Bear’s Honey Ginger Cookies Recipe by Deborah Hodge

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some nice homemade cookies, right? And why would you want to wait for the September 1st release of Bear’s Winter Party to make a batch of Bear’s Honey Ginger Cookies? Luckily for you, we have the recipe by Deborah Hodge available a little early.

Bear's Winter Recipe Preview

 

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Bear's Winter Party by Deborah HodgeAbout Bear’s Winter Party
Bear loves his forest home, but sometimes he gets lonely. It’s hard being the biggest animal around. As the days grow shorter and autumn turns to winter, Bear springs into action and comes up with a festive plan to make friends with all the other forest creatures.

Bear makes invitations for all the other forest animals, inviting them to a winter party in his den. He decorates his home and lights a roaring fire, and bakes delicious treats for the creatures he hopes will soon become his friends. But as the night grows dark, Bear worries that his forest neighbors may be too frightened to come. Just when he is about to give up hope, Bear spots Deer peeking out from behind a tree…

Written by award-winning author Deborah Hodge, Bear’s Winter Party is brought to life with exuberant illustrations by Lisa Cinar. Together they have created a story that is at once timeless, tender and true.

Free eBook Preview: A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy

A Boy Named Queen eBook Preview In honour of pride month, we have a free eBook Preview for A Boy Named Queen, the latest novel from Sara Cassidy, available for download.

About A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy

Evelyn is both aghast and fascinated when a new boy comes to grade five and tells everyone his name is Queen. Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club. His father plays weird loud music and has tattoos.

How will the class react? How will Evelyn?

Evelyn is an only child with a strict routine and an even stricter mother. And yet in her quiet way she notices things. She takes particular notice of this boy named Queen. The way the bullies don’t seem to faze him. The way he seems to live by his own rules. When it turns out that they take the same route home from school, Evelyn and Queen become friends, almost against Evelyn’s better judgment. She even finds Queen irritating at times. Why doesn’t he just shut up and stop attracting so much attention to himself?

Yet he is the most interesting person she has ever met. So when she receives a last-minute invitation to his birthday party, she knows she must somehow persuade her mother to let her go, even if it means ignoring the No Gifts request and shopping for what her mother considers to be an appropriate gift, appropriately wrapped with “boy” wrapping paper.

Her visit to Queen’s house opens Evelyn’s eyes to a whole new world, including an unconventional goody bag (leftover potato latkes wrapped in waxed paper and a pair of barely used red sneakers). And when it comes time for her to take something to school for Hype and Share, Evelyn suddenly looks at her chosen offering — her mother’s antique cream jug — and sees new and marvelous possibilities.

A Boy Named Queen is forthcoming from Groundwood Books on August 1st, 2016.

Download a Free Preview of A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy (ePub)

Download a Free Preview of A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy (MOBI)

Celebrate Pride with Morris Micklewhite

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress is a story about the courage it can take to be yourself, and it is a celebration of the joy that comes from being exactly who you want to be. If you haven’t already shared this picture book with a child in your life, then Pride Month is the perfect time to pick it up.


Reviews

 “Baldacchino treats the tricky and controversial subject of expected gender behaviors and bullying with care and compassion, employing language and tone that avoid histrionics or preaching.” – Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

 “The message here – that it is not only okay but important to be yourself, and to support others in doing likewise – is of great significance.” – Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

“Baldacchino’s gentle story sensitively depicts gender nonconforming children, offering them reassurance and, one hopes, acceptance by introducing other children to the concept.” – Booklist

Excerpt

Morris likes lots of things about school. He likes to paint. He likes to do puzzles. He likes the apple juice at snack time and singing the loudest during circle time.

Most of all, Morris likes the dress-up center.
And the tangerine dress.
Morris likes the color of the dress.
It reminds him of tigers, the sun and his mother’s hair.

