150 Canadian Books for Children


July 1, 2017.
Canada Day. 
150 years. My Canada Birthday gift to you is this list of Canadian books for children.
It is not a scientific collection. These are simply books about Canada or great
books by Canadian creators, books that I have enjoyed, that stayed with me.
mostly chose them for their ‘wow factor’. It would have been easier if I had not
limited the number of books by the same author. 
I included classics as well as brand new releases, picturebooks, novels etc. 
I wanted this to be truly Canadian books so I didn’t include favorites titles like The
Totem Tale because it is American. I didn’t use such Canadian icons as Love You
Forever by Robert Munsch but did include a book called With A Silent
Companion which is a fascinating Canadian story. These are all simply books
that I have loved. I’m sure there are many more but I haven’t read them yet…
Hope you will find a local bookstore or library near you to check out these books.
If all else fails, order them from www.betterworldbooks.com

Happy Birthday, Canada. And Happy Reading! 


A Canadian Wildlife Poem, Max Elliott
A Day of Signs and Wonders, Kit Pearson
A Dog Came, Too, Ainslie Manson
A Family is A Family is A Family, Sara O’Leary
A Harbour Seal in Halifax, Doretta Groenendijk
A Mountain Alphabet, Margriet Ruurs & Andrew Kiss
A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, Helaine Becker
A Prairie Alphabet, Jo Bannantyne & Yvette Moore
A Salmon for Simon, Betty Waterton
A Thousand Shades of Blue, Robin Stevenson
A Tree in a Forest, Jan Thornhill
ABC of Canada, Kim Bellefontaine & Per-Henrik Gürth
Adrift At Sea, Marsha Skrypuch
Alice, I Think, Susan Juby
Amos’ Sweater, Janet Lunn
Ankylosaur Attack, Daniel Loxton
Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery
Aska’s Animals, Warabé Aska and David Day
Baby Beluga, Raffi
Bagels from Benny, Aubrey Davis
Belle of Batoche, Jacqueline Guest
Beneath Raven Moon, David Bouchard
Birdfeeder Banquet, Michael Marchenko
Boy Soup, Loris Lesynski
Canada Votes: How We Elect Our Government, Linda Granfield & Craig Terlson
Canadian Mysteries Series, Eric Wilson
Carson Crosses Canada, Linda Bailey & Kass Reich
Charlie: A Home Child's Life in Canada, Beryl Young
Coming to Canada: Building a Life in a New Land, Susan Hughes
Counting on Hope, Sylvia Olsen
Dear Canada: A Time for Giving: Ten Tales of Christmas, Jean Little & Sarah Ellis
Death Benefits, Sarah Harvey
Deep Roots, Nikki Tate
Dream Boats, Dan Bar-el & Kirsti Anne Wakelin
Every Last Drop, Michelle Mulder
Everything on A Waffle, Polly Horvath
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, Lindsay Mattick
Fishing with Grandma, Susan Avingaq
Follow the Elephant, Beryl Young
Franklin the Turtle, Paulette Bourgeois
French Toast, Kari-Lynn Winters
From Far and Wide, Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet
From Far Away, Robert Munsch
Garbage Delight, Dennis Lee
Gifts, Jo Ellen Bogart & Barbara Reid
Going for a Sea Bath, Andrée Poulin
Gubby Builds A Boat, Gary Kent & Kim La Fave
Hanna’s Suitcase, Karen Levine
Hannah and the Salish Sea, Carol Anne Shaw
Hello Humpback, Roy Henry Vickers
How Smudge Came, Nan Gregory
I Am Canada, illustrated by Barbara Reid
I Live in the North, Margriet Ruurs
I’ll Be Watching, Pamela Porter
If The World Were A Village, David Smith
Imagine A World, Rob Gonsalves
In Flanders Fields, Linda Granfield
Jeremiah Learns to Read, Jo Ellen Bogart
Let’s Play A Hockey Game, Kari-Lynn Winters
Log Jam, Monica Hughes
Loonies and Twoonies: A Canadian Number Book, Mike Ulmer & Melanie Rose
Maggie’s Chopsticks, Alan Woo
Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids, Laura Peetoom
Mary Ann Alice, Brian Doyle
