Three Children’s Picture Books from Nimbus Publishing

[Editor’s note: the following reviews were originally written for Atlantic Books and were posted in three parts at It is reproduced here in one article under arrangement with them. The author, Melanie Metivier, is a former co-worker of mine from her brief time in Miramichi before she moved on to life in Moncton with her husband and two children. I am extremely happy to have contribute reviews of children’s books for TMR. – James]

Skunks for Breakfast by Lesley Choyce with art by Brenda Jones is a comical story of a family who is typically unbothered by the different wild animals living under their house until one morning they wake up to a smelly skunk living under there. It goes through different funny scenarios of each family member and how the skunk smell affected them at both work and school. They decided to set a live trap and released the skunk, soon after discovering there were many more skunks living there. Once they had all been set free, the family was relieved to no longer be living among smelly skunks.
This story was successful in capturing and holding the attention of young readers with silliness and repetition. It also seemed to offer a bit of a lesson about giving the animals and nature a chance, even when they seem to be nothing but a bother. At first, Pamela hates the skunks and how their smell is affecting her life. By the end, she has come around to liking them. The book was entertaining, well-written and an easy read that offered a good laugh for all.

  • Publisher : Nimbus Publishing; 2 edition (July 24 2019)
  • Language: : English
  • Paperback : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1771087854
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1771087858

Gary the Seagull by Christian Johnston with art by Paul Hammond is a fictional story about a day at the beach and a persistent seagull who wants to steal everyone’s lunch. Gary tries dressing up as several different people in an attempt to fool one of the children into giving up his lunch. The child is not fooled and continues to say “shoo bird! Shoo!” while the seagull responds with “rats!” throughout the book. The repetition of that phrase is quickly picked up by young children. By the middle of the book, Adeline was able to recognize the phrase and when it would occur, which she found entertaining and it helped to keep her interest. The illustrations in this story were very vibrant and eye-catching, which is well-received by young listeners. While the story was a funny exaggeration of a seagull’s actions, I think everyone who has been to the beach can relate to the persistence of the bird.

  • Publisher : Nimbus Publishing; Illustrated edition (June 16 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Paperback : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1771088362
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1771088367


A Great Big Night by Kate Inglis with art by Josée Bisaillon tells the story of three frogs who enter the Great Green Forest for a musical party. As they ride their bicycles past different animals everyone is excited to join in the fun, except for a grumpy grouse. A storm soon approaches and the animals all scatter until it clears, when they hear the grouse crying as his home was destroyed. The animals begin to sing a song for help and all arrive to assist in rebuilding the home. Once the grouse sees all they have done, he is grateful and decides to join in on the musical train.
This story uses a lot of descriptive words, and the illustrations are beautiful and unique which all help to envision the setting. There is a great lesson behind it which teaches readers to accept others and treat them with kindness. While the grouse was initially grumpy to the other animals, they did not let that stop them from helping someone in need. Their kindness brought gratefulness and cheer to the grouse, and resulted in a new friendship. Children can learn from the story how to be caring and compassionate to anyone in need, regardless of their differences.

  • Publisher : Nimbus Publishing Limited (Sept. 15 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Hardcover : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1771089083
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1771089081

Children's Picture Book Reviewer

Melanie is the Children's Book reviewer at The Miramichi Reader. She is a mother to two young children Adeline (5 years) and Harlow (3 years). She has a Bachelor of Health Science from Dalhousie University and previously worked as a Radiological Technologist before deciding to pursue a career in health insurance administration. She enjoys sewing, crafting, and going on adventures with her family. Having lived in all three maritime provinces, Melanie now raises her daughters with her husband in Moncton, NB.