A Flock of Shoes and The Stone Hatchlings

A Flock of Shoes 

Story by Sarah Tsiang

Art by Qin Leng

Annick Press




Abby is my kind of gal, she loves her shoes and has a fierce imagination to boot. Abby helps us learn about the seasons of shoes. In the summer she has a great pair of pink and brown sandals with lime green trim. But as it gets colder and her mother tries to persuade her to wear something warmer the sandals suddenly take off. They migrate with the other summer sandals to warmer climates. But don’t worry they send postcards to tell Abby how much they miss her.

All winter long she thinks about her sandals and how much she misses them. And she soon learns to love her winter boots. “They were white and blue and had a lovely trim of purple that went all around the edges.” But as the weather got warmer and the northern train started calling they too took off one day. But not to fear, Abby wasn’t left shoe-less because even before she could be sad about her boots “she heard the swish of flying sandals.” Her sandals had returned to her and a new summer of adventures was about to begin.

Abby returns in another story by Tsiang and Leng called The Stone Hatchlings. We see her imagination run wild again when she finds a pair of heavy eggs in her backyard, or are they stones?

The Stone Hatchlings

Story by Sarah Tsiang

Art by Qin Leng

Annick Press




In case you thought Abby only loved shoes here she is again learning about nature and the limitlessness of her imagination. When she finds two heavy eggs in her backyard she takes care of them as only a mother could and hatches two lovely blue-and-yellow feathered birds. Abby and the chicks do everything, including morning songs and birdbaths in the tub. But eventually Abby must learn to let go and let her baby birds fly free.

The artwork in both books is beautiful and detailed. Abby’s backyard looks like a place you could escape to for hours. Make sure to check out Qin Leng’s blog for more illustrations. And mark your calendars for The Word on the Street to meet Sarah Tsiang in person. She might even read you a story or two.

The Pirate Girl’s Treasure

The Pirate Girl’s Treasure: An Origami Adventure¬†

Peyton Leung and Hilary Leung

Kids Can Press



As a female reader I love children’s books with a strong heroine. The Pirate Girl’s Treasure written by brothers Peyton and Hilary Leung, combines girl power with high sea adventures. As with most of my favorite children’s books I loved the illustrations, the colours are bright and the imagery is happy and hip. Then I remembered that Hilary Leung is also the illustrator for the popular Ninja Cowboy Bear series and it all made sense.

The heroine of our story is a pirate girl whose pirate grandfather leaves her a map with promise of buried treasure. She embarks on an adventure up a mountain, through a valley, stumbling on rocks in a cave and finally out on the great sea in her origami boat. Later when you read the instructions for the origami you realize that it retells the story of the pirate girl. This is a cute story about girl pirates and using your imagination and making origami. I loved that you could make a game out of finding all the animals that are on each page of the book. There are toucans and monkeys, oh my! This is a fun book both for pirate girls and boys.

Don’t Laugh at Giraffe by Rebecca Bender

Don’t Laugh at Giraffe

Rebecca Bender

Pajama Press




I’m good friends with Giraffe and Bird. In case you haven’t had the privilege, allow me to introduce you to a pair of friends who remind us that getting along can sometimes be difficult. Giraffe and Bird hang on my bulletin board at work to constantly remind me that if Giraffe and Bird can make it work, I can do it too.

Giraffe and Bird, which was shortlisted for the CBA Libris Award Book of the Year, the SYRCA Shining Willow Award, and OLA Blue Spruce Award is a beautiful book that teaches us about the intricacies of friendship. Our favorite characters return in Don’t Laugh at Giraffe to show us again that sometimes being a true friend means getting a little silly.

My favorite thing about these books are the gorgeous illustrations. You can tell that Rebecca Bender is not only a skilled story teller but a fantastic artist. It’s truly a pleasure to flip through this book and look at the luscious pictures. And the story is a personal favorite of mine. Because sometimes the people we love the most are the people that we can’t stand (but not for very long).