11 Ways To Keep Reading Canadian

With the success of the first-ever I Read Canadian Day on February 19th, we wanted to share some easy tips on how you can keep reading Canadian through out the year!

The CCBC magazines, Best Books for Kids & Teens and Canadian Children’s Book News 

Best Books for Kids & Teens is your semi-annual guide to the best of Canadian children’s literature. Ranging from books for newborn babies to teens, our guide is the perfect tool to stock your classroom, library, and even your home. Expert educators, booksellers, and school and public librarians across Canada have handpicked these books to bring you a high range of engaging, quality Canadian content.

There’s even an online version on the CCBC website that is accessible to anyone. With a keyword search engine, finding Canadian books online has never been easier!

Canadian Children’s Book News, published quarterly, is your magazine for book reviews, author/illustrator profiles, news and more. Apart from actually reading Canadian, staying up to date on current topics affecting children’s education and reading is important too!

Canadian Children’s Book News and Best Books for Kids & Teens are available by subscription.

Apply for a reading during Book Week for your school, bookstore, library or community centre

Canadian Children’s Book Week is a national event that celebrates Canadian books and the importance of children’s literacy. From May 2 to 9, seven talented authors and illustrators will be touring outside of their home provinces visiting schools, bookstores, libraries, and community centres as part of Canada’s largest celebration of reading!

See the full list of touring authors and illustrators and apply for a reading today! The deadline for applications is March 15, 2020.

Attend author/illustrator events

Consider attending one of the many literary festivals that happen year-round! Spanning all across Canada, these events provide amazing opportunities to not only meet your favourite authors and illustrators but to discover amazing, new talents as well. Join discussions and author signings with people who truly love books and get inspired by your fellow book community!

Frye Festival

Infusion YA Book Festival

Killaloe Kids BookFest

Lakefield Literary Festival

Montreal YA Festival

Salon du livre du Montreal

Saskatchewan Festival of Words

Telling Tales

Vancouver Writers Festival

When Worlds Collide

Word on the Street

 

The CCBC’s new YouYube channel, Bibliovideo

We are launching a new and exciting YouYube channel in May called Bibliovideo. Showcasing videos and links about Canadian books for children and teens, this will be a great way for teachers, librarians, parents, authors and illustrators to stay informed about children’s literature. Featured videos may include author interviews, read-alongs, how-to’s from illustrators, publishers’ trailers, book reviews, and more!

In the meantime, make sure to check out all the great interviews and readings of Canadian authors and illustrators on the CCBC YouTube channel!

Follow your favourite Canadian authors and illustrators on social media

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are all incredible ways to stay connected with your favourite creators! Not only is it a great way to stay informed about upcoming books from your favourite authors, but it’s also a great way to stay up-to-date within the book community and have important conversations with like-minded people.

Emma Hunter, the CCBC’s Marketing and Communication Coordinator, displays her favourite Canadian reads of the season

Create a display of your favourite Canadian books 

Exhibit your love of reading at home by creating displays of your favourite Canadian reads! Change it up as the seasons’ change or whatever mood strikes you at that very moment. This fun and creative project will guarantee that Canadian literature stays at the forefront of minds.

Read a Canadian book before bed 

Who else looks forward to that moment when you sit back, relax, and get ready to read that bedtime story with your little one? If so, why not add a Canadian title to the mix? You don’t have to read solely Canadian of course, but by adding just one Canadian book to the week, you are already one step ahead of the game!

Join a Book Club 

If you’re already part of a book club, why not suggest reading more Canadian? It doesn’t hurt to try and spark change in your book community by adding more Canadian to the reading list and if that doesn’t work out… Then why not start your own I Read Canadian book club?

Visit your local library and bookstore 

Visit your local library and bookstore and tell them it’s important to read Canadian literature. With only 20% of books actually being Canadian in most bookstores and libraries, having these types of conversations will show librarians and booksellers that people genuinely care about what they’re reading and could even increase orders on Canadian books.

Blogs, Podcasts, and YouTube channels 

Who else’s TBR pile is forever growing? Nowadays, there are so many different mediums and methods that enable us to discover books. It all just comes down to the person and their preferences. Here are some bookish blogs we think could help you discover your next great Canadian read!

