The Wizard In My Shed (The Misadventures of Merdyn the Wild #1)

The Wizard in My Shed by Simon Farnaby, illustrated by Claire Powell


24 Hours In The Stone Age

24 Hours in the Stone Age by Lan Cook, illustrated by Laurent Kling

Cover for Climate Action

Climate Action by Georgina Stevens, illustrated by Katie Rewse

A Different Sort of Normal

A Different Sort of Normal by Abigail Balfe

Good News: Why The World Is Not As Bad As You Think

Good News by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Adam Hayes

Cover for Invented by Animals

Invented by Animals by Christiane Dorion, illustrated by Gosia Herbia

Kay’s Anatomy: A Complete (and Completely Disgusting) Guide to the Human Body

Kay’s Anatomy by Adam Kay, illustrated by Henry Paker

Cover for The Magic of Sleep

The Magic of Sleep by Vicky Woodgate

Cover for What a Wonderful Phrase

What a Wonderful Phrase by Nicola Edwards, illustrated by Manu Montoya

Wild Child: A Journey Through Nature

Wild Child: A Journey Through Nature by Dara McAnulty, illustrated by Barry Falls

A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals: Over 90 fun and fabulous festivals from around the world!

A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals by Claire Grace, illustrated by Christopher Corr

Sato the Rabbit: The Moon by Yuki Ainoya

Cover image for Sato the Rabbit: The Moon.

Sato the Rabbit: The Moon by Yuki Ainoya (9781592703067)

This is the second book in the Sato the Rabbit trilogy. In a series of chapters, Sato explores the world around him. When the moon disappears into a nearby thicket, Sato pulls it out and makes it into a boat. Exploring a brown, dry field, he discovers a green sprout that turns like a screw and soon green is popping up all around. On a rainy day, Sato sets up a rain party where he captures the sheets of rain with ribbons. Other stories have fallen leaves that roll up into a rug, the moon turned into a blanket, and the wonder of a hole in a hat.

This Japanese picture book series is surprising and surreal. Just when you think you know where each of the short chapters is headed, a page turn takes it in an entirely different direction. It’s these little surprises along the way that make the book so charming. Each chapter features Sato doing amazing things with regular items we interact with in our world too.

The illustrations add to the fun of the surreal stories. They make what is being said in the brief text come alive as wondrous things happen in each story.

A charming addition to the Sato series. Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy provided by Enchanted Lion Books.

Publishers Weekly Best Books 2021

Publishers Weekly has released their Best Books List for 2021. The top picks for children range from picture books to middle grade to young adult. Here are the books that made the list:


Cover for The 1619 Project

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson, illus. by Nikkolas Smith

Cover for The Big Bath House

The Big Bath House by Kyo Maclear, illus. by Gracey Zhang

Cover for Chez Bob

Chez Bob by Bob Shea

Cover for Circle Under Berry

Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins

Cover for Dad Bakes

Dad Bakes by Katie Yamasaki

Cover for Fish and Sun (I Can Read Comics Level 1)

Fish and Sun by Sergio Ruzzier

Cover for Have You Seen Gordon?

Have You Seen Gordon? by Adam Jay Epstein, illus. by Ruth Chan

Cover for Keeping the City Going

Keeping the City Going by Brian Floca

Cover for Let Me Fix You a Plate

Let Me Fix You a Plate by Elizabeth Lilly

Cover for The Longest Storm

The Longest Storm by Dan Yaccarino

Cover for Mel Fell

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor

Cover for Milo Imagines the World

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson

Cover for The Night Walk

The Night Walk by Marie Dorléans

Cover for Nina

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone by Traci N. Todd, illus. by Christian Robinson

Cover for The People's Painter

The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art by Cynthia Levinson, illus. by Evan Turk

Cover for The Rock from the Sky

The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen

Cover for Soul Food Sunday

Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham, illus. by C.G. Esperanza

Cover for Thank You, Neighbor!

Thank You, Neighbor by Ruth Chan

Cover for Watercress

Watercress by Andrea Wang, illus. by Jason Chin


Cover for The Beatryce Prophecy

The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Sophie Blackall

Cover for Black Boy Joy

Black Boy Joy edited by Kwame Mbalia

Cover for Fallout

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Shutdown by Steve Sheinkin

Cover for Gone to the Woods

Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood by Gary Paulsen

Cover for How to Become a Planet

How to Become a Planet by Nicole Melleby

Cover for The Insiders

The Insiders by Mark Oshiro

Cover for Katie the Catsitter

Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable, illus. by Stephanie Yue

Cover for The Last Cuentista

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

Cover for Playing the Cards You're Dealt

Playing the Cards You’re Dealt by Varian Johnson

Cover for The Raconteur's Commonplace Book

The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book by Kate Milford, illus. by Nicole Wong

Cover for Samira Surfs

Samira Surfs by Rukhsanna Guidroz, illus. by Fahmida Azim

Cover for Sisters of the Neversea

Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cover for Starfish

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

Cover for Stuntboy, in the Meantime

Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds, illus. by Raúl the Third

Cover for Too Bright to See

Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

Cover for Too Small Tola

Too Small Tola by Atinuke, illus. by Onyinye Iwu


Cover for Blackout

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

Cover for Firekeeper's Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Cover for From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo

Cover for Himawari House

Himawari House by Harmony Becker

Cover for In the Wild Light

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

Cover for Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Cover for Let's Talk About It

Let’s Talk about It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan

Cover for The Mary Shelley Club

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky

Cover for The Mirror Season

The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore

Cover for The Other Merlin (Emry Merlin #1)

The Other Merlin by Robyn Schneider

Cover for Revolution in Our Time

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon

Cover for Skin of the Sea

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Cover for A Snake Falls to Earth

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

Cover for Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp

Cover for The Witch King

The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

Borders by Thomas King

Cover image for Borders.

