Simmie adds to Got to Go collection
LOIS Simmie is a veteran author, originally from Saskatchewan, who has had a number of bestsellers among her many books for children, including Auntie’s Knitting a Baby, which was made into a play, and Red Shoes, which became a feature film. Her Mister Got to Go series, about a cat who makes his home in the iconic Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver, has added a new title in Mister Got to Go, Where Are You? (Red Deer Press, 32 pages, $20, hardcover). When Got to Go gets caught in the back of a truck near the hotel, he gets carried far out of his usual haunts. It’s only when he’s gone that his friends in the hotel realize how much they miss him. Young readers will agonize with the cat as he searches for his home and finally reaches his old place on the windowsill of the hotel. Vibrant illustrations by B.C. artist Cynthia Nugent help to make this a fun picture book for early readers. She also supplied the artwork for the previous two books in the series: Mister Got to Go: The Cat Who Wouldn’t Leave and Mister Got to Go and Arnie. If Little Red Riding Hood met Superman, the union might result in Super Red Riding Hood by Toronto author Claudia Dávila (Kids Can Press, 32 pages, $19, hardcover). Ruby loves red, and when she puts on her red cloak she becomes Super Red Riding Hood. She isn’t afraid of anything in the woods — until she meets a real wolf. Luckily the wolf has a weakness: a love of raspberries. This will be a popular read for any little girl who likes to show how fearless and independent she can be. Dávila has also done the illustrations, which are colourful, numerous and suitably humorous. Hana is determined to imitate her grandfather who played second violin in a great symphony orchestra in Kyoto, Japan. She wants to play her violin at the school talent show, despite the fact that she has only recently started lessons. In Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by B.C. author Chieri Uegaki (Kids Can Press, 32 pages, $19, hardcover), a little girl defies her laughing brothers and shows she can entertain the audience with the sounds of nature she has heard near her home and can reproduce on her strings. Young musicians will enjoy this family-friendly story, which is illustrated by Toronto artist Qin Leng. David J. Smith, living in North Vancouver, has been a teacher for over 25 years and demonstrates his experience in a new non-fiction book, If: A Mindbending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers (Kids Can Press, 40 pages, $20, hardcover). Smith uses comparisons: If Earth was shrunk to the size of a baseball, Mars would be a golf ball and Jupiter an exercise ball. If all the water on Earth was represented by 100 glasses, only three glasses would contain fresh drinkable water. If the 4.5 billion-year history of Earth was compressed into a single year, mammals would first appear around December 22 and humans wouldn’t surface until December 31. By using these comparisons, Smith helps to put mind-bending distances, time periods and events on a scale we can comprehend and with everyday objects we can understand. Smith has also written If the World Were a Village, If America Were a Village, and This Child, every Child. The pages of this attractive picture book are multicoloured and the artwork by Montreal artist Steve Adams helps to reinforce the concepts that Smith is introducing. For ages 4-8. Helen Norrie is a former teacher/librarian whose column appears on the third
Saturday of the month.
Faith Johnston is author of The Only Man in the World, also a novel about widowhood.