New Releases from Groundwood this May

You won’t need to wait very long for this month’s new releases! We have two new juvenile fiction novels for YA fans, and two beautifully illustrated picture books coming out May 1st.


Flannery by Lisa MooreFlannery
by Lisa Moore
Available: May 1

Sixteen-year-old Flannery Malone has it bad. She’s been in love with Tyrone O’Rourke since the days she still believed in Santa Claus. But Tyrone has grown from a dorky kid into an outlaw graffiti artist, the rebel-with-a-cause of Flannery’s dreams, literally too cool for school.

Which is a problem, since he and Flannery are partners for the entrepreneurship class that she needs to graduate. And Tyrone’s vanishing act may have darker causes than she realizes.

Tyrone isn’t Flannery’s only problem. Her mother, Miranda, can’t pay the heating bills, let alone buy Flannery’s biology book. Her little brother, Felix, is careening out of control. And her best-friend-since-forever, Amber, has fallen for a guy who is making her forget all about the things she’s always cared most about — Flannery included — leading Amber down a dark and dangerous path of her own.

When Flannery decides to make a love potion for her entrepreneurship project, rumors that it actually works go viral, and she suddenly has a hot commodity on her hands. But a series of shattering events makes her realize that real-life love is far more potent — and potentially damaging — than any fairy-tale prescription.


Pinny in Summer by Joanne Schwartz

Pinny in Summer
by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Available: May 1

This engaging story, told in chapter-like episodes, follows Pinny on a long, lazy summer day. As sunshine turns to rain and back to sun again, Pinny searches for a wishing rock, watches clouds, picks wild blueberries, feeds a seagull, and bakes a cake to share with her friends.

An ideal book for children beginning to make the jump to independent reading, Pinny in Summerdemonstrates the joy young people find in nature and an unstructured life. Pinny is allowed to explore her world freely, and her small setbacks and triumphs will be familiar to every child.

With charming illustrations by Isabelle Malenfant and a spare, poetic text from author Joanne Schwartz, Pinny in Summer is a bright and inviting picture book that captures all the delight of a perfect summer day.


The Stone Thrower by Jael Richardson

The Stone Thrower
by Jael Ealey Richardson, illustrated by Matt James
Available: May 1

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.


A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

A Small Madness
by Dianne Touchell
Available: May 1

Rose and Michael are good students with bright futures. They are also in love. But when Rose gets pregnant, her behavior becomes increasingly strange as she pulls away from her best friend, and from Michael, while she struggles to cope with her predicament.

Rose cannot admit that she is pregnant (“If I say it, it will come to be true.”). She moves from denial to ineptly trying to terminate her pregnancy, to believing that she has miscarried, while deep inside, she is on a mental and emotional downward spiral. Meanwhile, Michael, in his confusion, desperation to help and fear of the wrath of his controlling father, sinks into his own kind of small madness.

Inspired by the story of two teens in the US who were arrested for hiding the girl’s pregnancy and later disposing of the baby, Touchell says, “When I saw them on TV I was amazed to see they looked like normal kids. They were from good families; they just looked destroyed. . . . I thought, there’s more than one victim here; what went on with these kids and why did they think they had no one to go to?”

 

New Releases from Groundwood this April

It may be April Fool’s day, but this is no joke. There are several titles coming out this month, all with fun illustrations and beautiful stories.


Super Duper Monster Viewer by Kevin SylvesterSuper Duper Monster Viewer
written and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
Available: April 1

Imagine that you are holding a device that will allow you to see the monsters that live invisibly all around us. All you have to do is follow the simple instructions and . . . total chaos!

Technology isn’t always easy, and this monster viewer disguised as a book is no exception. If you hold the viewer too high, all you see are the tops of the monsters’ heads. Too low, and all you see are their feet. And things don’t get any better when the monsters themselves try to help out.

Full of puns and visual jokes, Super-Duper Monster Viewer pokes gentle fun at our obsession with technology and the next cool thing.

 


Happy Birthday, Alice Babette by Monica Kulling

Happy Birthday, Alice Babette
by Monica Kulling, illustrated by Qin Leng
Available: April 1

It’s Alice’s birthday! But her friend Gertrude seems to have forgotten. No matter, Alice goes out and enjoys her day just the same. A beautiful spring afternoon in Paris — what could be better? Little does she know that her dear friend has a few surprises up her sleeve.

Inspired by the lives of artist Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Monica Kulling’s warm and whimsical narration is perfectly balanced by Qin Leng’s bright and energetic illustrations. This is a sweetly joyful story of love, friendship and creative inspiration.


