Post Tagged with: "picture books"

Every child in grade one gets “I’ve Lost My Cat” by Philippe Beha

  • November 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm
  • Great books
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IveLostMyCat_coverEvery year, all grade one students in Canada get a free book.

That’s every grade one student — more than 500,000 of them. No matter what school board they’re with, whether they’re homeschooled, whether they live in a remote community. Everyone gets a book to take home and read over and over again and keep.

The program is funded by TD Bank and it’s administered by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. The CCBC selects wonderful books. Just the right books, in fact. And this year’s gem is no exception.

Author/Illustrator Philippe Beha’s little grey cat once went missing. He put up signs around the neighbourhood in hopes of getting him back. Several people called with cats – however, they were always the wrong ones.

Beha’s story folds into a brilliant and beautiful picture book, “I’ve Lost my Cat,” with charm and depth and sensitive wit. The half-million children in Canada who will be receiving Beha’s book will love it.

In the book, our protagonist is handed many animals – and even a melon – that fit some part of the description of his cat. He accepts them all graciously, finding a home for the elephant, the penguin, the bird and even the sheep he’s presented with. And just when he least expects it… he finds his cat. (Didn’t think you’d mind the spoiler.)

The book is “J’ai Perdu Mon Chat” in French.

Every child deserves to have a book of their own. Not only does owning a book promote literacy, but it promotes self-esteem. TD and the CCBC began their Grade One Book Giveaway Program in 2000. Since then they’ve given away millions of books.

It is a very, very good thing.

Visit the CCBC here, and get a list of the previous years’ books – you know they are sure-fire winners, every one.

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The best Canadian picture books

Julie Booker is an author, a teacher, a librarian and last but not least, the mom of twin toddlers.

All this to say, she knows her picture books!

Her Canadian summer picture book reading list was recently published here on 49th Shelf, an awesome Canadian book website.

Below is her list of the best of the best. For her comments about each one, visit 49th Click on their book links for more information about each book.

Drumheller Dinosaur Dance by Robert Heidbreder

Jelly Belly by Dennis Lee

M is for Moose by Charles Pachter

The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier

City Alphabet by Joanne Schwartz and Matt Beam

Eenie Meenie Manitoba by Robert Heidbreder

The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service

Butterscotch Dreams by Sonja Dunn

My pick from here - If you're not Canadian and you've never read The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier, get your hands on a copy because you will fall in love with its folk-charm illustrations and true-life story about a boy who loves his Montreal Canadiens hockey team. (If you are Canadian? You've already read it.) Oh, and another way you know Julie Booker knows her books? Her last name, sha-zam!


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Picture is worth 1,000 words to a toddler

The Crown On Your Head, by Nancy Tillman

A beautiful illustration from The Crown On Your Head, by Nancy Tillman

To a pre-reader, words aren’t the main attraction.

As a parent, you can read the words to your child sometimes… and then other times, don’t be afraid to ignore the words.

You can go through an entire picture book with your toddler, pointing to the pictures and talking about them.

Identify the colours. Name some of the items in the picture. Ask her, “what do you see?” or “what’s that?” Let her point something out. (Make a big deal out of it when she does.)

Going through a picture book this way can also help to prevent some of the parent burnout that can come with reading the same picture book over and over with your child.

I recently came across a picture book whose pictures I absolutely adore… but I wasn’t that taken with the words.

It’s called The Crown On Your Head, by Nancy Tillman. It’s got a great premise, too – it talks about a “crown” each of us is born with, that we wear all our lives. The “crown” signifies that we are important and special.

The book’s message about self-esteem and equality is lovely, and the illustrations are rich and luscious.

It’s a book parents could look at with a baby or a toddler and they wouldn’t necessarily even have to read the words. You could use the premise, point to the crowns on each page, and talk about how your child is special, too. And how we all have a crown, how each person is wearing one and it means that everyone can shine. So nice.

Thank you to Maile Carpenter for inspiring this blog post.

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