Mary of Mile 18, Ann Blades
Missing Nimâmâ, Melanie Florence
Mister Got to Go, Lois Simmie & Cyntia Nugent
Moon At Nine, Deborah Ellis
My Arctic 1, 2, 3, Michael Kusugak & Vladyana Krykora
No Fixed Address, Maureen Bayless
No More Dead Dogs, Gordon Korman
No Safe Harbour, Julie Lawson
No Signature, William Bell
No Two Snowflakes, Sheree Fitch & Janet Wilson
North West Passage, Stan Rogers
Northern Exposures, Eric Walters
Now You Know Canada, Doug Lennox
Nowhere Else on Earth, Caitlyn Vernon
O Canada, Per-Henrik Gurth
O Canada, Ted Harrison
Oma’s Quilt, Paulette Bourgeois
Once Upon A Golden Apple, Maggie deVries, Jean Little & Phoebe Gilman
Once Upon A Northern Night, Jean Pendziwol & Isabelle Arsenault
One Hen, Katie Smith Milway
One is Canada, Maxine Trottier
Our Flag: The Story of Canada's Maple Leaf, Ann-Maureen Owens, Jane Yealland
Pick-Up Sticks, Sarah Ellis
Pier 21, Anne Renaud
Pippin the Christmas Pig, Jean Little
Rhinos for Lunch and Elephants for Supper, Tololwa Mollel & Barbara Spurll
Roses for Gita, Rachna Gilmore
Salmon Forest, Sarah Ellis & David Suzuki
Saskatchewan, Gillian Richardson
Sea Otter Pup, Victoria Miles
Sea Stars: Salt Water Poems, Avis Harley
Secret of the Dance, Andrea Spalding, Alfred Scow & Darlene Gait
Seeking Refuge, Irene Watts
Selina and the Bearpaw Quilt, Barbara Smucker & Janet Wilson
Silverwing, Kenneth Oppel
Siwiti, A Whale’s Story, Alexandra Morton
Sleeping Dragons All Around, Sheree Fitch
Snow Day, Werner Zimmerman
Sockey Salmon Odyssey, Brenda Guiled
Something From Nothing, Phoebe Gilman
Sophie Sea to Sea, Norma Charles
Stella, Queen of Snow, Marie Louise Gay
Stolen Words, Melanie Florence and Gabrielle Grimard
Stories of the Aurora, Joan Marie Galat
Surviving Sam, Karen Rivers
Thank You, Canada, Andrea Lynn Beck
The Artist and Me, Shane Peacock
The Best Goalie Ever, Gilles Tibo
The Bite of the Mango, Mariatu Kamara
The Breadwinner, Deborah Ellis
The Darkest Dark, Chris Hadfield & Kate Fillion
The Doll, Cora Taylor
The Fabulous Song, Don Gilmore
The Freedom of Jenny, Julie Burtinshaw
The Girl Who Hates Books, Manjusha Pawagi
The Girl Who Writes, Richard Cole & Jane Watt
The Hockey Sweater, Roch Carrier
The Inuksuk Book, Mary Wallace
The Kids Book of Canadian Exploration, Ann-Maureen Owens & Jane Yealland
The Kids Book of Canadian Geography, Briony Penn
The Kids Book of Canadian Immigration, Deborah Hodge & John Mantha
The Little Crooked Christmas Tree, Michael Cutting; Ron Broda
The Loon’s Necklace, Elizabeth Cleaver
The Man With the Violin, Kathy Stinson
The Middle of Everywhere, Monique Polak
The Moccasin Goalie, William Roy Brownridge
The Orphan Boy, Paul Morin
The Paperbag Princess, Robert Munsch    
The Polar Bear’s Gift, Jeanne Bushey
The Root Cellar, Janet Lunn
The Secret of the Dance, Andrea Spalding
The Story of Canada, Janet Lunn
The World in Your Lunch Box, Claire Eamer
This Land, Kit Pearson
Underground to Canada, Barbara Smucker
Waiting for the Whales, Sheryl McFarlane & Ron Lightburn
Waves in the Bathtub, Eugenie Fernandes
West Coast Wild, Deborah Hodge; Karen Reczuch
What’s That Noise?, Michele Lemieux
Who Has Seen The Wind?, W.O. Mitchell
Wild Bog Tea, Annette LeBox
Witch’s Fang, Heather Kellerhals-Stewart
With A Silent Companion,Florida Ann Town
Word Nerd, Susin Nielsen
Wow Canada, Vivien Bowers & Dan Hobbs
You Are Stardust, Elin Kelsey

The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland

I knew Susan Vreeland as the author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue, which I really enjoyed. So when I saw this title, I grabbed it.
I took the book with me on a trip to Haida Gwaii in northern BC, which turned out to be the perfect place to read it since The Forest Lover is the story of Emily Carr.