My Book of Birds by Geraldo Valério

My Book of Birds
written and illustrated by Geraldo Valério
Available: April 5

Geraldo Valério is an artist who loves birds, from majestic Golden Eagles and Snowy Owls to brilliant cardinals and jays to the tiniest of hummingbirds. Here he presents his favorites, with beautiful collage illustrations and brief descriptions that highlight intriguing facts about each one.

The illustrations show a variety of feathered creatures in their natural habitats as they hunt for food, impress their mates, nest, and care for their young. The concise, accessible text provides information ranging from clever techniques for finding food to remarkable physical features to fascinating behaviors. But above all, Geraldo Valério shares his passion for birds in this lovingly created album, inspiring young readers with their beauty and the excitement of discovery.

Includes an introduction, glossary, index and sources for further information.


Go Home Bay by Susan Vande Griek

Go Home Bay
by Susan Vande Griek, illustrated by Pascal Milelli
Available: April 5

In 1914, Tom Thomson spent the summer at a family cottage on Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay, where he taught the ten-year-old daughter, Helen, how to paint. Author Susan Vande Griek and illustrator Pascal Milelli have imagined this time through Helen’s eyes, providing an intriguing glimpse into the famous painter’s life.

The story, told in lyrical free verse, has a quiet charm, while the illustrations capture the natural beauty that inspired some of Thomson’s most memorable paintings.

An author’s note provides more information about Tom Thomson’s life.


Kabungo by Rolli

Kabungo
by Rolli, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic
Available: April 5

Ten-year-old Beverly is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary best friend. Her name is Kabungo, and she lives in a cave on Main Street. No one knows where she comes from or who she really is, but life is never dull when Kabungo is around.

Beverly tries to teach her friend about the ways of the modern world — the importance of teeth brushing, understanding strange holidays like Halloween, learning how to read. But Kabungo doesn’t take well to being civilized, and she can be stubborn, bossy, and plain infuriating. Sometimes Beverly gets so mad that she just wants to move to Cincinnati.

Then, just when you least expect it, Kabungo will do something surprising (and when you’re best friends with a cavegirl, you’re not easily surprised).

New Releases from Groundwood this March

We made it! It’s finally time to celebrate some new books, and we’ve got quite the selection this March; familiar faces, many new, and a couple favourites reissued in paperback.


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Buddy and Earl Go Exploring
by Marueen Fergus, illustrated by Carey Sookocheff
Available: March 1

Buddy and Earl are safely tucked in for the night; Buddy on his blanket and Earl in his cage. But just as Buddy settles in for a nice, long sleep, Earl says it’s time to say “Bon voyage.”

Soon these mismatched pals are at it again, exploring the wilds of the kitchen and defending a lovely lady hedgehog — who may or may not be Mom’s hairbrush — from imminent danger. When they’ve finally vanquished the greatest monster of all — the vacuum cleaner — it’s time for some well-earned shut-eye.

This second book in the Buddy and Earl series reunites this odd and loveable animal couple: a dog who likes to play by the rules and a hedgehog who knows no limits.


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Malaika’s Costume
by Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher
Available: March 1

It’s Carnival time. The first Carnival since Malaika’s mother moved to Canada to find a good job and provide for Malaika and her grandmother. Her mother promised she would send money for a costume, but when the money doesn’t arrive, will Malaika still be able to dance in the parade?

Disappointed and upset at her grandmother’s hand-me-down costume, Malaika leaves the house, running into Ms. Chin, the tailor, who offers Malaika a bag of scrap fabric. With her grandmother’s help, Malaika creates a patchwork rainbow peacock costume, and dances proudly in the parade.

A heartwarming story about family, community and the celebration of Carnival, Nadia Hohn’s warm and colloquial language and Irene Luxbacher’s vibrant collage-style illustrations make this a strikingly original picture book.


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Tokyo Digs a Garden
by Jon-Erik Lappano & Kellen Hatanaka
Available: March 1

Tokyo lives in a small house between giant buildings with his family and his cat, Kevin. For years, highways and skyscrapers have been built up around the family’s house where once there were hills and trees. Will they ever experience the natural world again?

One day, an old woman offers Tokyo seeds, telling him they will grow into whatever he wishes. Tokyo and his grandfather are astonished when the seeds grow into a forest so lush that it takes over the entire city overnight. Soon the whole city has gone wild, with animals roaming where cars once drove. But is this a problem to be surmounted, or a new way of living to be embraced?

