Young adult: 13 and up

Winnipeg Free Press - - BOOKS -

Ages 5-8

FOR an early chap­ter book that is fun to read and de­light­ful to look at, try Hound­s­ley and Catina Through the Sea­sons by James Howe, with art­work by MarieLouise Gay (Can­dlewick, 184 pages, $11, hard­cover).

A com­pi­la­tion of four pre­vi­ous books by New York au­thor Howe, the ad­ven­tures of friends Hound­s­ley the dog and Catina the cat are il­lus­trated with Mon­treal artist Gay’s charm­ing wa­ter­colours.


When Judy Moody thinks she’s re­lated to the Queen of Eng­land she plans a royal tea party, but is up­set when no one ar­rives.

In Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party by Cal­i­for­nia writer Me­gan McDon­ald (Can­dlewick, 160 pages, $20, hard­cover), Judy’s young brother Stink and her class­mate Jes­sica man­age to save the day

Fun il­lus­tra­tions by Peter H. Reynolds make this lat­est ad­di­tion to the many Judy Moody books at­trac­tive to early read­ers.


Prob­a­bly the ul­ti­mate in di­nosaur books, Di­nosaur: A Photic­u­lar Book by Dan Kainen and Kathy Wol­lard (Work­man, 24 pages, $35, hard­cover) uses 3D tech­nol­ogy that makes the eight di­nosaurs pre­sented seem to men­ace and move.

There is plenty of de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about each di­nosaur, but it’s the “mov­ing pic­tures” that ac­com­pany it that gives this vol­ume a boost. All the most well­known di­nosaurs are here — in­clud­ing Tyran­nosaurus rex, Stegosaurus and Tricer­atops — as well as a few lesser-known species such as Parasaurolo­phus.

Kainen, who lives in New York, is both an artist and in­ven­tor, while Kathy Wol­lard is a sci­ence jour­nal­ist liv­ing in Ohio.

Ages 9-12

FOR a feel-good story from two-time Newberry award win­ner Kate DiCamillo, con­sider Louisiana’s Way Home (Can­dlewick, 240 pages, $20, hard­cover).

Louisiana has lived with her grand­mother all her life and be­come used to her ec­cen­tric ways. But when her grand­mother wakes her in the mid­dle of the night and in­sists they drive to Ge­or­gia, Louisiana only wants to go back home to Florida and her friends Raymie and Bev­erly.

Things be­come se­ri­ous when her grand­mother dis­ap­pears, and Louisiana is left alone in a mo­tel room with no money and only her ex­cep­tional voice to rely on.

Louisiana’s mix­ture of in­ge­nu­ity, hon­esty and self-re­liance win the day, as she at­tracts a fun-lov­ing boy, a com­pas­sion­ate woman and a help­ful pas­tor to as­sist her. Her char­ac­ter was first in­tro­duced in DiCamillo’s prior novel, Raymie Nightin­gale. DiCamillo, born in Philadel­phia, now lives in Min­neapo­lis.

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Guelph res­i­dent Eric Wal­ters is un­chal­lenged as one of the most prolific au­thors of chil­dren’s books in Canada. For his 100th novel he has writ­ten Ele­phant Se­cret (Puf­fin Canada, 272 pages, $22, hard­cover).

Thir­teen-year-old Sa­man­tha (Sam) lives with her fa­ther in a sanc­tu­ary for abused or re­tired work­ing ele­phants. She has such a close con­nec­tion to her charges that she’s been called “Ele­phant Girl” at school.

When Woolly, a baby ele­phant, is born in the sanc­tu­ary and the mother dies, Sam de­vel­ops an even closer re­la­tion­ship to him — a bond that is threat­ened when the un­usual parent­age of Woolly is re­vealed.

Both a plea for bet­ter treat­ment of ele­phants and a de­scrip­tion of their pos­si­ble fu­ture with ex­per­i­men­tal breed­ing, Wal­ters’ novel has more facts and less ac­tion than most of his pre­vi­ous works. How­ever, his char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of Sam and his con­nec­tion with an ele­phant’s feel­ings and mo­ti­va­tions are both im­pres­sive.

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The con­se­quences of a dra­matic rise in sea lev­els by melt­ing ice fields are ex­plored in Aus­tralian au­thor Mardi McCon­nochie’s dystopian novel The Flooded Earth (Py­jama Press, 336 pages, $20, hard­cover).

Liv­ing in the coun­try of Dux 40 years af­ter a world­wide flood, twins An­nalie and Will are anx­ious to find their fa­ther, Spin­ner, who has been ar­rested by the Ad­mi­ralty, the new gov­ern­ment au­thor­ity. Joined by An­nalie’s friend Essie and a for­mer slave, Pod, they com­man­deer Spin­ner’s boat, the Sun­fish, and set out for re­mote is­lands to which they be­lieve Spin­ner has fled.

Fac­ing storms, pi­rates, gun bat­tles and boat trou­bles, this ad­ven­tur­ous quar­tet pro­vide plenty of ac­tion and sus­pense. Es­pe­cially good for sailors or would-be sailors.

●●● S.M. Beiko is a Win­nipeg writer and free­lance ed­i­tor whose young-adult nov­els fea­ture high fan­tasy mixed with com­plex mythol­ogy. Chil­dren of the Blood­lands (ECW press, 500 pages,

$23, hard­cover) is the sec­ond book in her se­ries, The Realms of the An­cient, and fol­lows Scion of the Fox.

It’s highly rec­om­mended that Book

1 be read first or the com­plex ad­ven­tures of Roan, who has ac­quired the Calamity Stone, which both pro­tects and in­hibits her, will re­quire con­sid­er­able ex­pla­na­tion. Roan and her friends con­front the mon­ster Seela, who epit­o­mizes evil, and must bat­tle a mul­ti­tude of malev­o­lent forces. Mean­while a mys­te­ri­ous plague threat­ens to take over the chil­dren of Ed­in­burgh, pos­si­bly wip­ing out a gen­er­a­tion.

A spe­cial fea­ture of this se­ries is the im­por­tant role the city of Win­nipeg plays as the set­ting for much of the story. It’s fun to hear about fa­mil­iar streets and parks.


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