Authors, HHCS Reads, Literary Tourism, Uncategorized

Remembering Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert, and HHCS Reads- Interview with Mrs. McAllister

It was a sad week in the world of children’s literature as two very well known author-illustrators, Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert, passed away. Lois Ehlert is most famous for illustrating the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  She also worked on books such as Waiting for Wings, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, and many more.

Reading Rockets- Lois Ehlert

Lois Ehlert

Eric Carle’s cheerful and colourful books have brought joy to children for many years.  His most famous book is of course The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a classic.  Some other books by Eric Carle are Brown Bear Brown Bear, The Tiny Seed, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Busy Spider, and so many more!


It has been a goal of mine for some time to visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.  The Carle celebrates picture books and offers educational programs and exhibits.  This looks like such an amazing place to visit!



We have a new segment of HHCS READS this week- an interview with Mrs. McAllister, a paraeducator on our staff who is completing her first year of working at HHCS!

Mrs. McAllister says:

My favourite things about reading are the places I get to “visit”, the topics I get to learn about and the feelings I get to feel. Books have taken me so many places and given me perspectives very different from my own. With so many types of books available so easily the options are endless!! If only there was more time for reading!!
I don’t think I have a favourite place to read. I will read anywhere (except in a moving car, that makes me sick). I always have an ebook available to read on my cell phone so if I have to wait somewhere I can always have a book with me.
What type/genre of books do I read? Mostly I choose fiction, anything with a bit of a mystery, or a feel good story, some science fiction, some utopian stories, if someone recommends a book I will read it. I find reading books that other people have recommended tells me a little something about that person. I do read non-fiction books too. It depends on what I’m interested in at the moment as to what the topic is. Probably most often the book is about animals or about a person (biographical).
Right now I read a lot of children’s books. A LOT! James and Clayton are my twin boys. They are 6, and they love books like I do. We read a lot together. All kinds of fictional stories, all kinds of non-fiction books, mostly about sea creatures and dinosaurs right now. For me I am reading Do It Afraid by Joyce Meyer (she is one of my favourite authors right now), and You Are The Girl For the Job by Jess Connolly. I am learning and praying about what God is calling me to do and being able to do it.

 As a young child I read Dr. Seuss, Berenstain Bears and really anything I could get my hands on. As I got older I read chapter books about animals, horses mostly, and Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew and Christy. I loved my church library and getting different books every week. I bought so many books with birthday and Christmas money. I even went through all my books and labeled them like they are labeled in the library. I wanted to be a librarian when I was young, and for one term in university I worked in the campus library. I loved shelving all the research books and being surrounded by the smell of old books. 

Last year, just before the pandemic started I bought a bunch of Usborne books for my sons. They loved them so much that I became an Usborne consultant. A year later and I am still a consultant, I love helping other people find books that they will love, and our home library is full of so many Usborne books. We have lift-the-flap non-fiction books (I think those are our favourites), activity and puzzle books, a bunch of different leveled reading books like you might use for AR reading, and what are called Beginners books (non-fiction books about all kinds of different topics). Some of my favourite books to read with my sons right now are The Dinosaur Who Lost His Roar, Look Inside Our World, 100 Things to Know About the Oceans and Forgotten Fairy Tales of Kindness and Courage.
Thank you so much to Mrs. McAllister for this interview for HHCS Reads!  I love the smell of old books too!
bean bag chair chill



Apps and websites, Uncategorized

Books About Nature, Classic Books for Kids, and Last Day for Accelerated Reader is Coming Up Soon!

Hello HHCS, I hope that you had a beautiful Victoria Day weekend!  As our kids are being outside more and more with this beautiful May weather, here are some book lists on the theme of nature and the outdoors.

100+ Must-Read Nature Books for Kids of All Ages

10 Picture Books to Inspire Children to Get Outside and Explore

This Moose Belongs to Me

34 Nature Books for Kids

20 Children’s Picture Books To Inspire a Love of Nature

CBC Books- Canadian Nature and Weather Related Books for Kids

A reminder to all that the last day to take a test for the Accelerated Reader program is coming up fast!  June 10 is the last day for students to reach their AR goal.  Let’s keep reading, HHCS! Here is a great article about keeping our young readers motivated.