CanLit for Little Canadians

Inkygirl

Off the Page

Pickle Me This

YA Book Shelf

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre produces two podcasts about Canadian books: YA Write! with Amy Mathers and Readerly.

Read in sprints or on your commute to and from work

It can be hard finding time to dedicate a couple of hours to read every day, which is why we challenge you to the 15 Minute Sprint Challenge. Pick your Canadian book, set your timer, and read away till that bell goes off! Or why not pass the time during that long commute home with a great Canadian book instead, or if you’re driving, audiobooks will do wonders for that formidable rush hour.

Do you have any other suggestions on ways to keep reading Canadian? Let us know on social media @kidsbookcentre.

I Read Canadian Day

On Wednesday February 19th, we joined Canadian authors Eric Walters, Sharon Jennings, Melanie Florence, Ruth Ohi, spoken word poet Wali Shah and four time Juno award-winner Jack Grunsky at Folkstone Public School in Brampton for the inauguration of the first ever I Read Canadian Day — a day dedicated to celebrating the richness and diversity that Canadian books have to offer young people.

Watch a short clip of Jack Grunksy’s performance here!

To kick off the event, singer-songwriter Jack Grunsky performed his hit, I Can Read, to the students at Folkstone Public School!

 

Eric Walters lead the day with incredibly vivid and engaging behind-the-scene stories about what inspired his books, such as up-close encounters with tigers, birthday parties in Kenya and his big love for basketball.

 

Sharon Jennings captivated the younger audience with a read aloud of her book, C’mere Boy! — a playful tale that follows the classic story of a boy who wants a dog, BUT with a twist… Instead, it is Dog who wants a boy of his very own, and must find his perfect companion no matter what it takes!

 

Spoken word poet, Wali Shah, made a tremendous impression on the younger crowd with his inspirational rhymes. If you want to change the world, start with yourself first — be kind to others, says Shah.

 

If there is anyone who knows how to get a crowd excited, it’s Melanie Florence! Her exuberance really shined through with her First Nations trickster tale of Baby Turtle and Coyote — a definite crowd favourite.

 

Ruth Ohi closed the event with the adorable picture book duo we all love, Fox and Squirrel. Inspiring kids to use their imaginations, Ruth showed the kids all you have to do is write and draw whatever matters to you, then anything can happen on a page.

 

This was truly an amazing and unforgettable experience! The energy that Folkstone brought with them was truly admirable and it was incredible to see all the students under one roof celebrating and enjoying a Canadian love of reading. We want to send a warm thank you to everyone who participated on I Read Canadian Day! And although February 19th may be over, we still encourage each and everyone to keep sharing the love that is Canadian literature.

How did you celebrate I Read Canadian Day? Let us know on social media @kidsbookcentre.

Family Themed Books for Kids and Teens

There’s nothing more important to a child than family and it’s through love and care that families are built, however this may look. Here are 7 books that celebrate the diversity and bonds of families.

 

A family is a Family is a Family by Sarah O’Leary, illustrated by Qin Leng (Groundwood Books, 2016) Ages 5 and up. 

A family is a Family is a Family is a heart-warming read that celebrates the diversity of families. When a teacher asks her students what makes their families special, one child is hesitant to speak up because of how different their family is… That is until all the other students share their stories. From adopted families, to interracial families, to families with same-sex couples, this book celebrates a diverse range of families and the most important thing shared by all – Love.

 

Little Miss, Big Sis by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter H. Reynolds (HarperCollins, 2015) Ages 4-8.

An ode to all the big sisters in the world, Little Miss, Big Sis expresses all the emotions little girls experience when becoming big sisters for the very first time. This sweet book celebrates sibling love and all the special moments that take place in-between as children grow, evolve and inspire. A perfect, quick read to get any child excited for the arrival of their baby sibling.

 

 

We Are All Made Up of Molecules by Susin Nielsen (Wendy Lamb Books, 2015) Ages 12 and up.

