Posts tagged ‘Children’s books’

Summer Reading for Kids

Even on the most organized and exciting day, it is great to schedule some down/quiet/pre-sleep/snuggle time with a book. Looking for ideas? Check out TPL or the TDSB Virtual Library ebooks.

On July 5th, CBC Radio Metro Morning interviewed the children’s specialist, Serah-Marie for Type Bookstore and CBC  podcasted it. Listen to the 7 minute podcast and check out the book recommendations.  You can also see Type’s summer list for kids here .

Happy summer reading!

July 14, 2017 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

20 diverse books for elementary & middle students

Check out 20 Books To Teach Diversity To Elementary & Middle School Students on the teachthought  website (originally compiled by The San Francisco Public Library).

See also Canadian list #wehavediverse books

May 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Book week: May 6 to 13

Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre,  “Book Week will take place from Saturday, May 6 to Saturday, May 13, 2017. Since Book Week is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday, the theme we have chosen to celebrate — Read Across Canada / Lire aux quatre coins du Canada — will encourage young readers to learn about Canada by reading books set in different provinces and locations across the country. To honour the 40th anniversary of the very first Book Week tour, the CCBC asked veteran illustrator Ian Wallace to create this year’s Book Week poster image. Ian Wallace was part of the original 12 authors and illustrators that set out on the first Book Week tour in 1977.”

Now what they didn’t do was recommend some titles 😦 So, I guess that is part of the challenge.

Click here to order posters and bookmarks. Check it out! Rowan


March 20, 2017 at 7:08 am Leave a comment

2017 Best book lists for children

Looking for new and recommended resources for students?Check out these lists/sites:


United States:

Check ’em out! Rowan

March 10, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Diverse Books: OLA jot notes

The 7th and final post from Natalie C., one of our fabulous reference librarian who attended this year’s OLA super conference – and who obviously enjoyed many sessions during her 3 days there.


One of my favourite sessions from last year’s Super Conference was a panel hosted by Teacher-Librarian Fatma Faraj on the importance of promoting children’s books reflective of diverse populations – #WeHaveDiverseBooks. You can read my blog post on last year’s session here.

This year, Fatma hosted the session solo and highlighted some of the best diverse Canadian children’s books that have come out in the last year.

Starting the Conversation: Fatma suggests using What Makes Us Unique? by Jillian Roberts to get the diversity discussion started. While the book may be a bit general, she suggests using it as a launchpad before moving to more specific texts.  You can borrow What Makes Us Unique? from the Professional Library.

Finding Yourself & Fitting In: Fatma tells her students that “exploring is not always about what we find in the world. It’s also about what we find in ourselves.” She suggests Bear’s Winter Party by Deborah Hodge and Akilak’s Adventure by Deborah Kigjugalik Webster for readers in need of some internal discovery

Getting Kids Hooked: To get children interested in an ongoing story featuring diverse characters, Fatma recommends two series:

    • West Meadow Detectives by Liam O’Donnell: This series features a protagonist who has autism. The author is also one of TDSB’s Writers in Residence. Encourage your students to submit a book review to Just Read It and your school could win a visit from Liam.
    • Shu-Li by Paul Yee: A touching series featuring strong multicultural relationships

New Homes: With the recent refugee ban issued by our neighbours to the south, it’s going to be important to find texts that explore immigration and emigration thoughtfully. Fatma suggests Adrift at Sea by Marsha Skrypuch, Stepping Stones by Margaret Ruurs, and Seeking Refuge by Irene N. Watts.

Indigenous Stories: Fatma highlighted several texts featuring Indigenous characters. Some to note:



Fatma singled out I Am Not a Number, which you can borrow from the Professional Library and When We Were Alone, which she says will make you cry.

Forest of Reading;  If you’re looking for texts featuring diverse characters that your students are already reading, Fatma suggests that you look no further than the current Forest of Reading selections, especially this year’s Silver Birch picks. She points out OCDaniel by Wesley King specifically saying that “If you want to build empathy in your kids, have them read OCDaniel.”

A Few Other Special Picks: A couple other texts mentioned in Fatma’s talk:


For more great reads from Fatma Faraj, follow her on Twitter at @HoldFastLibrary

Whew, great job Natalie!

February 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

What’s new in kids books: OLA jot notes

6th in a series by Natalie C., one of our fabulous reference libraries who attended this year’s OLA Super Conference


There was a ton of book chatter at Superconference 2017. One of the most popular Superconference sessions each year is offered by the Dewey Divas and Dudes — a group of Canadian publishing reps who love to read.

Here are some of the recently published and upcoming books that piqued my interest from their session:

A Horse Named Steve by Kelly Collier. (April 2017), Kids Can Press, Gr. K-3A Canadian picture book about a horse named Steve who decides that he wants to become exceptional but ends up learning that he already is.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. (Feb. 2017), Balzer + Bray, Gr. 9-12: 16-year-old Starr’s life is turned upside down when she witnesses the shooting of her best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.

The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue. (Mar. 2017), HarperCollins Canada, Gr. 3-7: From the Canadian author of Room, a story of a big messy, blended family whose dynamic is thrown into flux when they are called to care for one of their grandfathers who suffers from dementia.

Out by Angela May George. (Jan 2017), Scholastic, Gr. JK-3: A moving story of a mother and daughter’s emigration.

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy. (Feb 2017), Scholastic, Gr. JK-3: This story about a village that elects a new bossy mayor who outlaws singing may hit a little close to home, but its message about speaking out for what you believe in will become increasingly relevant.

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts. (June 2017), Disney Hyperion, Gr. 9-12: Described as a young adult version of Game of Thrones, this is likely to be your students’ newest obsession

Water’s Children by Angèle Delaunois. (Apr. 2017), Pajama Press, Gr. JK-3 : A title about water that combines science with social justice.

We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty. (Jan 2017), Tiger Tales, Gr. JK-3: This book about different families will come in handy for both the Social Studies and Health & PE curriculum.

Where Will I Live? by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (April 2017), Second Story Press, Gr. JK-8: A highly topical “photo-based picture book” that depicts the hardships faced by young refugees around the world.

Yawning Yoga by Laurie Jordan. (Mar 2017), Little Pickle Press, Gr. JK-3: Filled with elements of yoga practice, this looks like a great title for promoting physical activity and mindfulness.


Check out more recommendations and book talk from the Dewey Divas on Twitter (@DeweyDivas) or on their blog.


Rowan: The Professional Library creates monthly list of books with **starred reviews** that is books reviewed as exemplary reads. TDSB teachers can check them out at . Remember to use your TDSB login to open the Google folder.

February 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Children’s books about autism = great tool in inclusive classrooms

Recently there has been a lot of information and news releases showing the positive impact reading fiction has on building empathy, for example (a random sample only):

The July/August 2016 issue of The Reading Teacher (vol 70:1, pp 111-116)) includes an article titled Using children’ s picture books about Autism as resources in inclusive classrooms by Sigmon, Tackett,& Price Azano). The article:

  • discusses how using picture books can increase/teach awareness , empathy, and acceptance.
  • includes a list of picture books about autism.
  • discusses 3 tips in detail: teach common characteristics of autism while focusing on unique qualities of the individual; discuss how children with autism need to accepted, not changed: if your student has autism, communicate with parents about using these books in the classroom.

TDSB teachers may request a copy of this article by contacting the library at (416) 395-8289 or




October 7, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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