Yellow Cedar Nominees

The Yellow Cedar nominees inspire children to read in a new way

Often we think a good book means a story with character development and a linear plot. The Yellow Cedar category of the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading program exists to redefine what it means to read a ‘good book.’ This category consists of ten non-fiction books that have no plotlines or fictional characters yet every last one of them is an incredible read. They cover a range of factual topics from Indigenous culture to environmental issues to life in outer space.

It Began with a Page : how Gyo Fujikawa drew the way by Kyo Maclear

Japanese-American artist Gyo Fujikaw created the first picturebook to showcase multi-racial characters. After many years of hardship and perseverance, her ground breaking picturebook Babies was published in 1963.

Gone is Gone : wildlife under threat by Isabelle Groc

Human actions have brought almost 27,000 plant and animal species to the brink of extinction. Photographer Isabelle Groc takes a beautifully illustrated look at wildlife under threat, endangered species and wildlife conservation.

Under Pressure : the science of stress by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Stress can help us and stress can hurt us. The brain and the body work together in ways that are pretty incredible. Science continues to discover new information about stress and how it shapes our lives.

Powwow : a celebration through song and dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane

Until 1951 it was illegal for Indigenous Peoples to practice their own customs. Powwows are a way of reconnecting with traditional ceremonies and rituals. Anishinaabe dancer Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane showcases a journey through Powwow culture in North America.

Science Comics. Crows : genius birds by Kyla Vanderklugt (Graphic Novel)

Buddy is a happy dog but he’s not half as smart as a crow –a crow that’s happy to use Buddy to his advantage. As Buddy helps his new crow friend pick through trash cans, he learns how a crow’s brain functions and how they are able to problem solve.

The Boreal Forest : a year in the world’s largest biome by L.E. Carmichael

The boreal forest spans the northern part of the globe from Japan to Alaska. The forest plays a vital part of our lives – it keeps our air and water supply clean. As the seasons change, the forest supports life in many different ways.

An Earthling’s Guide to Outer Space by Bob McDonald

The universe is infinite. The earth is just a minor speck compared to the vast amount of planets, stars and galaxies in the cosmos. CBC commentator Bob McDonald explains what we know about life in space.

One Earth : people of color protecting our planet by Anuradha Rao

What we love as children can shape who we are as adults. Twenty short biographies of BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of colour) who fell in love with nature as children and grew up to become leaders in environmental activism.

Hawks Kettle, Puffins Wheel and Other Poems of Birds in Flight by Susan Vande Griek

Birds don’t simply fly. The unique motions and flight patterns they use are a vital part of their survival. Each poem in the book describes a different group of birds and their distinctive movements in flight.

Trending : how and why stuff gets popular by Kira Vermond

Hobble skirts were all the rage in 1910. In the 1950’s every kid had a Hoola Hoop. By 2016, people were catching virtual creatures with the Pokemon Go app. Trends may come and go but they sure make us do some ridiculous things.

For great fiction reads for young adults check out the Silver Birch and Red Maple nominees. And stay tuned for great picture book recommendations for younger readers in the Blue Spruce nominees.

— Lesley L.