Hesson: Children's book reviews for February 2024

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A Guide to Unlikely Animal Pairs

By Maria Birmingham, Illustrated by Raz Latif

(Owlkids Books)

With bright and bold illustrations, this picture book sheds a new light on how we look at animals. Described in pairs, children will see animals that have very opposite characteristics. Readers are then asked what they have in common. On the following pages, they will learn about their similar qualities, along with lots of other interesting creature facts. From the biggest to the smallest, fastest to slowest, youngsters can learn about animal habits and habitats in a super fun way. A great read-aloud that will have kids guessing and thinking about equality.

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Love is in the Bear

Written by Judith Henderson, Illustrated by Nahid Kazemi

(Owlkids Books)

When Bear wakes up from hibernation, the first thing he hears is the beautiful melody of Chickadee. When she informs Bear she is auditioning for the opera he wants to be her partner. As a duet, they practise every day. Her in her high tones and him in his low voice. Although Bear doesn’t get the part, he continues to support and love the song of Chickadee. While Bear sleeps through the winter, his beloved bird friend watches over him. The gorgeous soft-coloured illustrations bring this book of friendship, music, and kind-heartedness to life.

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Duel

By Jessixa Bagley, Illustrated By Aaron Bagley

(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Lucy and her older sister GiGi loved each other, and both loved having their dad as a fencing teacher. When their dad passed, everything changed. They began to fight, and when GiGi tripped Lucy on her first day of school, the humiliation and anger prompted Lucy to challenge GiGi to a duel. This graphic novel portrays a family in crisis as they struggle to move forward without their father. Readers get a glimpse inside the thoughts of both girls as they prepare for the bout. Facts about fencing are cleverly hidden in this realistic and touching story about grief, compassion, acceptance, love, and perseverance.

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Courtesy of Cupid

By Nashae Jones

(Aladdin)

Erin’s focus in her 13-year-old life is being the best, and never taking the number two spot to her nemesis Trevor Jin. She especially wants to beat him in the election for the president of the Multicultural Club. What she doesn’t want is an extravagant birthday party, and no emotional connections to distract her. However, when she discovers her father is the God Cupid, and she has inherited some of his magic, she decides to use love to her advantage. She soon learns charms cannot take the place of real romance. A fun fantasy about competition, passions, and attractions in life.

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