Blended families can be a hard transition. From remarriage, to moving houses and new step-siblings, it can be a big adjustment, especially for children. We Are All Made up Molecules follows Stewart, a young teen who’s dad is set to marry his new girlfriend a year after his mother’s death. As an only child, Stewart is actually excited to have a new sister. Ashley, however, does not take kindly to having a step-brother or step-father and instead rebels against the very idea. This is a book that explores the harder aspects of new families, but with open communication, mutual respect and love and patience, there may just be hope after all.

 

Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts by Esta Spalding (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016) Ages 9 and up. 

Life can be tough when you can’t rely on the adults in your life, and no one knows that better than the Fitzgerald-Trouts. Though unconventional, this family of children have learned to survive it all on their own. Sure, it may not always be perfect, but through their constant support and love for one another, the Fitzgerald-Trouts can do anything they put their minds to! Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts is a funny and adventurous read that showcases the resilience families have when united.

 

Dipnetting With Dad by Wille Sellars (Caitlin Press, 2014) Ages up 5 and up. 

Traditions have the power to bring communities together, teaching us the value of storytelling, community and culture. Dipnetting With Dad is a coming-of-age story that showcases the bond between a boy and his dad as they go dipnetting – one of their oldest family traditions – for the very first time. This is a great book to inspire anyone looking for family traditions of their own.

 

My Cat Looks Like My Dad by Thao Lam (Owlkids, 2019) 

Family members aren’t always human , sometimes they’re made up of animals instead! This adorably, quirky read takes a look at families and how they come in all shapes and sizes, even species through the comparison of a dad and his cat. Readers will love the delightfully, surprising twist at the end, realizing family isn’t always biological, but instead it’s what you make it.

 

Kiss by Kiss by Richard Van Camp (Orca Book Publishers, 2018) Ages 0 and up.

Filled with beautiful full-colour pictures of diverse families sharing kisses, Kiss by Kiss is a sweet, little book that can be used to teach your little ones how to count in both Plains Cree and English. Showcasing the bond between families through shared love, this delightful read will warm hearts all around.

 

 

What do you think of this family themed book list? Do you have any recommendations? Let us know on social media @kidsbookcentre.

Health and Wellness Books for Kids and Teens

By Kirsti Granholm

As adults, we know that health and wellness are an important part of our lives. For kids, health and wellness are just as, if not more, important. These books celebrate and educate us about taking care of our bodies.

Do Your Bit to Be Physically Fit! by Rebecca Sjonger (Crabtree Publishing, 2015) Ages 5 and up.

Do Your Bit to Be Physically Fit! teaches children about the importance of daily exercise. This book highlights the importance of physical activity, from building muscle and being strong to improving your mood through exercise. This title is both informative for children and fun to read, making it a wonderful way to teach children about physical education. Understanding the importance of exercise from a young age will promote life-long health and wellness.

Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat by Paula Ayer (Annick Press, 2015) Ages 12 and up.        

Relationships with food vary from person to person. Healthy relationships can be difficult for some, so it is critical that children have access to resources that can teach them the importance of eating healthy. In Foodprints, Paula Ayer investigates all aspects of the food world, from marketing to economics to the history of food. This book is packed with knowledge for teens to explore and implement in their own lives.

Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds (Scholastic, 2018) Ages 4 and up

Happiness, satisfaction and wellness go hand-in-hand. Happy Dreamer teaches children through simple text and eye-catching illustrations that having a dream is a wonderful thing. This book motivates children to go out into the world and make their dreams come true. When children feel confident in themselves, they are able to make decisions and complete tasks with satisfaction, which is absolutely crucial in the developing years. Pick up this book to show the kids in your life that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.

Red Carnation by Alicia Raimundo and Deborah Ellis (Pearson Canada, 2015) Ages 13 and up

Today there are still so many stigmas about mental health, and these assumptions can be passed on to children too. Understanding the importance of advocating for mental health from a young age is critical, it could even save somebody’s life. Red Carnation takes readers through Alicia Raimundo’s mental health journey as a young teen. After a suicide attempt at age 13, Alicia was put into a psychiatric ward where she was then able to take charge and improve her overall health and wellness with the help of a few kind individuals. This title is highly recommended for all teens looking to further their understanding of mental health and wellness.

