Just in time for Family Literacy Week, here’s a family-friendly list of interesting and intriguing titles on the shelves at the Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library.
Each January, Family Literacy Week celebrates adults and children reading and learning together, and encourages Canadians to spend at least 15 minutes enjoying a learning activity as a family every day. Programs are scheduled at libraries all over Victoria, and here in Oak Bay, families can enjoy a “Make Your Own Story Cube” program Jan. 25.
• Baby Read-Aloud Basics: Fun and Interactive Ways to Help Your Little One Discover the World of Words, by Caroline J. Blakemore and Barbara Weston Ramirez – Winner of the iParenting Media Award, this book will give parents and caregivers all of the guidance and information they need to instill a lifelong love of reading and learning.
• The Book With No Pictures, by B.J. Novak – Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again. (And parents will be happy to oblige.)
• Completely Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker – Clementine is for any kids and parents who can’t get enough of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. Clementine is just as fresh and funny in this seventh and final title in the series as she was in the first book.
• Listen, Slowly, by Thanhhà Lai – This remarkable novel from the New York Times bestselling author follows a young girl as she travels to faraway lands and learns the true meaning of family.
• Little You, by Richard Van Camp – Van Camp, internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author, has partnered with talented illustrator Julie Flett to create a tender board book for babies and toddlers that honours the child in everyone.
• My Family Tree and Me, by Dušan Petrivic – This one-of-a-kind picture book provides a beautifully simple introduction to the concept of family ancestry. It uses two stories in one to explore a small boy’s family tree.
• The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, by Susin Nielsen – 13-year-old Henry’s happy, ordinary life comes to an abrupt halt when his older brother, Jesse, picks up their father’s hunting rifle and leaves the house one morning. What follows shatters Henry’s family, who are forced to resume their lives in a new city. Nielsen has created a fantastic new character in Henry, whose journal entries are infused with humour and provide a riveting read.
• What Ship is Not a Ship? by Harriet Ziefert – The fun guessing games inside this book use clever word groupings that list three things that are alike and one that it is different and invites kids into a call-and-response dynamic. Picture clues will help kids figure out which thing is different and begin to grasp fine-tuned nuances of word parts, roots and meanings.
• When a Dad Says “I Love You,” by Douglas Wood – How do you like to hear “I love you”? This cozy picture book is a sunny testament to the bond between father and child and shows all the ways dads can say it best.
• Very Short Tall Tales to Read Together, by Mary Ann Hoberman – This book uses a variety of reading techniques to invite young children to read along with peers or an adult. With clear, colour-coded typography, and sly, lively illustrations, this collection is sure to entertain while encouraging reading skills and interaction with others.
Sarah Isbister is the Children and Family Literacy Librarian at the Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library.