I did not know much about Emily Carr besides a few commonly known facts and her paintings.
I can't imagine the amount and time and research the author must have spent to find so many little personal details. The book is historical fiction since it gives the characters dialogue, but it does read like nonfiction since it is so closely based on a real life.
You get to know Emily's family, her parents and sisters. You travel along on her physical and her psychological journey as she grows both as a person and as an artist. In an era where women artists were not common, Emily travels throughout BC but also to England and France. She learns about life and about painting techniques. We see struggles in her personal life and in her strong, defiant character.
At first I had a little bit of trouble getting into the story but soon I was caught up in the person that was Emily Carr. Through the story I also learned much about aboriginal life on Canada's West Coast (she was one of the few white people whom First Nations people embraced as a close friend). I learned about First Nations villages and homes, about potlatches and totems, food, fishing and much more.
All in all, I found this a fascinating book and admire the incredible amount of research done to bring Emily Carr to life on the pages.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai


Image result for inside out and back again


June 20 is World Refugee Day.
If you have read my book Stepping Stones (illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr and published by Orca Book Publishers), you might enjoy a novel with a similar theme.

Inside Out & Back Again is a beautifully written free verse novel. I love free verse, if it is well done. And this Newbery Honor Book is lovely crafted, a tender tale told from the inside out. Much of the story is autobiographical. In her Q & A pages in the back of the novel, the author explains her own story and how she struggled with finding the right tone for this book. Free verse turned out to be the perfect voice.

Told in the voice of ten year old Há, this is a refugee story from Vietnam.
But it is more than that. It is the story of a close knit family, of loss and love. It is a story of the importance of brothers and how strong a mother can be. It is also the story of how resilient a child can be and how many obstacles for people face in life.

Treat yourself to this fascinating, beautiful read and share it with students to discuss refugees - now and in the past. This book is also winner of the National Book Award.
Harper, ISBN 978-0-06-196279-0





Two great books to learn from.

I'd like to share two books with you that are great for teachers, parents or anyone who wants to learn something new.

The first one is a great book for those wanting to learn more about writing for children. Whether you are an established writer or want to write your very first book for children, Marion Crook's new book Writing For Children and Young Adults is a wonderful resource.
The book starts with the basics and covers just about every important aspect of writing: from planning and plotting to characterization, tense, voice all the way to dealing with rejections and contracts. The book deals with fiction as well as nonfiction and other genres. It gives details on such mundane aspects as your writing space and your income - important considerations for any writer. With a chapter on submitting, on multiple submissions and even on marketing this book is a perfect resource for all writers of children's materials.

Writing for Children and Young Adults, Marion Crook
Self Counsel Press
ISBN 5199597058719241


Ever thought of learning Arabic? The written language looks daunting.
But in Sugar Comes From Arabic, author Barbara Whitesides starts simple, by looking at "scribbles" and breaking down the script to basics. Using samples like Harry Potter (for P) this book is great for classrooms with refugee children, so that others can learn their language. If you are involved with a support group to bring refugees to your hometown, this is a fun book to use so that you can perhaps learn to communicate better. It is also a great resource for any international school!

Sugar Comes From Arabic, A Beginner's Guide to Arabic Letters and Words, Barbara Whitesides
Interlink Books
ISBN 978-1-56656-757-2

The Girl Who Writes


The Girl Who Writes, a picture book  by Richard Cole and K. Jane Watt.


