Canada 150: Ten Delightful Books for Younger Readers

March 27, 2017 | RayL

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Spotlight_temp_banner-nouvnew_1469032073311_engChild with Adult Reading

This week I'll be highlighting some delightful Canadian children's books. These fun and heartwarming stories are great for children of all ages. Written and/or illustrated by Canadians, these are some of my favourite titles. This is the first of a fifteen part weekly series. Next week, one of my colleagues will share her selection of great Canadian children's books. 



The Bus Ride, by Marianne Dubuc

The Bus Ride by Marianne Dubuc

A young girl on her way to grandmother's house casually observes things she sees on the bus. 

A bus ride that may be viewed as a regular mundane activity by an adult is reimagined as a whimsical place of wonderment for a child. Surreal scenes of animals taking on human characteristics will delight younger readers. Short and simple text allows the pictures to be the focal point of the story. 


Walk on the Wild Side, by Nicholas Oldland

Walk on the Wild Side by Nicholas Oldland

A beaver, bear and moose seek adventure but discover something much more meaningful. 

What starts as a Wacky Races-like competition, turns into an exploration of friendship. Testing their abilities amid a rugged and unforgiving terrain, our protagonists encounter a series of challenges along the route. Illustrations of iconic Canadian animals lend gravitas to a story that depicts a truly Canadian landscape. 


The Party, by Barbara Reid

The Party by Barbara Reid

A young girl attends a birthday party and discovers a party with all the trimmings. 

Barbara Reid uses her signature Plasticine to create bright and colourful scenes that seem to leap off the page. The frantic pace of the birthday party is balanced with careful descriptions of the events of the party. A typical Canadian birthday party that's a smorgasbord of fun!


Gifts, by Jo Ellen Bogart

Gifts by Jo Ellen Bogart

A globetrotting grandmother offers to get gifts for her granddaughter from her travels. 

A heart-warming story of a grandmother and granddaughter discussing objects the grandmother could bring back from her travels. Beautiful illustrations introduce young readers to well known items from various countries. A steady pace and repetitive phrases help younger children become familiar with words.

Tip: If you look closely you may discover one of TPL's branches making an appearance. 


Baseball Bats for Christmas, by Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak

Baseball Bats for Christmas by Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak

The children of Repulse Bay receive a gift that leads to joy in the community. 

Dreamy watercolour illustrations of Repulse Bay landscapes complement a story about a community that comes together. This book is full of Canadian references, including the iconic Hudson Bay Company.


Stella Star of the Sea, by Marie-Louise Gay

Stella, Star of the Sea by Marie-Louise Gay

An inquisitive young boy asks his older sister a series of questions about the world around him. 

Beautiful illustrations of a beach remind readers that warmer weather does exist in Canada! The younger brother's endless curiosity and his older sister's imaginative answers are delightful and will have young readers contemplating many of life's questions. 


There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen, by Sheree Fitch

There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen by Sheree Fitch

Monkeys take over Willa's house and refuse to leave. 

Energetic monkeys on every page will have adults and children counting the monkeys in every scene. Colourful drawings with a variety of monkeys taking over Willa's house will also have your child laughing out loud. Willa's call to the Mounties is a quintessentially Canadian reference. Consider reading M is for Mountie to learn more about the RCMP. 


Nancy Knows, by Cybèle Young

Nancy Knows by Cybèle Young

An elephant never forgets, but this elephant can't seem to remember something important. 

This wonderful book takes on an element of I Spy books with little trinkets embedded within the elephant. The bursts of colours from the small trinkets are a perfect contrast to the outline of the elephant. Concepts such as opposites are covered in this delightful book. Kids and adults alike will enjoy identifying the trinkets on each page. 


Stanley's Party, by Linda Bailey

Stanley's Party by Linda Bailey

Unbeknownst to his owners, Stanley can be quite the party animal. 

Colourful illustrations of a mischievous dog and its shenanigans will have kids howling with laughter. Kids and adults will enjoy identifying the dog breeds illustrated in this book. Your children may start to wonder what fun their pets get into when they are away.


If I Had a Gryphon, by Vikki Vansickle

If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle

A child imagines having a pet that is far more fun than a hamster. 

Bright, bold and colourful pictures of mythical creatures introduce kids to mythology. This well-paced book with delightful rhymes will have kids wanting their own mythical creatures. 

Tip: One of these mythical creatures can be seen at a TPL branch. 

Canada 150 Lists(s):

Canada 150: Comic Books and Scary Stories

Canada 150: Books for Our Littlest Readers and the "Big People" Who Read With Them 

Canada 150: Sweet, Silly, Serious- We've Got It All!

Canada 150: Ten Powerful Historical Novels

Canada 150: Wonderful Picture Books That Are Perfect for Reading Aloud

Canada 150: Ten Amazing Children's Books

Canada 150: Stepping Outside a Young Reader's World

Canada 150: Ten Books to Empower Younger Readers

Canada 150: Ten Delightful Books for Younger Readers