Beach Books

Mommy, Am I Pretty_0689

Mommy, am I pretty?
By Margot L. Denommé
Self-published, 32 pgs.
Reviewed by Andrew Hudson

Brightly painted wildflowers, ballerinas and drummer girls steal the show in this picture book illustrated by nine and eleven year-old sisters Brooke and Madison Denommé-Warren.

Mommy, am I pretty? opens with a young girl asking her mom just that question after it comes up in a schoolyard chat with her best friend.

On the walk home, her mother explains that the best way to feel pretty is to feel proud – proud of being kind to people, trying your best and making new friends.

It doesn’t matter whether you are tall, short, big or small, she says. Being kind-hearted to others is all the pretty you need.

With a charming message and full-page pictures girls can relate to, Mommy, am I pretty? is a real mother-daughter book.

Available from Kids at Home and Ella Minnow on Queen Street East, through or at the official website,, a portion of proceeds from the book will go to Meagan’s Walk, a Toronto charity named for Meagan Bebenek, who was five years old when doctors found she had an inoperable brain tumour.

Since Meagan’s passing in 2001, the memorial walk and a “human hug” around SickKids hospital have raised more than $2.7 million for cancer research.


Soccer: Canada’s National Sport
By Les Jones
Covershots Inc., 256 pgs.
Reviewed by Phil Lameira

If someone were to tell you about the most popular sport in the country, one in which Canada won a gold medal in 1904, a sport played by 850,000 registered players from coast to coast and with a history that dates back more than 150 years in this country, you may very well assume it is hockey.

Not so.

Les Jones’ recent coffee-table book, Soccer: Canada’s National Sport reveals a heap of memorable moments in Canada’s soccer history that even many fans might not know, such as winning the Olympic gold medal in 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri.

The book, packed with historical photos, describes many of Canada’s achievements in a chronological format – from the 1884 match between the Western Football Association, based in what is now Kitchener, and the St. Louis Thistles (the first recorded Canadian international match), to Canada’s victory over Brazil in 2011.

Features on memorable players are plenty, such as Dwayne De Rosario’s accomplishments as the best male soccer player the country has ever seen. Charmaine Hooper, twice named to the FIFA All-Star team, is considered by some to be the Wayne Gretzky of Canadian women’s soccer.

A few  big international names also make appearances. In 1976, Toronto Metro-Croatia signed Eusebio, the Portuguese star who recently passed away. In 1996, world-famous Diego Maradona played in a friendly match at nearby Birchmount Stadium.

The book’s history format is interrupted by ‘Fun and Games,’ pages showcasing memorable photos from the sport’s past and present.

Canadian football fans will surely appreciate Soccer: Canada’s National Sport for the amount of research, rich history and rare photos that have gone into it.

Soccer: Canada’s National Sport is available at, or at The Nutty Chocolatier on Queen Street East.

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