Filled to the brim…

Cuevas, Michelle. The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016.
A lonely man lives his life by the sea, faithfully watching for letters to deliver. Messages that almost always deliver joy to the recipients. Will there never be a message for him? This poignant tale of hope – softly illustrated by Erin E. Stead – will appeal to gentle reflective readers 8 years old and up. [Friendship, Letters, Oceans]

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“A friend is what the heart needs all the time.” – Henry Van Dyke, American writer

Follow me…

Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Trouble the Water. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016.

An old yellow dog brings Cassie and Wendell – a black girl and a white boy – together in racially segregated Kentucky in 1953. Buddy leads them to a ramshackle cabin in the woods where two invisible boys are waiting to cross the nearby river. Partly historical fiction, partly a ghost story, this memorable novel by a thought-provoking writer is highly recommended for readers 10 to 15 years old.

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P.S. Do you know the story of how Jesus healed the sick man by the pool of Bethesda? The man who never got to the pool in time to be healed after an angel ‘troubled the water’? You might like to read about it in John 5 after you read Dowell’s story. Then you might like to think about the Pharisees in the Bible and the townspeople in the story. And think about that pool at the end of the novel. Might you be called to be an angel?

Who will be my friend?

Colfer, Eoin. Imaginary Fred. New York: Harper, 2015.
Loneliness is awful. An imaginary friend might help. But what if a real friend comes along? What will happen to the imaginary friend? How will he feel?
This delightful picture book by an absolutely brilliant team – Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers – is pure joy. The fanciful story and whimsical illustrations will bring laughter to readers of all ages. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

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Making life happier…

Fergus, Maureen. Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby. Toronto: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2016.

Fergus, Maureen. Buddy and Earl Go Exploring. Toronto: Groundwood/House of Anansi Press, 2016.

Buddy, a dog, and Earl, a hedgehog, continue the adventures they started in Buddy and Earl. These joyful picture books provide unique perspectives on everyday life and will delight both the adults who read them aloud and the children who listen.

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Are you my friend?

Fergus, Maureen. Buddy and Earl. Toronto: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2015.

Charlotte and Wilbur.
Frog and Toad.
George and Martha.
Snake and Lizard.
Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin.
And now there are Buddy and Earl: a dog and a hedgehog.

(Warning: the style and size of the font unfortunately do not enhance the humour of this story. But the evocative illustrations by Sookocheff and the endearing quality of the story make this a recommended picture book for children up to 8 years of age.)

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Moving House

Stead, Philip C. Lenny & Lucy. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2015.
Peter and his dog Harold move to a new home. How can they feel safe in a new house? How can they find friends in their new neighbourhood? Another wonderful collaboration between Philip and Erin Stead, author and illustrator of A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Highly recommended for imaginative readers of all ages.

More stories about moving HERE.

Becoming Human

 

Brown, Peter. The Wild Robot. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
Roz awakens on a isolated island. Where is she? How did she come to be here? How will she survive? How will she get along with the inhabitants? This marvellous tale about a robot is really about all of us. Why are we on this earth? How can we live together in peace? What does it mean to be human?
An excellent read-aloud for grades 4 to 6. A quickly-paced novel for readers 10 to 14 years old.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer, philosopher and physician

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