Youth Book Corner: Canadian Children’s Book Week

Our Outreach Coordinator Leena Desai recommends some delightful Canadian books in honour of Canadian Children’s Book Week, May 2-9.

Salma the Syrian Chef by Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron

Syrian-Canadian author Danny Ramadan offers a peek into the challenges new immigrants face in Canada in this delightful story about a little girl who just wants to make her mother happy. Salma’s mother is busy attending English classes, job interviews and raising Salma alone. To give her a break, Salma decides to treat her mom to a homecooked meal. Enlisting the help of the cheery folk at the Welcome Centre, Salma is able to cook for her mom and show her that although things are tough, there is cause for hope and celebration when the community comes together and supports one another. Grades Preschool-2

Going Up! by Sherry J. Lee, illustrated by Charlene Chua

The tall trim size of Sherry J. Lee’s book Going Up! speaks a lot about its subject matter: an elevator ride in a residential tower. Sophie lives with her father Leonard in a multicultural building in the city and is invited to a birthday party one day. Sophie and her dad bake cookies for the party and take the elevator to go up to the tenth floor. But the elevator stops on each floor to let in more party guests, which include more moms and dads, kids and even kittens and puppies. Charlene Chua’s detailed illustrations add to the fun of reading this book, which offers a glimpse into what it’s like to grow up in a diverse environment that is often innate to city life. Grades Preschool-2

High and Dry by Eric Walters, illustrated by Sabrina Gendron

From acclaimed author and educator, Eric Walters, comes a story about perseverance and caring for animals. High and Dry is a chapter book about a little boy named Dylan living on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. When Dylan’s parents have to go to the mainland, his grandfather comes to give him company. Soon grandson and granddad find themselves on a rescue mission when they find a young orca stuck on the rocks. This is an engrossing adventure novel, accompanied by beautifully illustrated black-and-white pictures. Grades 1-3

The Great Grizzlies Go Home by Judy Hilgemann

Readers who have seen grizzlies in the wild—or maybe in their own backyards—will find this story, based on true events, relatable and fascinating. Two young grizzly bears, whose stomping ground is the Great Bear Rainforest, swim very far from home one day and find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings, close to backyards and barbecue pits. Eventually, as the title suggests, the bears are taken on a helicopter ride back home. Judy Hilgemann writes and illustrates this story in breath-taking watercolour and offers bear safety tips for people embarking on a trip into their territory. Grades 1-3

The Eagle Mother by Brett D. Huson, illustrated by Natasha Donovan

Award-winning Indigenous author Brett D. Huson has been chronicling the flora and fauna around the Skeena River in northern British Columbia for years through his picture book series, Mothers of Xsan. After writing about the life cycle of the sockeye salmon and the grizzly bears, he now turns his focus to the majestic bald eagle. Natasha Donovan’s stunning illustrations accompany Huson’s own traditional line drawings to tell us this tale of how the eagle mother cares for her eaglets through the summer and the crucial role they play in the ecosystem of the Skeena River. Grades 3-7


Leena Desai