Titles to help kids explore the world

May's children and youth picks from the local library

From ancient history to modern research and plenty of topics in between, discover the world in May’s children’s and youth picks from the Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library.

• A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars, by Maria Birmingham – This cleverly titled book would definitely appeal to kids who are drawn to the macabre. I liked the quirkiness and off-beat humour, and it was fascinating reading about the historic/legend/folktale perspectives on immortality.

• Captain America. Civil war, by Todd Casey – The latest blockbuster Marvel film is out, and this graphic novel includes six action-packed tales featuring Captain America!

• Connect the Stars, by Marisa De los Santos – When 13-year-olds Aaron and Audrey meet at a wilderness camp in the desert, they think their quirks are enough to prevent them from ever having friends. But as they trek through the challenging and unforgiving landscape, they learn that they each have what it takes to make the other whole.

• Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan – As an adopted person of colour, precocious genius Willow  knows that she is different, but her parents love and support her unusual habits, such as wearing her gardening outfit to school, her obsession with disease and with the number seven. After the unexpected death of her parents, Willow is a prime candidate for life in a group home. Luckily, she finds new friends who work to protect her.

• Dragons vs. Drones, by Wesley King – King will be visiting GVPL in May as part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, and this epic adventure will not disappoint. A young computer genius is chased by sleek, high-tech drones into a land populated by Godzilla-size dragons, setting off a war that only he can stop. Part Eragon, part Transformers, with a magical beating heart at its centre.

• DNA Detective The quirky humour in this fascinating book won me over and the comic/graphic novel aspects are fantastic. There is a mystery storyline and lots of international and historical fun facts which give a good variety of information. The author explains the basics of genetics in simple, clear language, and reveals the fascinating, and frequently entertaining stories of the researchers who discovered pieces of the DNA puzzle.

• Happy, by Emma Dodd – One of my very favourite stortyime books, this new addition to Emma Dodd’s much-loved sequence of animal books features a tenderly composed rhyming text, heartwarming illustrations, and flurries of foil throughout. Exploring the loving relationship between one little owl and his mommy, this beautifully designed picture book is certain to become a bedtime favorite.

• My Heart Fills with Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith – The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful board book, with illustrations from celebrated artist Julie Flett, serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy.

• Welcome home, Bear: A Book of Animal Habitats, by Il Sung Na – Another storytime favourite, Welcome Home, Bear offers rich illustrations, bright colors, and a simple, spare text – all wrapped up in a beautiful, kid-friendly package. Readers meet animals in their habitats around the world – and return with Bear to the one place he is truly happy.

• West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet, by Deborah Hodge – This is a beautifully illustrated nature alphabet picture book that uses vivid imagery and engaging text to teach about the nature and environment of the west coast. The illustrations and language are evocative and would appeal to a wide age range.

Oak Bay librarian Sarah Isbister writes here twice a month, highlighting favourite titles for young and adult readers.