My new favourite picture book is a delicate, powerful story of a girl who uses her imagination.
She reads every book she can get her hands on but soon realizes that she need to tell her own stories.
"I know that with a bit of ink and 26 letters, I can make new worlds," she says.
With her head full of images of kings and dragons and far-away places, but also with the splash of salmon and beaver in a nearby eddy, she writes. Her teacher and a writing contest encourage her to keep writing, even if her father says that she needs to get her head out of the clouds.

Perhaps this is how writers are made. I know this could be my personal story.
But it definitely is a story that will resonate with all those who love to use their imagination and dream of new world. A great gift for your favourite writer-friend!


http://fentonstreet.ca/projects/the-girl-who-writes/

ISBN 978-0-9917146-1-2

My exciting new book: Stepping Stones

Only a few months ago did I spot the amazing art work of Nizar Ali Badr. Nizar lives in Syria and posted photos of his art on his Facebook page. Somehow I glanced at one image and fell in love.
"This should be in a children's book!" I thought.

It took me three months to make contact with Nizar who lives in Latakia, Syria and finds both his inspiration and art supplies on the beach. He collects rocks and arranges them into beautiful images.
I used some of those images to put them in a sequence. Then I wrote the text for the story which I imaged his art told. It is the story of a refugee family.

Thanks to the internet I was able to communicated with Nizar and one of his best friends. We discussed the possibility of making a book for children together. Then I contacted Orca Book Publishers who create beautiful books. They agreed that Nizar's art makes amazing illustrations and contracted him to be the illustrator.

I can't wait to hold the actually book in my hands as words, art and design come together.
Stepping Stones, A Refugee Family's Journey will be out by mid October. Much of the proceeds will benefit refugee causes.

I hope you will be able to get a copy and share Nizar's art.
You can order to now from your local book store or click here to order and to see the trailer:

www.steppingstonesthebook.com

The publisher will make available books at a special discount to any schools who would like to sell the book as a fund raiser for a refugee cause of their choice.

• Mem Fox, award winning author of Possum Magic says: "It’s exquisite! One can only pray that its message will spread and make the difference we need".

• "Stunning, original artwork both childlike and sophisticated; a text that will both break and mend your heart.” Jane Yolen, Award winning author of Devil’s Arithmetic and The Stone Angel.

• KIRKUS review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/refugee-odysseys/
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/margriet-ruurs/stepping-stones-ruurs/

• ILA named the book a Notable Book For Global Society, 2017

• Quill & Quire article: http://www.quillandquire.com/omni/kidlit-spotlight-a-chance-discovery-online-led-author-margriet-ruurs-on-a-journey-to-her-altruistic-new-picture-book/

• Times Colonist: http://www.timescolonist.com/life/tale-of-refugee-family-s-flight-is-set-in-stone-1.2362119

• Canadian Teacher Magazine: http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/article_2016_li_stepping_stones.html

• CM Magazine: http://umanitoba.ca/cm/vol23/no2/steppingstones.html

• http://picklemethis.com/2016/10/07/stepping-stones-and-the-journey/

• Fall 2016 BookNews, Canadian Children's Book Centre, review by Sandra O'Brien: '... beautiful words are twinned with the most stunning artwork... I hope this beautiful book will reach the shelves of classrooms, libraries and homes throughout the world and be read and shared many times over!'

• http://49thshelf.com/Blog/2016/10/20/Stepping-Stones-A-Transnational-Literary-Journey

A Swiss concert pays tribute to Nizar's art:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ7HC7zgDSg

http://unpackingpicturebookpower.blogspot.pt/2016/11/interview-margriet-ruurs-author-of.html?spref=fb

• Publishers Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-authors/article/72308-canadian-report-december-2016.html

• http://bcbooklook.com/2016/10/17/stone-warm-sober-hope/

• http://salsfictionaddiction.blogspot.ca/2016/12/stepping-stones-refugee-familys-journey.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+SalsFictionAddiction+(Sal's+Fiction+Addiction)

• http://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/kids-books-about-refugees/

• http://www.hbook.com/2017/01/blogs/out-of-the-box/refugees-welcome-here-resources-and-booklist/#_



My new favourite picture book!

Kids often ask me "What your favourite book?"
I always tell them I don't have just ONE favourite book - there are so many and all books are so different.
However, right now I do have a new favourite and I want to share it with you: 14 Cows For America by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez.
Why have I not seen this glorious book in every house, every school and bookstore? Everybody needs to read this amazing, TRUE story.

