Canada 150: Ten Amazing Children's Books

April 12, 2017 | RayL

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This week library staffer Liz S. shares her selection of ten great Canadian children's books! A mix of titles old and new, there's something for everyone !

Next week, Daniel shares his selection of best books. 


Written by Liz S.

A grab bag of great books this week for a wide age range of kids. Fiction, non-fiction, classics and new, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.


A Child's Treasury of Nursery Rhymes

A Child’s Treasury of Nursery Rhymes by Kady MacDonald Denton

This delightful collection offers something for every Canadian family with young children: lullabies and quiet verses for babies; nursery rhyme favourites for toddlers and preschoolers; and tongue twisters, limericks and action songs for the schoolyard set.

Soft-edged and expressive watercolour illustrations complement each rhyme, offering additional opportunities for parent and child discussion and enjoyment.


The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

A decaying mansion; a ghostly visitor; a twisted, menacing tree and an ancient curse combine to test the strength and abilities of 14-year-old Molly and her younger brother, Kip in this spooky thriller.

Creepy and atmospheric, this is recommended for readers ten years and older.


Binky the Space Cat

Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires

Pudgy, black-and-white Binky is a cat with a mission. But his blast-off into “outer space” (outside) to battle “alien invaders” (bugs) is delayed when he realizes that he has left something very important at home.

The first in a series of five Binky adventures, this funny graphic novel appeals to young animal lovers and space adventurers six- to ten-years-old.


Zoom at Sea

Zoom at Sea by Tim Wynne-Jones

Unlike most cats, Zoom loves playing in water and dreaming about the ocean. When he discovers a map to the sea hidden in his old uncle’s diary, of course he must follow it! And so begins a magical adventure and a mysterious new friendship.

Eric Beddows’ award-winning pencil illustrations beautifully complement this charming picture book for preschoolers, the first of three adventures featuring Zoom.


One Well The Story of Water on Earth

One Well: the Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss

Timely and visually captivating, this book asks us to think about all of the water in the world belonging to a single well – a well shared by every living thing on earth. From this interesting perspective, clear and important lessons about water sustainability, conservation and protection are presented to students ages eight to 12.


Canadian Railroad Trilogy

Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot

This lovely picture book chronicles the ambitious construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Combining the lyrics of Gordon Lightfoot’s classic folk song with Ian Wallace’s atmospheric chalk pastel illustrations, it celebrates the naturally rugged beauty of Canada and the effects the railroad had on this country.

Detailed end notes, a reading list, a melody chart and chords provide additional interest for readers ages five and up.


The Incredible Journey

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

Three pets, a young Labrador retriever, an elderly bull terrier and a Siamese cat, are separated from their beloved family and set out on a 300-mile journey across the wilderness of northern Ontario to get back home.

An exciting though gently told story of courage, friendship and survival for readers ages eight – 12.



Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel

Young Shade, the runt of his bat colony, gets separated from his companions during their annual winter migration. Lost and alone, Shade is determined to make the treacherous journey south regardless, and only he can decide if the many creatures he encounters along the way intend to help or destroy him.

An exciting and richly detailed animal fantasy, Silverwing will captivate readers ages eight and up. Shade’s adventures continue in Sunwing and Firewing.


Owls in the Family

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat

When Billy adopts a pair of young great horned owls, laugh-out-loud adventures ensue.

Set in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan during the late 1920s and somewhat autobiographical, Farley Mowat paints a wonderful picture of simpler times and small town prairie life. Nature and animal lovers aged seven to ten years of age will enjoy this.


Hana's Suitcase

Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine

An old suitcase from Auschwitz concentration camp arrives at the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center in 2000 and the determined director endeavours to uncover the story behind it. Who owned the suitcase? What happened to her?

Engrossing and emotional, this true story is multi-award winning and has a surprising connection to Toronto, Ontario. Recommended for nine- to 12-year-olds.


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