Little, Jean. Harry’s Hiccups. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers, 2018.

Harry has the hiccups. What can he do to get rid them? Swallow sugar? Breathe into a paper bag? Hold his breath? The quietly amusing picture book – illustrated by Joe Weissmann – will appeal to readers 5 to 8 years of age. 

(Note: The writing doesn’t flow flawlessly – there are too many details that would have been better told by the illustrations and too many slightly awkward sentences. Nevertheless, readers who fondly remember reading  ‘From Anna’ and other novels by Jean Little will appreciate the gentle tone of this story. And parents looking for a book about hiccups will enjoy sharing this picture book with their children.)

More Canadian books

More picture books

Visit New York…

Brown, Marc. In New York. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
The acclaimed author of dozens of books – including the stories of Arthur, the aardvark –  takes readers on a tour of his favourite city: New York. The conversational style of writing and softly detailed illustrations – in watercolour and gouache – depict a city full of exciting things to see.  Recommended for readers 7 years old and up.

More books about New York City

More books written from the second person point of view


Alcorn, Stephen. A Gift of Days: The Greatest Words to Live By. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009.
A collection of quotations from well-known noteworthy people, one for each day of the year and arranged by birthdate.  Illustrated by an award-winning artist and appended with biographical information, A Gift of Days is recommended for reflective people 10 years old and up.

Books of philosophy

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” Isaac Asimov

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Mother Teresa

Exuberant life…

Cuevas, Michelle. Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2017.
Smoot’s tiresome life of being a shadow ends when he decides to leave his boy and strike out on his own. Running, dancing, singing, he embraces all the excitement of his new life. Other shadows watch him and bravely follow suit. What will happen? Smoot looks around and has an idea. Maybe all of them – all of the shadows – could go back where they came from and still live with excitement. Will it work? Can life hold joy even in ordinary circumstances? This marvellously designed picture book – illustrated by Canadian Sydney Smith – will appeal to readers of all ages of appreciate fables. 

More fables

“Freedom lies in being bold.” Robert Frost

More picture books

How old is the earth?

McAnulty, Stacy. Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years. New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2017.
Informative. Amusing. Amazing. The earth speaks for itself in this brilliant picture book that describes the early beginnings of our planet. The continents. The ice ages. The plants and animals and human beings. All are included in this magnificently designed autobiography illustrated by David Litchfield. Additional information – including a list of sources – is included at the end of the book. Wonderful as a read-aloud, and highly recommended for readers 5 years old and up. 

More books to expand your general knowledge

Let’s go on an adventure…

Sis, Peter. Robinson. New York: Scholastic Press, 2017.
A softly beautiful picture book combining memories from the author’s childhood with the story of Robinson Crusoe. The softly detailed illustrations, complemented by the capital-letters font, will enchant readers 7 to 14 years old. Highly recommended!

Picture book memoirs

Stories of adventure

Write about your own memories

“When you have little children, you want to tell them about joy and happiness and hope. And then comes the time you want to tell them there are tough moments. I admire people who can do that.” Peter Sis 

Note: All of Peter Sis’s books are memorable. Here are some of my favourites:


“People think children’s books are about teddy bears and little flowers. I realize people sometimes don’t know what to do with my books because they say, ‘Is it a children’s book, and what age group?'” Peter Sis

Observing nature…

Heckert, Barbara. A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E.B. White. New York: Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt and Company, 2017.
Who was the author of the classic novel Charlotte’s Web? What was his childhood like?  What challenges did he overcome? What inspired him to write children’s stories? The design of this picture book – illustrated by Caldecott winner Lauren Castillo – is unfortunately weakened by the font, which does not match the style of the pictures. Nevertheless, this biography is still recommended for curious readers 8 years old and up. 

More biographies

“There’s no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.” – E.B. White