Good reads

Superheroes, the missing CN Tower and the Elephant King – along with a few fart jokes thrown in for good measure – make great summer reading for cottagers of all ages.

by Gale Beeby

Superheroes are Everywhere
Written by Kamala Harris
Illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe

Before Kamala Harris was elected vice president of the United States, she was a little girl who loved superheroes. And when she looked around, she was amazed to find them everywhere! In her family, among her friends, even down the street – there were superheroes wherever she looked. And those superheroes showed her that all you need to do to be a superhero is to be the best that you can be.

In this empowering and joyful picture book that speaks directly to kids, Harris takes readers through her life and shows them that the power to make the world a better place is inside all of us. And with fun and engaging art by Mechal Renee Roe, as well as a guide to being a superhero at the end, this book is sure to have kids taking up the superhero mantle (cape and mask optional).

The CN Tower is Missing!
Written and illustrated by Melissa Martin

This is a cute little story about two boys (the author’s nephews, actually) who are very excited to visit Toronto and see the CN Tower for the first time, only to find that it’s missing when they get there! They then head off on an around-the world adventure in search of the missing CN Tower.

Fearless
Written by Mandy Gonzalez

Monica Garcia has arrived in New York City with her grandmother and a few suitcases to live her dream on Broadway. She’s been chosen as understudy to the star of Our Time. Along with her fellow castmates – the squad – Monica has a big and very personal reason to want this show to succeed. But rumors of a long-running curse plague the theater and when strange and terrible things start to threaten their hopes for a successful opening night, Monica and the rest of the squad must figure out how to reverse the curse before their big Broadway debut.

Happy to be Nappy
Written by Bell Hooks
Illustrated by Chris Raschka

The ground-breaking picture book celebrates hair that is twisty and curly. “Happy with hair all short and strong. Happy with locks that twist and curl. Just all girl happy! Happy to be nappy hair!” Nominated for an NAACP Image Award, Happy to be Nappy is a buoyantly fun read brimming with playful – and powerful – affirmations. Bell Hooks has written several children’s books including Be Boy Buzz and Skin Again.

The Water Walker
Written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson

The story of determined Ojibwe Grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (water). Nokomis walks to raise awareness of our need to protect Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet. She, along with other women, men, and youth, have walked around all the Great Lakes from the four salt waters, or oceans, to Lake Superior. The walks are full of challenges, and by her example Josephine invites us all to take up our responsibility to protect our water, the giver of life, and to protect our planet for all generations.

F is for Fart
Written and illustrated by J. Heitsch,
Mr. Smelt It and Mrs. Dealt It

This is a book about farts. Yes, farts. It’s also about ABCs, rhymes, and animals, but it’s mostly about farts and making you and your loved ones laugh about farts. Each letter stands for an animal and is accompanied by a rhyme, which are all short and stinky – much like farts are stinky. We think this book stinks in all the right ways.

The Story of Babar
Written and illustrated by Jean De Brunhoff

This is the classic story of literature’s most beloved elephant and one of my favourites. The Story of Babar is essentially the tale of a country boy who comes to the city and, while there, comes of age. After he is orphaned, Babar avoids capture by escaping to the city, where he is befriended by the kindly Old Lady. Later, with cousins Celeste and Arthur, he returns to the great forest to be crowned King of the Elephants. The first Babar story has enchanted generations.