If November’s weather has your kids stuck inside, Oak Bay librarian Sarah Isbister has the solution to the “I’m bored” refrain.
Here’s a selection of exceptional titles on local shelves, with something of interest for all ages.
• Ben Says Goodbye, by Sarah Ellis – When Ben’s best friend Peter moves away, Ben decides that he will move, too – into a “cave” under the kitchen table. Award-winning author-illustrator team Sarah Ellis and Kim La Fave have created an imaginative story about friendship and loss.
• A Poppy Is To Remember, by Heather Patterson – This beautifully-illustrated picture book is a Canadian classic. It contains the full text of the poem “In Flanders Fields,”and will help children understand the important symbolism of the poppy.
• Holey Moley, by Lois Ehlert – Get to know Mole, the underground protector of the garden, in this fact-filled natural history adventure with vibrant collage artwork from the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
• Little Tree, by Loren Long – This is a beautiful and emotional story about a little tree changing through the seasons of the year, and learning to let go.
• Dojo Daycare, by Chris Tougas – This creative, poetic and fun story was this year’s Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize recipient. It’s a fantastic story that will encourage all kids to “reflect on honour, kindness, and respect.”
• This is Sadie, by Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad – This is a beautifully illustrated picture book about Sadie, a small girl with a big imagination who likes to make and do and be lots of different things.
• Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story, by Karen Levine – This award-winning Holocaust story is based on a Canadian Broadcasting radio documentary produced by Karen Levine. It uses a unique and memorable approach to teaching children about the Holocaust.
• The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis – This excellent Canadian novel is the first in a series of four, telling the story of Parvana, an 11-year old girl who lives in poverty in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan.
• Men of Stone, by Gayle Friesen – This novel by Vancouver-based author Friesen tells the story of Ben, a 15-year old boy who connects with his family’s heritage in Stalin-era Russia while also exploring his own capacity for forgiveness and peace.
• What World is Left? by Monique Polak – With unforgettable detail, this novel is based on the experiences of the author’s mother, who survived two years in a Nazi concentration camp but did not speak about it for more than 60 years. The novel is narrated in Anneke’s first-person, present-tense voice.
Sarah Isbister is the Children & Family Literacy Librarian at the Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. Watch for her November picks for adults later this month.