Orca Books for Children: 1,2,3 Salish Sea and The Night is Deep and Wide

Orca Book Publishers is located in Victoria, British Columbia and takes pride in publishing over 80 children’s book titles per year. Established in 1984, Orca aims to provide young Canadian readers a variety of genres, with a special focus on those that promote diversity and inclusivity. They also offer eco-conscious printing which includes all books being printed on paper made from responsibly sourced wood fibre.

1, 2, 3 Salish Sea by Nikki McClure is a simple counting book suitable for even the youngest of readers. Each number is represented by a creature from the Salish Sea, which also helps to educate young children on what lives in the sea. The illustrations are thoughtfully constructed, and for every number there is a corresponding number of creatures drawn. Adeline really enjoyed being able to count the pictures each time. This is a wonderful way to help young children visualize the numbers, and offers a great opportunity to practice counting while ensuring they remain engaged.

The Night is Deep and Wide by Gillian Sze with illustrations by Sue Todd, is a short bedtime poem for little listeners. As the book is written in Italian villanelle format, it provides an early introduction to poetry for children. The soft, repetitive phrases create an overall sense of calmness and relaxation, making it a great choice for bedtime reading. The illustrations contribute to the calm feeling as well, presented mainly as black and white drawings, with just a simple pop of colour on each page. A great addition to any bedtime routine!

Nikki McClure is a papercut artist based in Olympia, Washington. She is the author and illustrator of many children’s books, including What Will These Hands Make?, How to Be a Cat and Waiting for High Tide. She has created works for Patagonia and Slow Food Nation and produces a popular annual calendar.

Gillian Sze is the author of multiple poetry collections, including Peeling Rambutan, Redrafting Winer and Panicle. Her work has been nominated for the QWF’s A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and has received awards such as the University of Winnipeg Writers’ Circle Prize and the 3Macs carte blanche Prize. She studied creative writing and English literature at Concordia University and received a Ph.D. in études anglaises from the Université de Montréal. Originally from Winnipeg, she now resides in Montreal, where she teaches creative writing.

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.