Toronto Star



The Tiny Tale of Lit­tle Pea, by Da­vide Cali, il­lus­trated by Sébastien Mour­rain (Kids Can, 32 pages, $18.99, ages 3-5)

Lit­tle Pea is so small he sleeps in a match­box and his shoes are dolls’ hand-me-downs. But when he starts school, it seems he is too lit­tle. How will he ever make his way in life? Af­fec­tion­ate and op­ti­mistic, this of­fers all the de­lights of pic­tur­ing a tiny per­son in a big world.

Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt, il­lus­trated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (Scholas­tic, 32 pages, $23.99, ages 4-6)

“Why am I me? If I were some­one else, who would I be?” Good ques­tion! A girl and boy each pon­der the unan­swer­able as their train speeds through an ur­ban land­scape. Vivid colour and hu­man va­ri­ety fairly flood these pages, deep­en­ing won­der and mak­ing this a beau­ti­ful book to muse on.

Yak and Dove, by Kyo Ma­clear, il­lus­trated by Esmé Shapiro (Tun­dra, 56 pages, $22.99, ages 4-7)

In the spirit of Frog and Toad and Ge­orge and Martha, here are three short sto­ries about two great friends — told com­pletely in di­a­logue, mak­ing this a joy­ously tricky read-aloud, as well as funny and wise. Shapiro’s art cre­ates a lav­ish, quasi-Tibetan fan­ta­sy­land, a charm­ing world of its own.

Feather, by Rémi Cour­geon (En­chanted Lion, 36 pages, $25.95, ages 6-9)

Feather’s sick of be­ing stuck do­ing chores for her dad and broth­ers, so she quits pi­ano and takes up box­ing. Once she’s won a prize fight, things change in her fam­ily . . . and Feather can go back to mu­sic. Cour­geon’s art and de­sign is spec­tac­u­lar — sub­tle, clever and in-your-face, as be­fits tena­cious, mu­si­cal Feather. Ex­cel­lent.

Coy­ote Tales, by Thomas King, il­lus­trated by By­ron Eggen­schwiler (Ground­wood, 60 pages, $16.95, ages 5-9)

Two trick­ster tales in one el­e­gant and funny lit­tle vol­ume. Coy­ote’s clued-out­ness and ego­tism make for sly slap­stick humour (skunk pil­low, any­one?) and noisy for­est politics as Coy­ote sings down the Moon in one tale, and steals ev­ery­one’s suits in an­other. Stylish penand-ink draw­ings pick up beau­ti­fully on Coy­ote’s out­sized per­son­al­ity.

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