The books listed here (in no particular order) are all Canadian, all published in 2016 each celebrating some aspect of diversity and culture. A shout out also goes to the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and their list of TD award winning titles.

WHEN THE RAIN COMES by Alma Fullerton; Illus. Kim La Fave

This book encourages young North American readers to consider the plight of children across the world who are dependendt on agriculture for their livelihood. Set in Sri Lanka, this story can help readers understand the challenges of growing rice crops, the struggles of overcoming monsoon rains, and the dependence on animals (e.g, the ox) to help with farming.

I AM NOT A NUMBER by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer; Illus. Gillian Newland

This picture book is an important contribution to stories that help students gain further understanding of the plight of Residential Schools. A useful resource that explore FNMI curriculum initiatives.

THE WAY TO SCHOOL by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International (2015)

This book feature vivid photographs showing children who must combat natural disasters, river-crossings and mountain passes all for the sake of getting an education.

AS A BOY Plan International

Simple statements and powerful photographs on each page highlight the roles and rights of boys – and girls. It is an ideal source to help students understand gender equity and the choices many boys have made for them on the day they were born and the choices they will make for themselves as sons, brothers and future fathers.

FRENCH TOAST by Kari-Lynn Winters; Illus. Francoise Thisdale

This is an important resource to help young readers consider, the importance of their name, differences in skin colour, the lives of bi-racial children, the warm relationship between grandparent and child, and compassion for those with disabilities.

A FAMILY IS A FAMILY IS A FAMILY by Sara O’Leary; Illus. QinLeng

This book highlights the diversity of families and can prompt understanding of divorced parents, foster parents, same-sex parents. Young readers can make connections to the families they belong to as well as others they may be familiar with.

MAYA by Mahak Jain: Illus. Elly MacKay

Picture books like Maya can take readers on a journey to other parts of the world and provide a geography lesson into countries that are challenged with monsoons. It is also a story of overcoming grief and recognizing the significance of familial love.

ADRIFT AT SEA: A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho; Ilus. Brian Deines

To understand the history of a refugee expereince and its connection to contemporary world refugee issues, Tuan Ho’s story as a ‘Boat People’ survivor is an important book for sharing. The first person narrative, in particular, helps readers to identify with the challenges of survival.

ELLIOT by Julie Pearson; Illus Manon Gauthier

This is a sensitive story about parenting, about foster care and about adoption.

SAYF AND FROGGY by@studentasim

A story of a dedicated friendship between two Canadian boys and the challenges of continuing that friendship when one boy moves away to Dubai.

SHOUT OUT: Winners Announced for the
2016 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is thrilled to announce the winners of its seven English-language children’s book awards. The TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award was given to author Melanie Florence and illustrator François Thisdale, who will share the $30,000 prize. This is a story of love and loss and acceptance told in alternating voices between a Cree daughter and her Nimama (mother). This title inspires respect, recognition and further inquiry of the over one thousand Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or went missing between 1980 and 2012.

Missing Nimama

heir picture book Missing Nimâmâ (Clockwise Press)

Missing Nimâmâ, written by Melanie Florence and illustrated by François Thisdale, won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000)
Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
Sex Is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings, and You written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth, won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
Uncertain Soldier by Karen Bass won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction For Young People ($5,000)
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands won the John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow won the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)
The Truth Commission by Susan Juby won the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000)

The winners were announced on Thursday November 17th at a gala event, hosted by the CBC’s Shelagh Rogers, at The Carlu in Toronto.