Words for the young reader

The Littlest Sled Dog offers a warm tale of canine ambition, set against a brilliant Arctic backdrop.

The Littlest Sled Dog
(By Michael Kusugak and Vladyana Krykorka. Orca Book Publishers, $19.95)
Vladyana Krykorka's swirling, aurora-bright illustrations blend with a charming story for young children by Rankin Inlet's Michael Kusugak, about a wide-eyed wee terrier who moves to the Far North with dreams of leading a fierce dog team across the sea ice.

(By Robert Paul Weston. Razorbill, $17.50)
Part-time Vancouverite Robert Paul Weston takes readers underground for a tale full of Roald Dahl–ian wit, in which a little girl wanders creepy caverns in search of all the mythical beasts that have vanished from the world above. Even better, Weston does the whole thing in rhyming couplets.

(By Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry. Tradewind, $12.95)
Ash Perrault can handle being called a freak for her pierced nose and dyed hair. She might even be able to find a way to deal with all of the other stresses in her life, including her father's marriage proposal to his girlfriend. But what will she do about the strange power in her that can shatter any piece of glass nearby?

The Dangerous Book for Boys: Canadian Edition
(By Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden. Collins, $29.95)
Canada gets its own version of the best-selling guide to what the dirty-kneed world of boyhood looked like before the advent of Xbox. Instructions on how to build go-carts, tie knots, and crack secret codes are joined by tales of voyageurs and Wayne Gretzky. An awesomely enjoyable piece of gender stereotyping.

The Wizard of Oz
(By L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Graham Rawle. Counterpoint, $38.95)
No, it's not a new story, but it sure looks that way. In this vibrant, large-format hardcover, British collage artist Graham Rawle illustrates the complete text of the Baum classic with gleefully odd images made from dolls and ragged plush toys dressed in handmade costumes. A strange world made stranger.