2017 Silver Birch Express Award® Nominated Titles

 











 

Be a Pond Detective

Written and Illustrated by Peggy Kochanoff

Do dragonflies bite? What is the difference between a frog and a toad? Are leeches dangerous?

Naturalist and artist Peggy Kochanoff answers these questions and more in this illustrated guide to solving pond mysteries. From the life cycle of mosquitoes to the many uses and varieties of pond plants, Kochanoff takes young readers on an entertaining and enlightening tour of life in and around a freshwater pond. Full of detailed illustrations and clear answers to creative questions, Be a Pond Detective is the perfect way to discover the nature mysteries in your own backyard!

The Biggest Poutine in the World

Written by Andrée Poulin

Thomas would do anything to make his mother come back. On his fifth birthday, Thomas’s mother left, and he hasn’t seen her since. The last thing he remembers is her making a delicious dish of poutine for his birthday. Into the concoction of French fries, gravy and melted cheese curds, she stuck five green candles for him to blow out.

On the day of this twelfth birthday, Thomas comes up with the idea of setting a Guinness world record for the biggest poutine in the world. Maybe then, his mother will come back and his emotionally distant father will pay attention to him. As he puts together all the pieces of his “Phenomenal Poutine Project,” Thomas not only learns why his mother disappeared, but he also comes to realize that Elie, the one person whose help he rejected, turns out to be his most devoted friend. Funny and heartbreaking at the same time, The Biggest Poutine in the World, was the winner of the French language 2014 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

Elephant Journey: the True Story of Three Zoo Elephants and their Rescue from Captivity

Written by Rob Laidlaw, Illustrated by Brian Deines

In 2013, people across North America were riveted by the story of Toka, Thika, and Iringa, the last three elephants at the zoo in Toronto, Ontario. Lonely for a larger herd, sick from the cold climate, and weak from standing for long days in a too-small concrete enclosure, the elephants desperately needed a change. The zoo and animal activists agreed that they should be moved to a healthier home, but the best option—the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in distant California—seemed like an impossible dream.

In Elephant Journey, leading activist and award-winning author Rob Laidlaw unfolds the journey of how that impossible dream was realized. In clear, straightforward prose, he describes the elephants’ experiences on the journey of three days and 4,100 kilometers that brought them to the sanctuary at last. Celebrated illustrator Brian Deines’ oil paintings, based on actual footage of the trip, provide an intimate window into the experiences of Toka, Thika, and Iringa as they braved their long road to a new life. Extensive back matter includes an index, photographs, and further information about this miraculous Elephant Journey.

Elliot’s Guide to Dinosaurs

Written by Elliott Seah

A bright, curious eight-year-old dinosaur expert shares his passion for paleontology in this fun and informative guide to these fascinating prehistoric creatures.

What did the world look like when dinosaurs roamed the Earth? Eight-year-old author Elliott Seah took it upon himself to find out, and in his first book, he takes readers on a fact-filled exploration of these amazing animals from our planet’s distant past. With lively illustrations, Elliott provides fascinating answers to important questions about where dinosaurs came from, what they ate, how they lived, and how a mass extinction brought their time on Earth to an end. Helpful extras include resources for further reading and a list of Elliott’s recommended museums with dinosaur collections.

The Enchanted Egg

Written by Kallie George, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

Will Clover crack the mystery of the enchanted egg? A mysterious giant egg has arrived at the Magical Animal Adoption Agency--to Clover’s delight and bewilderment. Neither she nor Mr. Jams, the owner of the agency, can tell what sort of creature will hatch from it. So, Mr. Jams decides to visit a Magical Animal Expert who lives far away, leaving the egg in Clover’s care. Since the egg doesn’t appear ready to hatch, what could go wrong? In the second volume of this winning chapter book series by Kallie George, enchantingly illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, Clover embarks on an escapade-filled adventure as she discovers the contents of the egg--and her own special role at the Agency.

Myles and the Monster Outside

Written by Philippa Dowding, Illustrated by Shawna Daigle

I will never leave this car, the back seat reeks of everything my little brother has ever eaten, and that thing is still out there …

Myles and his family have been driving for four days. It’s their final night on the road, but Myles knows they will never arrive at their new house. It will never stop raining. And even if they do get there (which is doubtful), he knows he will never have friends again. He also knows that something is following them in the dark, rainy fields outside their car. Something monstrous. Once the monster arrives, things go very wrong. Myles and his family get lost, their car keeps breaking down, and a strange old man and his dog turn up, again and again. Then things get really weird. Myles is pretty sure it’s all his fault: he’s the only one who can see the monster. He’s the only one who can hear the monster. And hardest of all? He’s the only one who can make it go away.

Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals

Written and Jess Keating, Illustrated by David DeGrand

Some people think pink is a pretty colour. A fluffy, sparkly, princess-y colour. But it's so much more.

Sure, pink is the colour of princesses and bubblegum, but it's also the colour of monster slugs and poisonous insects. Not to mention ultra-intelligent dolphins, naked mole rats and bizarre, bloated blobfish.

Isn't it about time to rethink pink?

Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Battling Bots

Written by Liam O'Donnell, Illustrated by Mike Deas

For monster sleuths Tank and Fizz, proving fourth-grade bully Rizzo Rawlins is planning to cheat in the upcoming Battle Bot Cup should be a piece of cake. But cake crumbles fast, and the case soon leads the detectives to a mysterious hacker known only as the Codex, who threatens all of Rockfall Mountain with a very dark fate. With the help of their wizard-in-training partner, Aleetha, Tank and Fizz leap into action, dodging deadly battle bots and sinister spellbooks in a race to stop the return of a very angry ancient demon.

Fans of the first book, Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Slime Stampede, will blow their circuits with this gadget- and magic-filled robot mystery.

West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet

Written by Deborah Hodge, Illustrated by Karen Reczuch

This stunning nature alphabet book explores the fascinating ecosystem of the Pacific west coast — a magnificent area that combines an ancient rainforest, a rugged beach and a vast, open ocean, and where whales, bears, wolves, eagles and a rich variety of marine species thrive in an interconnected web of life.

Author Deborah Hodge has spent more than forty years on the west coast, frequently visiting the Pacific Rim region, and she knows it intimately. From A to Z she describes in vivid language the rainforest, ocean and beach, and a great variety of animals that a child might see walking along the shore — from tiny sea jellies to inquisitive sandpipers to leaping orcas. Illustrator Karen Reczuch brings her remarkable talent to the book, and has created image after image that is simply breathtaking. The text and art have been carefully checked for scientific accuracy.

Includes a note about the Pacific west coast and suggestions for exploring the region and further reading.

Wild Eggs: A Tale of Arctic Egg Hunting

Written by Suzie Napayok-Short, Illustrated by Jonathan Wright

Akuluk is not very excited about visiting Nunavut for her vacation. She would rather head south for summer vacation, somewhere with roller coasters and cotton candy.

But as soon as she steps off the plane and sees all the exciting animals that the tundra has to offer, Akuluk forgets all about her dreams of going south. On her first full day in Nunavut, she can’t wait to travel out on the land with her grandparents to hunt for wild eggs.

As she learns about the different types of eggs, how to collect them properly, and the delicious ways that they can be prepared, Akuluk knows that this is just the beginning of the exciting things she’ll learn!