HHCS Reads

HHCS Reads- The Reading Life of Mrs. B, and Music-Related Books for Kids

Hello everyone!  I’m looking forward to seeing all the students in the building again this week! Last year on the blog I started a feature called “HHCS Reads”, where I ‘interview’ various staff members about their reading lives.  I realized I’ve never done a post like this on myself as a reader, so here goes!  As you can see in the picture below, one of my favourite childhood books was the Anne of Green Gables series.  I have various versions of these books around the house and have them on display. I read and re-read all of the books by Lucy Maud Montgomery many times.  I travelled to Prince Edward Island many years ago and had a wonderful time exploring all the ‘Anne’ tourist attractions and reading on the beaches.

Another favourite childhood book series was the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis.  I loved escaping to the land of Narnia.  Some of you know that I have 3 daughters.  My middle daughter’s middle name is Lucy- after author Lucy Maud Montgomery, and the character of Lucy in the Narnia books.

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe (1980 edition) | Open Library

My favourite thing about reading is that it takes you somewhere new- see the quote on the picture below.  I love experiencing different things through books.  Books are an amazing way to be a life-long learner.  Literature and the arts are so important in so many ways.  My go-to genre is specifically World War II historical fiction.  Probably a lot of my interest in that is because of my grandparents’ experience in the war.  I do try to expand what I read though – I am in a book club with some other women and we challenge ourselves to read new genres and sub-genres.

As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, I also have a love of vintage children’s books.  If you want to see some posts about that you can just click on the tag over at the side of the blog.  As a teacher-librarian, of course I have a love of modern children’s literature as well.  A favourite picture book series are the books by Jory John.

Bad Seed Cover.jpg


A chapter book series that I love to recommend in the How to Train Your Dragon series.  There are 12 books in this series by Cressida Cowell.  I read all of them with my oldest daughter when she was younger.  They are hilarious, adventurous, and so well-written!  I have just recently purchased them for the school library so they are ready for checkouts!

How to Train Your Dragon


If there are any students or families reading this blog that would like to be ‘interviewed’ about your life as a reader or your family’s love of reading, please let me know!  Email me at l.baillargeon@hh-cs.org.

Next for this week we have a focus on music-related books for kids.  Have a great week everyone!

Books About Music and Musicians

Best Middle-Grade Books About Music and Musical Theater

Forever Young

Picture Books for Rock and Roll Parents and Their Kids

Books About Music For Kids

10 Fantastic Books About Sound & Music for Young Children

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



HHCS Reads, Uncategorized

Earth Day, Shakespeare’s Birthday, and HHCS Reads- Interview with Mrs. Tapley

Hi everyone!  Don’t forget that students can still submit poems until Friday for the Write it or Recite It- Poetry Popsicle Challenge!  We’ve really been enjoying the poems that have come in so far! See my last blog post for details.

This past week was Earth Day!  Let’s keep the learning going in our families- enjoy these activities with your kids!

This past week was also Shakespeare’s birthday!  I thought I’d include some resources here about Shakespeare for kids!
Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave

This week we have another interview for our HHCS READS feature!  Mrs. Tapley is a paraprofessional at HHCS and is new to our school this year.  Here is what she says:


I am currently reading a book called “Love Does” that I purchased from the book fair.  It is written by Bob Goff who is the founder and president of a non-profit organization called Love Does that fights injustices committed against children.  Each chapter highlights a life lesson and includes entertaining (and sometimes hilarious) stories from his life.  It is an easy read and I strongly recommend it.
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
I was given a book called “Joy to the World” this past Christmas.  It is a regency Christmas collection of 3 books written by Carolyn Miller (Heaven and Nature Sing), Amanda Barratt (Far as the Curse is Found), and Erica Vetsch (Wonders of His Love).  Each novella includes stories of faith and romance.  I love happy endings so I really enjoyed this book!
When I was younger I always enjoyed poetry by Shel Silverstein.  I remember my school librarian reading to my class from his book called “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.  I have my own copy now.  One of my favourite poems is called “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out”.  Her pile of garbage reached so high it touched the sky so children please do NOT forget to take the garbage out!
Where the Sidewalk Ends
I also enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables series when I was younger.  Anne is an orphan adopted by Matthew and Mirella.  They requested a boy to help with their chores on the farm but were very surprised and delighted when Anne arrived on their doorstep.  The books share wonderful stories about her life in Avonlea, a farming community on Prince Edward Island.  I am currently watching the “Anne with an E” series on Netflix which has been a delight!
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Tapley!  I love Anne of Green Gables too!
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 BookOutlet.ca/WEMX 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 http://bookoutlet.ca/bookfairs/share/WEMX.

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!
Building Belonging- diversity, Events, HHCS Reads, Uncategorized

World Down Syndrome Day, Online Book Sale Continues, and New Blog Feature- HHCS Reads- Interview with Mrs. Spencer

We are halfway through our Spring Online Book Fair with Book Outlet!  Get your Easter and Mother’s Day shopping done early – it’s easy and you’ll find great deals!

Thousands of books are priced at up to 90% off!  Shipping is free over $45 or if less then you pay a flat rate of $5.  Books are delivered to your door. 20% of sales during the 2 week book sale will go to supporting the HHCS library!


1. Visit BookOutlet.ca/WEMX 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 http://bookoutlet.ca/bookfairs/share/WEMX.


Last Friday at HHCS we ‘rocked our socks’ for World Down Syndrome Day!  Here’s a few ideas for books to help you celebrate and learn about Down Syndrome with your children.

Hannah's Down Syndrome Superpowers (One Three Nine Inspired Book 2)



My Friend Has Down Syndrome (Let's Talk About It Books)
47 Strings: Tessa's Special Code
I’m excited to try out a new feature on my library blog- HHCS Reads! This will feature different people from our school community as we take a peek into their reading lives!

This week is an interview with Mrs. Joy Spencer, a grade 6 and music teacher at HHCS!

My favorite things about reading:
  • A chance for my mind to escape to different times, places, and conversations.
  • I enjoy feeling that I am listening to the ideas of someone who has taken the time to put those ideas into creative or clarifying words.
  • It is an opportunity to understand someone else’s thoughts and experiences and to learn from them.
My favorite books as a child:
  • Books about animals that included colorful photographs
  • Anything by C.S.Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia) or J.R.R. Tolkien
  • I also enjoyed the authors George MacDonald and Madeleine L’Engle
  • “Robin Hood”
A Wrinkle in Time - Trade Paperback
Current favorite authors of fiction: (I read both fiction and non-fiction. Within the fiction category I enjoy adventure, classics, mystery, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, espionage, and most other genres)
  • Karen Hancock
  • Joel Rosenberg
  • C.S.Lewis
  • Davis Bunn
  • Will Thomas
A few recent books for various children’s ages that I particularly like:
  • “A Tale of two Beasts” by Fiona Roberton
  • “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” by William Joyce
  • “Iggy Peck Architect” series by Andrea Beaty
  • “The Orphan King” series by Sigmund Brouwer
  • “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan