Atlantic Canadian Books For Kids: A Ghost Story, A Folk Tale, and A Celebration of Differences

My kids are all teens now, but I still love kids’ books. Here are a few newly available from Atlantic Canada… all three are from Newfoundland!

(Please excuse the shoddy cell phone photography.)


The Little Red Shed, written by Adam and Jennifer Young, illustrated by Adam Young, published by Breakwater Books

I am a sucker for colourful art and illustrations, so this book was an instant hit for me.

The Little Red Shed is a sweet, simple story, appropriate for any age, about a shed who feels left out and different after it is painted red while all the other sheds remain white.

A little boat trip and an encounter with a humpback whale encourages the red shed to embrace its uniqueness and head home with pride.

A quick search for Adam Young landed me here, where I have already spent a couple of hours just trying to decide which print I want. Which one would you get?


Footsteps in Bay de Verde, written by Charis Cotter, illustrated by Jenny Dwyer, published by Running the Goat

For kids who are a little bit older and starting to show interest in ghost stories, Footsteps in Bay de Verde can scratch that itch, and maybe even inspire some spooky stories around the campfire.

One stormy night, the adults are sitting around telling stories and the kids don’t want to be sent to bed. But after a mysterious bang and some unexplained footsteps, their mother takes them up to bed where they beg to have her leave behind the lit candle.

An atmospheric story, with illustrations to match.

Charis Cotter–a Hackmatack nominated author–is fascinated by ghost stories and has collected them over the years. She is also the author of two middle-grade ghost stories: The Swallow and The Ghost Road.


Barefoot Helen and the Giants, written by Andy Jones, illustrated by Katie Brosnan, published by Running the Goat

Structured like a cross between a school-aged picture book and a beginners chapter book, Barefoot Helen and the Giants consists of twelve chapters yet has illustrations on almost every page.

Inspired by folktales from Newfoundland and around the world–all mentioned at the end of the book–this is a story that “celebrates strong girls, great stories, and blended families.”

Initially raised by bears, Helen is adopted by a loving couple who are careful not to take away her freedom. She knows how to take care of herself, which comes in handy when she’s captured by a giant and forced to help kidnap the princess.

Also a Hackmatack nominated author, Andy Jones is an actor, writer, storyteller, and director. Some of you might remember him from CODCO. More recently, you can find him on Little Dog.

What a talented bunch.

Have you read any good kids’ books recently?

18 thoughts on “Atlantic Canadian Books For Kids: A Ghost Story, A Folk Tale, and A Celebration of Differences

  1. Rebecca Foster says:

    I love reading picture books! Volunteering at the library, I come across so many that I want to read and/or get for our goddaughter, most of them to do with cats or pigeons. I found a copy of Six-Dinner Sid — I think it was you who recommended that one? The only problem is that the hundreds of picture books are in no order, just piled up in wooden crates, so it’s nearly impossible to refind anything!

    • Naomi says:

      Our library has our picture books organized by the first letter of the author’s last name, so there is at least some hope of finding things. However, they get put in the wrong place all the time and need sorting through. This is when I find all the great books that make me wish my kids were still little!

    • buriedinprint says:

      Oooohh, Rebecca, you should check out the “Large canvases” page on the Adam Young site that Naomi linked to up there… *rubs palms*

  2. Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis says:

    Oh – I just discovered that I love Adam Young’s prints! I also love clotheslines so my choice would be one of those – perhaps Gusty aka Yellow Saltbox. OR Field of Gold because the colours are just so beautiful. Thanks for the introduction!

    • Naomi says:

      I love the clothesline prints! But I also love the prints of the sea creatures under the water holding up the sheds. It’s so hard to decide!

  3. Jane says:

    I’ve begun to realise how many ‘children’s’ books I’ve missed out on and plan to do something about it! Barefoot Helen looks fabulous!

  4. Karissa says:

    Ooh, these look great! My kids aren’t really into ghost stories but the first one looks charming and Barefoot Helen looks like a good transition into longer titles.

  5. madamebibilophile says:

    These look lovely Naomi! I also enjoy kids stories, its been a while since I read one so I’ll have to dust off some books I think. Thanks for introducing me to Adam Young’s art work too – gorgeous!

    • Naomi says:

      Working at the library gives me a good chance to keep up with the new and wonderful kids’ books that are always coming out. I used to collect them for my own kids before they were even born… now I’m thinking I might have to start collecting for the future grandkids! (Still way in the future, I hope!)

  6. buriedinprint says:

    It’s really hard to choose favourites amongst Adam Young’s prints: thanks for sharing that link and widening-and BRIGHTENING–the world for us. I like Whale Watching and Maudie’s House, Goin’ Back and The Bottom. But, really, I don’t think there are any I really DISlike, which is quite a thing when it comes to original art. Now that the library’s are open again, I’ll be able to get back to reading more children’s books too. I would love to buy more of them too.

    • Naomi says:

      Libraries make so much sense when you don’t have young kids around anymore! How I would love to tear out some of the pages, frame them, and put them on my wall! (Shhh!)
      Speaking of which… yes! There aren’t any of Adam Young’s paintings I dislike. You would think that would make my decision easier!

  7. Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

    When I saw the title of this post, I immediately thought “Is the ghost story by Charis Cotter?” Haha, I haven’t read the one you’ve reviewed here but I have read her first two middle grade novels. (She has a third middle grade called The Ghost Road.)

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