5 Books to Read this July
Our reading recommendations this month focus on the connections children can build with their family, nature, and the surrounding environment through learning how to listen, observe, and ask questions. As it becomes safer to resume "normal" activities (since more of the population is getting vaccinated), we hope that you and your children can visit family, engage with your community, and be in nature to observe and learn from these experiences.
Written by David Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett
"When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother's garden, she begins to notice things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long braided hair and wear beautifully coloured clothing?
Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where everything was taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history and, ultimately, a story of empowerment and strength." —Portage and Main Press
Calgary Public Library Link (Physical): https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1113231095
Calgary Public Library Link (Digital): https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1221366095
Written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
"Wherever we may be, we share the same sky. But every hour, every day, every season, whether in the city or the forest, it is different. The sky tells many stories: in the weather, in the clouds, in the stars, in the imagination. Renowned artist Barbara Reid brings her unique vision to a new topic — the sky around us. In brilliant Plasticine illustrations, she envisions the sky above and around us in all its moods. Picture the sky. How do you feel?" —Scholastic Canada
Calgary Public Library Link: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1157642095
Written and illustrated by Madeline Kloepper
"What's so great about the "great outdoors"? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for the lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around. The Not-So Great Outdoors is a humorous and richly imagined reminder of the beauty and magic that can be found away from the city and our screens. (From Tundra Books)
Calgary Public Library Link: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1277159095
Written by Shauntay Grant and illustrated by Eva Campbell
"When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, N.S., the stories she's heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like — the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great grandmother's name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival.
Africville was a vibrant Black community for more than 150 years. But even though its residents paid municipal taxes, they lived without running water, sewers, paved roads and police, fire-truck and ambulance services. Over time, the city located a slaughterhouse, a hospital for infectious disease and even the city garbage dump nearby. In the 1960s, city officials decided to demolish the community, moving people out in city dump trucks and relocating them in public housing.
Today, Africville has been replaced by a park, where former residents and their families gather each summer to remember their community." —Groundwood Books
Calgary Public Library Link: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1233389095
Franklin’s Canoe Trip (2002)
Written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark
"In this Franklin TV Storybook, Franklin and Bear are thrilled to be heading out on a canoe trip with their fathers. They're going to be just like real explorers! But the trek is harder than Franklin expects, and after hours of canoeing and portaging in the hot sun, he begins to wish they'd taken a motorboat instead. When they finally reach the campsite, it's not at all what they expected. Will Franklin and Bear ever find the perfect place to go exploring?" —Kids Can Press