Sponsored annually by the Ontario Library Association, the Red Maple Award reading program is geared to readers in Grade 7 and 8. Ten novels are nominated each year and ten non-fiction are selected every second year.
Are You a Cheeseburger? by Monica ArnaldoA Kids' Indie Next List pick! Laugh-out-loud humor and a tender friendship blossom in author-illustrator Monica Arnaldo's charming picture book about a lonely raccoon and a glowing seed, and the world's most important question: Can this seed grow cheeseburgers? Grub is a lonely racoon. Rumbling in the trash. Looking for food. Seed is, well, a seed! Patiently waiting in the trash. Hoping someone will plant it. When the two finally meet, they realize they might be able to help each other! Grub has just one big question first: What will Seed grow? Could Seed grow Grub's favorite food, mouthwatering cheeseburgers? Seed isn't sure what a cheeseburger is exactly, but . . . maybe! And so begins a hilarious friendship following two unlikely strangers learning more about the other and discovering the pressure that comes with fulfilling expectations. Author-illustrator Monica Arnaldo will leave readers giggling and clamoring for more in this charming story that celebrates the unexpected--and how the most special friendships bloom only when we are unapologetically ourselves.
Harley the Hero by Peggy CollinsAn exciting picture book inspired by a real-life classroom service dog with themes of friendship, neurodivergence, and courage Harley the service dog is on the job! He goes to school every day with Ms. Prichard to make sure she feels safe. Their students are a lot of fun, but Harley can't play with them while he's wearing his work vest. They write him lots of letters instead, and everything is perfect in the best, most quiet class in the whole school. Until the day the old stage curtains catch fire. As the fire alarm blares and chaos erupts, Harley remembers that Ms. Prichard isn't the only human in his class who gets upset by loud noises. Inspired by a true story, Harley the Hero celebrates the work of service animals and the normalization of neurodivergence. Author-illustrator Peggy Collins brings Harley and his class to charming life and concludes with an Author's Note about the real dog behind the fictional Harley.
Bad Dog by Mike Boldt2021 Blue Spruce Winner! The differences between cats and dogs have never been funnier! In this hilarious new picture book from the illustrator of I Don't Want to Be a Frog, a little girl really, really wants a dog... but gets a cat instead! The differences between cats and dogs have never been funnier! In this hilarious story from the illustrator of I Don't Want to Be a Frog, a little girl really, really wants a dog . . . but gets a cat instead! "Look what I got for my birthday! A pet dog!" says a little girl holding a . . . cat? Rocky doesn't listen or obey like all the other dogs. (Because Rocky is a cat.) And Rocky hates her leash and doesn't seem to like other dogs. (Probably because Rocky is a cat.) And rather than play fetch, Rocky prefers to . . . lick between her toes? Ew. Rocky is a bad "dog"! BUT Rocky doesn't bark, and is so cute when she sleeps in sunny spots. Maybe Rocky IS a good dog? (Or, you know, maybe Rocky is a cat.) Cat lovers and dog lovers alike will howl with laughter at this little girl's willful insistence that her cat is a dog. The hilarious ways in which cats and dogs are different are brilliantly illuminated with each turn of the page and will leave young readers and their grown-ups giggling.
That's Not Hockey! by Andrée Poulin; Félix Girard (Illustrator)2020 Blue Spruce Winner! The legendary goalie who revolutionized the game of hockey. Young Jacques Plante's way of playing hockey may look different from everyone else's. Instead of a puck, he uses a tennis ball, and his shin pads are made out of potato sacks and wooden slats. But that's not going to stop him. He loves the game. Jacques is drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in his mid-twenties. Fans love the unstoppable goalie as he leads his team to one victory after another. But there's a price to pay: pucks to the face result in a broken jaw, broken cheekbones, multiple stitches, and even a skull fracture. One day, Jacques has had enough. He goes on the ice wearing a fiberglass mask. The coach orders him to take it off. Finally, at a game against the New York Rangers, when yet another puck hits Jacques square in the face, he puts his foot down. He will not continue to play unless he's allowed to wear a mask. Young hockey fans will enjoy this story of Jacques Plante, whose determination and love of the game brought about a revolutionary change to how it is played.
