Some Things I've Lost
       
     
The Queen's Shadow
       
     
Nancy Knows
       
     
Out the Window
       
     
Ten Birds
       
     
Ten Birds Meet a Monster
       
     
A Few Blocks
       
     
A Few Bites
       
     
Some Things I've Lost
       
     
Some Things I've Lost

September 2015  

Booklist Best Book of 2015 ✪ Boston Globe Best Book of 2015 ✪ Kirkus ✪ Publishers Weekly ✪ Booklist

A wallet, a set of keys, a pair of glasses  these are some of the household objects that disappear and are fantastically reconstituted in Cybèle Young’s inventive new picture book. Minimal text conveys the magic of a world where even inanimate objects are constantly undergoing a process of growth, transformation and change.

An introduction describing the frustration we feel when we lose something is followed by a catalogue of misplaced objects. Each item is shown first in its original form and then, through a series of gatefold spreads, is shown in the process of transforming into a marvelous and mysterious sea creature. At the very end of the book, we see these transformed objects in their new, watery habitat, a conclusion which will leave readers astonished by the distance they  like the lost objects themselves  have travelled.

Some Things I’ve Lost invites readers to consider the inevitability of change and the power of the imagination. On finishing the book, children and adults alike will look more closely at everything they have previously taken for granted.

Groundwood Books

Available for pre-order online on Indigo and Amazon!

The Queen's Shadow
       
     
The Queen's Shadow

✪ Kirkus ✪ CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens 2015

New York Times, Buzzfeed

In this informational picture book, award-winning author and illustrator Cybèle Young interweaves the science of animal eyesight into a clever whodunit involving a haughty queen. It is during the Queen's Ball, at which "society's most important nobility" are in attendance (all of whom are animals), that a "major crime has been committed": the queen's shadow has been stolen! Mantis Shrimp, the Royal Detective, takes the lead in the investigation to find the perpetrator, and one by one the animal suspects defend their innocence. From a shark and a snake to a dragonfly and a goat, each creature's testimony explains their version of the scene of the crime based on their own unique eyesight, while the finely textured and detailed artwork illustrates the ballroom as viewed by that animal. 

In sidebars to the story, the author provides factual information about how the eyesight of each animal works, and why. As each animal's perspective sheds new light on the mystery, it becomes clear to children that there are many different ways to see what goes on in the world. A section on how human vision works, background on each of the animals mentioned in the story and a glossary are provided at the back of the book. This is a unique and sophisticated book unlike any other. It would be an excellent resource for life science lessons on animal and human characteristics. The sly humour, engaging storytelling and layered narrative also make it a terrific mystery read.

Kids Can Press

Available for order online on Indigo and Amazon!

Nancy Knows
       
     
Nancy Knows

✪ Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ✪ Kirkus ✪ School Library Journal ✪ Quill & Quire A Kirkus best book of 2014  Amazon best book of 2014

Nominated for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz award

Nancy knows she's forgotten something. Something important. When she tries to remember, she thinks of all kinds of other things instead. She remembers things she knows and things she doesn't quite know. She remembers things one way, then another. Sometimes she remembers with her ears or her stomach or even her heart. But Nancy knows she's still forgetting something. It's only when Nancy stops thinking altogether that she finally remembers the very important thing she's forgotten. Nancy Knows is the charming story of an elephant who remember lots of things, except the very thing she is trying to remember. Each spread of this whimsical, arresting picture book features fantastic miniature paper sculptures within expressive outlines of a puzzled pachyderm. It's a book not to be forgotten.

Tundra Books

Available for order online on Indigo and Amazon

Out the Window
       
     
Out the Window

✪ Kirkus  ✪ Publishers Weekly

Ingenuity saves the day in this cleverly constructed board book!

Bestselling author-illustrator Cybèle Young is back with a board book for the very young. The main character of this charming, nearly wordless story is a small unidentified mammal who accidentally loses his ball one day. Too small to look out the window, the little creature is frustrated at first in his attempts to see where his precious ball has gone. But undeterred, he perseveres until he comes up with a solution to his problem, at which point he discovers that an unusual parade is underway. This parade doesn't feature the usual floats and mascots-instead, it is made up of amazing machines and strange hybrid creatures. Our young hero is thrilled, as young readers will be. And best of all? On the very last page of the book, the lost ball is returned to its rightful owner.

This leporello-style board book is designed so that the first half of the story focuses on the attempt to see what is happening out the window, while the second half, revealed only when the book is flipped over, shows a wonderfully inventive parade. Despite its simplicity, this is a story with much humour and many surprises. Nearly wordless, it is a book that even the youngest child will want to read independently as well as enjoy with others.

