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!


Authors, Events, HHCS Reads, Uncategorized

Online Book Sale Ends at Midnight Monday, Author Beverley Cleary Passes Away Age 104, and HHCS Reads- Interview with Mrs. VanDerWal

Monday March 29 is the LAST day of our online book fair with Book Outlet!  Our sale ends at midnight Monday– it’s your last chance to earn 20% of sales towards our HHCS Library!  However, if you want to do more shopping in the future, the good news is that for the next 6 months we can still earn 5% of sales towards HHCS! What a great deal! Don’t forget thousands of books are priced at up to 90% off!  Take advantage of these READ-ICULOUSLY great prices! Shipping is free over $45 or if less then you pay a flat rate of $5.  Books are delivered to your door.

1. Visit and create an account or log in.

2. Add the books you want to purchase to your cart and checkout between March 15-29.

3. Share the book sale information with your family and friends!

To share the book sale on Facebook with your family and friends, use the link

There was sad news in the children’s literature community this past week as beloved author Beverley Cleary passed away at age 104.  This wonderful author was also a children’s librarian who decided to write books herself.  I loved her books when I was growing up.  Her well-known books include the Ramona Quimby series, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Henry Huggins, and so many more.

Ramona Quimby’s ordinariness made her so relatable to all of us.  And yet, ordinary did not mean boring.  We loved the insight into her daily life, each chapter drawing us into her world.  Ramona dealt with very realistic problems like her family struggling with money issues, worrying her parents would get a divorce, and problems at school.  But for every serious part of the Ramona books, there would be an equal amount of side-splitting descriptions of Ramona’s antics and adventures.

Quote- “She was not a slowpoke grown-up. She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next.”

We will miss Beverley Cleary but her books will live on.Joanne Scriber Ramona book covers.jpg

Check out the Remember Reading podcast and listen to this interview with Beverley Cleary here.
This week we have another interview for HHCS Reads!  Mrs. VanDerWal is a grade 2 teacher at our school.  Let’s take a peek into her reading life!
Mrs. VanDerWal says:
My favourite thing about reading is relaxing and escaping to another world.  My favourite place to read is at the beach in the sun.  I love to read historical fiction and mystery books.
The Bears' Picnic
As a child I loved the Berenstain Bears books.  I also love newer books for children such as You are Special, You are Mine by Max Lucado, Robert Munsch books, the Franklin books, The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and The Tale of Three Trees.
You Are Special (Wemmicksville, #1)
Thanks to Mrs. VanDerWal for this interview!  I love historical fiction books too!
Apps and websites, Authors, Events, Uncategorized

HHCS Spring Online Book Sale Starts Today, and Books About Family Reading

cover of Handbook 8th ed.

This classic book features chapters on subjects like the do’s and don’ts of read aloud, the good news and the bad about digital learning, getting dads more involved in reading with their children, and many more.



“It’s stressful to be a parent. It’s stressful to be a person. But I’ve found that even in the most difficult moments, on the most challenging days, I can usually reach for a book and feel lifted up, returned to myself. On days when I’ve felt as though I have nothing left to give to my kids, I’ve been able to sit next to them and open a book. We start reading, and the world looks different.”




“The act of reading together secures people to one another, creating order and connection, as if we were quilt squares tacked together with threads made of stories.”

“There is an opportunity with children to show them art and illustration that will furnish their minds with beauty and mystery, symmetry and wonder. The simplest mechanism for this is the selection of picture books that we share with them.”

“Reading every day with children can’t guarantee perfect outcomes for any family—not in grades, not in happiness, not in relationships. But it is as close to a miracle product as we can buy, and it doesn’t cost a nickel.”

And now for my favourite, The Read-Aloud Family, by Sarah Mackenzie.


“A book can’t change the world on its own. But a book can change readers. And readers? They can change the world.”

“When read-aloud time doesn’t look like we originally hoped, we begin to doubt that it’s giving us any of those wonderful benefits we discussed in part 1. But here’s the thing: it still works. Even when it’s noisy, messy, and more chaotic than you’d like it to be, it works. Even when kids are grumbling, complaining, and don’t seem to be listening, it works.”