Barnaby Never Forgets by Pierre Collet-Derby (Illustrator)Meet Barnaby, an unforgettable bunny (with a few blind spots)!Barnaby has a very good memory. He remembers to brush his teeth and feed his grasshoppers, and he always, always remembers when it's ice-cream night. So how can someone with such a good memory forget something so important? As Barnaby soon finds out, sometimes the thing that's slipped your mind is right under your nose (or right above it). Lovable, scatterbrained Barnaby will win the hearts of adults and kids alike in Pierre Collet-Derby's funny and familiar tale of remembering what you've forgotten - and learning to laugh at yourself.
Shark Lady by Jess Keating; Marta Álvarez Miguéns (Illustrator)One of New York Times' Twelve Books for Feminist Boys and Girls! This is the story of a woman who dared to dive, defy, discover, and inspire. This is the story of Shark Lady. One of the best science picture books for children, Shark Ladyis a must for both teachers and parents alike! An Amazon Best Book of the Month Named a Best Children's Book of 2017 by Parentsmagazine Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn't imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary--and they didn't think women should be scientists. Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname "Shark Lady." Through her accomplishments, she taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that women can do anything they set their minds to. An inspiring story by critically acclaimed zoologist Jess Keating about finding the strength to discover truths that others aren't daring enough to see. Includes a timeline of Eugenie's life and many fin-tastic shark facts! The perfect choice for parents looking for: Books about sharks Inspiring nonfiction narrative books Role model books for girls and boys Kids STEM books
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan (Illustrator); Eric Fan (Illustrator)In the spirit of Goodnight Moon and The Curious Garden comes a stunning debut picture book filled with whimsy and creativity from brothers Terry and Eric Fan. One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William's gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William--and his town--are changed forever. With breathtaking illustrations and spare, sweet text, this masterpiece about enjoying the beauty of nature is sure to become an instant classic.
If Kids Ruled the World by Linda Bailey; David Huyck (Illustrator)This original, fun picture book delightfully describes, in hilarious detail, a small child's idea of utopia. Every two-page spread offers something new about this fantasy life, including, ?If kids ruled the world, every day would be your birthday! Birthday cake would be good for you. Your doctor would say, 'Don't forget to eat your birthday cake so you'll grow up strong and healthy!'? And, ?You could go to any kind of school you like ... Circus School. Fairy School. Inventing School. Lots of kids would go to Recess School.' The topics that bestselling, award-winning author Linda Bailey has chosen are pitch-perfect for young children, from bedtime and baths (none!) to pets and tree houses (lots!). And illustrator David Huyck's detailed, brightly hued artwork is full of energy, joy and humor that gets right to the heart of a child's view of the world. While this is a book that would happily be enjoyed from cover to cover, it's not hard to envision an enthralled child spending long stretches of time daydreaming about one particular scenario. In the classroom, this book would make an excellent springboard for art projects or creative writing assignments that explore children's own unique image of the perfect world. Particularly gratifying is the emphasis throughout on sharing all the good things brought to life in a world of a child's own making. This book is a truly exuberant celebration of childhood, play and imagination. It's sure to become a classic.
The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus; Mike Lowery (Illustrator)'I liked kindergarten from the very 1st day,? begins the narrator of this very funny and touching picture book. However, she notices, ?My mom was happy for me, of course, but I got the feeling that she was also a little sad? to leave her. So one day the little girl invites her mom to join the kindergarten class for the day, which turns out to be a real learning experience --- for both of them. Somehow her mom just can't get any of the rules right: she barges to the front of the line, she shouts out without raising her hand, she slams down her scissors during Craft Time. How embarrassing! In a wonderful role reversal that will delight young children, the girl must become the patient and sometimes frustrated expert who instructs her mom on how to behave. Author Maureen Fergus has found a unique way of telling a school story that allows children to feel rewarded about how much they know. The spare style and juvenile sensibility of the artwork by Mike Lowery perfectly conveys the hilarity of the story. This book would be a popular, entertaining read-aloud, especially for kindergartners themselves. It ties in beautifully to character education lessons on patience or perseverance. The little girl is a wonderful role model for how to be generous and kind to others who are struggling with something new, while also providing a humorous lesson on why it's important to follow the rules.