Groundwood Books

Available for order online on Indigo and Amazon

Ten Birds
       
     
Ten Birds

A clever counting book and fable unlike any other and winner of the 2011 Governor General's Award for Illustration.

✪ Kirkus ✪ School Library Journal  ✪ Publishers Weekly

A Kirkus best of 2012

Ten birds are trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the river. The bird they call "Brilliant" devises a pair of stilts. The bird they call "Highly Satisfactory" engineers a raft. One by one, nine resourceful birds make the crossing until a single bird is left behind  the one they call "Needs Improvement." This bird's solution proves surprising  and absurdly simple.

More than a counting book, Ten Birds is a witty story that highlights ingenuity, common sense and the inadequacies of labels. Cybèle Young's intricate chiaroscuro pen-and-ink drawings depict a rich alternative world that both children and adults will marvel over.

Kids Can Press

Available for order online on Indigo and Amazon

Ten Birds Meet a Monster
       
     
Ten Birds Meet a Monster

After wandering down a hall and discovering a scattered assortment of clothes, ten birds were shocked to spot a scary monster! What were they to do? Grabbing a piece of clothing as a disguise, "the first bird, always inventive, became a Vicious Polka-dactyl. But the monster didn't budge." So the second bird, then the third bird, and so on, followed in turn, each adding some clothing to the mix to devise a new, frightening creature. But no matter that the birds were "resourceful," "attentive," "creative" and "eager to participate," or that they created fantastically scary beings such as a Gnashing Grapplesaurus, aBristling Fang-Mangler and a Slimy Long-toed Zapper — the monster would not be chased away. Until the tenth bird stepped forward, the one who was "always easily distracted." Could this be the bird who finally, and surprisingly, saved the day?

This gorgeous picture book by award-winning author-illustrator Cybèle Young is perfect for counting and early numeracy lessons. Each of the numbers from one to ten gets its own spread, featuring two pieces of intricately detailed pen-and-ink illustrations. The smaller illustration incorporates the numeral into the drawing itself, while the larger one offers the opportunity to search for and count all the birds within the growing clothes monster. Filled with silliness, suspense and a terrific reveal at the end, this clever, funny story is also a wonderful read-aloud. It highlights how individual resourcefulness and creativity are magnified by the power of cooperation and teamwork.

Kids Can Press

Available for order online on Indigo and Amazon

A Few Blocks
       
     
A Few Blocks

✪ Kirkus  ✪ Publishers Weekly

New York Times

A Kirkus best book of 2012

Ferdie doesn’t want to go to school, but go to school he must, and fortunately his imaginative older sister Viola paves the way. First she urges him to put on his rocket blaster boots, which enable him to leave the house. When he stalls again she convinces him to take command of a ship in search of buried treasure, and at the next meltdown, she tells him that as a knight, his duty is to fight the fierce fire-breathing dragon who has stolen the princess. But then it is Viola’s turn to fall apart, and Ferdie, following her example, draws on his own inner resources and imagination to keep them on their way. The children’s fantasy world is beautifully illustrated by Cybèle Young’s intricate 3-D paper sculptures, which have been painted with contemporary urban images and then photographed for this book.

Groundwood Books

Available for order online on Indigo and Amazon

A Few Bites
       
     
A Few Bites

Shortlisted for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Picture Book Award and selected as an OLA Best Bet for 2012.

IBBY Elizabeth Mazrek Cleaver award, nominated for CBA Libris award

✪ Kirkus  ✪ Publishers Weekly

It's time for Ferdie to eat lunch, but he'd much rather find the special part for his fighter ship. When big sister Viola promises to help him, he comes to the table. But he finds broccoli on his plate, and carrots! Ever resourceful and imaginative, Viola convinces Ferdie that dinosaurs ate broccoli to escape their fiercest predators, and that carrots are just like the Orange Power Sticks that aliens eat for super vision. Doesn't Ferdie want to be just like them? Viola continues to persuade Ferdie to eat up, but when her energy finally flags, it's Ferdie's turn to create a wonderful surprise.

Just as in A Few Blocks, an ordinary event seen through a child's eyes becomes an amazing adventure. This time the children switch back and forth between the lunch table and the elaborate fantasy worlds they imagine (shown in Cybele Young's intricate paper sculptures, which she has created from paintings of the children's surroundings). At the end of the story, the world of the imagination and the everyday magically come together, and Viola and Ferdie each enjoy a few bites.

Groundwood Books

Available for order online on Indigo and Amazon