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One Mom’s Favourite Canadian Children’s Books

This is an exciting week for a lover of Canadian children’s books, a proud mom, and a very thankful daughter. It’s TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, May 6-13, and then Mother’s Day is on Sunday.

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week celebrates the amazing work of Canadian authors. The many talented children’s authors in Canada make it hard to pick my favourites.

My mom nurtured my love of Canadian literature early in life. Books were always special in our house, and a trip to our local bookstore an exciting treat. As a child, one of my favourite Canadian children’s books was Mabel Murple, by Sheree Fitch. I got to meet Sheree Fitch once because we are from the same hometown. To say I was star struck would be an understatement.

Another personal favourite was Love From Katie by Paddy Muir. My uncle gave me this book one Christmas because it had my name in the title. I loved it more for the story of a young girl who helps to pick out a Christmas tree for the city of Boston. Each year the province of Nova Scotia sends a large Christmas tree to Boston to thank the people of Massachusetts  for their help following the Halifax explosion. I have always preferred historical fiction, and especially loved learning about the explosion, and how my great-grandmother survived it.

My other favourite books were:

  • The Sky is Falling, by Kit Pearson
  • Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Paper Bag Princess and Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch
  • Something From Nothing and Jillian Jiggs, by Phoebe Gillman
  • Underground to Canada, by Barbara Smucker

Now that I am a mom, I am excited to pass my love of Canadian books on to my daughter. She often sits beside one of her cats and reads to them. Her shelves have all of the classics as well as newer Canadian children’s books. Some of her current favourites include Red is Best, by Kathy Stinson, Baby Beluga, by Raffi, Little You, by Richard Van Camp and Sweetest Kulu, by Celina Kalluk. Even now as spring arrives, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Canada, by Ellen Warwick, remains her favourite book.

NWT Literacy Council staff favourites include:

  • Alligator Pie, by Dennis Lee
  • Baby Faces, by Shanda LaRamee-Jones and Carol McDougall
  • The Olden Days Coat, by Margaret Laurence
  • Skyscrapers and Spruce Trees, and The Stowaway Piper, by Lilla Stirling
  • Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, by Margaret Atwood
  • My Heart Fills with Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith

During Children’s Book Week children’s authors travel to each province and territory to read from their books. In the NWT, Natasha Deen is visiting Inuvik, Deline, Tulita and Yellowknife.

What children’s book do you remember reading as a child? What book do you like to share with the children in your life?

— Katie Johnson

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