Oddrey by Dave WhamondFrom Blue Spruce Award-winning author-illustrator Dave Whamond comes the story of Oddrey, a young girl who is a little bit different from everybody else. Every aspect of Oddrey's world is a study in playful curiosity. Her adventures and flights of fancy, however, are often a source of some teasing at the hands of her classmates. Her technicolor snow sculpture has the rest of the playground gaping in disbelief. Her drawing of blue apples is met with a stern look from her teacher. But Oddrey, never one to let anything get her down, faces all of these discouragements with optimism and offhanded grace. So when her class production of The Wizard of Ozis cast and Oddrey is given the rather spiritless role of a tree, she decides to make the best of the situation and vows to be the most unique tree ever. Sadly, her teacher has other ideas, and Oddrey dons an uninspired costume and sways in the back row. But when her classmates start forgetting their lines, knocking down props, and suffering from stage fright, Oddrey steps in to save the show -- not by stealing it, but by helping her classmates rise to the occasion, much to their relief and delight. Full of witty, energetic, and vivid illustrations sure to resonate with young readers, Oddreyis an endearing story with a timeless message of how the misfits in our midst can be the ones we most often misjudge.
Kate and Pippin by Martin Springett; Isobel Springett (Photographer)When Pippin, a fawn abandoned by her mother, cries out for help, she is found by author Isobel Springett. After carrying the tiny fawn back to her home, Isobel places Pippin next to Kate, a Great Dane who has never had puppies of her own. What follows is a remarkable and unlikely friendship. Kate successfully raises Pippin to be an independent deer, and Pippin always returns from the forest to visit her best friend. With simple text and stunning photographs, Kate and Pippin, and their one-of-a-kind friendship, come to life in an irresistible way!
Giraffe and Bird by Rebecca Bender (Illustrator)Getting along can be difficult, but Giraffe and Bird don't even try. When Bird makes a face, Giraffe sticks out his tongue; when Bird tweets in his ear, Giraffe invades Bird's personal space. And so it goes. If you ask them, Giraffe and Bird will tell you they can't stand each other. One day Giraffe loses his patience, and Bird is fed up too. "Scram!" says Giraffe. "Get lost!" says Bird. And so they do. You would think they'd be happy now, but you might be wrong. Without each other, how will Bird and Giraffe weather the coming storm?
My Think-A-ma-Jink by Dave Whamond (Illustrator)A picture book adventure of infinite possibilities! It's Jack's sixth birthday and he couldn't be more...bored?! That's right, model airplanes, stuffed dinosaurs, not even a talking robot can break him free of his festering funk. What's a boy to do? Enter a most mysterious gift from the equally mysterious Uncle Doug. Within an ordinary-looking brown box glows the Think-a-ma-Jink, a bizarre contraption that claims to bend the very laws of time and space. With this gadget, no idea is too fantastic to be realized, no world too distant to be visited, no personality too zany to be adopted. With his younger sister, Marie, at his side, Jack discovers a wild new universe of possibilities before him: cotton-candy breathing dragons, space-traveling hot-air balloons, caramel rivers and mountains built from chocolate sundaes. But when he and Marie engage in a boisterous, shape-shifting struggle, the future of the Think-a-ma-Jink hangs in the balance. Is Jack doomed to go back to being bored...or is he on the verge of an even greater discovery?
Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard (Illustrator)Bird and Raccoon are playing ball, when Bird gets bonked on the head. "Boo hoo hoo!" he cries. What will make Bird feel better? A kiss? A cookie? A Band-Aid? Bird's friends Raccoon, Rabbit, Beaver, Sheep, and Fox are full of sweet and funny ideas. Perfectly pitched and hilariously imagined, this charming story about a universal experience will put a smile on the face of every child who has suffered a boo-boo and every parent who has struggled to come up with just the right way to give comfort.
Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Mélanie Watt (Illustrator); Mélanie Watt (Illustrator)That lovable little worrywart is back. And he's as scaredy as ever! In his latest adventure, Scaredy Squirrel sets out to make The Perfect Friend. And once he's spotted a perfectly safe candidate (with no teeth), Scaredy's ready. Armed with a name tag, mittens, a mirror and a lemon, he's prepared to make The Perfect First Impression. But just when every detail is under control, Scaredy's Action Plan takes a surprising --- and ?toothy? --- turn. Will he survive this ordeal? Will he find his kindred spirit? Will he discover the true meaning of friendship? Read Scaredy's nutty story to find out ...
Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt (Illustrator); Mélanie Watt (Illustrator)Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It's way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees. But in his tree, every day is the same and if danger comes along, he's well-prepared. Scaredy Squirrel's emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, Band-Aids and a parachute. Day after day he watches and waits, and waits and watches, until one day ... his worst nightmare comes true! Scaredy suddenly finds himself out of his tree, where germs, poison ivy and sharks lurk. But as Scaredy Squirrel leaps into the unknown, he discovers something really uplifting ...
The Boy Who Loved Bananas by George Elliott; Andrej Krystoforski (Illustrator)Matthew laughs himself silly one day as he watches the banana-crazy monkeys at the Metro Zoo. That evening, bananas become Matthew's favorite food - and he refuses to eat anything else! Over the next two weeks, he eats so many bananas that he starts to feel funny. He itches and scratches and itches and scratches until & KABLOOEY! Suddenly, Matthew is swinging from trees and shinnying up flagpoles! His parents try everything to stop his monkey business - doctors, veterinarians, herbalists, chiropractors, animal trainers, psychiatrists and even a psychic. But nothing seems to work. Has Matthew gone completely bananas?
Drumheller Dinosaur Dance by Robert Heidbreder; Bill Slavin (Illustrator); Esperanca Melo (Illustrator)By daylight, the Drumheller dinosaurs rest their ancient bones. But when the moon rises, so do these slumbering skeletons -- ready to tango, fandango, shimmy and shake! This exuberant read-aloud imagines what the dinosaur skeletons of world-famous Drumheller, Alberta, get up to when everyone's asleep. Kids will want to thumpity-thump along with these dynamic dinos as they dance across the dark, dusty Badlands.
Stanley's Party by Linda Bailey; Bill Slavin (Illustrator)Stanley's people go out a lot. Stanley is a good dog, but one night, while they're away, the temptation becomes too great and he sneaks up onto the couch. What a wonderful experience! Soon he's also blasting the music, dancing around the living room and raiding the fridge. Stanley's never had so much fun! But after a couple of weeks something is missing, and Stanley realises that partying alone has lost its thrill. Ages 3-7
Z Is for Zamboni by Matthew M. Napier; Melanie Rose (Illustrator)In the mold of our very popular series of state alphabet books, we offer Z is for Zamboni to hockey fans young and old across North America. Matt Napier's "breakaway" rhymes and "hard-checking" expository text team up with the "top-shelf" illustrations of Melanie Rose to elucidate this increasingly popular game for every beginning hockey aficionado. Highlighting rules, players, coaches, teams, and the history of the game, it is both fun and educational.For more information on this title click here!
When Pigs Fly by Valerie Coulman; Rogé Girard (Illustrator)Ralph's father tells him he can have a new bicycle "when pigs fly." Instead of giving up, our optimistic and resourceful hero cheerfully tries to get his curly-tailed pals airborne. This Canadian bestseller was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for Illustration.