This is a sponsored guest post.
Any parent would agree that getting their child reading, and reading early, is important. To many, it’s also important to that their children experience the same stories that they themselves loved so much as children, and it’s easy to understand why. What better way to bond with your child than by sharing some of the stories and adventures that enraptured your young mind so many years ago?
In case you’ve forgotten, we’ve put together a list of arguably the most iconic and influential Canadian children’s books ever to be printed.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Who hasn’t gone to bed with gum in their mouth at bedtime only to wake up with it smooshed in their hair? Who hasn’t stumbled out of bed, tripped on their skateboard only to have their sweater get drenched in the sink? Both of these calamitous events have happened to Alexander and a whole lot more!
Why it’s loved so much: This hilarious children’s book follows Alexander who pretty much thinks bad things only happen to him. As his day progresses, he quickly realizes that bad days can happen to anyone. It teaches children that no matter what kind of day you’re having, good things will come along too.
Ages: 6 and up
Anne of Green Gables
Come on, every Canadian has heard of the plucky, red-headed Prince Edward Islander. Buckle in for a quick plot refresher: Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert are elderly siblings that apply to adopt a young boy who can help them operate their farm. Instead, they’re sent Anne, an inquisitive, spirited 11-year old girl. Sent in rural Prince Edward Island and based on the author’s own experiences growing up on the island, the adventures of Anne of Green Gables are cherished the world over, and have been since the author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, penned the lines.
Why it’s loved so much: While it’s difficult to list off all the reasons that Anne is loved so much, here are a few. Not only is she the story’s protagonist, but she’s also often viewed as an underdog and a positive, strong-willed role model for girls of all ages.
Ages: 9 and up
The Sky is Falling
Initially set in war-time England, Norah and her brother Gavin are sent to Toronto to wait out the war. Norah doesn’t take to the foreign land as well as her younger brother, who’s dotted upon by their caretaker, Marie Ogilvie. As everything in Norah’s life continues to be, in her view, intolerable, and she learns that she cannot return to England for much longer than she originally thought, she embarks on a journey to return home. Quickly realizing that such a quest is impossible for someone so young and so small, she returns to the safety of the Ogilvie’s. As time passes, Norah’s life improves and her perspective of her life improves dramatically.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
Though penned by British author Mark Haddon, it nonetheless deserves a place on this list. This is the story of a young Christopher Boone who lives with an autism spectrum disorder. The story follows Christopher as he investigates the death of a neighbour’s dog in a world full of stimuli and experiences he’s never encountered before. Haddon has previously stated that this isn’t a book about anyone behavioural disorder but rather, about being an outsider, about being different, and about looking at the world in a very different way.
Ages: 13 and up
Arguably one of Canada’s most beloved collection poems, Alligator Pie has solidified author Dennis Lee’s reputation of as Canada’s very own Father Goose. Filled with silly musings and whimsical imagery, Alligator Pie is rhyming at its silliest!
Ages: 3 and up
Too many, Baby Beluga is a children’s song popularized by the beloved Raffi. Now the story of the “whale on the go” can be told accompanied by the warm illustrations of Ashley Wolff. This delightful book will please toddlers and make parents wax nostalgic for their own childhood.
Ages: 2 and up
The Boston Breakout (Screech Owls)
Who doesn’t love hockey players entangled in a mysterious adventure off the ice? The perfect story for the young hockey player in your family, this story follows a group of minor hockey players as they discover the motives behind a group of animal activists as they protest outside the New England Aquarium. At first glance, the motives of the protesters seem noble, until Sarah and Samantha dig a little deeper…
Ages: 9 to 12
Silverwing follows the unlikely adventures of a young Silverwing bat, as he is separated from his friends and family on their long migration south. With winter quickly approaching, Shade needs to find the courage and cunning to rejoin his group before it’s too late!
Ages: 8 to 12
Olivia is the story of a feisty little pig who has too much energy for her own good! Inspired by author and illustrator Ian Falconer’s niece, Olivia’s inquisitive nature has her encountering many interesting situations! Drawing from the style of the famous Dr. Seuss, Falconer also incorporates the work of famous artists like Pollock and Degas in his stories.
Ages: 4 and up
The Story of Ferdinand
Ferdinand is the world’s most peaceful–and–beloved little bull. He’s also far from typical; instead of snorting, leaping, and butting heads (as bulls are wont to do), Ferdinand is perfectly happy to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree. Though he grows up to become the biggest and strongest of all the other bulls, the gentle Ferdinand refuses to be provoked into butting heads with the others or taking part in the bullfights.
Ages: 3 and up
What’s your favourite childhood book? Did it make the list? Remember, even if yours didn’t make the list as being one of the country’s most influential, chances are that you’ve got a few that you’d love to share with your child. The good news is, online bookstore purchases are fast, easy, and just a click away!