Page turners

These great reads will have your little ones claiming bookworm status

All photos courtesy Simon and Schuster Canada

Everybody loves a good book. Curl up with one of these with someone you love.

Sleep, My Baby is a book by the late Dr. Lena Allen-Shore, a world-renowned author, Holocaust survivor, musician, and advocate for peace and love. 

This extended version of the original, written by Ottawa’s Dr. Allen-Shore and her son Jacques, celebrates mothers all over the world and shares the universal messaging of hope, peace, and love as children are gently lulled to sleep knowing they are safe and sound, and protected from harm.

Dr. Allen-Shore’s lullaby is beautifully illustrated, perfect for children in a world today when we so desperately need a little more sleep and a little more love for our fellow neighbour. Underscored with kindness and compassion, “Sleep, My Baby” was released in April 2021. It draws the reader into an open-armed embrace, and is perfect for a world in the throws of a pandemic. 

The author is also widely known for her ability to reach out across religious divides. She penned a book titled “Building Bridges,” based on her 25-year friendship with Pope John Paul II, with whom she spent five days during his historic visit to Jerusalem in 2000 and to Assisi in 2002. 

It’s “a perfect first book for today’s mothers and fathers to read to their children,” said Charlotte Teeple, former executive director of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

“I’m Sorry,” released in late August, is the fourth book in a series from New York Times bestselling author Michael Ian Black and celebrated illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi. In the book, a flamingo and a very sorry potato learn how to mend hurt feelings. Flamingo is upset. Very upset. Potato is sorry. Very sorry. In fact, he is the sorriest. But he doesn’t know how to tell Flamingo. He would rather run away to the South Pole and live with penguins. He’d rather wear a disguise for the rest of time. But will that be enough to fix their friendship? “I’m Sorry” is suitable for children ages 4 to 8. Follow Black on Twitter @michaelianblack.

Vampenguin,” by Lucy Ruth Cummins, the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of “A Hungry Lion and Stumpkin,” is a charming, wryly humorous story of adventure, mistaken identity, and a vampire family’s day at the zoo. On a Saturday morning, baby Dracula visits the zoo with his family, where baby Penguin lives with hers. But these intrepid young adventurers are not content with staying in their proper places. Instead, baby Dracula slips into the penguin house to spend the day eating, swimming, and hanging around, while baby Penguin waddles into the stroller to explore the rest of the zoo. Observant and adventurous young readers will love this tale of the shenanigans that happen when parents’ backs are turned. Follow Cummins @LucyRuth. Another wonderful read for children aged 4 to 8.

“Cranky Chicken” by critically acclaimed Ottawa children’s author and illustrator Katherine Battersby is a heartwarming, brightly illustrated, and downright hilarious chapter book about what happens when a very cranky chicken is befriended by a very cheerful worm. Cranky Chicken is, well, cranky, with one cranky eyebrow, cranky eyes, and even cranky, scratchy feet. One day, Cranky meets a very friendly worm named Speedy who wants nothing more than to be friends. Young readers will love seeing the mismatched friendship grow over the course of three charming and laugh-out-loud short adventures as Chicken and Speedy become BFFs (Best Feathered Friends) and Speedy shows Chicken how to look on the bright side. Cranky Chicken is scheduled for release in Sept. 2021. Follow Katherine Battersby on Twitter @KathBatt. Cranky Chicken is suitable for children in Grades 1-4.