Books

30 best Canadian books for little kids

Looking for great reads for your little one? Check out our list of top books for inspiration.

By Amy Valm

30 best Canadian books for little kids

The Hockey Sweater

The Hockey Sweater Roch Carrier, Sheldon Cohen, Tundra Books

In a small Quebec town, life revolves around playing hockey and the Montreal Canadiens, but trouble brews when Roch outgrows his Habs sweater and receives a Toronto Maple Leafs one as a replacement. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Tundra Books

Shi-sh-etko

Nicola I. Campbell, Kim LaFave, Groundwood Books

Based on true events, this bittersweet tale follows a young Aboriginal girl through her last few days with her family before she’s sent to a residential school. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

Alligator Pie

Dennis Lee, Frank Newfeld, HarperCollins

A fun collection of poetry by Canada’s Father Goose includes classic rhymes like “Skyscraper” and “Wiggle to the Laundromat.”

 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: HarperCollins

Virgina Wolf

Kyo Maclear, Isabelle Arsenault, Kids Can Press

Virginia is in a foul mood, but her sister, Vanessa, helps her out of it using a bit of paint and imagination. Based loosely on the true-life relationship of Virginia Woolf and her artist sister, Vanessa Bell. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Kids Can Press

Tales from Gold Mountain

Paul Yee, Simon Ng, Groundwood Books

This is a collection of eight unique stories by historian and author Paul Yee about the Chinese people’s experiences in Canada during the gold rush.

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

The Name of the Tree

Celia Barker Lottridge, Ian Wallace, Groundwood Books

In the classic folk tale, animals seek food as drought threatens the land, but they’ll have to learn to work together and combine their talents to survive. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

The Man with the Violin

Kathy Stinson, Dušan Petriu010diu0107, Annick Press

A little boy is dragged by his busy mom as they hustle past a violinist in a crowded subway station only to later learn they’d rushed by a renowned performer. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Annick Press

The Balloon Tree

Phoebe Gilman, Scholastic Canada

In this famous illustrated story, Princess Leora’s father must leave for a tournament, but he tells her to release balloons as a signal if there’s trouble.

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Scholastic Canada

Once Upon a Nothern Night

Jean E. Pendziwol, Isabelle Arsenault, Groundwood Books

This lovely wintry lullaby depicts a snow-laden forest and the woodland animals that make it their home. 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

Waiting for the Whales

Sheryl McFarlane, Ron Lightburn, Orca Book Publishers

In this touching tale, a lonely old man waits on his West Coast porch each year for the whales. But his life takes on new meaning when his daughter returns and he meets her baby. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Orca Book Publishers

Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance

 Ian Wallace, Groundwood Books

One little boy must overcome his fear in order to perform the dragon’s dance for Chinese New Year to bring prosperity and honour to his family.

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

Til All the Stars Have Fallen

David Booth, Kady MacDonald Denton, Kids Can Press

This eclectic collection of Canadiana-themed poems tells stories of royal visits, playing baseball in Toronto and sticky summer heat. Colourful sketches accompany works by the likes of A.M. Klein, Dennis Lee and Margaret Atwood. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Kids Can Press

Ten Small Tales

Celia Barker Lottridge, Joanne Fitzgerald, Groundwood Books 

This collection of international stories inspired by fairy tales features witty animals, imaginative children and wise lessons.

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

Amos’s Sweater

Janet Lunn, Kim LaFave, Groundwood Books

Amos is an old sheep who’s tired of giving up his wool so everyone else can be warm. Enough is enough! He’s ready to reclaim his woolly coat—even if it’s now in the form of a brightly coloured sweater.

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

The Olden Days Coat

Margaret Laurence, Muriel Wood, Tundra Books

While visiting her grandmother at Christmas, 10-year-old Sal is transported to the past when she tries on a coat she finds in a weathered trunk.

 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Tundra Books

Basbeball Bats for Christmas

Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak, Vladyana Krykorka, Annick Press

Set in a small village in the Northwest Territories, the author reminisces about a childhood Christmas holiday in 1955. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Annick Press

The Secret World of Og

Pierre Berton, Patsy Berton, Doubleday Canada

The five Berton siblings explore a world under the trap door of their clubhouse called Og that’s inhabited by tiny green creatures. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Doubleday Canada

Binky the Space Cat

Ashley Spires, Kids Can Press

House cat Binky has quite an active imagination. He plans a mission to “outer space” (a.k.a. outside) in this humorous graphic novel.

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Kids Can Press

Mr. Zinger’s Hat

Cary Fagan, Dušan Petriu010diu0107, Tundra Books 

A little boy knocks the town storyteller’s hat off his head, but together they come up with a new story to tell. 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Tundra Books

Mable Murple

Sheree Fitch, Sydney Smith, Nimbus Publishing

This tongue-twisting poem is about a girl who imagines a life that’s entirely purple. 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Nimbus Publishing

Dippers

Barbara Nichol, Barry Moser, Tundra Books

Based on a letter written by a girl named Margaret and discovered in the Toronto archives, this book is her fantastical account of some strange happenings during the summer of 1912. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Tundra Books

The Dragon’s Pearl

Julie Lawson, Paul Morin, Stoddart Kids

In this story based on Chinese folklore, a hard-working boy from a poor family discovers a magical pearl that changes his life. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Stoddart Kids

Zoom at Sea

Tim Wynne-Jones, Eric Beddows, Groundwood Books

Water-loving cat Zoom earns his sea legs when he visits a mysterious woman who can bring the ocean into her home. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

Mattland

Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert, Dušan Petriu010diu0107, Annick Press

Bored with his home in a suburban subdivision, Matt lets his imagination take over as he draws a fun new land in the dirt. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Annick Press

I Know Here

Laurel Croza, Matt James, Groundwood Books

A little girl from rural Saskatchewan who must move to bustling Toronto reflects on everything she loves and will miss about her home. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Groundwood Books

In the Treehouse

Andrew Larsen, Dušan Petriu010diu0107, Kids Can Press

Two brothers who used to do everything together have grown apart. But when a blackout occurs, they spend a summer night up in their tree house, just like old times. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Kids Can Press

Loula is Leaving for Africa

Anne Villeneuve, Kids Can Press

A relatable read for big brothers and sisters, Loula is fed up with her bothersome triplet brothers and asks her mother’s chauffeur to take her to Africa. Thankfully, getting back home isn’t too hard.

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Kids Can Press

Princess Pistachio

Marie-Louise Gay, Pajama Press

Pistachio receives a mysterious gold crown for her birthday, but she’ll still have to eat spinach and go to school until her “real” regal parents show up to rescue her. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Pajama Press

The Nutmeg Princess

Richardo Keens-Douglas, Annouchka Galouchko, Annick Press

Two friends learn that selfishness and greed aren’t rewarded, but that there’s richness in being kind. 

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Annick Press

Bagels from Benny

Aubrey Davis, Dušan Petriu010diu0107, Kids Can Press

Benny’s grandpa makes bagels that everyone loves. Benny decides to leave a bag of the doughy goods for God in the synagogue each week. But who’s actually eating them?

 
 

30 best Canadian books for little kidsPhoto: Kids Can Press

Read more:
26 best Canadian books for big kids 8 best Canadian books for babies and toddlers 36 best Canadian books for preschoolers

This article was originally published on Jun 08, 2016
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