Literacy Activities & Articles

What Book Would You Give a Child This Christmas?

We asked our staff this question, and since selecting books to share with families in our programs is a highlight of their job, we got some great suggestions.

Here are the staff picks with the added bonus of why they selected the book:

Because by Mo Willems
preschool and up

I am passionate about music, and this book shows how music is connected to everything and everyone. An inspiring story about creativity and how the little things can make a difference.

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
preschool

The book can be enjoyed by young children with help from their grown-ups, but older children will enjoy it as well. It includes so many interactive elements and children will have fun finding all kinds of little details in the illustrations. They will enjoy opening the various types of mail (which include a game and a puzzle).

Everybody by Elise Gravel
ages 3-6

This book explores empathy and unity. It shows how everyone is unique and different, yet in many ways still similar! We all have fears, moments of joy and sadness. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody can fix them! Everybody needs to feel safe and valued. This book is a wonderful way for families to explore some of the complex emotions their children may be experiencing, especially during COVID!!

There’s an Elf in Your Book by Tom Fletcher
ages 3-7

This is a fun, interactive read aloud where the elf in the book tries to trick kids into getting on the naughty list. He makes the reader do things like sing a Christmas carol, clap, and burp!

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
toddler

This book has always been a favourite in my family. The illustrations are adorable and have so much personality. It is full of funny, sharp rhymes, and is a book that is fun to read again and again.

Open Very Carefully – A Book with Bite by Nick Bromley and Nicola O’Bryne
preschool 3-5

I like books that children can interact with, and the adult reader can help their imagination grow even bigger. This book does that in a crafty way. It starts out trying to tell the story of The Ugly Duckling, when a crocodile breaks into the book. Keep reading if you dare! Readers are invited to help problem solve and send the crocodile away. He clearly doesn’t belong in this book! Or does he?

Chalk by Bill Thomson
ages 4-6 and up

This is a clever story about three children who find a bag of chalk at a playground and soon discover that their drawings come to life. It is told using only amazing hand-painted illustrations; there are no words – literally! I chose this book because the characters find magic in the ordinary by using their imaginations. I chose a wordless book because it shows us there are many ways to tell and enjoy a good story. If there is a parent or a child who is intimidated by the idea of reading, this can also help build confidence and a love for books!

We hope this list helps you select a book for that special child in your life. And we hope you will make a donation to the Centre, so that we can provide books like these to families in our programs. Donate to us at CanadaHelps Now!

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