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First and Best 2019

Our top picks of the best Canadian children's books for building reading readiness in kids under five. Because the first books you share with your child should also be the best!

Ages: 0-5 years

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Kat Zhang

Amy Wu can do a lot of things, but the one thing she cannot do is make the perfect bao. While cooking with her family one day, Amy comes up with a plan that may just make her a bao-making master.

Bear for Breakfast

Robert Munsch

This is quintessential Munsch, with expressive cartoon-style illustrations. Donovan is off to bag a bear for breakfast. The tables are quickly turned and Grandpa has to save the day before bear decides on Donovan for breakfast!
Also Available in eBook

Fern and Horn

Marie Louise Gay

Twins Fern and Horn exemplify children’s boundless energy and imagination, creating masterpieces using crayons, paper and cardboard boxes. Vibrant artwork interplays with themes of sharing, problem solving and sibling love.

Love You Head to Toe

Ashley Barron

A beautifully illustrated book to celebrate all babies. Lyrical, rhyming text draws parallels between babies and their animal counterparts, from monkeys and turtles to joeys and bear cubs.

May We Have Enough to Share

Richard Van Camp

This beautiful book invites families to begin and end their day with gratitude. Thoughtful verse is accompanied by engaging family photographs from the collective blog Tea&Bannock.

My Hair is Beautiful

Shauntay Grant

Babies everywhere will be captivated by this stunning board book that features photos of young children celebrating their naturally beautiful hair, from beaded and braided to wavy and wrappy.

My Forest is Green

Darren Lebeuf

Colour, text and illustration mesh beautifully in this poetic story of a boy who, through his close forest observations, gathers information with which he will artistically recreate his very own forest. Repeated readings will reveal many new details!

My Winter City

James Gladstone

Come join father, son and pooch as they enjoy the fresh-falling snow, the delicious smell of hot chocolate and the excitement of tobogganing and making snow angels together. Soft text and evocative illustrations combine to create the perfect atmosphere.

Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Skinnamarink

Sharon Hampson

Joyfully depicted by Qin Leng, endless new discoveries in the bouncy details of the illustrations will keep the pages turning. Dare you not to sing along to this rendition of the beloved trademark song of Sharon, Lois and Bram!
Also Available in eBook

When I Found Grandma

Saumiya Balasubramaniam

When Maya’s grandma visits from far away, Maya has conflicting feelings of love and embarrassment. Balasubramaniam offers a sensitive, honest portrayal of a caring and complicated, intergenerational and intercultural relationship.
Also Available in eBook

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