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Great Picture Books Recommended by Author/Illustrator Patricia Storms

From flocks of shoes to purple worlds, Patricia Storms recommends a load of excellent Canadian picture books.

Book Cover A Flock of Shoes

A Flock of Shoes Written by Sarah Tsiang; illustrated by Qin Leng: I can remember getting very attached to a pair of mitts when I was a kid. Truth be told, I still cling to special items of clothing. That’s probably why I adore A Flock of Shoes. Abby loves her pink and brown sandals with the lime green trim, and ignoring her mother’s pleas, plans on wearing them forever. But Abby’s sandals have other plans, like flying away south for the winter. Abby is comforted by charming postcards from her sandal friends – “We miss you to the bottom of our soles” – and slowly learns to love her winter boots. But what will happen when spring returns? The writing in A Flock of Shoes is spare, lyrical and delightfully funny, and is a perfect match for the whimsical and warm watercolour illustrations.

Book Cover A Porcupine in a Pine Tree

A Porcupine in a Pine Tree Written by Helaine Becker; illustrated by Werner Zimmerman: What’s not to love about loons canoeing, curling squirrels or Mounties munching donuts? Author Helaine Becker has created a wonderful classic Canadian Christmas picture book, chock full of humour and vibrant Canuck imagery. Werner Zimmerman’s delightful illustrations are the icing on the Christmas Canuck cake. I am so in love with that Porcupine!

Picture a Tree Written and illustrated by Barbara Reid: Barbara Reid knows that trees tell many stories. In her latest picture book, Ms Reid once again enchants her readers with her luscious plasticine paintings, showing us that trees can be tunnels or pirates ships, skeletons or friends. Picture a Tree is a magical book, celebrating the beauty of imagination and nature. The endpapers are a special treat, reminiscent of the many small exercise paintings created by The Group of Seven.

Book Cover Merci Mister Dash

Merci Mr. Dash!: Written by Monica Kulling; illustrated by Esperanca Melo: Mr. Dash may not be a pure pedigree, but he is a purely well-mannered dog who loves to dress properly and read his newspaper in peace. Pity his owner’s energetic granddaughter can’t appreciate that sentiment. This adorable story about manners and friendship is accompanied by lush, vivid illustrations. And how can anyone resist a book with the word merci in the title?

Book Cover Where Are You Bear

Where are you Bear? Written by Frieda Wishinsky; illustrated by Sean L. Moore: Sophie is excited to travel across Canada to see her grandmother, but sad she can’t find her best friend Bear to travel with her. But all is not lost, as Bear sets off on his own journey, determined find Sophie, and both friends end up enjoying a parallel alphabet adventure across Canada. This is a highly entertaining story with super cute illustrations. Will Bear and Sophie meet up again? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Book Cover How Do you Read to a Rabbit

How Do You Read to a Rabbit? Written and illustrated by Andrea Wayne von Königslöw: What happens when you read to animals? Well, if you read to chameleons, they might get lost in the story, and reading to bats could be a problem, because who enjoys reading upside down? How Do You Read to a Rabbit is a delightful romp through a menagerie of would-be bibliophiles. The humour is charming and sweet, as are the whimsical watercolour illustrations throughout the book.

On My Walk Written by Kari-Lynn Winters; illustrated by Christina Leist: It takes a very unique skill to write an engaging picture book with a spare word count. On My Walk by Kari-Lynn Winters is one of those special books. Using less than 100 words, author Kari-Lynn guides her readers on a delightful summer walking wordplay adventure, discovering frogs that frippity-frop, bugs that hippity-hop, and fish that flippity-flop, all through the eyes of a little boy, his mother and his dog. The illustrations are a very appealing collage of hand-drawn and digital art. A warm and cosy keeper.

Book Cover Mabel Murple

Mabel MurpleWritten by Sheree Fitch; illustrated by Sydney Smith: Hurrah! Mabel Murple is back! I’m so thrilled that there is a new edition of Sheree Fitch’s joyous book, which asks that very important question: What if there was a purple planet with purple people on it? Behold the energetic and adventurous Mabel Murple, who lives life to the fullest, with heaps of purple joie de vivre. Fitch’s tongue-twisting rhyming text is great fun, and the dynamic illustrations for this new edition are gorgeous and bursting with life.

Book Cover Pirate and the Penguin

Patricia Storms is an award-winning cartoonist, as well as a children's book illustrator and author. Her picture book The Pirate and the Penguin was named one of the top 10 Great Books for Children for 2011, by the Canadian Toy Testing Council. She is also the new cartoonist who draws Chirp, the much-loved yellow bird from Owlkids. Patricia lives and creates in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two fat cats in a cosy old house full to the brim with books.

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