Toronto Public Library Announces First & Best 2014, Annual Top 10 Booklist for Kids Under Five

November 14, 2014 | Media Relations

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 First & Best names the best Canadian books to help kids get ready for reading

TORONTO (Friday, November 14, 2014) – Toronto Public Library has released its distinguished First & Best booklist, a selection of the year’s best Canadian book recommendations for children from birth to five years that help build early literacy skills. The list is carefully chosen by expert children's librarians from Toronto Public Library from dozens of submissions.

“The first books you share with your child should also be the best, and we’re excited to announce this expertly chosen list of books for parents and caregivers,” said Lisa Heggum, Children and Youth Advocate for Toronto Public Library. “Enjoying books with your child is the first step toward developing their love of reading and these positive, fun and playful stories are sure to help do just that, while also building their early literacy skills. Our library staff can help recommend other great books to follow your child’s developing interests and keep them enthusiastic about reading.”

This year’s list features a wide range of stories on topics like friendship, bravery, perseverance and passion, written by authors and illustrators including Jill Barber and Sydney Smith, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, Stephen Krensky and Sara Gillingham and Ruth Ohi. The First & Best booklist, now in its eighth year, is part of the library’s Ready for Reading set of free, high-quality early literacy programs and services, which are founded on extensive research, and which foster reading readiness.

All the books in this year’s First & Best list are available through our website and at library branches across the city. To find out more about Ready for Reading, visit or inquire at any branch. 

First & Best 2014 titles:

Music is for everyoneMusic is for Everyone

by Jill Barber & Sydney Smith
Nimbus Publishing





Sam & Dave dig a holeSam and Dave Dig a Hole
by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

Candlewick Press





Toronto abc
Toronto ABC
by Paul Covello

HarperCollins Canada


Whos Next DoorWho’s Next Door?
by Mayuko Kishira & Jun Takabatake

Owlkids Books



I Am So BraveI Am So Brave
by Stephen Krensky & Sara Gillingham

Abrams Appleseed




Peach GirlPeach Girl
by Raymond Nakamura & Rebecca Bender

Pajama Press




Fox And Squirrel Make A FriendFox and Squirrel Make a Friend
by Ruth Ohi

North Winds Press



Over ThereOver There
by Steve Pilcher

Disney Press





Mama's Day with Little GrayMama’s Day with Little Gray
by Aimee Reid & Laura J. Bryant

Random House



Hana HashimotoHana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
by Chieri Uegaki & Qin Leng

Kids Can Press




Toronto Public Library is one of the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow more than 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what's happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary


Media Contact:

Sharanja Thangalingam, Communications Officer  416-397-5971