2017 Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award® Nominated Titles

 











 

Animal Hospital: Rescuing Urban Wildlife

Written by Julia Coey

Our cities are already filled with a huge variety of wildlife. As urban areas expand, they impinge on the natural habitats of animals that would not otherwise find themselves in an urban setting, including birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as rare, threatened and even endangered wildlife.

Animal Hospital describes how injured and orphaned wild animals are rehabilitated and cared for after being rescued from perilous situations. It follows the activities of an urban animal rescue facility and the efforts of the trained professionals that rescue, treat, rehabilitate and release the animals.

Kids will learn about the amazing wild animals that they may encounter in their neighborhoods, even the most recognizable have fascinating traits. They will get tips on how to protect and support urban wildlife, and learn what to do if they encounter an animal that needs help.

There are exciting real-life stories about rescued animals with photographs that give readers an up-close look. While including animals in North America, Animal Hospital also describes international efforts that encourage conservation and awareness. This is a valuable title in the classroom and an exciting and inspiring choice for any youngster.

Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet

Written by Nikki Tate

Most of us see trees every day, and too often we take them for granted. Trees provide us with everything from food, fuel and shelter to oxygen and filtered water.

Deep Roots celebrates the central role trees play in our lives, no matter where we live. Each chapter in Deep Roots focuses on a basic element—water, air, fire and earth—and explores the many ways in which we need trees to keep our planet healthy and livable. From making rain to producing fruit to feeding fish, trees play an integral role in maintaining vibrant ecosystems all over the world.

Facts about trees and hands-on activities throughout help readers discover ways to get to know our giant neighbours better.

Friend or Foe: The Whole Truth about Animals That People Love to Hate

Written by Etta Kaner, Illustrated by David Anderson

Rats, mosquitoes, bats, cockroaches, leeches, vultures — it’s easy to fear and despise them. But are they all bad? You probably know that rats destroy food supplies and can cause house fires when they gnaw on electrical wires, but did you know their supersensitive noses can help detect tuberculosis or even land mines?

Are these conventionally icky critters really public enemies, or do they have merits worth appreciating? Friend or Foe takes a close look at what we dislike about each of 10 unpopular animals, and then presents the flip side: these very same animals are often smart, helpful to humans and the environment, or inspiring to scientists.

After each pair of polarizing spreads, readers are asked to decide for themselves if the animal is friend or foe. Fascinating research and anecdotes, fun design inspired by propaganda posters, and playful use of persuasive language and point of view make Friend or Foe an engaging read that will leave readers reconsidering common perceptions.

Half-Truths & Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying

Written by Kira Vermond, Illustrated by Clayton Hanmer

Do you believe in telling the truth? Sure you do. But even that’s a lie — because we all lie. Whether to protect a friend, to make someone feel better, or to avoid telling even bigger lies later, lying is actually central to human nature. Usually we’re taught that lying is bad, and that’s that. But in reality, it’s rarely so black and white.

Kira Vermond’s latest book answers questions like: Why do we lie? What types of lies are there? What are the consequences of lying? What methods are used to detect lies? And when is it okay or even good to lie?

From forgeries and hoaxes to plagiarism and placebos, Half-Truths and Brazen Lies offers historical anecdotes, scientific studies, and sociocultural analyses to help unpack the complex world of untruths. Told in a witty, conversational tone with an index and full-colour illustrations, the book takes a thorough, nuanced approach to a fascinating aspect of human behaviour.

Haunted Canada 6: More Terrifying True Stories

Written by Joel A. Sutherland

For his brand-new story collection, author Joel A. Sutherland has scoured the country for more creepy and chilling tales. Get underneath the covers, because between these book covers are stories that include the one about:

A supernatural sea hag that haunts Dobbin's Gardens marsh on Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador; a used book from a Barrie, Ontario book shop that conjures up a ghostly figure that accompanies the buyer home; and a little girl, who died on the playground, and continues to haunt St. Ignatius School in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

With moody black-and-white illustrations, and archival photos throughout, this collection is perfect for those who like a frightfully good read!

National Geographic Kids Everything Space

Written by Helaine Becker and Brendan Mullan

Get ready to blast off into space to explore planets, stars, and beyond! This fun book will pull you in like gravity, full of fun facts, reports from explorers, maps and infographics, and more than 100 pictures.

Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure: A Journey Through Physics

Written by Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman, Illustrated by Ben Newman

Class is in session, and the subject is physics. Your teacher? Why, he’s the smartest cat in the galaxy!

In this brilliant follow up to Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, our trusty feline returns to take you on a journey through the incredible world of physics. Learn about energy, power and the building blocks of you, me and the universe in this all new ATOMIC ADVENTURE!

Ben Newman is an award-winning illustrator and Dr. Dominic Walliman has a PhD in Quantum Device Physics. This is their second book together!

Safety Stars: Players Who Fought to Make the Hard-Hitting Game of Professional Hockey Safer

Written by Sue Irwin

Professional hockey is a fast game, and a dangerous one. Skates slice like razors; a hard-shot puck can take out an eye; and the ice surface is as hard as rock, especially when skulls are slammed against it. Innovations in equipment make the game faster and more exciting -- and have to be countered by measures that keep it safe for players.

From hockey heroes like Jacques Plante, Mario Lemieux, and Sidney Crosby, to an avid 11-year-old player on a mission, there have been players who have campaigned to make hockey a safer game. They have done this often in the face of denials and opposition from league managers, sports writers, fans, and sometimes other players, too. But they've persisted and made the game safer for players of all ages.

This book tells the story of hockey's safety stars, the opposition they faced, and how they persisted and ultimately succeeded in their campaigns.

Water Wow!: an Infographic Exploration

Written by Antonia Banyard and Paula Ayer, Illustrated by Belle Wuthrich

A colourful infographic look at the many surprising and fascinating facts about water. Where did water come from—before it got to Earth? Why is the water you drink the same stuff that was around when dinosaurs were alive? If water can't be created or destroyed, how can we run out? Find out the answers to these and many more intriguing questions in this vibrant book, designed to appeal to visual learners.

Dive in and discover:

Why water is so important to different religious faiths;

Amazing extreme lakes and rivers around the world;

The surprising connection between water access and girls’ education worldwide;

How climate change affects water, and vice versa—and what you can do about it; …and more.

Filled to the brim with colourful illustrations and diagrams, easy-to-understand infographics, and illuminating photos, Water Wow is a dazzling and fun introduction to the importance of water in our lives.

Worms for Breakfast: How to Feed a Zoo

Written by Helaine Becker, Illustrated by Kathy Boake

Feeding time is one of the most popular events at zoos. It also prompts a smorgasbord of questions: what do different animals eat? How much food do they need to stay healthy? Where do zookeepers get all that chow? And what constitutes a special treat?

Worms for Breakfast: How to Feed a Zoo answers all these questions and more in a cookbook-style primer packed with facts from experts at zoos and aquariums. Covering everything from regular animal nutrition to feeding babies to mimicking how animals hunt and eat in the wild, this book explores the eating habits of carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, and insectivores. Inside, you’ll also find real-life recipes from zoos around the world for meals like eucalyptus-leaf pesto, kelp tank goulash, and mealworm mush. Beware! You probably don’t want to eat any of it yourself.

Written in a plucky, conversational tone with delightfully wacky illustrations, a glossary, and tips for zoo animal care, this book is bound to appeal to picky readers.