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Canadian authors who lull my children to sleep
From: Translation Bureau
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As a child, I was well acquainted with the books in our home. We had books from the “Martine” series, classic stories and the Walt Disney books with small vinyl records. My mother would read to me every night, long before I learned to read myself, and she continued to do so long after. I’ve carried on that tradition with my kids, but I often choose books by Canadian authors. Over the past few years, I’ve made some wonderful discoveries with my sons! Let me tell you about some of our favourite authors.
Élise Gravel, my sons’ favourite author and illustrator, delights kids and adults alike. Her words and illustrations depict a world that makes you smile and laugh! We love all of her books, including A Potato on a Bike and I Want a Monster. But the one that we’ve read most often is Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere. It’s a story about a little girl who finds a strange animal and decides to adopt and study it. The sounds made by the creature (whose name is “Meh”), its eating habits and Olga’s thoughts will definitely make you laugh!
Speaking of laughs, you’re bound to have a few when you dive into books by Robert Munsch. This prolific author creates wacky stories that seem to come straight out of a child’s imagination. He uses onomatopoeia and repetition effectively to keep kids interested from cover to cover. In Mmm, Cookies!, a boy who likes to play practical jokes on people makes playdough cookies, but then he gets a taste of his own medicine!
Author-illustrator Dominique Jolin has created a big, chatty mouse and a clever, silent kitten who embark on fantastic adventures. Her books on the adventures of Toopy and Binoo have a special place on our bookshelf! My kids love them so much that they have both the French and English versions of their favourite titles: Camping de nuit and Camp Out as well as La grande course and The Big Race.
Mélanie Watt’s smart, nervous squirrel is the perfect partner to help you talk to your children about their fears. In my home, we’ve had several conversations about nightmares, thanks to Scaredy Squirrel at Night. Like many young children, Scaredy doesn’t like change or surprises. That often creates some funny situations!
In the last few months, I’ve started reading longer books to my kids, covering one or two chapters per day. My sons instantly fell in love with the fantastic world of the Amos Daragon series. Countless twists, supernatural characters and the quest for good: all these elements come together to make young adventurers dream.
Many other authors have been part of my kids’ lives over the years, and we’ll be adding many more to our bookcase in the years to come. To discover other books and authors while testing your knowledge of Canadian children’s literature, I encourage you to take the Language Portal of Canada’s quiz “Know your Canadian children’s book characters.” (opens in new tab)
And what about you? Which books or authors shaped your childhood? Which stories do your kids love? Let me know in the comments!
Translated by Anne-Marie Tugwell, Language Portal of Canada
The opinions expressed in posts and comments published on the Our Languages blog are solely those of the authors and commenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Language Portal of Canada.
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