Top 10 - Read-Together Books for Family Literacy Day

January 26, 2018

Saturday’s Family Literacy Day, so why not cozy up with your munchkins tomorrow morning with one of these 10 read-together wonders?

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Here are our top 10 books you can read with your younger halves:

 

10. Wow Wow and Haw Haw
By George Murray, illustrated by Michael Pittman (Breakwater Books)

Poet George Murray’s storybook about a fox, Wow Wow, with fleas and the crow, Haw Haw, who won’t stop taunting him is remarkably fun to read aloud (we dare you not to scream “Ow! Ow! Ow!” along with the text – you can’t do it). Plus, illustrations don’t get much more gorgeous than Pittman’s.

 

9. Stay 
By Katherine Lawrence (Coteau Books)

This one’s for slightly older kids who can handle more mature themes in their reading. Katherine Lawrence’s novel-in-verse is told through 11-year-old Millie’s diary entries to her dead-in-utero twin, and deals with parental separation, illness, and familial crisis.

 

8. Patrick and the Backhoe
By Howard White, illustrated by Bus Griffiths (Nightwood Editions)

Have a reluctant reader in your life that’d rather watch the construction site than read books all day? Enter Patrick and the Backhoe, where they’ll find their parallel in Patrick: he learns how to operate a backhoe from his grandfather (and, spoiler alert: may have to put that knowledge to use when a fallen boulder threatens the town).

 

backhoejenga

 

7. The Dreamer’s Legacy
By Celu Amberstone, illustrated by Jay Odjick (Kegedonce Press)

Perfect for YA readers, The Dreamer’s Legacy follows Tasimu, a boy who can call down the power of the northern lights (!). Author Amberstone uses the real-life story of the forced relocation of Cherokee people for prospecting activities as an impetus for her protagonist, when gold is discovered in Tasimu’s community.

 

6. The Wolf is Back
By Robert Priest, illustrated by Joan Krygsman (Wolsak & Wynn)

This combination poetry/short-story/lyrics collection is for the little eco-activist in your life: Robert Priest’s works inspire young ones to recognize the connections they have with other people, animals, and the planet, aided by musical scores and original pen-and-ink illustrations from Joan Krygsman.

 

5. Spirited Away
By Tom Dawe, illustrated by Veselina Tomova (Brick Books)

Parents looking to astound their little ones on the true nature of fairies (that is, the conniving, malicious tricksters of Celtic lore, AKA not Tinkerbell) need look no further than Tom Dawe’s Spirited Away, a compendium of Newfoundland folk fairy tales, made extra-enchanting by illustrator Tomova’s woodcuts.

 

tinkerbell

 

4. Charlie
By Beryl Young (Ronsdale Press)

Introduce burgeoning history buffs to British home children – the program that brought over 100,000 British kids to Canada in the 1800s and early 1900s – through this biography and history book of the author’s own father, Charlie.

 

3. The Hobo’s Crowbar
By JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Alec Dempster (Porcupine's Quill)

For your little wordsmiths, JonArno Lawson’s The Hobo’s Crowbar is a delightful exercise in children’s poetry wordplay, with lines like: “In come the oceans / Out go the mountains / Volcanoes erupting / Like soda pop fountains.” Alec Dempster’s woodcuts make the book even better.

 

2. Cuddles the Cat Goes to the Dentist
By Dr. Sean Kelly, illustrated by Angela Lugrin (Promontory Press)

If you’ve got a little one who’s squeamish about going to the dentist (or a big one...just saying, dentists are scary), dentist and author Sean Kelly warms kids up to the idea and acclimatizes parents to it in this adventure starring a cat heading to the chair to the first time.

 

catfloss

 

1. The King of Arugula
By Christopher Millin (Thistledown Press)

With a cast of wacky characters and stories-within-a-story (for young fans of Inception, perhaps?), The King of Arugula is a great longread for kids looking for a challenge, while still featuring lessons to learn.

 

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Happy reading, families! For more family reads, click for picture books, middle-grade, and YA.


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