14 Cows For America is the touching story of Kimeli, a young Maasai warrior from Kenya. He goes to America to study. When he returns to his village, he brings with him the heart wrenching story of hatred and hurt, a catastrophe that happened in America on 9/11. The Maasai elders are shocked. How can anyone hate like that?
To the fierce yet gentle Maasai, cows are sacred. Cows ensure life.
And so they offer the greatest gift they can: 14 cows for America. To help the American people to heal. 'Because there is no nation so powerful that it cannot be wounded nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort.'
A true story - beautifully worded by the author, accompanied by breathtaking paintings of the beautiful Maasai people. This is a tale to treasure and share.

And for now, it's my favourite picture book.
I ordered my copy from: www.betterworldbooks.com


http://www.14cowsforamerica.com

Book Week 2016

I feel very fortunate to have been selected to tour for Canadian Children's Book Week this year. Book Week is an amazing event whereby 29 (this year) authors and illustrators travel across the country, reading and sharing their work with thousands of children and adults alike.
We each conduct presentations in schools and public libraries.
Funded by TD Canada and other sponsors, this program has tremendous impact on reaching and encouraging young readers. A writer from Nova Scotia might be send to the Arctic. An illustrator from British Columbia might get to share his art with children in New Brunswick or Quebec. I am touring, this year, in small towns in rural Ontario.
Each of us meets with hundreds of children who've been reading our books. We all show the process of how books are made and how these kids, too, can grow up to be the future generation of storytellers and artists.

I asked my fellow writers/illustrators on tour which book THEY are bringing with them, to read in planes, trains, busses and hotel rooms.
This is their eclectic list of titles. Have fun finding them and seeing what Canadian book creators are currently reading:

Birdwing, Rafe Martin
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
Flickers, Arthur Slade
The Dogs, Allan Stratton
The Nest, Kenneth Oppel
Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
Saving Montgomery Sole, Mariko Tamaki
Otherbound, Corinne Duyvis
Birdie, Tracey Lindberg
The Illegal, Lawrence Hill
Mortal Danger, Ann Aguirre
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, Paige McKenzie (with Alyssa Sheinmel)
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
#GoodMorningEarth: Chris Hadfield, Kate Lunau
Release, Daren Wride
Canadian Crusoes: A Tale of the Rice Lake Plains, Catherine Parr Strickland Traill
How the Heather Looks, Joan Bodger
Jenny Watson's Prove It, Josh
Lonely Planet Canada
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson
Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, Shari Green
This One Summer, Mariko Tamaki
The Truth Commission, Susan Juby 
Saint Anyone, Sarah Dessin 
Mosquitoland, David Arnold
Legacy, Waubgeshig Rice

Ask and It Is Given, Esther and Jerry Hicks.

Author Visits in Kelowna BC



Had fun talking about books, reading, writing and the whole publishing process to nearly 2,000 students in 10 schools over 5 days in Kelowna BC.

Very nice to receive teachers' comments like this one:

Thank you so much for visiting Glenrosa Elementary. My students were already amazing little story tellers but your visit brought the whole process to life and we have been writing stories ever since.

And to see the kids producing such fun art based on books and inspired by Ted Harrison!

Author Visits

As a writer of books for children there is nothing more fun than to share my books with kids. Author visits are popular at schools across North America, but also at international schools. I have been lucky enough to travel to international schools across Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond.
I have made some life-long friends among teachers and librarians who share my love to literacy and travel.
Highlights include bringing books to nomad children in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, reading stories to children in Lahore, Pakistan, handing out books to children in Myanmar and many others.
Attached is an article about my recent visits to schools in Kenya and Ethiopia. I love the added bonus of learning about different cultures and now also write a travel blog:

https://globetrottinggrandparents.wordpress.com

Visiting international schools has led me to write books of a more international nature. My latests books include titles such as Families Around The World and School Days Around The World. Coming out in 2017 will be Birthdays Around The World as well as The Elephant Keeper, a book about my visit to an elephant orphanage in Zambia.

As I plan my next tour of schools in the Middle East, I often pinch myself and marvel at the fact that I am so lucky to be able to combine my passion for writing with my passion for travel.








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