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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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EASY

Baby Bear Counts One By Ashley Wolff

Fall has arrived in Baby Bear’s forest, and the woods are teeming with animals busily preparing for winter. How many animals? Count to ten with Baby Bear as he and Mama get ready for the season’s first snow.

Sing By Joe Raposo

“Sing! Sing a song. Sing out loud, sing out strong.” This little song was first made popular on Sesame Street, then interpreted by singers of every style. Now this timeless and universal song that celebrates perseverance and self expression has been visually interpreted to illustrate the power of music to help each of us find our voice.

FUN FACTS

Randolph Caldecott; the Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing By Leonard S. Marcus

Back in 1869, this 15-year-old doodled his way out of a job as a bank clerk, by honing his craft and peddling his drawings to newspapers and magazines. Little did he know that he would eventually become the father of the modern picture book. His vision lives on in the illustrated books we prize today.

Real-Size Farm Animals By Marie Greenwood

If you have young ones who are fascinated with animals or you are making a trip to a farm this is the book you will want. The photos are so close up you can almost feel the texture of the animal’s fur. Included is a colourful height chart to fold out, and see just how tall your favourite farm friend is.

JUNIOR

The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School By Fowler DeWitt

Something strange is happening to the sixth grade – and it's up to Wilmer to crack the case. When he observes his classmates looking a little green ... and orange ... he knows that it's up to him to find the cause of this mysterious illness, and the cure. But with his arch nemesis, Claudius Dill, hot on his heels, can Wilmer prove he has what it takes to save the sixth grade before it's too late!

Turn Left At the Cow By Lisa Bullard

Thirteen-year-old Trav always wondered about his dead-before-he-was-born dad. But he never imagined that his dad was involved in a bank robbery right before he mysteriously disappeared ... and the loot is still missing. Along with the kids next door, Trav embarks on a search for the cash. But the trio's adventure turns dangerous when it becomes clear that someone else is looking for the money.

YOUNG ADULT

Chasing Shadows By Swati Avasthi

Corey, Holly, and Savitri are a synergistic trio, and they use Chicago as a free-runner’s playground, climbing buildings, ricocheting off walls, and leaping across rooftops. When Corey is shot and killed, Holly swears she will find her twin’s murderer. Graphic illustrations augment the text in this intense novel about friendship in the face of loss.

Just One Year By Gayle Forman

Willem awakens in a French hospital with a terrible headache and hazy memories. As the doctor questions him, he remembers a girl, Lulu, and realizes that he must find her. So begins Willem’s long search across continents in hopes of finding the girl of his dreams and recapturing their blossoming love. Fans of teen romance will enjoy this companion to Just One Day.

ADULT

The Quarry By Iain Banks

For Robert Burns Day (January 25), the final novel from one of Scotland’s finest authors. Poignantly, the novel was published in June 2013 just after Banks died at age 59. In the novel, Guy is dying of cancer and so he gathers his oldest friends together for the weekend. Old wounds reopen, hurts come to light and Guy’s autistic 18-year-old son Kit looks on and learns.

The Night Guest By Fiona McFarlane

For Australia Day (January 26), an enjoyable debut novel about Ruth, a woman of 75 who lives alone on the Australian south coast. The morning after a vivid dream of a tiger in her house, a stranger, Frida, appears at her door, claiming to be her new caregiver. But who is Frida really? The suspense builds throughout this exquisite, masterful novel.