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Fall preview 2014: picture books

In the June issue, Q&Q looks ahead at fall’s most anticipated titles for young readers.

5132WwUC7lL._SL500_Fall is shaping up to be the season of sequels, for both picture books and fiction. In September, Scholastic Canada will release Ruth Ohi’s Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend ($14.99 cl.), a follow-up to her 2013 book featuring the titular bushy-tailed duo. • Governor General’s Literary Award–winning children’s author and illustrator Anne Villeneuve returns with Loula and the Sister Recipe (Kids Can Press, $18.95 cl., Aug.), in which Loula, still fed up with her terrible triplet brothers, gets more than she bargains for when she begs her parents for a sister. • Also from Kids Can comes Geneviève Côté’s Goodnight, You ($16.95 cl., Sept.), the fourth book in her popular Piggy and Bunny series, which sees the pals sharing secret fears during their first camp out. • Andrew Larsen and Calgary-based illustrator Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli join forces on Charlie’s Dirt Day (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $18.95 cl., Sept.). In this sequel to the pair’s delightful 2012 release, Bye, Bye, Butterflies!, Charlie and his dad explore the wonders of compost. • Halifax-based news anchor and television producer Starr Dobson has a second book coming out from Nimbus Publishing in October. Illustrated by Dayle Dodwell, Gertrude at the Beach ($19.95 cl.) follows everyone’s favourite goat as she gets up to shenanigans at Starr’s family cottage. • Brian Deines lends his artistic talent to Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat’s Bear on the Homefront (Pajama Press, $19.95 cl.), which lands in August. The story again examines the First World War through the eyes of a teddy bear.

You can’t argue with the popularity of board books among the rattle-and-drool set. Lauded poet Lorna Crozier brings sophistication to the form 81E6oCC7W1L._SL1500_with the release of Lots of Kisses ($9.95 b.b.), new from Orca Book Publishers in October. • Canada’s largest city is put in the spotlight for something other than its mayor in Paul Covello’s Toronto ABC (HarperCollins Canada, $12.99 b.b., Sept.). Let’s hope “C” is for Casa Loma. • Work: An Occupational ABC (Groundwood Books, $16.95 cl., Aug.), by debut author-illustrator Kellen Hatanaka, uses cool jobs to teach kids their letters. • Look at Me Now! (Nimbus, $9.95 b.b., Oct.), by board-book collaborators Carol McDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones, explores the developmental milestones of an average 18-month-old. Carmen Mok provides illustrations.

Even when talented Canadian illustrators up and move to sunny Los Angeles, we still have a soft spot in our hearts for them. Matthew Forsythe, who has made two appearances on Q&Q’s books of the year lists, provides visuals for U.S. author Adam Lehrhaupt’s Please! Open This Book! (Simon & Schuster, $19.99 cl., Sept.). • Jon Klassen and buddy Mac Barnett’s first collaboration, Extra Yarn, earned the duo a Caldecott Honor. We’ll see if lightning strikes twice when Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (Candlewick Press/Random House, $19 cl.) arrives in October.