Authors, Social-Emotional

Author Focus- Peter Reynolds

Peter Reynolds has written and illustrated many books for children- here are a few that I will share.  The Dot is his most famous book, which sparked a movement to celebrate International Dot Day each year.  I did some Dot Day activities with the kindergartens last month and it was fun! Peter Reynolds’ books have social-emotional themes that are so helpful for using with kids.  They always love the pictures and story lines too.


Be You

Say Something

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The Water Princess

Here is a short film produced by Fablevision, a company that Peter Reynolds is involved with.  It’s about teaching and education, aptly titled Keepers of the Flame.  Be sure to share the last video here with your kids- they can draw along with Peter Reynolds!  I think it’s important for students to get a glimpse into the illustrating or writing process- Kidlit TV is a great resource for this.

Authors, Events, Scholastic Book Club

Author Focus on Oliver Jeffers, Scholastic Book Fair and Other Library Reminders

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Oliver Jeffers has written and illustrated many children’s books and is a talented artist.  His books have a wonderful sense of whimsy.  Check out some of his work!


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Scholastic book fair is coming NEXT WEEK!  Classes will visit the fair on their regular library visit day so be sure to pack spending money that day.

Last day to take AR tests is coming up on June 9!  Students should plan accordingly to be able to meet their goals by this deadline.

Honours Reader program (optional challenge) is hosted in Google classroom- join code is qru34nw.

Please double check with your children if they have been bringing back their library books on time or if you might have received any late notices from the library that may have gone to your spam folder.

Have a wonderful week!


Authors, Events

Who HQ, and Scholastic Book Fair Starts in 2 Weeks!


Have you and your children checked out the Who HQ series? This huge collection of non-fiction books helps kids to learn the who, what, when, where, and why of the world!  I have recently purchased some more of this series to enrich our collection in the library at school.  There is even a tv version of this book series on Netflix!

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who was the first man on the moon?: neil armstrong

who sparked the montgomery bus boycott?: rosa parks

what is the coronavirus disease covid-19?

what is the civil rights movement?

where were the seven wonders of the ancient world?

The book fair is coming up… I could still use one more volunteer!  Email me at if you’re able to help during the school day. Parents will be welcome to stop in to shop after school after the Arts Assembly on Wednesday June 1.

Authors, Christmas, Events

Author Focus on Arnold Ytreeide, Book-ish Christmas Activities, and Keep Working on the Book-Related Christmas Ornaments!

This week I am featuring an author focus on Arnold Ytreeide!  HHCS students in grades 4 and up are very familiar with Mr. Ytreeide’s books.  In grades 4,5, and 6, the classes rotate reading a different Christmas-themed book of Mr. Ytreeide’s for each year that they are in the junior division.  This year all of grades 4,5, and 6 are reading Bartholomew’s Passage!  I am teaching grade 6A Bible this year and we are really enjoying this book, set in the time that Jesus was born.  Mr. Ytreeide’s 4 Christmas-themed books can be read during the Advent season and have short devotional reflections at the end of each chapter.  These stories are adventurous, funny, and thoughtful.  The students love being surprised by the recurring characters’ appearances and by the many dramatic twists and turns in Mr. Ytreeide’s writing.

In spring of 2020, as we moved into our first lockdown of the pandemic with online learning, I wrote to Mr. Ytreeide, who was so kind as to send us a personalized video to say hello to the students.  I then had the students come up with some questions to ask Mr. Ytreeide about being an author and about his books and he sent a video message back again to us answering those questions. He also sent us some of his Mike Danford books (see below) for our library. It was so great for our students to be in contact with an author whose writing they really appreciated!

Amon’s Adventure is going to have a sequel, published in 2022!  Apparently there have also been some conversations about having one of Mr. Ytreeide’s books made into a movie one day!  Which book do you think should be the first to be a movie??

RAR #123: A Family Story for Easter, with Special Guest: Arnold Ytreeide

Check out this interview with Mr. Ytreeide on one of my favourite reading websites- The Read Aloud Revival!

Mr. Ytreeide also writes other types of books besides his Advent series and the Amon books.  We have the first 3 books of the Mike Danford series in our school library, and the number 5 book just came out!

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Here are some articles from Read Brightly about some book-ish Christmas activities!  Some great ideas here for making book-themed Christmas ornaments!  Don’t forget to start working on your ornaments for our library Christmas tree, HHCS!  Have a great week!

How to Create Your Own Book Advent Calendar

8 Clever Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Books


Authors, Building Belonging- diversity, Christmas, Events, Vintage

Vintage Author/Illustrator Spotlight- Gyo Fujikawa

Something a little different for you this week!  Last year around this time I posted some pictures of vintage children’s Christmas books that I have at home. I love children’s literature and feel that is so important- and I also love vintage children’s literature!  I have a collection at home of my favourites.  My number one favourite author-illustrator from my childhood is Gyo Fujikawa.  I had forgotten all about her books until one day I saw “Oh What a Busy Day” and I was immediately transported back to childhood.


Gyo captured childhood so well in her writing and illustrations and lovingly depicted children from all cultures playing together, at a time when that was not commonly featured.  You can read about her amazing life in this article from The New Yorker.  It includes anecdotes about when her family was in an internment camp and when she worked for Disney.

There is even a fairly new book about Fujikawa’s life, titled “It Began with a Page-How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way.”  You will love reading these books with your children, they are really special!




The awesome thing about these vintage books is you don’t have to hunt them down- they are easy to find as the re-prints are available at Amazon or your local bookstore!




