PUT IT IN RE-VERSE
Artist and graphic novelist Eric Orchard (Maddy Kettle and the Thimblewitch) lends his illustrating talent to Kate Inglis’s fun and kooky book of poems If I Were a Zombie (Nimbus, Oct.), which asks kids to imagine themselves as ghoulish creatures of all kinds. Danielle Daniel’s Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox (Groundwood) grew out of a series of paintings the Métis artist and writer created for her son. The accompanying poems explain the importance of totems in Anishinaabe culture and help children understand their emotions. Lauded poet Barbara Nickel’s A Boy Asked the Wind (Red Deer, Oct.) features beautiful art by Toronto-based watercolour artist Gillian Newland, depicting the wind around the world. Missing Nimama (Clockwise Press, Sept.) is a touching story related from the point of view of a missing indigenous woman as she watches her daughter grow up without her. Melanie Florence creates the free-verse text, accompanied by François Thisdale’s signature art.
A collective “squee!” was heard- throughout the kidlit community when it was announced that Kenneth Oppel and Jon Klassen were collaborating on a middle-grade novel, The Nest, forthcoming in October from HarperCollins Canada. While Klassen provides cover art and black-and-white interior illustrations, the story is Oppel at his dark and twisty best: a young boy named Steve is convinced that the mysterious creatures he’s befriended can save his ailing baby brother. But his already anxious nature is pushed to its limit when he discovers the truth about his new pals. “I think it’s a book that kids are going to remember in a weird corner of their minds for a long time,” Klassen told Q&Q. (Did we mention the “squee”?)
Move over, Alligator Pie, here comes Garbage Delight. In August, the classic Dennis Lee poem will appear in board-book format with new illustrations by Sandy Nichols (HarperCollins Canada). From Vancouver art director and teacher Sara Gillingham comes two books for babies: Busy Baby Friends and Busy Baby Trucks (Chronicle Books).