When Molly Drew Dogs
Published by Owlkids
*2019 Quill and Quire STARRED Review*
*2019 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Recommended Selection*
*Featured on CTV's Your Morning Show*
One night, a pack of stray dogs moved into Molly Akita's head.
They were friendly, but a bit wild...
Molly loves her imaginary pack, and she starts drawing dogs on the walls, dogs on her desk, dogs all over her schoolwork. But her constant doodling has her teacher and grandmother worried: When will she stop daydreaming? Why can't she focus?
But Molly’s pack brings her comfort, and one night, her chalk dogs come to her rescue in the most unexpected way.
Inspired by the Japanese folktale, “The Boy Who Drew Cats”, this moving and surprising story celebrates the healing powers of art while touching on important issues of anxiety, mental health, and ways to cope with emotions. A picture book tribute to the power of imagination and the importance of creativity.
* "Kerbel offers poetic and prescient insight into mental wellness, without a whiff of didacticism."
"Kerbel deftly crafts a gentle argument for more empathy for others and yourself.
An artful plea for emotional acceptance."
"Eloquent...an opportunity to discuss positive coping skills, including how artistic self-expression—paired with adult encouragement and understanding—can help manage fears and engage with the outside world."
"An intriguing story about the healing strength of art and imagination...the need for empathy and acceptance is the hallmark of this poignant story."
-Canadian Children's Book News
"A sensitive look at anxiety, how it manifests, how a child copes, turning worries into safety."
"A lovely message in this story about the need to help children explore their feelings."
"Tender...touching...a compelling book about anxiety and the ways we can cope, heal and ultimately persevere, through creating art."
"One of 12 children's books that tackle mental health in age-appropriate ways."
Before You Were Born
Published by Pajama Press
*2019 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens
2019 Northern Lights Book Award Winner - Best Illustration*
*2019 School Library Journal’s “35 Books for Toddler Time” selection*
"Before, you were...a song in our hearts, a star in our eyes."
Told from the perspective of new parents welcoming their baby to the world, this touching love letter to young children by Governor General’s Literary Award–nominated author Deborah Kerbel describes with lyrical grace all of the promise held by new life. As the seasons change from fall through winter and into spring, the expectant parents’ anticipation over the baby’s arrival is mirrored in the animals around the family’s seaside home, marrying the natural world to the family’s experience.
* "Kerbel's poetic text is lyrical and rhythmic...Del Rizzo's gorgeous illustrations perfectly embody the tone of the text."
-Canadian Children's Book News, Fall 2019 Red Leaf Literature Selection
"A gorgeous, captivating, and moving story, this book will touch the hearts and mesmerize the eyes of readers both young and old. New parents will love reading this book as they prepare for and welcome new additions to their home.”
-School Library Journal
“Beautifully illustrated and poignant...”
“Lullabylike...Del Rizzo brings eye-catching allure to Kerbel’s wistful welcome.”
“Heartfelt...magnificent...Before You Were Born will be a hit with parents and children alike, so consider it your future go-to book for celebrating an upcoming birth.”
"This breathtaking weave of prose and stunning artwork pulls at the heartstrings from start to finish. Highly Recommended."
"Distinctive...poetic....a sweet addition to the genre."
"This would make a fantastic baby shower gift or a good choice to read to a child to remind them about how much they are loved."
"Exceptionally beautiful....moms, dads and grandparents will love reading this picture book to the new baby to tell them how much they were anticipated and how greatly they are loved."
"Absolutely breathtaking, stunning, gorgeous, and brought tears to my eyes..."
"The rich & vivid language is delightful AND illustrations are so beautiful they make me want to reach out and be a part of every picture! Perfect gift for new parents and wonderful addition to classrooms/home libraries."
-Lit Review Crew
A poetic, poignant, and harmonious ode to new life and family."
"A lyrical celebration of the joy and anticipation that comes along with starting a family....a lovely gift for new or expectant parents."
-Kids Make Mess
“A perfect gift for a new mother or father, and a perfect bedtime read for a little one...an absolutely beautiful picture book.”
"Before You Were Born is a true celebration of life — a visual and lyrical delight. Its tender language reads like a lullaby, making it a wonderful gift for expectant parents."
“A unique and charmingly presented picture book story for children ages 4-7, Before You Were Born will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.”
—Midwest Book Review
“We rated this book: [5/5] Before You Were Born is the sweetest book I have ever read….A beautiful, lovely, gorgeous, elaborate tale of the life of nature, the glory of seasons, and the beauty of human beings.”
—Alexandria, Age 7, Kids’ BookBuzz
Published by Pajama Press
*2019 IODE Ontario Jean Throop Book Award Winner*
*2019 Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Honour Book Winner*
*2019 SYRCA Shining Willow Award Finalist*
*2018 Resource Links “The Year’s Best” selection*
*2018 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens selection*
*2018 School Library Journal blogger Betsy Bird’s “2018 Calde-notts” selection*
Juno and her boy live in a red house at the top of the world. One day Juno will be big and strong enough to help pull a sled across the tundra, but for now she is just a small puppy with a big-dog heart. Small puppies have to go to bed when their boys do, but Juno can’t sleep with the midnight sun shining out across the town. She slips outside to play. Returning to see a hungry polar bear sniffing around the open door, Juno has no time to be afraid. It’s time to find her voice, summon the big dog inside her, and save her beloved boy.
Download the free Teacher's Guide for Sun Dog
“Kerbel weaves facts about the Arctic Circle within a tender story of the devotion between a boy and his dog. Del Rizzo’s vibrant, colorful polymer clay and acrylics capture the beauty of their home….Juno may be a puppy in the Arctic Circle, but children everywhere will relate to her.”
“The captivating text and illustrations invite repeated reading. An inspiring tale of determination, courage, and devotion.”
"Poetic...dreamy...unique. Highly Recommended."
"A lovely story of the connection between Juno and her boy, but also of the high Arctic days, and the animals who call that part of the world their home."
“Charming…brilliant…heart-warming. Children will love the story of Juno.”
“An intimate romp with a young puppy and a sweeping celebration of the vast and beautiful tundra makes Sun Dog an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”
"A beautifully illustrated, impeccably written tale about a little sled dog pup who dreams of running with the big dogs...a fantastic little book for the dog days of summer."
“Excellent....very exciting and full of local colour. This book could possibly be an award winner!”
“What a gorgeous picture book! With such appealing and vibrant art, and a beautifully written, well-paced story, Sun Dog would make for great read-aloud material, as well as for quiet reading and sharing.”
"Deborah Kerbel leads readers on an engaging journey to the Arctic, where she effectively intersperses facts about the flora, fauna and the sun cycle with a sensitive story about a puppy who courageously establishes her rightful place in her community. "