Spark a passion for reading: 15 ways to motivate daily reading practice

This week I am also featuring lists of classic books for kids.  Here are some recommendations of some of the best!  This could be a great challenge for your child this summer- why not try out some of the classics?

15 Classics That 8- to 12-Year-Olds Say Are Worth Reading Today

Treasure Island

15 Classic Children’s Books for 3- to 5-Year-Olds

The Poky Little Puppy

Pan MacMillan- Reading Tips for Classic Children’s Books

laptop reading

“A book is a dream you hold in your hands.” – Neil Gaiman

Authors, Scholastic Book Club, Uncategorized

New Book Releases, New Scholastic Digi-Flyers, and Books About Inventors

Hello HHCS!  Time to stock up to get ready for some summer reading- new Scholastic digi-flyers!

May Flyers Are Here!

Class code – RC391237

Camp Read-a-Lot

May Digi-Flyer


May is Inventors’ Month!  Here are some great places to get started with improving your home library with books related to inventors and STEAM! (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math!) Don’t forget you can look these books up on your local public library website as well- just place them on hold with your library card number!

Childrens’ Library Lady- Books About Inventors

Children’s Books about Inventors Perfect for Teaching STEM

Scholastic- Books for Young Inventors

Women Inventors That Changed the World Picture Books & GIVEAWAY!


And lastly for this week, I wanted to feature some new book releases that I am excited about!  All of these have either just been released recently or will be very soon.

You can’t go wrong with Scaredy Squirrel by Canadian author Melanie Watt, and now his adventures will be featured in a graphic novel format!

Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell Graphic Novel – Penguin Random House

Scaredy Squirrel In a Nutshell

Gordon Korman’s newest book, Unplugged is now out!  The premise sounds very interesting!  It is so neat to see how Korman is still a very popular author.  His first book, This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall, was written when he was 12 years old and published when he was 14.  I remember as a kid the amazement I felt that a teenager could be a published author of a very popular book!



The Magic Tree House books remain very popular with our students and I’m sure they will be thrilled to see this new version of Dinosaurs Before Dark in graphic novel format!

Magic Tree House- Dinosaurs Before Dark- Graphic Novel

Dinosaurs Before Dark Graphic Novel

Chris Grabenstein is an amazing author with many middle-grade novels to his name, including the very popular Lemoncello series.  His newest book is here- Dog Squad! Grabenstein’s writing is always very funny and interesting – his books are a great way to get reluctant readers interested in reading!

Dog Squad

Happy reading!


Apps and websites, Authors, Events, Uncategorized

Books to Celebrate Mothers, and Author Visit with Terry Lynn Johnson

I hope that you all had a nice Mothers’ Day!  Here are some books to celebrate moms!

When in doubt, go to A Mighty Girl for amazing book lists and other resources!

What to Read with Mom this Mother’s Day

Some great Canadian content here!

40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers

I love the multicultural representation here!

An old favourite!

Dog Driven

Rescue at Lake Wild

Terry Lynn Johnson is a 2021 Forest of Reading nominated author and shared stories with grades 4-6 last week about her adventures in dog sledding and working at Quetico Park in northern Ontario.  She also explained about the writing and editing process and how much work it takes to get to the final, just right draft!  Terry Lynn had all of us captivated as she enthusiastically shared her stories.  We look forward to reading more of Terry Lynn’s books! Thank you for an amazing author visit Terry Lynn!


Building Belonging- diversity, Social-Emotional, Uncategorized

May is Mental Health Month and Asian Heritage Month

Hello everyone!  Thank you to all who sent in their poems for the Poetry for Popsicles Challenge!  We really enjoyed having the students share their poems!  So much creativity in the writing and reciting of these works of art!

May is a busy month as we observe both Asian Heritage Month and Mental Health Month!  Let’s continue to promote understanding and diversity.  It’s especially important that our kids understand how to take care of their mental health and that it’s ok to ask for help with their mental health.

30 Asian & Asian American Children’s Books for Ages 0 to 18

Mighty Girl Books for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Book List: Asian Heritage Month

12 Kid-Approved Middle Grade Books That Tackle Mental Health

The Seventh Most Important Thing


Picture Books about Mental Health