With Tokyo Digs a Garden, Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka have created a thoughtful and inspiring fable of environmentalism and imagination.


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The White Cat and the Monk
by Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Sydney Smith
Available: March 1

A monk leads a simple life. He studies his books late into the evening and searches for truth in their pages. His cat, Pangur, leads a simple life, too, chasing prey in the darkness. As night turns to dawn, Pangur leads his companion to the truth he has been seeking.

The White Cat and the Monk is a retelling of the classic Old Irish poem “Pangur Bán.” With Jo Ellen Bogart’s simple and elegant narration and Sydney’s Smith’s classically inspired images, this contemplative story pays tribute to the wisdom of animals and the wonders of the natural world.


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Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding
by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Fernando Vilela
Paperback Reissue
Available: March 1

Now available in paperback, Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding is the second title of Jorge Argueta’s popular bilingual Cooking Poems series, celebrating the joys of preparing, eating and sharing food.

From sprinkling the rice into the pot, to adding a waterfall of milk, cinnamon sticks, salt stars and sugar snow, Jorge Argueta’s recipe is not only easy to follow, it is a poetic experience. The lively illustrations by Fernando Vilela feature an enthusiastic young cook who finds no end of joy in making and then slurping up the rice pudding with his family.

As in all the titles in this series, Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding conveys the pleasure of making something delicious to eat for people you really love. A great book for families to enjoy together.


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Guacamole
by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Margarita Sada
Paperback Reissue
Available: March 1

Following on the success of Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup and Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding is Jorge Argueta’s third book in his bilingual cooking poem series — Guacamole — with very cute, imaginative illustrations by Margarita Sada.

Guacamole originated in Mexico with the Aztecs and has long been popular in North America, especially in recent years due to the many health benefits of avocados. This version of the recipe is easy to make, calling for just avocados, limes, cilantro and salt. A little girl dons her apron, singing and dancing around the kitchen as she shows us what to do. Poet Jorge Argueta sees beauty, magic and fun in everything around him — avocados are like green precious stones, salt falls like rain, cilantro looks like a little tree and the spoon that scoops the avocado from its skin is like a tractor.

As in the previous cooking poems, Guacamole conveys the pleasure of making something delicious and healthy to eat for people you really love. A great book for families to enjoy together.


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Outside In
by Sarah Ellis
Paperback Reissue
Available: March 1

Lynn’s life is full — choir practice, school, shopping for the perfect jeans, and dealing with her free-spirited mother. Then one day her life is saved by a mysterious girl named Blossom, who introduces Lynn to her own world and family — both more bizarre, yet somehow more sane, than Lynn’s own.

Blossom’s family is a small band of outcasts and eccentrics who live secretly in an ingenious bunker beneath a city reservoir. The Underlanders forage and trade for the things they need (“Is it useful or lovely?”), living off the things “Citizens” throw away. Lynn is enchanted and amazed. But when she inadvertently reveals their secret, she is forced to take measure of her own motives and lifestyle, as she figures out what it really means to be a family, and a friend.

Classic Sarah Ellis, this novel is smart, rich, engaging and insightful.

Look what’s here: Until the Day Arrives!

Until the Day Arrives is a fast-moving middle-grade novel set in the seventeenth century about two Portuguese orphans who are sent to Brazil where they encounter slaves from Africa. Together with their new friend, an aboriginal boy, they work towards reuniting the slaves with their families and helping them escape to freedom.

The novel opens when Bento is wrongly thrown into Lisbon’s prison by the king’s guards, leaving his younger sibling, Manu, to fend for himself. Fortunately, a nobleman’s family helps to reunite the siblings — although they will have to lead a life of exile in Brazil. They keep secret the fact that Manu is a girl in disguise so that she will be able to accompany her brother aboard ship.

The story shifts to the African savannah, where a young boy, Odjigi, is hunting gazelle with his father and other men. But the hunters soon become the hunted — they are kidnapped by slave traders, as are the women and children of the village, marched to the sea, shut up in dark, airless huts to prepare for the voyage across the Atlantic, and then undergo the horrifying trip itself.

In Brazil, the siblings quickly adapt to their new lives, but they are shocked by the existence and treatment of African slaves. Manu befriends an aboriginal boy, Caiubi, and a slave, Didi, who has been separated from his father. Meanwhile Bento falls in love with Rosa, a beautiful young slave who is also searching for her family. When Manu learns from Caiubi that escaped slaves have formed quilombos — villages hidden deep in the forest where they live in freedom — she is determined that they must help Didi and Rosa escape.

 

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