Sarah Mackenzie is also the creator of The Read-Aloud Revival website and podcast. She is an amazing advocate for family reading!

Read-Aloud Revival Podcast Episodes

Apps and websites, Authors, Events, research skills, Uncategorized

Women’s History Month, More Research Sites for Kids, and Discover Your Reading Superpower

Discover your reading superpower with the Book Outlet Spring Online book sale coming up soon!  We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Book Outlet to host a 2 week online book fair fundraiser.  Book Outlet is an online retailer that offers thousands of new books for up to 90% off!

Book Fair Details:

Event dates:  March 15-29, 2021

Rewards:  20% of all Book Outlet purchases made during the online book fair will go back to our school in cash rewards.

Mark your calendar!

A few weeks ago I posted some research sites for kids– here is the rest of my list- hope it helps! – site for freely usable images

Cool Kid Facts

girl with globe looking across the sea - kids world travel guide (current events)

(mostly current events)

Time for Kids.

Ancient History for Kids: Ancient Civilizations

New book order flyers for Scholastic are here!

Class code – RC391237

March-April Seasonal Flyer

March 2021 Flyer – English


March is Women’s History Month!  I shared this story book with some of the primary students.  I just love Brad Meltzer’s Ordinary People Change the World series!

I shared Shark Lady, by Canadian author Jess Keating, with multiple grade levels.  Here’s the book trailer!

This post from Kidlit Tv has many helpful lists!

250+ Multicultural Children’s Books For Women’s History Month

Enjoy your week HHCS!



Apps and websites, Authors, Events, Uncategorized

I Read Canadian Day on Friday, Canadian Author Elise Gravel, and Love of Libraries

I Read Canadian Logo

Is your family ready for I READ CANADIAN DAY?  We will be celebrating this as our AR Term 2 Celebration on Friday Feb. 26!  This will involve:

outdoor events- bonfires, snacks, and snow sculpture competitions

indoor events – reading books about Canada or by Canadian authors,  Canadian trivia and virtual field trips

and THEMED DRESS for the day!  You and your children can start planning what they will wear that day to fit the Canadian theme.  They can wear red and white Canadian colours, or dress as a famous Canadian, dress as a Canadian author, etc.  I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!


This week’s author focus is on Canadian author/illustrator Elise Gravel.  I just love her hilarious books and her amazing artwork!


The entire month of February is Library Lover’s Month!  The Children’s Library Lady has an amazing list of library quotes.  Here are a couple of my favourites!

quote about libraries

quote about libraries

Here are some great lists from The Children’s Library Lady and Read Brightly – books about libraries and reading!

Libraries Gone Wild! 10 Imaginative Picture Books About Libraries

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

5 of the Coolest Children’s Libraries in the U.S.

Check ’Em Out: The Best Libraries in Kids’ Lit

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics


A Book for Escargot by Dashka Slater

Hands Around the Library by Karen Leggett Abouraya

I’ll give an update next week about how our I Read Canadian Day went!  Have a great week HHCS!

Apps and websites, Authors, Events, research skills, Uncategorized

Canadian Author Focus, Upcoming School Event, and Research Sites for Kids

Hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed your Family Day weekend!  I wanted to let you know about an upcoming event for the whole school- I READ CANADIAN DAY.  We will be celebrating this as our AR Term 2 Celebration on Friday Feb. 26.  This will involve:

outdoor events- bonfires, snacks, and snow sculpture competitions

indoor events – reading books about Canada or by Canadian authors,  Canadian trivia and virtual field trips

and THEMED DRESS for the day!  You and your children can start planning what they will wear that day to fit the Canadian theme.  They can wear red and white Canadian colours, or dress as a famous Canadian, dress as a Canadian author, etc.  I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!


On that note, I want to feature a Canadian author today- Jon Klassen.


I have been putting together a master list of research websites for students that I think are the most helpful or of the best quality.  There are many out there but these are the best that I have found so far.  I will feature the rest of my list next week.  Feel free to bookmark this post or these sites for when your child has a school project or assignment to work on , or if they just want to use these sites for fun!

The Canadian Encyclopedia: Home

Especially helpful for older students. – This is the Britannica database – our school has a subscription.  Email me (see ‘contact Mrs. B’ at top of page) for the username and password.

