I Read Canadian Day celebrates great Canadian books and underscores the importance of reading from an early age. We're joining in on this special day by highlighting five fab reads for young people plus a list packed with a whole lot more—sure to fill shelves and growing imaginations alike.
The Moon King, written and illustrated by Cara Kansala (Breakwater Books)
Cara Kansala's beautifully self-illustrated children's book, written in verse, introduces us to The Moon King, who after turning the night upside down must enlist the help of earth's sleepy critters to recover the stars that have scattered over land and sea, back to their rightful place in the sky. With a swirling palette of blues and greens, this bedtime story delivers a sweet send-off into dreamland.
Raised by bears, Helen feels most at home in the woods. She's handy with a slingshot, and while her feet might be hairy, they sure are quick! But not quite quick enough to avoid being captured by one of the three evil giants she discovers after stumbling upon their castle. Forced to help the giant in his plot to kidnap the princess Antoinette, Helen successfully whisks her away in her sleep AND manages to do away with the giant before heading back to her quiet home in the woods. Who could this giant-killing hero be? Antoinette and her father are determined to find out.
For the kiddos who love animals, this one comes with a special message about survival and being grateful for all that nature provides. Passed down with love from mother bear to her cubs, this story shows us in heartfelt detail all that the seasons bring in blessings and the interconnectedness of all things. Told in dual language, the book offers both the English and Dakelh translations, and features Clayton Gauthier's own vibrant illustrations.
Little Girl Gazelle by Stéphane Martelly, illustrated by Albin Christen, translated by Katia Grubisic (Linda Leith Publishing)
What is fair and what is right? Little Girl Gazelle leaps high and dances swiftly from page to page in search of tough answers in an unjust world. This bold yet eloquent little book touches on the topics of discrimination and equality with colourful illustrations that leave their mark, offering strength and resilience to the black gazelle child in a world of lions.
This moving picture book begins with Ari, a young person, as they grow-up into adolescence while navigating their personal identity. Preferring not be called by their birth name, Ari grows up enjoying dolls, princess movies, smooth skin and long hair—all things contrary to their father's ideas on how a boy is "supposed" to be. Ari's solitary gender journey is the story of finding new life, unconditional love and self-acceptance.
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