| Jun 07, 2007

June 2007 - Early Literacy

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Early Literacy - June 2007 Canada’s seven wondersby Susan Ramsay, Early Literacy Specialist, HFL&A

This is a vote we care about. No highly charged political debates or negative ad campaigns. No difficult choice between leader and political party. From the Rockies to the Bay of Fundy to the Northern Lights, Canadians are expressing pride in the geography and creations that define Canada. We want to determine Canada’s Seven Wonders through CBC’s national quest.

Understanding our unique heritage and treasures, though, is not just for adult adulation. Our youngest Canadian citizens can grow in their understanding and love of Canada through the sharing of children’s books.

Eh? to Zed by Kevin Major, as the title implies, is a truly Canadian alphabet book. With Napanee listed on the page for ‘N’ along with Neepawa, narwhal and nickel, this book hits especially close to home. Explanations are included at the end of the book about why specific people, places and words were chosen to signify Canada.

Z is for Zamboni by Matt Napier is an alphabet book for our youngest hockey fans that celebrates our national sport.


M is for Maple A Canadian Alphabet is written by Mike Ulmer and highlights historical events and people like cancer-crusader Terry Fox, hockey-star Rocket Richard, and the Canadian patent for the zipper.

Loonies and Toonies: A Canadian Number Book is also written by Mike Ulmer and highlights aspects of Canada’s past and present as well as the metric system.

Children’s books about Canada include cultural stories too. The First Strawberries by Joseph Bruchac is a retelling of a Cherokee legend about how strawberries came to be. The legend teaches that “friendship and respect are as sweet as the taste of ripe, red berries”. With Aboriginal Day celebrated in Canada on the first day of summer, this story is especially timely to share with young children.

Aurora: A Tale of the Northern Lights by Mindy Dwyer, is a magical tale about this breath-taking phenomena that is part of our Canadian landscape.

Amy MacDonald’s Little Beaver and The Echo is an engaging story for preschoolers about a beaver who is lonely. When the beaver calls out “I need a friend”, he hears a voice echo from across the water. Little Beaver searches for this kindred spirit and as he searches, Little Beaver finds other animals in the Canadian forest that are looking for friendship too.

In Honk Honk a Story of Migration by Mick Manning, a child takes a ride on the back of a migrating Canada Goose and discovers both danger and excitement flying high on this big bird.

Mary Casanova’s One-Dog Canoe is a rhyming, rhythmical adventure of a small girl who paddles her canoe, intending to take only one passenger, her dog. But a beaver, loon, wolf, bear, and moose want to hitchhike. She allows each one into her canoe until the leap of a small frog is one creature too many for her red canoe.

Children will never be content to wonder about only seven things, but sharing books about Canada can be a great way to explore and nurture their sense of national pride.

Susan Ramsay is the Early Literacy Specialist for Hastings, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. You can contact her at 613-354-6318 (ext 32)

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