See How We Move! A First Book of Health and Well-Being by Scot Ritchie (Kids Can Press, 2018) Ages 4 and up

See How We Move! introduces children to the importance of physical activity and living a healthy, active lifestyle. As young children meet for a swim meet, they begin to recognize the rewards of being active. Not only do they feel strong and confident, but they are able to be active with their friends and have fun too. This sweet and simple story will definitely have your children looking forward to being active with friends and family!

Upside Down: A Family’s Journey Through Mental Illness written by Clem Martini, illustrated by Olivier Martini (Pearson Canada, 2015) Ages 13 and up

In this book, Clem Martini shares her brother Olivier’s experience with schizophrenia. Clem explores the difficulties faced by Olivier and the family as a whole, from finding treatment and acceptance to navigating the healthcare system. The title “Upside Down” comes from Clem’s perspective of how their world was turned upside down with Olivier’s diagnosis. Despite the difficulties they faced, Clem and her family stayed resilient and supported Olivier as much as they could. This title is very personal and touching and offers important insight into the world of mental illness.

You Need Rest to Be at Your Best! by Rebecca Sjonger (Crabtree Publishing, 2015) Ages 5 and up

Children need to be well-rested so that they can conquer each day with confidence. While a child may not understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, parents certainly do. This title educates children on why they need to sleep, in an informative and engaging way. Rebecca Sjonger takes readers through the different aspects of sleep, from having a routine to making your sleep space cozy and comfortable. Read and share You Need Rest to Be at Your Best to ensure your children are keeping their health and wellness in mind while getting good sleep every night.

 

What do you think of this wellness-inspired book list? Do you have any recommendations? Let us know on social media @kidsbookcentre.

Author’s Corner: Tanya Lloyd Kyi

You may know Tanya Lloyd Kyi for her big hit last spring, Mya’s Strategy to Save the World (Penguin Random House), the fictional story of one girl’s quest to (a) get her own phone and (b) win the Nobel Prize. You may also know her amazing ability to capture authentic pre-teen voices that you can’t help but wonder, ‘how are they not real!’  If you didn’t know these things, well you’re in for a treat! 

Tanya Kyi began her writing career as a high-school poet, producing pages and pages of terrible poems that only her best friend read. Her love of writing took her to the University of Victoria, where she studied creative writing and English. Tanya’s early jobs were as a small-town newspaper reporter and as a staff writer for the Commonwealth Games. She also worked as an editor and graphic designer before turning to children’s books full-time.

In addition to writing, Tanya likes to bake, read, and play tennis. Her favourite meal is breakfast, her favourite color is blue, and her favourite children’s book is A Wrinkle in TimeHer most recent works are Me and Banksy (Puffin Books), the fictional story of an art-based student campaign against cameras in the classroom and Under Pressure (Kids Can Press), a non-fiction look at the science of stress. Tanya grew up in Creston, BC, but now lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children.

 

First, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get your start as an author? What is your writing process like? 

I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since fifth grade, when my class wrote stories, designed covers, and bound them (okay, stapled them) to create our own “books.” I didn’t start writing children’s books until after university, but I immediately fell in love. Now, I write both fiction and non-fiction for middle-grade and young-adult readers.

The information books are fun because I get to indulge my curiosity. As soon as I begin to wonder about something – whether it’s stress, DNA, or privacy – I start outlining a new book, and the fiction projects are fulfilling for entirely different reasons. I get to create characters, fall in love with them, and send them on adventures. Hopefully, my readers fall in love, too!

 

Let’s talk about Mya’s Strategy to Save the World. In this book, you wrote about an ambitious young girl who is very much aware of the social injustices of the world. Sometimes adults want to hide the hard truths from young people. Do you think it’s important for kids to stay informed about current world issues?

Some issues – climate change, for example – are so overwhelming that it’s impossible to hide them from kids. The young readers of today are going to be the inventors, scientists, and politicians solving these problems tomorrow, so there’s no sense hiding the truth. Instead, I think we should give kids the facts and the tools to understand and process the issues, and the ambition and hope necessary to drive change.

The character of Mya from Mya’s Strategy to Save the World was inspired by my own daughter. She once sent a letter to politicians, urging them to end whale hunting. She wrote: “It’s cruel, mean, and unfair, and every whale in the world agrees with me.” I wanted Mya to have that sort of passionate, activist voice. Because if every kid (and every adult!) cared enough about even one issue, we could create a huge wave of positive change.

