Last Green Dragon, The
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 24 February 2023

The Last Green Dragonby Rud VerhagenPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$19.95 ISBN 9781988783918 The Last Green Dragon is a magical tale of courage, mystery and adventure between two very unlikely friends. Gus is a green dragon who has been raised by a pair of owls since he was a hatchling. Ev is a young girl who was left on the doorstep of a kind old lady named Granny Jenkins when she was a baby. But thanks to a magical opening in Ev’s backyard the two meet and become friends. Although they don’t know it, they are both on a quest and it’s only by joining together that they will each be able to unlock the secrets of their past. Both Gus and Ev are prepared to sacrifice something precious to help the other and they encourage each other when the challenges seem too hard. But just when their friendship seems unbreakable there’s a shocking discovery at the end of the book that threatens to destroy it forever. Fantasy is not usually my go-to genre, but I was absolutely delighted by The Last Green Dragon. Gus and Ev are interesting characters who each have their own personal challenges…

Jessie the Doo-Doo Dog and the Visitors from Outer Space
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 16 December 2022

Jessie the Doo-Doo Dog and the Visitors from Outer Spaceby Bill and Jocelyn HutchinsonPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$14.95 ISBN 9781778690006 Dogs, poop, flying saucers and “a tail that’s out of this world”. This is a chapter book that children will adore. The story is told from the perspective of Jessie, a Maltipoo who lives with her bigger cousins Katcha and Krissy, and their human mom and dad. Jessie’s sister, Jo-Jo, also lives close by and comes for frequent sleepovers. One night, on one of their regular walks around the neighbourhood, the dogs come across an incredible sight: a flying saucer! And inside are two small creatures who “looked a lot like Jo-Jo and me—except they had green fur and a pair of matching antennas sticking out of their heads. Space dogs?!” The space dogs have a serious problem. They have run out of fuel for their space craft…and a very special type of fuel is needed. The dogs and their human dad come up with a plan that involves enlisting the help of as many animals as they can find including the rabbits, the squirrels, the gophers, the geese and the beavers. The moose end up…

Silly Willy Christmas, A
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 16 December 2022

A Silly Willy Christmasby Brenda RedmanPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Cindy Wilson$14.95 ISBN 9781988783987 A Silly Willy Christmas is a children’s book written by Brenda Redman and illustrated by Wendi Nordell. Right from the beginning, the title of the book tells you it will be fun to read! The moment I saw the cover, with its bright, vibrant colours, and its little smiling faces, I knew I wanted to open the book and read what was inside. The story is as happy and charming as its cover. A little girl, who Gramma calls Peanut, her baby sister called Muffin, and her Mom and Dad, arrive at Gramma and Papa’s house for Christmas. Gramma greets Peanut with “a million zillion kisses”. When Peanut comments to Gramma on the “million zillion” boots in the closet, the many relatives filling up all the couches and chairs, the family members napping everywhere, enough food in the kitchen to feed all of Saskatchewan, and finally the “million zillion” Christmas stockings on the fireplace, Gramma always has an unexpected and innovative way to fix things. Every time Gramma tells Peanut of her solution to each of the problems caused by a “million zillion” of…

Sariri
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 26 October 2022

Sariri: Travels Through Boliviaby Ivar MendezPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Toby A. Welch$24.95 ISBN 9781988783796 This is a fascinating read to add to your collection of travel books! You’ll find 20 chapters in Sariri (not counting the introduction, afterword, and glossary.) Each chapter covers a specific place in Bolivia, a terrific way to lay out a book about a country. Close to the front of the book you’ll find a map that pinpoints the location of each chapter – so handy! If you are confused by the title of this book, ‘sariri’ is the Bolivian word for the nature of a traveller – a pilgrim on a spiritual quest, a traveller in search of new horizons, adventures, and cultures. That sums up Mendez himself perfectly. Mendez does an amazing job of describing each place he visits in Bolivia without being flowery – I love that! For example, when detailing the houses in the village of Culpina, he writes, “A row of brick houses… are still in use. These small red houses with chimneys look like they belong in an English town rather than in the middle of the Bolivian pampas.” Of all the interesting places Mendez wrote about,…

Pickle in Grandma’s Fridge, The
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 19 October 2022

The Pickle in Grandma’s FridgeStory by Elena Bentley, Art by Tonia LairdPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Cindy WilsonISBN 9781988783857 $16.95 The Pickle in Grandma’s Fridge is a children’s book written by Elena Bentley and illustrated by ToniaLaird. It has a grandma, a fridge, and a fuzzy green pickle–of course it’s an interesting story! Annie is a little girl who goes to her grandma’s after school. How lovely is that? Annie tells Grandmathat her friend says if you leave food in the fridge too long it will grow legs. When Annie goes toGrandma’s fridge to get a snack she sees a very fuzzy green pickle! She thinks Grandma should throwthat pickle out before it grows legs. Grandma says ,“Don’t be silly. Food can’t grow legs.” But that night a tap, tap, tap, coming from the fridge wakes Annie. She opens the fridge door and outjumps the fuzzy green pickle! Follow along to find out what happens with Annie, Grandma, and Dil theFuzzy Pickle! Laird’s vivid illustrations will capture the attention of readers young and old, and clearlanguage makes reading along both easy and fun. The illustrator lets us know Annie’s personality through her very expressive facial expressions. We alsosee…