He likes the noises the dress makes — swish, swish, swish when he walks and crinkle, crinkle, crinkle when he sits down. He takes turns wearing all the different shoes but his favorite ones go click, click, click across the floor.

Illustrations

Morris Micklewhite

 

Morris Micklewhite


Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine DressAbout Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. He dreams about having space adventures, paints beautiful pictures and sings the loudest during circle time. But most of all, Morris loves his classroom’s dress-up center — he loves wearing the tangerine dress.

But the children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn’t welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don’t wear dresses.

One day when Morris feels all alone, and sick from the taunts of his classmates, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris reads about elephants, and puts together a puzzle, and dreams of a fantastic space adventure with his cat, Moo.

Inspired by his dream, Morris paints the incredible scene he saw, and brings it with him to school. He builds his own spaceship, hangs his painting on the front of it and takes two of his classmates on an outer space adventure.

With warm, dreamy illustrations, Isabelle Malenfant perfectly captures Morris’s vulnerability and the vibrancy of his imagination. This is a sweetly told story about the courage and creativity it takes to be different.

Memories of a CFL Legend — Guest Post By Jael Ealey Richardson

Chuck Ealey - Hamilton Tiger CatsI remember walking into the stadium at Ivor Wynne with my father a few years ago for a game. I was a grown adult at the time, but I still felt like a child.

Whenever I go places with my father, I feel this way. I feel like I’m in pigtails with bows on the end, holding onto his hand – those long slender fingers. I feel uncertain, unsteady. Even now, after I’ve written two books about him.

Perhaps I feel this way because there is still so much I don’t understand, so much I still can’t relate to. Or perhaps it’s because the fondness I feel for him is not well suited to a grown adult relationship. I still adore him in a way that only a small-framed child with a towering father can. I still look up to him from a distance far greater than the height that now differentiates us.

It was a perfect day for football – cold enough that the spirit of fall was on its way, but warm enough to enjoy the full breadth of the day without worrying about frigid toes and fingers. My father led the way the same way he always does, with the confidence of someone who knows where he’s going, who’s certain others will follow without having to look back for reassurance.

We stepped out into the stands, bright sun on our faces, the gold and black of Hamilton Tiger Cats fandom all around us. For a moment, we were ordinary. A father and a daughter at a football game. And then it happened.

“Chuck Ealey!”

One person called out, and that is all it takes in Hamilton – one shout, one name recognition. Grown men stood up and introduced my father to their family members. Big grins, hearty handshakes. Little boys and girls climbed over benches and clambered down concrete steps with papers and pens to get his autograph.

It was clear they did not know who he was – he had led the Ticats to the Grey Cup at that very stadium more than forty years ago. But they didn’t come to get my father’s autograph because they recognized him. They came because they knew – because someone told them or because they felt it – that my father was someone worth speaking to, someone worth keeping a record of.

Chuck Ealey and Jael Ealey Richardson


The Stone Thrower by Jael Ealey Richardson

The African-American football player Chuck Ealey grew up in a segregated neighborhood of Portsmouth, Ohio. Against all odds, he became an incredible quarterback. But despite his unbeaten record in high school and university, he would never play professional football in the United States.

Chuck Ealey grew up poor in a racially segregated community that was divided from the rest of town by a set of train tracks, but his mother assured him that he wouldn’t stay in Portsmouth forever. Education was the way out, and a football scholarship was the way to pay for that education. So despite the racist taunts he faced at all the games he played in high school, Chuck maintained a remarkable level of dedication and determination. And when discrimination followed him to university and beyond, Chuck Ealey remained undefeated.

This inspirational story is told by Chuck Ealey’s daughter, author and educator Jael Richardson, with striking and powerful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Matt James.

Looks Like Daylight

For National Aboriginal History Month we’ll be dedicating our June posts to Aboriginal titles published by Groundwood Books.

We’ve reached National Aboriginal Day! Here at Groundwood, we feel the perfect way to celebrate is by hearing from Indigenous kids themselves. Author and activist Deborah Ellis travelled across the continent, interviewing and gathering stories that we’ve included here. Plus, all royalties from the sale of Looks Like Daylight go to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.