 

Tell us about your latest book, Me and Banksy. What inspired the story?

After I wrote a non-fiction book called Eyes and Spies: How You’re
Tracked and Why You Should Know 
(Annick Press), I was extra-aware of surveillance cameras and their potential problems. I felt as if I
hadn’t finished thinking about these issues. So when I began imagining a trio of smart, artistic teens in a fancy private school, I gave them some privacy invasions to deal with – and things spiraled from there!

I’ve always loved reading about the exploits of the street artist Banksy, so I made him (her?) a personal hero of my main character. The book ends with an art-based caper that was very, very fun to write.

 

Do you think a book like Me and Banksy can help young people to take measures to protect their own safety online?

My daughter once complained that every social media talk was about one thing: don’t put naked pictures on the internet. “Of course I won’t put naked pictures on the internet!” she said.

But privacy goes far beyond that.

Imagine you’re standing on your bed in your pajamas, lip-synching into a hairbrush. You’re not doing anything wrong, but you wouldn’t necessarily want the video posted. Maintaining our privacy, online and in real life, means ensuring we’re free to be goofy, to explore, and to play… without the whole world watching.

 

I see that you have also published a number of non-fiction titles. How does the writing process differ from non-fiction to fiction?

Writing non-fiction is like traveling a highway with a GPS. Writing fiction, for me, is like traveling a marsh with a broken compass. I’m always falling into quicksand and having to dig my way out.

Having said that, I love both. When I’m working on an information book, I love delving into new research, learning about wacky historical beliefs, and finding cultural connections. Writing non-fiction is about finding great stories. When I’m working on fiction, I have to create those stories – it’s harder, but just as much fun.

 

Do you have any tips for aspiring non-fiction authors writing for a younger audience?

When writing for young readers, there’s no sense pretending that grown-ups have all the answers. I try to embed this idea in all of my books: “The world is messy. But throughout history, there have been brave and dedicated people who’ve made things better. You could be one of them.”

Are there any other types of genres that you would want to try your hand at?

I recently finished my first picture book manuscript and it was so much fun – I’d love to write more of them.

What projects are you working on now? Can you tell us about any upcoming books?

In September, I have a book coming out with Kids Can Press called, This is Your Brain on Stereotypes: How Science is Tackling Unconscious Bias. This is the most fascinating subject I’ve ever researched. There are so many ways our own minds play tricks on us. I’m really excited to see what readers think of the book.

Want to learn more? Visit Tanya Kyi at tanyalloydkyi.com

7 Thought-Provoking Graphic Novels for Teens

by Kirsti Granholm

Graphic novels can be read and enjoyed by people of all ages, but some of the best Canadian graphic novels are made for teens and young adults. This book list is dedicated to some of the most fascinating graphic novels to come out within the last few years.

 

In Real Life written by Cory Doctorow, illustrated by Jen Wang (First Second, 2014) Ages 12 and up.

Anda loves gaming, but not just any kind of gaming! In her game of choice, she can be whoever she wants to be. As a courageous warrior or the hero that saves the day, Anda escapes into another world each time she plays. But her heroism is tested when she meets Raymond, a poor young boy who is collecting coins online to sell to kids in real life. Anda has the best intentions for Raymond and would really love to help him, but her efforts run short when something very unexpected takes place between the two.

 

Secret Path written by Gord Downie, illustrated by Jeff Lemire (Simon & Schuster Canada, 2016) Ages 12 and up.

Chanie Wenjack was a young boy from Ogoki Post, Ontario. He was taken from his home to attend the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, 400 miles from home. Chanie was forced to assimilate to white, Christian values and of course, deep down he knew what was happening was wrong. He took it upon himself to escape, to try to get back home, not knowing the distance or direction of the whereabouts of his family. Along his brave journey home, Chanie tragically died on October 22, 1966. This story looks to spread awareness of Chanie’s story, and the many other children effected by residential schools.

 

Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books, 2008) Ages 12 and up.