Borders by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan (9780316593069)

When his older sister decides to move to Salt Lake City, a boy and his mother take her to the border between Canada and the U.S. His mother decided one day to make the trip to Utah to visit. They got dressed up and ready to leave the Blackfoot reserve. When they reached the border though, his mother refused to say that she was Canadian, giving her citizenship as Blackfoot. Caught between two countries, refusing to deny her true citizenship, the boy is caught with her as they demonstrate the power of their identity and family.

Written by an award-winning author of Cherokee and Greek descent, the graphic novel is illustrated by a well-known Métis illustrator. The book insists that readers see Native identity and recognize it as valid in a way that neither country is willing to. The story is immensely uncomfortable as readers wait for a resolution to come along with the boy and his mother. There is a brilliance to this discomfort, allowing readers to sit with it and learn.

The illustrations honest and simple, portraying the love among the family, even when his sister leaves for the United States. The focus on the people allows the illustrations to move beyond the desolate border and into the people being impacted.

An important middle-grade graphic novel that will inspire thought and discussion. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from library copy.

2021 An Post Irish Book Awards Shortlists

The An Post Irish Book Awards 2021 Shortlists have been announced. These Irish book awards include awards for top bookshops and poetry as well as fiction and nonfiction for adults and juvenile titles. Here are the shortlisted titles for the two children’s awards and the teen awards.


Aldrin Adams and the Cheese Nightmares

Aldrin Adams and the Cheese Nightmares by Paul Howard, illustrated by Lee Cosgrove

Cover for Lily's Dream

Lily’s Dream: A Lissadell Story by Judi Curtin, illustrated by Rachel Corcoran

Cover for The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street by Sarah Webb, illustrated by Rachel Corcoran

Mr Spicebag by Freddie Alexander, illustrated by Helen O’Higgins

The Shadows of Rookhaven

The Shadows of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison

The Summer I Robbed A Bank

The Summer I Robbed A Bank by David O’Doherty, illustrated by Chris Judge


Evie's Christmas wishes by Siobhán Parkinson

Evie’s Christmas Wishes by Siobhán Parkinson, illustrated by Shannon Bergin

A Hug for You | Adam King | David King

A Hug For You by David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard

Cover for Maybe...

Maybe… by Chris Haughton

Cover for Puffling and the Egg

Puffling and the Egg by Erika McGann & Gerry Daly

Cover for There's a Ghost In This House

There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers

Cover for Up on the Mountain

Up on the Mountain by Peter Donnelly


Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth by Meg Grehan

Cover for Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar

The Legend of Valentine Sorrow

The Legend of Valentine Sorrow by Caroline Busher

The New Girl

The New Girl by Sinéad Moriarty

Cover for Not My Problem

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth

What Love Looks Like

What Love Looks Like by Jarlath Gregory

Almost Nothing, Yet Everything by Hiroshi Osada

Cover image for Almost Nothing Yet Everything.

Almost Nothing, Yet Everything by Hiroshi Osada, illustrated by Ryoji Arai (9781592703579)

The author/illustrator team who created Every Color of Light returns with a picture book celebrates a different element: water. A parent and child head off on a journey along the waterways. Water has no color of its own, but can be any color based on where it is. It forms to any shape, but you can’t slice it or hold it in your hands. It reflects us back when we look into it and also the sky and clouds. It flows, rains, cascades and overflows. It is simple, but vital to life on earth.

Translated from the original Japanese, this picture book is beautifully poetic. It looks at the many aspects of water through the eyes of a child who is interacting with it on a journey along the river. The ending of the book adds a child’s question about whether water is the pee-pee of the gods. After such a lyrical poem, the question is marvelous in its honesty, simplicity and wonder.

Arai’s illustrations are exceptional. Filled with the beauty of water, they capture it both in its impact on landscapes and as it flows through one’s fingers. The large landscapes are deep green and dramatic while the close ups are personal and capture small moments of discovery. The combination of the two make the importance of water in our lives clear.

Another winning elemental picture book from Japan. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy provided by Enchanted Lion Books.

2021 PM’s Literary Awards Shortlist

The 2021 PM’s Literary Awards Shortlist has been announced. The book awards celebrate the best in Australian books of the year. The awards are given to adult and juvenile titles. Winners will be announced in December. Here are the shortlisted titles for the children’s and teen awards:


Cover for Fly on the Wall

Fly on the Wall by Remy Lai

Cover for How to Make a Bird

How to Make a Bird by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Matt Ottley

The January Stars

The January Stars by Kate Constable

Cover for The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst by Jaclyn Moriarty, illustrated by Kelly Canby

The Year the Maps Changed

The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks


Cover for The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love

The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love by Davina Bell

The F Team

The F Team by Rawah Arja

Cover for Loner

Loner by Georgina Young

Cover for Metal Fish, Falling Snow

Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore

Cover for When Rain Turns to Snow

When Rain Turns to Snow by Jane Godwin