Looks like DaylightI go to a Sun Dance. They have this circle. On the first day, you feast and dance. On the second day, you do a fruit and vegetable feast — that’s all — and you dance. The third day is a fast. On the fourth day, we dance until noon. Then we take the circle apart and take down the tree of life and take down our tents. Then we eat. It makes me feel good because this year I actually completed it. On the second day it was really hard. The weather was hot and I felt like quitting. But I found the strength to keep going and I completed it. I like who I am and where I’m from. It’s special.
— Tyrone, 13

Looks Like DaylightEven white people who know I’m Native can sometimes act like jerks. They’ll say, “Heading home to your teepee?” or go “Woo-woo-woo-woo!” and pound their hands to their lips, doing some lame Hollywood version of a war dance. Others ask me questions and they’re respectful. You can tell when people really want to know something in order to get to know you better. But some questions go too far. Like, because I’m Ojibwe they think I was born on some sort of different spiritual plane or something.
— Brittany, l7

Looks Like DaylightMy chenai [grandfather] and my nana and others ran away from the residential school they were put into. Some of the older generation, like my great-grandparents, looked at the residential school as a good thing, but the schools weren’t as bad for their generation. For my nana and chenai it was a whole lot of abuse. They were treated really badly.
My mother says there is no way to make up for the crimes of the past. There’s only forward.
— Cohen, 14
 

Looks Like DaylightI live just over the hill from where the Wounded Knee massacre took place, over by Wounded Knee Creek. For white kids it’s just something in a history book. For me it’s my family. It’s my ground that they bled on. It’s personal.
— Destiny, 15
 
 
 
 


Looks Like Daylight by Deborah EllisAbout Looks Like Daylight
After her critically acclaimed books of interviews with Afghan, Iraqi, Israeli and Palestinian children, Deborah Ellis turns her attention closer to home. For two years she traveled across the United States and Canada interviewing Native children. The result is a compelling collection of interviews with children aged nine to eighteen. They come from all over the continent, from Iqaluit to Texas, Haida Gwaai to North Carolina, and their stories run the gamut — some heartbreaking; many others full of pride and hope.

You’ll meet Tingo, who has spent most of his young life living in foster homes and motels, and is now thriving after becoming involved with a Native Friendship Center; Myleka and Tulane, young artists in Utah; Eagleson, who started drinking at age twelve but now continues his family tradition working as a carver in Seattle; Nena, whose Seminole ancestors remained behind in Florida during the Indian Removals, and who is heading to New Mexico as winner of her local science fair; Isabella, who defines herself more as Native than American; Destiny, with a family history of alcoholism and suicide, who is now a writer and powwow dancer.

Many of these children are living with the legacy of the residential schools; many have lived through the cycle of foster care. Many others have found something in their roots that sustains them, have found their place in the arts, the sciences, athletics. Like all kids, they want to find something that engages them; something they love.

Deborah briefly introduces each child and then steps back, letting the kids speak directly to the reader, talking about their daily lives, about the things that interest them, and about how being Native has affected who they are and how they see the world.

As one reviewer has pointed out, Deborah Ellis gives children a voice that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to express so readily in the mainstream media. The voices in this book are as frank and varied as the children themselves.

Happy First Day of Summer!

Ahh, summer. Weekends at the cottage, campfires, swimming… there is just so much to do! Why not spend it reading This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki? Today, on this beautiful first day of summer, we have some illustrations to get you excited for the warm days to come.

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
 


 This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki About This One Summer
Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. From the creators of Skim comes an investigation into the mysterious world of adults.

Sure, Rose’s dad is still making cheesy and embarrassing jokes, but her mother is acting like she doesn’t even want to be there. Plus, being at the cottage isn’t just about going to the beach anymore. Now Rose and Windy are spending a lot of their time renting scary movies and spying on the teenagers who work at the corner store, as well as learning stuff about sex no one mentioned in health class.

