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2023 Fall Preview: Picture Books

 Autumn Peltier, Water Warrior
Carole Lindstrom and Bridget George, ill.
Roaring Brook/Macmillan, September

New York Times–bestselling author Carole Lindstrom and illustrator Bridget George (It’s a Mitig!) bring readers this inspiring picture book biography about Anishinaabe Indigenous rights activists Josephine Mandamin and her great-niece Autumn Peltier who have fought tirelessly to protect our water. 

Molly Misses Nainai
Emma Chen and Sean Huang, ill. 
Red Deer Press, September

Drawing from her own experience with her daughter, Emma Chen teams up with Sean Huang for her debut picture book that follows Molly as she tries to bridge the distance between her and her Nainai (grandmother), who returned to China because her visa was up. 

Bompa’s Insect Expedition
David Suzuki and Tanya Lloyd Kyi; Qin Leng, ill.
Greystone Kids/David Suzuki Institute, September

Inspired by David Suzuki’s adventures with his grandchildren, Bompa’s Insect Expedition explores the extraordinary world of bugs. With Bompa (grandfather) as their guide, twins Nakina and Kaoru find eaters, flyers, and weightlifters right outside their front door. Governor General’s Literary Award–winning illustrator Qin Leng provides the whimsical art.

Listening to the Quiet
Cassie Silva and Frances Ives, ill.
Lerner Publishing, September 

In this heartfelt story, Jacki struggles to enjoy a world of sound, knowing her mama is slowly losing her hearing. As she comes to grips with this new reality, Jacki learns Sign Language so she and her mama will always be able to communicate with each other. 

The Tragically Hip ABC
The Tragically Hip with Drew Macklin; Clayton Hanmer, Julia Breckenreid, Monika Melnychuk, and Bridget George, ill.
Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada, October 

Legendary Canadian band the Tragically Hip bring their love of music to a new ABC picture book. Featuring art from four Canadian illustrators – Clayton Hanmer, Julia Breckenreid, Bridget George, and Monika Melnychuk – The Tragically Hip ABC is an ode to the band fronted by the late Gord Downie.

Brave Like the Buffalo
Melissa Allan and Jadyn Fischer-McNab, ill.
Rocky Mountain Books, September 

Calgary-based creators Melissa Allan and Jadyn Fischer-McNab pass down Indigenous ways of knowing and being, symbolized by the powerful buffalo, in this tale of adversity that encourages readers to confront the challenges in their lives with the support of their community.

I Drew a Heart
Gillian Sze and Naoko Stoop, ill.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group, December 

From Gillian Sze, author of multiple poetry collections and picture books, comes this lyrical story about a boy who spends his day drawing hearts, each one of which commemorates a favourite memory. Illustrator Naoko Stoop brings themes of love, family, and creativity to life. 

I Wish I Could Tell You
Jean-François Sénéchal and Chiaki Okada, ill.
Milky Way Picture Books, August 

In I Wish I Could Tell You, featuring a young fox, Jean-François Sénéchal, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, shares a poetic ode about discovering ways to cope with the complex emotions we feel when we lose someone close to us.  

When the Ocean Came to Town
Sal Sawler and Emma FitzGerald, ill.
Nimbus Publishing, October

Gretchen, who loves the ocean, is warned not to underestimate its strength, a lesson she learns firsthand, when high tides threaten her home. In their picture book debut – a love letter to the ocean – Sal Sawler inspires readers to forge better communities and better solutions. The whimsical illustrations are by Emma FitzGerald (EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street). 

The Raven Boy
Rosemarie Avrana Meyok and Marcus Cutler, ill.
Inhabit Media, September 

Rosemarie Avrana Meyok, a retired Inuinnaqtun teacher and program specialist, retells an Inuit traditional story about a doll that magically comes to life. When he’s old enough, the boy with the beak of a raven sets out to create his own island world.

Zander Stays
Maureen Fergus and Scot Ritchie, ill. 
Pajama Press, October 

Maureen Fergus returns with a picture book that’s equal parts fun and charming. It follows Zander, a goose who wants to stay north for the winter. With vibrant illustrations by Scot Ritchie that showcase Zander in his determination to adapt, it’s bound to be a reader favourite. 

Do You Remember?
Sydney Smith
Groundwood Books, October 

Sydney Smith, creator of Small in the City, is back! In his latest picture book, a boy and his mother trade memories in their new apartment. From the idyllic to the surprising, Smith, an award-winning author and illustrator, examines how memories are made. 

Blue Camas! Blue Camas! 
Danielle S. Marcotte and Alyssa Koski, ill.
Heritage House, October 

In Blue Camas! Blue Camas!, readers are transported to the point of contact between a Lkwungen community and a group of Irish settlers, who view the blue camas meadows, considered a sacred and valuable plant by the Indigenous Peoples of the region, in drastically different ways. This ode to perseverance of traditional knowledge is enhanced by Alyssa Koski’s illustrations. 

How to Make a Peanut Butter Sandwich in 17 Easy Steps
Bambi Edlund
Owlkids Books, September 

Bambi Edlund answers the age-old question, how do you make a peanut butter sandwich? Edlund takes readers through the 17 “simple” steps required to make the perfect sandwich. In this hilarious, laugh-out-loud guide, every critter has a role to play, including the skunk! 

Grandmothers Galore!
Judith Henderson and Ellen Yeomans; Rashin Kheiriyeh, ill.
Abrams Books for Young Readers, August 

When an envelope arrives addressed to “the greatest grandmother in the world” at Hollyhock House, which is home to grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and a great-great-grandmother, lighthearted mischief ensues as the group is determined to answer the question, who is the best grandmother? 

Garden of Lost Socks
Esi Edugyan and Amélie Dubois, ill.
HarperCollins, August 

Two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan’s debut picture book follows Akosua, a budding “Exquirologist,” as she uncovers a hidden world in her own community. Illustrator Amélie Dubois adds a magical touch to Akosua’s journey of discovery. 

The Skull
Jon Klassen
Candlewick/Penguin Random House Canada, July 

Jon Klassen brings his signature humour to this retelling of a traditional Tyrolean folk tale about Otilla, who is lost in the woods after escaping danger. Her only companion is a skull she finds in an abandoned house, and the two are afraid of something that comes every night. 

Naaahsa is an Artist!
Hali Heavy Shield
Second Story Press, October

Hali Heavy Shield, a multidisciplinary artist and a member of the Blood Tribe of Southern Alberta, returns with her sophomore title that follows a young girl as she makes art – in its many forms – with her grandmother. Bold patterns and shapes fill each page in this celebration of art, artists, and Indigenous women artists in particular.

Coming up next in the fall preview:
July 26: Middle Grade & Graphic Novels
August 2: Young Adult & Nonfiction


July 19th, 2023

3:17 pm

Category: Industry News, Preview