2021 Forest of Reading: The Blue Spruce™

The Blue Spruce Award program brings recently published Canadian children's picture books to children in kindergarten to Grade 2. It is part of the Forest of Reading, an annual initiative of the Ontario Library Association.

Ages: 4-7 years

Shortlists

Bad Dog

Mike Boldt

Rocky doesn't listen or obey like all the other dogs... maybe because Rocky is a cat. Cat and dog lovers alike will howl with laughter at a girl's insistence that her cat is a dog.

All formats.

Be You!

Peter H. Reynolds

Be brave, curious, adventurous! Be you! Discover a joyful reminder of all the ways that every child is unique and special.

All formats.

Boxitects

Kim Smith

Meg loves building extraordinary things out of ordinary cardboard boxes and impressing her classmates with what she creates. But then a new kid comes to Maker School: Simone. Simone is good at everything. Worst of all, she's a boxitect too!

All formats.

Fast Friends

Heather M. O’Connor and Claudia Dávila

Tyson is not listened to because of his sometimes disruptive behaviour. Suze is nonverbal with special needs. Learning to interpret Suze's nonverbal cues improves Tyson's ability to understand and communicate, and he ultimately finds his own voice by helping Suze find hers.

All formats.

Going Up!

Sherry J. Lee and Charlene Chua

Today is Olive's birthday party, and Sophie and her dad have baked cookies. But on the way up, the elevator keeps stopping, and more neighbours squeeze into the crowded space. Everyone is going to the party!

All formats.

Grandmother School

Rina Singh and Ellen Rooney

Every morning, a young girl walks her grandmother to the Aajibaichi Shala, the school that was built for the grandmothers in her village to learn to read and write. Based on a true story from the village of Phangane, India.

All formats.

My Day with Gong Gong

Sennah Yee and Elaine Chen

A day in Chinatown takes an unexpected turn when May makes a connection with her grandpa.

All formats.

The Proudest Blue

Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali and Hatem Aly

Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It's the start of a brand new year and also her sister Asiya's first day of hijab. An uplifting story of new experiences, the bond between siblings, and being proud of who you are.

All formats.

Salma the Syrian Chef

Danny Ramadan and Anna Bron

Salma wants to cheer up her mother with a homemade Syrian meal, but she doesn't know the recipe or where to find the ingredients. Luckily, the staff and other newcomers at the Welcome Center are happy to lend a hand.

All formats.

The Truth About Wind

Hazel Hutchins, Gail Herbert and Dušan Petričić

When Jesse finds a toy horse and names him Wind, his imagination runs wild thinking about all the adventures that await. There's just one problem: Wind doesn’t actually belong to Jesse. Is there a way to make everything okay again?

All formats.

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Forest of Reading – The Blue Spruce Award

The Blue Spruce Award program brings recently published Canadian children's picture books to children in kindergarten to Grade 2. It is part of the Forest of Reading, an annual initiative of the Ontario Library Association.

Ages: 4-7 years