Kimberly or “Skim”, the protagonist, is a 16-year-old girl living in Toronto in the 1990s. She attends a girls’ private school in the city, but never feels like she truly fits in. Skim loves all things astrology, philosophy, Wicca and art, which she also creates herself. Not only does she feel confused about figuring out her life as an artist, but Skim is also struggling with coming out. The confusion furthers when she kisses her not-so-typical crush. Alongside Skim’s own personal drama, a suicide takes place and throws her whole school into mourning. This book is a look into the life of a remarkable young girl. Highly recommended!

 

The Nameless City written and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks, colour by Jordie Bellaire (First Second, 2016) Ages 9 and up.

This book is the first of The Nameless City trilogy. In book one, constant battle surrounds the City. Each time they are invaded, a new individual in power tries to rename the city, but everyone who has lived there knows that it will not last long. Kaidu is one of those new individuals and is a son of the nation who has taken over the land. Kaidu does not quite know what he is in for occupying a new land but goes along with his people regardless. On the other hand, Rat has been living in the Nameless City for quite some time. She detests the new occupants and swears to never align with them or their values. Until one day, the two youngsters unexpectedly become friends and an exciting adventure unravels.

 

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books, 2014) Ages 13 and up.

Another title by the Tamaki cousins made it on this list! This One Summer is another exceptional graphic novel. In this story, Rose and Windy are the best of friends, in the summer season anyways. Both of their families visit Awago beach each year to enjoy the summer by the water. But when the pair get there this summer, things are different. The girls are nearly teenagers now and fully immersed in the typical teenage drama. They find fun in watching the older teens in cottage country and renting scary movies together. But things start to get more interesting when Dunc, the teen from the local store’s girlfriend, Jenny, claims to be pregnant. Soon enough, the parents are in on the drama and their seemingly perfect summers at Awago beach are changed forever.

 

Through the Woods written and illustrated by Emily Carroll (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2014) Ages 14 and up.

Through the Woods is definitely a notable mention for this list. The illustrations are fabulously creepy and the stories are exceptionally creative but are still reminiscent of the old-school spooky folk tales. Emily Carroll packs this book with five mysterious stories, all equally engaging and fascinating. Carroll also manages to make these short, scary stories quite poetic, which is complimentary to her unique illustrations. She evokes emotion and terror through her colour choices, which set the mood for each story within the book. This text is highly recommended for readers of all ages. Teen or not, you will fall in love with these creepy tales.

 

Will I See? written by David Alexander Robertson, illustrated by
GMB Chomichuk, based on the story by Iskw
é, Erin Leslie (HighWater Press, 2016) Ages 16 and up.

In this book, a girl named May is on her way home and spots a stray cat, which she begins to follow. The cat leads her to a fascinating artifact, she grabs it and continues to follow the cat along. May comes across another trinket, and then another and another. She takes her newfound collection and shows it to her kookum, who strings the artifacts into a necklace. Neither May nor her kookum know what stories lie behind the trinkets, or what kind of power her findings hold. But the reader knows May’s findings belong to Indigenous women and girls who have been kidnapped or killed. When trouble arises in May’s life, she finds strength in the power of her new necklace.

 

What do you think of this graphic novel list? Do you have any recommendations? Let us know on social media @kidsbookcentre. 

Cold Weather Themed Book List

by Kirsti Granholm

Canadian books often reflect our Canadian landscapes. From tourist destinations, to the ever-changing climates, to the foliage found province-to-province. One popular theme Canadian authors and illustrators have tackled throughout the years is wintertime. Whether it is the holidays or the cold weather, winter is a popular narrative for many amazing Canadian children’s books. That is why this book list is dedicated to some of the top winter stories for kids.

 

All Year Round by Emilie Leduc, translated by Shelley Tanaka  (Groundwood Books, 2015) Ages 2 and up.

All Year Round is not only about wintertime, but all of the wonderful seasons Canada gets to experience. Follow along as you learn from a young child and their different perspectives of each season, the warm colours of fall and the crisp winter months. This book is both beautifully written and illustrated. Highly recommended for young readers and beyond!

 

Animals Illustrated: Polar Bear written by William Flaherty, illustrated by Danny Christopher (Inhabit Media, 2016) Ages 4 and up.

