Blue Spruce 2016

Reviews, Connections & Resources

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Perspective Conflict Friendship

Sonny and Arthur are friends, sort of! They have been in class together since nursery school and are put together again in Grade 1. They are Ernie & Bert or Felix & Oscar. The story rolls along almost like Judith Viorst's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with Arthur as Sonny's problem, but then Nancy Wilcox Richards spins it and we hear Sonny's side. She ties the story up nicely at the end as the boys realize, maybe, they need each other after all.

Community Nature Belonging

Elly MacKay's nature-based, stunningly illustrated books are not new to the Forest of Reading. In Butterfly Park, our main character has to move, leaving her home, her garden and her beloved butterflies to arrive at a colder, grayer place. There is the promise of butterflies, with a Butterfly Park next door, but none are there. Our newcomer draws out the community to discover and entice butterflies, ultimately finding what is needed to create a home for butterflies and people alike. Elly MacKay's story is a perfect compliment to her stunning 3-D paper art illustrations.
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Try out some of the butterfly art extensions Elly MacKay posts on her website.

Bicycles Giving Community

Alma Fullerton opens a window to the excitement of the arrival of a bicycle library to a small schoolhouse in a Tanzanian village. It is an exploration of giving from the people who donate bikes, to Anna who selflessly supports her friends and the kindness she eventually receives.
Africycle 2014
Africycle is a bicycle donation organization based out of Uxbridge, Ontario!
Bicycles for Humanity
Bicycles for Humanity has many Canadian Chapters if you wish to support one!

Tradition Fitting-In Determination

Henry Holton has a hockey-obsessed family from their teething rings - pucks - to the name of their dog - Gretzky - and Henry is expected to follow the family tradition. Henry does take to skating, but not the way everyone wants him to. Follow Henry's journey to make the people around him realize he has his very own dream!

Dreams Diversity Integrity

Peter, Santiago and Ahab might be Fishermen Through & Through, but that doesn't mean they don't dream of lives different than the ones they live. The potential to fulfill these dreams is scooped up with the arrival of a miraculous albino lobster, but as the fisherman spend more time upon the shore than on the sea, they come to a realization.


Many reflections on the right thing to do could arise out of Colleen Sydor's dreamy, beautifully illustrated and rhythmic tale.

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Imagination Culture Play

Linda Bailey, of Stanley-fame, has created a childhood utopia of trampoline sidewalks, Inventing School, modes of travel like the " thingama-cycle," and doctor recommended birthday cake for breakfast. Explore the culture of your classes' imaginary dreams, but with one rule, please! No screens allowed!

Kindness Fear Perceptions

Ruby loves all things red and especially her red cloak, which has the power to turn her into Super Red Riding Hood, but being a super hero isn't always easy. You have to be thoughtful, kind and face your fears, head on, learning along the way!


Claudia Davila is both the author and illustrator of Super Red Riding Hood and is based out of Toronto.


Super Red Riding Hood Book Trailer

Self-Regulation

Sam gets a new pet, but it isn't welcome at school, at the playground or at home. Sam's pet is his temper! At first his temper seems to help him get his way, but after a while Temper gets out of control. What can Sam do to control the beast that's causing all this trouble?


Sangeeta Bhadra's story has found a playful way to remove the temper from the child & open the door to discussions of behavior and how to control it.

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Awareness Farm Friends

Poor Max! He tries to help the farmer, but he just can't see past the blue buzzy bug to the truth all around him!


Heather Tekavec has posted illustrations from her book to use as a sequencing activity on her website.

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Bullying Choices Forgiveness

The Cardinal & the Crow has the feel of an old folk tale as we travel through the seasons with the wise, bedraggled and abused crow who makes a choice that changes the life of his tormentor, the bright, impulsive cardinal.

How To Keep Connected?

Follow the Ontario Library Association on the social media of your choice to keep updated on all things Forest of Reading!


Thank you to the OLA for promoting Canadian authors & illustrators with these exciting programs!

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