Encyclopedia Britannica Logo

Great for primary grade students.

DK - A World of ideas: See all there is to know

Frank - FactMonster

So much to explore here!

Image result for kids national geographic

Safe virtual search engine for kids.

Anything you’ve ever wondered about… find out here!


Apps and websites, Authors, Building Belonging- diversity, Events, Social-Emotional, Uncategorized

The Snowy Day, More Reading Resources, and Recent Read-Alouds

Hello HHCS! I thought I’d start off this week’s blog post with the children’s book that I most associate with winter and snow – The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats- a classic book loved by many.  (Although we don’t really have that much snow at the moment- but I hear we’re getting some more next week!)

Have a look at this interview with the author of A Poem for Peter- a book that tells about Ezra Jack Keats and his best-loved character, Peter- from The Snowy Day.

Enjoy some more snowy read-alouds:

Our public library is a very valuable resource for you right now! Got a library card?  Then you’re all set to go – sign out audiobooks and e-books on your library’s website!  Even if you don’t have a library card, you can now sign up for one via email or phone! You will be able to access Audiobookcloud, Cloudlibrary, Overdrive, etc. The Tumblebook library is an online collection for young readers of over 600 titles and reading levels from grades 3-8.  Ontario Download Centre – overdrive- ebooks

Libby is an app where you can borrow e-books and audiobooks using your library card:

Hoopla is through the public library as well and is a digital service that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, and tv shows to borrow.  There is no waiting at all when using Hoopla- you can stream or download immediately.

This past week I have been hosting Zoom read-alouds, available for all families from the school to drop in at 3:20.  You can find the link and information on Sycamore or in the list of links that your child’s homeroom teacher will have emailed to you.  I look forward to seeing you this coming week- I will be there every day during distance learning from Monday to Friday!  This past week we read some great books.  Mrs. Bonvanie loaned me her copy of Maybe God is Like that Too- a beautiful book about seeing God and the fruit of the spirit everywhere we go.

31743712. sx318

We had fun reading the latest book by Jory John (author of The Bad Seed, The Good Egg, and The Cool Bean)- The Couch Potato! I love the social-emotional themes of these books, and of course I love that they are hilarious!

54470343. sx318

The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be- a beautifully illustrated book with a beautiful message- written by Joanna Gaines- what a treasure!  This book reminds us that our diversity and different interests and talents make the world a better place.

Happy reading!

Apps and websites, Authors, Uncategorized

Reading Resources- Ways to Keep Your Kids Reading During Covid-19

Happy New Year HHCS!  Since we will be doing school from home for the next little bit, I wanted to give you some resources in case you might be running out of reading material at home!

First of all, I wanted to mention that students can be doing their AR (Accelerated Reader) tests from home!  This can be a good way to keep them on track with their reading.  Go to the link  If you have any difficulties then email your child’s homeroom teacher.  Let’s keep working on those Term 2 goals for AR!

Next, many of the homeroom teachers at HHCS have a class code for their students to use Epic. Even if the teachers are not currently using it, families can sign up for free for the first month. It features books, learning videos, and quizzes.  It has fiction and non-fiction, graphic novels, biographies, STEM and DIY books, the list goes on! Some of the books even have the “read to me” feature to be able to hear the audio.  If you haven’t used this already at home, please do, you’ll be glad you did!

Several homeroom teachers also use Raz Kids for reading support with their students.  This would be a great time to catch up on some reading here!

Next, you can scroll through my blog for previous posts, some of which will have online resources that can be accessed from home.  Click on this previous post about how the public library can help you!  Curbside pickup is still available, and read for more information as well!

Public Library Resources, Reading and Writing Gifts for Kids, and Bookmark Contest Results

Lastly, there are many online read-alouds on YouTube.  Here are a few good quality ones for you to enjoy!

Ryan and Craig are hilarious and have a big selection to choose from:

Some favourite and fun authors:

Storyline Online is so fun- celebrities reading aloud!


I’d love to have some comments from anyone who reads my posts!  Please share- what have your kids been reading lately?  Have a good week HHCS!







Authors, Christmas, Uncategorized, Vintage

Vintage Christmas Books and Special Christmas Books for the Family