I think it is important to show our own kids the books that we loved when we were young! Such treasures!

Don’t forget our upcoming Book Character Christmas Ornament challenge!  I can’t wait to see what the students come up with!

Authors, Scholastic Book Club

Remembrance Day, Author Focus on Trenton Lee Stewart, and November/Holiday Scholastic Digi-Flyer

A heads up- the AR due date is coming up soon on November 18! Please check in on your children to see how they are coming along with their reading goal for the Accelerated Reader program.  Check in with the homeroom teacher if you are not sure how to access your child’s information on Accelerated Reader/Renaissance.

It’s Remembrance Day this week and we will be observing as a school.  Enjoy these resources here to help your children at home to understand the subject more.

Books for Veterans Day and Remembrance Day Reading

I have just purchased The Mysterious Benedict Society series for the school library and the books will be ready for the shelves soon.  Author Trenton Lee Stewart has written these amazing books. Has your junior or intermediate division child read these books yet?  If your child loves adventure, humour, and brain-teasers then these books will be a hit.  Here is a book trailer and also a tv series trailer for the version now on Disney Plus.  Enjoy!

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Take a look at the NOVEMBER Scholastic Book Club digi-flyer! Your order will ship to your home and you can order online whenever you’d like!  When you enter the ‘class code’, your order earns 20% back for new books for our school library.  Orders over $40 are free shipping.

Use this for the Class code – RC391237

Holiday Flyer

Reading Club Holiday Gift Guide

November Flyer

Reading Club November Flyer

Authors, Events, Scholastic Book Club

October Scholastic Digi-Flyer, Usborne Book Sale Continues, and Spotlight on Author Gary Paulsen

Take a look at the October Scholastic Book Club digi-flyer! Your order will ship to your home and you can order online whenever you’d like!  When you enter the ‘class code’, your order earns 20% back for new books for our school library.  Orders over $40 are free shipping.

Use this for the Class code – RC391237

October Scholastic Digi-Flyer

The HHCS Fall Online Book Fair with Usborne Books continues! Are you taking advantage of this amazing fair? Take a look at the catalogue of gorgeously illustrated picture books, graphic novels, chapter books, nonfiction books, board books, activity books, sticker books, and more! Get some Christmas shopping done early and support the HHCS library!  Start browsing now with the online catalogue- HHCS Usborne Book Sale.  After shopping online, fill out your order form here- 2021 HHCS Usborne Book Fair Order.   Follow along for Facebook updates here – Facebook Event- HHCS Usborne Book Sale.  And finally, if any questions, and to pay your invoice, email Deanna McAllister here –

Author Gary Paulsen passed away recently at age 82. He was the author of a vast number of books for middle grade and young adult readers, focusing on themes of nature and wilderness and coming of age.  His most famous book, a modern classic, is Hatchet, the story of a 13 year old boy named Brian who survives a plane crash in Canada’s north.  Check out this interview with Gary Paulsen and a book trailer for Hatchet.

Hatchet Cover

Authors, Events

Upcoming Fall Online Book Fair, Author Focus on Gordon Korman, and Don’t Forget the Book Character Potato Contest!

Last week I received some early bird entries for the Book Character Potato contest!  They are so adorable and make me smile every time I re-enter the library.  Enjoy this sneak peek here and I’ll have more next week!



Big news! We will be having a Fall Online Book Fair for HHCS! It will be launched on the same day as Parent-Teacher Interviews- OCTOBER 20! I am excited that we will be partnering with USBORNE BOOKS.  Our very own HHCS staff member, Deanna McAllister, is an Usborne rep and will be helping us to run this sale!  Look for information coming soon about where to look at the online catalogue and order your choice of amazing books.  HHCS will receive a percentage of sales back- to go towards keeping our library collection exciting and fresh!

This week I thought I would highlight the author Gordon Korman.  This author has written over 90 books for kids and young adults.  I remember reading his first book, This Can’t be Happening at McDonald Hall, when I was a child and marveling that Korman had written the book at age 12 and had it published at age 14!  Gordon Korman’s books are a great recommendation for kids who just aren’t sure what they want to read.  This Canadian author has written comedic books about the adventures of Bruno and Boots, adventure books such as the Island series and 39 Clues series, and many others that have become modern-day classics. I am currently reading aloud the book Restart to the grade 6 classes – here is an interview with the author!

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Apps and websites, Authors, Events, Special Days/Weeks/Months

Book Character Potato Contest, New Ada Twist Show on Netflix, and Books About Terry Fox

Hi HHCS!  See below for exciting details about a fun contest in the library coming up soon for this fall! This would make a great Thanksgiving weekend project!

Ada Twist, Scientist is now on Netflix!  Ada Twist, Scientist is a book by Andrea Beaty, the author of many books for children including Rosie Revere, Engineer; Sophia Valdez, Future Prez; Iggy Peck, Architect, and the upcoming Aaron Slater, Illustrator.  These books are all in picture book form but the characters also reappear in the Questioneers chapter book series that continues the adventures.

Check out the author’s website for activity printables and more!–resources.html

We observed Orange Shirt Day at school last week.  It was a good day of learning.  Here’s a few photos I have to share with you, if you haven’t seen them on the school Facebook page already.

The primary classes at HHCS are participating in a Terry Fox jog-a-thon.  Here are some resources if you would like to continue discussions about Terry Fox at home with your children.

Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope to see lots of potatoes at school next week!

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!
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