Books

Picture Books from Canada: Part 2

I hope you enjoyed my selections in Part 1 of the Picture Books from Canada series.

I have 5 more Canadian picture books to tell you about. I think these books all have huge universal appeal. Informative, compelling, or just pure fun, these stories are all fabulous and too-good-to-be missed, with love from north of the border.

Pierre & Paul: Dragon!, written by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Alice Carter.

Canada has two official languages, English and French. Do you speak French? Oui ou non? If not, that’s okay because this delightful book about Pierre et Paul can be read in either English or French. The text switches between both languages as the two friends turn a chore into an adventure of epic proportions. You might even get interested in learning some French yourself which would be magnifique! Recommended for ages 3 and up.

We All Play Kimêtawânaw, written and illustrated by Julie Flett.

Cree-Metis author and illustrator Julie Flett has created lots of books and they’re all amazing. In this one, the pictures will enthral you, but the text offers something incredibly special too. Flett has created an engaging, accessible blend of English and Cree. Additionally, she includes a Cree pronunciation guide. Perfect for sharing with young children, this delightful picture book will introduce everyone to one of North America’s many beautiful Indigenous languages. Recommended for ages 2 and up.

The Darkest Dark, written by Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion and illustrated by The Fan Brothers

I’m just going to say it. Chris Hadfield is one of the coolest Canadians ever (and I am notoriously hard to impress!) He’s a literal astronaut (now retired), pilot, singer, and author. As a child, Chris Hadfield was afraid of the dark but in space it is literally the darkest dark. So how did he get from a scared kid to the commander of the International Space Station? This picture book memoir, illustrated by the Fan Brothers, will explain it all. Soon, you’ll be a Chris Hadfield fan too! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The Great Grizzlies Go Home, written and illustrated by Judy Hilgemann. 

This lovely book tells the true story of two young grizzly bears who swam over to small island community in British Columbia where they proceeded to enjoy life about town. Meanwhile, the residents very obviously needed to stay the heck indoors! Soon, skilled conservation officers safely tranquillized and relocated the grizzlies by helicopter back to their proper habitat on the mainland and the islanders went back to life as usual. Whew! The author includes straightforward information about how to stay safe when humans visit bears’ natural habitats too. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Gwendolyn’s Pet Garden, written by Anne Renaud and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh.

The author lives in Quebec, the illustrator lives in Washington, DC, and what a great international partnership this charming book turned out to be! Gwendolyn wants a pet to call her own, but her parents are not too keen on the idea. Instead, they give her an empty gardening plot. Up for caring for any living thing, Gwendolyn throws herself into the project of cultivating a garden with delicious and beautiful results. The author includes kid-friendly information about gardening and seed libraries too! Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Do you love any other picture books from Canada? Share your favorites in the comments section!


Today’s guest blogger is Tess Prendergast. Tess is a children’s librarian who now teaches librarianship and children’s literature courses at The School of Information, University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. She has served on many ALSC committees and is soon finishing her term on the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award. Tess has published many articles, chapters and blog posts about early literacy. You can read more about her work here and here.


Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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