Once again, community events are scheduled across Canada to celebrate Family Literacy Day on January 27th-- you can check out the map to find events in your area. Family Literacy Day has been an initiative since 1999 by the non-profit organization ABC Life Literacy Canada to raise awareness of the importance of families reading and engaging with literacy-related activities together. Research shows that children benefit enormously from early exposure to books and reading in the home, though most families read together because it's simply one of the very best ways to be together. And it's made even better when you're reading the very best books, so we wanted to pass on our favourite expert-curated family literacy books lists.
Book Centre Award Nominees: The books on this list were nominated for Canada's top children's book prizes last year, and include the literary rendering of Gordon Lightfoot's Canadian Railroad Trilogy, Kyo Maclear's Spork, and the Victorian-era detective novel A Spy in the House. The Canadian Children's Book Centre is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Canadian children's books and their readers.
CanCon Picture Books: In the days before Julie Booker was an acclaimed short story writer, and author of the collection Up Up Up, she was a children's librarian. Her list of picture books with Canadian content includes can't-be-missed classics like Dennis Lee's Jelly Belly, and new finds like Joanne Schwartz and Matt Beam's City Alphabet.
Eight Great Picture Books: Halifax's Woozles Bookstore shared their best picture book picks with us last year which included those by celebrated Canadian writers Sheree Fitch (Sleeping Dragons All Around), Marie-Louise Gay (Stella, Queen of the Snow) and Pheobe Gilman (Something from Nothing).
What I Read on my Summer Vacation: Fabulous children's writer Andrew Larsen (The Imaginary Garden) passed on some of his favourite picks with picture books including Laurel Croza's award-winning I Know Here, and Sharon Jennings' book for older readers Home Free.
Great Picture Books: Patricia Storms knows a thing or two about picture books, having illustrated many and as author/illustrator of The Pirate and the Penguin. So you can take her word for it that great Canadian not-to-be-missed children's books of the moment include Sarah Tsaing's A Flock of Shoes, and Barbara Reid's new book Picture a Tree.
Picture Books We Have Known and Loved: Sara O'Leary celebrated the release of her latest picture book When I Was Small with a list of her own favourites, including iconic characters Grumpy Bird and Chester, and also the glorious new picture book Singing Away the Dark.
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