Shepherd’s Call

Shepherd’s Callby Counios and GanePublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Michelle ShawISBN 9781988783772 $19.95 Shepherd’s Call is the latest installment in the internationally award-winning Shepherd & Wolfe mystery series, written by Regina-based authors David Gane and Angie Counios. Tony Shepherd is all set to graduate from high school when his best friend Charlie Wolfe suddenly disappears leaving only a cryptic text message on Tony’s phone saying: “Help”. Tony’s search for his friend leads him back into Charlie’s past where he slowly discovers the traumatic events that shattered Charlie’s life. The book is told from both Tony and Charlie’s point of view, so at the same time as we are following Tony’s search we are also following Charlie’s adventures as he attempts to figure out why he has been abducted and what he needs to do to stay alive. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book. The previous book Wolfe in Shepherd’s Clothing ended on such a cliffhanger and I’ve been desperate to find out what happened to Charlie and Tony. It took me a little while to get into this book because it’s been a few years since the previous book was published. But the chapters are short and the…

Buddy

Buddy: A Farm in the Forest StoryWritten by Jena Wagmann, Illustrated by Alana HyrtlePublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$16.95 ISBN 9-781988-783895 It’s not uncommon for children’s authors to transform a scenario from “real” life into a story for a picture book, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In the case of Goodsoil, SK writer Jena Wagmann’s new title, Buddy: A Farm in the Forest Story, the actual-experience-to-the-page formula works dog gone well. The retired school administrative assistant-turned-farmer (and writer!) has paired her talents with Nova Scotia illustrator Alana Hyrtle—and if I’m guessing correctly, this is actually a mother-daughter team—to create a heartwarming story with delightful watercolour illustrations about adopting a scruffy Shih Tzu who’d been abandoned in the forest by its previous owner. “Buddy” was “definitely not the handsomest dog they had ever seen—his eyes bulged out of his head, his teeth stuck out on one side of his mouth, and his little black nose did not sit in the middle of his face.” Buddy appears on the cover facing the moon and a star-filled sky above a forest, and it was easy to fall for the “little bit crooked” canine hero who at one…

Grandfather’s Reminder

Grandfather’s Reminderby Alberta-Rose Bear and Kathleen O’Reilly, Illustrated by Lindsey BearPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.95 ISBN 9781988783826 Grandfather’s Reminder is a warm and relatively simple contemporary tale with an “oral storytelling-feel,” but it is an ambitious undertaking: aside from its gentle teaching about respect for the land and all it provides, the handsome illustrated children’s book is written in English, Plains Cree and Saulteaux, and contains an introduction to these languages, plus a glossary. Proceeds from the sale of the hardcover book go to the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council Education Fund. Authors Alberta-Rose Bear and Kathleen O’Reilly immediately immerse us into the prairie landscape, and illustrator Lindsey Bear provides the colour and detail in full-bleed images that depict a chokecherry-picking family in the woods beneath summer-blue skies. Many of the illustrations are bordered in a floral beadwork design. It’s August, “well before the leaves started to turn colour” and “the foxtails waved gently in the wind.” The story’s narrated by a child whose grandfather lives nearby, and when this nimosôn (Plains Cree)/nimihšōmihš (Saulteaux) Elder arrives with “white buckets” for everyone, they follow him “behind his house towards the hill” where “behind the willow trees [there]…

Stories from the Churchill
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 22 December 2021

Stories from the ChurchillWritten by Ric Driediger, with Illustrations by Paul MasonPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$24.95 ISBN 9-781988-783727 Ric Driediger’s positively reverent when he writes about the beauty and challenges inherent in canoeing Saskatchewan’s vast northern waterways. The owner/operator of Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipe, SK may already be known to readers—and fellow canoeists—through his first book, Paddling Northern Saskatchewan: A Guide to 80 Canoe Routes. Now this knowledgeable paddler has penned Stories from the Churchill, and he describes it as “the book [he] wanted to write” whereas the earlier book was the one he “needed” to write. There’s a difference. What comes through the page is that Driediger’s doing exactly what he was meant to, both professionally and personally, and he knows just how fortunate he is. Even if you never intend to canoe across a morning-calm lake, brave big-lake wind and river rapids, portage through “swampy muskeg,” lose yourself in the boreal wilderness, “go solo” (“a spiritual experience”), or winter camp, this book will inform and entertain you. It’s well-written in a conversational tone, and includes anecdotes from Driediger’s own adventures and stories from his clients’ and staff’s experiences, too. Driediger’s a…

Sixty and Beyond
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 22 December 2021

Sixty and Beyond: Looking Forward – Looking Backby Alison R. MontgomeryPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$14.95 ISBN 978-1-988783734 When contemplating her retirement, Alison Montgomery’s mother gave her some wise advice: “Travelling, going to the lake, walking the dog and working out are what you do on a vacation. Retirement lasts a long time, and you would be wise to find some form of purposeful work.” Alison took that to heart. After retiring as a high school art teacher, she decided to study further and become involved in adult education. These days she also continues to enjoy her passion as a landscape artist, plays the flute and piccolo in various community ensembles and enjoys a newfound delight for paddle boarding. Sixty and Beyond is a reflection of Alison’s life — past, present and future. As she puts it: “The great thing about this stage of life is that you get to reflect on what has worked well for you so far and what has not and decide if you will keep it or throw it.” This is Alison’s third book. In 2001 her life came to a grinding halt when her son Chris died in a climbing accident….