Pretty soon everything is messed up. Rose’s father leaves the cottage and returns to the city, and her mother becomes more and more withdrawn. While her family is falling to pieces, Rose focuses her attention on Dunc, a teenager working at the local corner store. When Jenny, Dunc’s girlfriend, claims to be pregnant, the girls realize that the teenagers are keeping just as many secrets as the adults in their lives.

No one seems to want to talk about the things that matter. When the tension between Dunc and Jenny boils over, Jenny makes a desperate and destructive move and Rose’s mother is galvanized into action. In the aftermath, nothing is completely resolved, but secrets have been aired, which means that things are at least a bit better for everyone. For Rose and Windy, the end of summer brings the realization that, while Awago Beach might always be the same, they have both been changed forever.

From Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, creators of the multi-award-winning graphic novel Skim, comes a stunning and authentic story of friendship, illustrated with subtly heart-breaking moments and pure summer joy.

Learn More About Inuit Culture

For National Aboriginal History Month we’ll be dedicating our June posts to Aboriginal titles published by Groundwood Books.

Raquel Rivera’s two books about Inuit culture include an educational resource and a novel. Arctic Adventures features biographies and stories, with pictures and descriptions of four Inuit artists she interviewed herself. Below you can read an excerpt from her novel Tuk and the Whale, set on the eastern coast of Baffin Island.

tukandthewhale

Grandfather suddenly stopped working.
He had been drilling holes through a flat piece of driftwood. Wood was a rare find. This piece would fill another gap between the sled runners of the family’s kamotiq.
Now he sat perfectly still. His bow-drill stopped spinning.
Tuk watched while Grandfather slowly leaned back on his heels. Did the old man hear something? Tuk strained his ears. All he could hear was the whump-whump of a raven’s wings beating at the wind.
“They are here,” said Grandfather. He went back to work, spinning the drill shaft deeper into the wood.
Tuk’s eyes widened.
They are here! Just the way Grandfather had dreamed. Tuk had to see this. He jumped up and ran toward the beach, stumbling over the snow-covered rocks.
“Sure, go,” Grandfather said to the air. “He’s young. He gets excited.”
Tuk climbed the crest that protected their camp from the wind. He reached the top and looked out over the bay.
There was the beach, cleared of snow by strong winds off the water. The sea ice stretched into the bay. It broke up into floes at the far edge.
Nothing unusual to see here. He waited a moment. Grandfather was hardly ever wrong.
There it was!
It looked like two great narwhal horns rising from the water, piercing straight through the sky. Tuk squinted against the glare that bounced off the ice. Those flapping white skins must be the “sails” Grandfather had mentioned. He said they could be turned to catch the wind, or turned away when the wind was too fierce.
Next into view came the great hull. It was the biggest boat Tuk had ever seen. What kind of creatures would travel in such a large boat? They must be giants!
Tuk felt a chill.
“Mother!” he called, even though he knew she couldn’t hear him. He turned and ran all the way back to camp.
Mother was outside the snowhouse. She was chewing on a scraped sealskin, making it soft enough to sew.
“Mother, when is Father coming back?” Tuk gasped as he reached her side.
“The light is still strong,” she replied. “He may return today.”
“Because the boat is coming! The boat that Grandfather dreamed about! I can see it already. Tomorrow it will be here!”


Arctic Adventures by Raquel RiveraAbout Arctic Adventures
The land, hunting, hunger, magic and extreme weather are themes that resonate for Inuit who live in the Far North. These stories, drawn from the lives of four Inuit artists, offer young readers a glimpse into this rich, remote culture, past and present. Accompanying each story are illustrations by Jirina Marton, who has spent time in the Arctic and whose deep appreciation for its subtle beauty shines through her art. In addition to the stories, there is a feature spread on each artist with a photograph, a brief biography and a reproduction of one of the artist’s works.

