A new school year means new, sharp pencils and a bookshelf refresh. Books are adventurous and informative. They’re where kids stretch their imaginations and form their opinions of the world. Stories allow young minds to explore new places, new identities and different forms in a safe environment, snuggled up beside a caregiver. Choosing diversity and stories that celebrate unique experiences, cultures, and ways of life, be it fact or fantasy, is a way to go beyond a child’s lived experience and cultivate both empathy and curiosity. Books inspire adventure and teach us about the world. They're also great conversation starters for parents and caregivers after the story has finished. Here are some suggestions to add to your bookshelf for your elementary kids aged 5-8 this fall.
This book shares the story of a young rabbit named Weeskits returning to his home in Kisoos, Earth’s belly button, to deliver news that Salamoo Cook, the Grand Chief of all rabbits in the world, is on his way. This magical tale follows a mysterious contest to win a year’s supply of all-healing waaskee-choos juice. This multilingual children’s book features recordings of nine jazzy songs performed in Cree, the author, Tomson's first language. Grand Chief Salamoo Cook is Coming to Town promotes Cree literacy, celebrating language and stroytelling.
This story explores the same sex marriage and wedding of Mama Tyrannosaur and her partner Allie the Allosaurus. The littlest dinosaur shares concerns that there won’t be enough love to go around for him and his brother. The book raises important themes of inclusivity and acceptance exploring different family structures. The Littlest Dinosaur Goes To A Wedding is the sixth book in the Littlest Dinosaur series and a great conversation starter about the abundant love between all types of unique families.
This moving story is the true refugee experience of a Vietnamese boat family. When the little girl arrives in Canada her name is changed at the border. When she starts school, her name is changed again. The Little Girl explores the identity of a young girl starting fresh in a new country full of excitement and fear, but without her name that she loves. This story demonstrates the damaging consequences of having foreign names anglicized for the comfort of others.
This story explores how and why straws have become a threat to our planet over 5000 years and the book calls for a reinvention of this popular item. The Last Plastic Straw inspires action in kids to learn about plastic waste through the historical journey of the straw’s evolution. Mixing research with bright engaging imagery, the story offers empowerment over each of our roles in the stewardship and care of planet earth.
This coming-of-age story details the simple pleasures of exploring your own neighbourhood through the eyes of an adventurous child. As Carmela joins her brother to complete the family errands she notes the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, the panadería and the laundromat before finding a dandelion and the chance to make a wish. Carmela Full of Wishes explores themes of family, dreaming, patience and community.
Written by Ibtihaj Muhammad Illustrated by Hatem Aly
This story shares two sisters on their first day or school and one's first day of hijab. As Faizah admires the beautiful blue fabric of her sister’s hijab she is confused why others aren’t admiring it as she is. The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family explores the feelings that result from the hurtful, confusing words of school children and the strength of sibling bond when facing bullies.
This story celebrates the joy of a young black girl’s hair. Seven-year-old Emi shares extensive natural hair care tips in a playful and imaginative style showing the confidence hair can offer. Emi's Curly Coily, Cotton Candy Hair shows young black girls how beautiful their curly hair is as Emi shares her favourite things about her curls using fun, colourful words and sounds.
Purchase Issue 03
After a year of chaos and uncertainty, our mission for ISSUE 03 of RIPPLE OF CHANGE is to spark inspiration in our readers. There was a lot of talk of coming together, acting in solidarity for our peers, and putting others before ourselves to overcome the challenges put before us. Now, we put that to the test.
Food waste is a dire reality. Worldwide, humans waste about 2.5 billion tonnes of food every year, according to a recent report from Recycle Track Systems . While there are many perpetrators, from industry to supermarkets, everyday consumers are also a big part of the problem.
As the parent to a four and six year old who have big questions about the world, I am always on the lookout for tools to have tough yet real conversations. My aim is to model the behavior I want to see in my kids but on many issues I’m still learning myself. Anti-racism, holding boundaries and breaking out of learned gender and societal roles are issues I want my kids to understand and grow up with different views that I had.