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  • Mariah Wilson

November Reading Guide

As the weather gets chillier and the days get shorter, it's becoming more habitual to sink into a comfy spot with a good book and a nice warm drink. This is a great time for you and your kids to rent out some books from the library and hunker down to work on their literacy skills.

If your child is having a hard time pronouncing words or following along on their own, we've included some YouTube videos that they can use to develop their current skillset. Strong literacy skills are a great tool to have since they lead to a healthier self-image, wider vocabulary, and better performance at school.


Here are 10 of our top picks for the upcoming month:

Little You (2013)

Written by Richard Van Camp and illustrated by Julie Flett

Richard Van Camp, internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author of the hugely successful Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns, has partnered with talented illustrator Julie Flett to create a tender board book for babies and toddlers that honours the child in everyone. With its delightful contemporary illustrations, Little You is perfect to be shared, read or sung to all the little people in your life — and the new little ones on the way! —Goodreads

The Moccasin Goalie (1995)

Written and illustrated by William Roy Brownridge

Danny and his friends, Anita, Petou and Marcel, are typical youngsters—hockey mad. Danny's disability means that he can’t wear skates, but his leather moccasins work just fine and earn him the name “Moccasin Danny.” When a town team is formed, the friends are overjoyed, but only Marcel is picked for the team. Will Danny get the chance to prove that even though he can’t wear a pair of skates, he can still play the game? —Orca Book Publishers Canada

Malaika's Costume (2017)

Written by Nadia L. Hohn and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher

It’s Carnival time. The first Carnival since Malaika’s mother moved to Canada to find a good job and provide for Malaika and her grandmother. Her mother promised she would send money for a costume, but when the money doesn’t arrive, will Malaika still be able to dance in the parade? A heartwarming story about family, community and the celebration of Carnival, Nadia Hohn’s warm and colloquial language and Irene Luxbacher’s vibrant collage-style illustrations make this a strikingly original picture book. —House of Anansi

This Is Not My Hat (2012)

Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen

This Is Not My Hat introduces readers to a new cast of animal characters – and a new hat. The story is told from the point of view of a small, plucky fish who boldly snatches a stylish blue bowler off the head of a much, much larger fish, whom the little guy assumes is deeply asleep. The hat thief confidently swims away, bowler jauntily perched atop his head, assured in his belief that there is zero chance of being caught. Of course, fans of Klassen’s work will know better, and delight in trying to guess the outcome as the story progresses. —Quill and Quire

Shi-shi-etko (2005)

Written by Nicola I. Campbell and illustrated by Kim LaFave

In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school. She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world -- the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather's paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember. And so Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers her memories for safekeeping. —Strong Nations

Alligator Pie (1974)

Written by Dennis Lee and illustrated by Frank Newfeld

Alligator pie, alligator pie,

If I don't get some I think I'm gonna die.

Give away the green grass, give away the sky,

But don't give away my alligator pie.

Alligator stew, alligator stew,

If I don't get some I don't know what I'll do.

Give away my furry hat, give away my shoe,

But don't give away my alligator stew.

Alligator soup, alligator soup,

If I don't get some I think I'm gonna droop.

Give away my hockey stick, give away my hoop,

But don't give away my alligator soup.

Red is Best (1982)

Written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Robin Baird Lewis

Young Kelly's mom doesn't understand about red. Sure, the brown mittens are warmer, but the red mitts make better snowballs. And the red boots aren't just for rain; they take bigger steps in any weather. And, yes, a red cup does make a difference... juice just doesn't taste as good in a green one. No doubt about it, red is best. —Google Books

Once Upon a Northern Night (2013)

Written by Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

As the young child sleeps, wrapped in a downy blanket, a snowflake falls, and then another and another. The poem describes the forest of snow-covered pines, where a deer and fawn nibble a frozen apple, and a great gray owl swoops down with its feathers trailing through the snow. Two snowshoe hares scamper and play under the watchful eyes of a little fox, and a tiny mouse scurries in search of a midnight feast. When the snow clouds disappear, stars light up the sky, followed by the mystical shimmering of northern lights — all framed by the frost on the window. —House of Anansi

Perfect Snow (2008)

Written and illustrated by Barbara Reid

It came in the night. “Perfect!” said Scott. “Snow!” said Jim. At recess the schoolyard is full of happy kids. Scott is making snowmen, Jim is working on the world’s greatest snow fort. At lunchtime they join forces to create a perfect snow surprise! Barbara Reid combines her trademark plasticine artwork with ink and watercolour panels to bring a timeless Canadian tale of winter fun to life. —Barbara Reid official website

Stephanie's Ponytail (1996)

Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko

None of the kids in her class wear a ponytail, so Stephanie decides she must have one. The loud, unanimous comment from her classmates is: “Ugly, ugly, very ugly.” Steadfast, when all the girls have copied her ponytail, she resolves to try a new style. With true Munsch flair, each of Stephanie’s ponytails is more outrageous than the last, while the cast of copycats grows and grows.Goodreads


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