Tuk and the Whale by Raquel RiveraAbout Tuk and the Whale
This story is set on the eastern coast of Baffin Island in the early decades of the 1600s. Told from the point of view of a young Inuit boy, Tuk, it imagines what might have happened if the people of Tuk’s Baffin Island winter camp had encountered European whalers, blown far north from their usual whaling route. Both the Inuit hunters and the whalers prize the bowhead whale, but for very different reasons. Together, they set out on a hunt, though they are all on new and uncertain ground.

Scrupulously researched, this beautifully told story will inspire extremely topical discussion about communication between two groups of people with entirely different world views; and about a productive partnership that also foreshadows serious problems to come.

Coyote Columbus — National Aboriginal History Month

For National Aboriginal History Month we’ll be dedicating our June posts to Aboriginal titles published by Groundwood Books.

Thomas King, author of the Coyote Columbus books, is of Cherokee and Greek descent. Coyote Columbus is King’s way of retelling the Christopher Columbus story from a Native point of view. Here are a few illustrations from A Coyote Columbus Story, illustrated by William Kent Monkman, and A Coyote Solstice Tale, illustrated by Gary Clement.

A Coyote Columbus Story by Thomas King

A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King

A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas king


A Coyote Columbus Story by Thomas KingAbout A Coyote Columbus Story
A retelling of the Christopher Columbus story from a Native point of view turns this tale on its ear! Coyote, the trickster, creates the world and all the creatures in it. She is able to control all events to her advantage until a funny-looking red-haired man named Columbus changes her plans. He is unimpressed by the wealth of moose, turtles and beavers in Coyote’s land. Instead he is interested in the human beings he can take to sell in Spain.

Thomas King uses a bag of literary tricks to shatter the stereotypes surrounding Columbus’s voyages. In doing so, he invites children to laugh with him at the crazy antics of Coyote, who unwittingly allows Columbus to bring about the downfall of his human friends. And he makes the point that history is influenced by the culture of the reporter.

Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King About A Coyote Solstice Tale
Trickster Coyote is having his friends over for a festive solstice get-together in the woods when a little girl comes by unexpectedly. She leads the party-goers through the snowy woods to a shopping mall — a place they have never seen before.

Coyote gleefully shops with abandon, only to discover that filling your shopping cart with goodies is not quite the same thing as actually paying for them. The trickster is tricked and goes back to his cabin in the woods — somewhat subdued — though nothing can keep Coyote down for long.

Award Winning Aboriginal Titles

For National Aboriginal History Month we’ll be dedicating our June posts to Aboriginal titles published by Groundwood Books.

Nicola I. Campbell is Interior Salish and Métis, and author of two award-winning Groundwood titles. Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi’s Canoe tell the tale of a pair of siblings who are going to a residential school for the first time. Here are a few illustrations created by Kim Lafave from the books.

Shi-shi-etko

shi2

Shin1


Shi-shi-Etko Cover About Shi-shi-etko
In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school.

She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world — the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather’s paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember. And so Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers her memories for safekeeping.

Richly hued illustrations complement this gently moving and poetic account of a child who finds solace all around her, even though she is on the verge of great loss — a loss that native people have endured for generations because of the residential schools system.

Shin-chi's Canoe CoverAbout Shin-chi’s Canoe
This moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children’s experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too.

As they begin their journey in the back of a cattle truck, Shi-shi-etko tells her brother all the things he must remember: the trees, the mountains, the rivers and the salmon. Shin-chi knows he won’t see his family again until the sockeye salmon return in the summertime. When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko gives him a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from their father.

The children’s time is filled with going to mass, school for half the day, and work the other half. The girls cook, clean and sew, while the boys work in the fields, in the woodshop and at the forge. Shin-chi is forever hungry and lonely, but, finally, the salmon swim up the river and the children return home for a joyful family reunion.

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