Winter is approaching quickly and for some, the cold weather may leave you reflecting on our animal friends up north. Like the polar bear! The polar bear is one of Canada’s most well-known animals. Unfortunately, with the threat of extinction due to changing climates, many wonder what can be done to help these species living in the northern parts of Canada. While it is important adults are informed, children should be too. Teaching kids about climate change and the animals that are affected by these changes will ensure young children appreciate Canada’s diversity in wildlife and look to take care of the planet in their own unique ways, now and in the future.

 

Avalanche! (Survivor Diaries, Book 2) written by Terry Lynn Johnson, illustrated by Jani Orban (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) Ages 7 and up.
 In this intense novel, Ashley and Ryan are on a winter skiing trip with their families in Wyoming. Their trip starts off amazing; they get to experience breath-taking views and quality time with their family—until a disaster strikes. While the kids are skiing down the hills, the ground begins to shake and the thick snow begins to crumble over them. The two are buried, but alive, and if they want to make it out that way they must try their best to survive the rigid conditions of the Wyoming mountains.

 

Bears Winter Party by Deborah Hodge, illustrated by Lisa Cinar (Groundwood Books, 2016) Ages 4 and up.

 It’s been a long and lonely winter for bear, living in a big den all alone. Bear knows if he wants some company, he needs to get out and find some new friends. He decides the best way to do this is to throw a party for the other forest animals. Bear is thrilled of the idea of hosting a party, he sets up his den with party gear and gets the treats ready for his guest. Now for the hard part: finding other animals that will be brave enough to step foot in a bear’s den! Bears confidence is knocked, until he happens to stumble upon curious critter lurking around his den.

 

The Christmas Wind written by Stephanie McLellan, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan (Red Deer Press, 2017) Ages 6 and up.
 Christmas is about giving – to family, friends, or even strangers. In The Christmas Wind,young Jo discovers that not everyone is very kind, but sometimes they may come around. As Jo and her ill mother and baby brother are walking on a cold Christmas Eve, they spot a barn that they hope to rest in and get out of the frigid winds. But the barn is owned by a grumpy farmer, who does not seem interested in helping the family. Jo’s determination and courage changes the families story, for at least that one night.

 

Cold as Ice (Whatever After, Book 6) written by Sarah Mlynowski (Scholastic Press, 2014) Ages 8 and up.

Abby and her brother Jonah both know to stay away from the magic mirror. They know it is very powerful and do not want to risk something happening to them. But one day, their new puppy decides to hop right into the magic mirror and is transported to another universe. It is not any regular universe though; they enter a picturesque winter wonderland! But when the pair realize they have entered the world of the Snow Queen, they know they are in for trouble. The Snow Queen casts an awful spell on their poor pup and turn him into an ice sculpture. Abby and Jonah know they cannot leave without their beloved dog, so they decide it is up to them to save him before its too late!

 

Moon Wisheby Guy Storms and Patricia Storms, illustrated by Milan Pavlović (Groundwood Books, 2019) Ages 3 and up.

Moon Wishes is a delightful bedtime story, about the perspective of the moon. The moon watches over everyone, the animals and the humans, the blossoming flowers of spring and the ice burgs afloat through the winter months. This short and sweet picture book will have you reflecting on the amazing landscapes found across Canada, not only during wintertime but all year through.

 

 What do you think of this cold weather themed book list? Are there any other titles that you would suggest? Let us know on social media @kidsbookcentre. 

 

Holiday Inspired Book List

By Kirsti Granholm

The holidays are here and that means it is time to celebrate, relax, enjoy precious time with family and friends, and reflect on the past year. Personally, I cannot think of a better way to do this than curling up with one of these wonderful holiday inspired books with friends and family.

Canada Close Up: Canadian Festivals by Susan Hughes (Scholastic Canada, 2007) Ages 7 and up

Canada is full of many amazing cultures and traditions, many of them being celebrated during the winter holidays. This educational book teaches young readers all about the annual celebrations held in Canada. From Diwali to Kwanzaa to the Chinese New Year, there is so much for children to explore in this engaging cultural adventure.

Christmas from Solstice to Santa by Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton (Orca Book Publishers, 2018) Ages 8 and up

This book celebrates the delightful Christmas traditions held all around the world. Take a dive into Christmas culture and learn about the food, music, ornaments and more celebrated by families in Canada and across the world. There is something fun and fascinating for everyone to learn in this lovely book!

Dashing Through the Snow by Helanie Becker and Werner Zimmermann (North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada, 2014) Ages 2 and up

Santa’s sleigh has been interrupted by Sasquatch, making everyone receive the wrong gifts. Regardless of this mishap, Canadian critters across the country still enjoy their holiday presents. This uniquely Canadian book will make the young readers in your life appreciate how wonderful and fun the holidays can be!

Hanukkah Lullaby by Ruth Abrams and Tia Mushka (Baby Lullaby Books, 2015) Ages 0 and up

This stunning book celebrates the beauty of Hanukkah, in a simple and poetic manner. Flip through the pages and indulge in these wonderful illustrations by Tia Mushka while reflecting on the importance of family, culture and celebration.

The Christmas Wind by Stephanie McLellan and Brooke Kerrigan (Red Deer Press, 2017) Ages 6 and up

As Jo, her sick mother and tiny baby brother are wandering on a cold Christmas Eve, they come across an old barn that is owned by a grumpy farmer named Frank. If Frank does not let them warm up in his barn, Jo doesn’t know what the future holds for her family but she stays determined regardless. This touching book inspires kindness and thoughtfulness throughout the holiday season.

The Night Before Christmas by Barbra Reid (Scholastic Canada, 2018) Ages 0 and up

The Night Before Christmas has become a Canadian favourite for readers of all ages since it’s release in 2013. Barbra Reid’s striking illustrations bring this book to life, and the soft poetic words bring out all the best parts of the holidays.  Enjoy this timeless book with your family and friends this Christmas.

Kwanzaa by Molly Aloian (Crabtree Publishing Company, 2008) Ages 4 and up

As a part of the series, Celebrations in My World, this delightful read will introduce young children to the story of Kwanzaa, why it was created and what it means. This book will have you and the young readers in your life reflecting on the magic of the holidays!

 

Thank you for checking out this book list, have a safe and happy holidays!

Our Favourite Book Covers of 2019

As the new year approaches, the team at CCBC thought it would be fun to share some of our favourite book covers of 2019. Though it’s never wise to judge a book by it’s cover, we thought we could break that rule just this once!

Picture Books

Art by Matthew Forsythe, design by Jonathon Yamakomi. Published by Simon & Schuster

 

Art by Sara Gillingham, design by Melissa Greenberg. Published by Cameron + Company

 

Art by Esme Shapiro, design by John Martz. Published by Tundra Books

 

Art by Thao Lam, design by Alisa Baldwin. Published by Owlkids Books

 

Art by Marie-Louise Gay, design by Michael Soloman. Published by Groundwood Books

 

Art by Qin Leng, design byJohn Martz. Published by Tundra Books

 

Art by Hatlem Aly, design by Karina Granda. Published by Little, Brown and Company

 

Art by Milan Pavlovic, design by Michael Soloman. Published by Groundwood Books

Junior and Intermediate 

Art by Felicita Sala, design by John Martz. Published by Tundra Books

 

Art by Ji-Hyuk Kim. Published by Scholastic Canada

 

Art by Elena Megalos. Published by Restless Books

 

Art by Marianna Ferrer, design by Nicole Price. Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

 

Art by Yana Bogatch, design by Cassie Gonzales. Published by Roaring Book Press

 

Art by Julia Iredale, Design by Jessie Gang. Published by HarperCollins Publishers

 

Art by Gillian Wilson, design by Alisa Baldwin. Published by Owlkids Books

Young Adult

Design by Jennifer Griffiths. Published by Penguin Teen Canada

 

Art by Katy Dockrill, design by Melissa Kaita. Published by Second Story Press

 

Art by Dave Homer, design by Michelle Taormina. Published by Balzer + Bray

 


Art by Kyle Simmers. Published by Renegade Arts Entertainment

 

Art by Adams Carvalho, design by Karina Granda. Published by Penguin Teen Canada

 

Art by Maria Nguyen. Published by Orca Book Publishers

 

Thanks for checking out some of our favourite covers of 2019! Are there any other covers that you would suggest? Let us know on social media @kidsbookcentre.