Reading-Related Podcasts and Author-Illustrator Directed Drawing

Since we are all at home anyway for the Covid lockdown, I thought now might be a good time to do a blog post about podcasts!  This could be a great time for your kids to try some out! For this blog post I will focus on podcasts that are specifically related to reading.  Another time I will post kids’ podcasts about various other topics.  Then farther into this post you will find links to author/illustrator-directed drawing activities.  What a great at-home activity!

Publishers Weekly Kids Cast

Includes YA (fiction for Young Adults- tweens and teens)

Story Time with Julie Andrews

Yes, THE Julie Andrews, star of The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins!

Julie's Library

Books Between

Middle-grade literature

Common Sense Media- Parent Trapped

This one is not specifically reading-related but I thought I would include it right now as it will be very helpful to all of us as families at home during Covid 19.

Book Club for Kids

The place where young readers meet to talk about books.  Includes celebrity readers, and interviews with authors.

The Yarn

Behind the scenes of children’s literature – how authors and illustrators create.

Talking About Books for Kids

Diverse and multicultural books for kids and young people.


Kids submit their questions to authors and get them answered!

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Not just for girls- everyone will enjoy hearing the stories of famous or important women who have made a big impact on the world throughout history!

Big Life Kids Podcast

This one is not really reading-related but I thought I’d post it now as it has great social-emotional support- especially important right now as we are going through Covid 19.

Kid Lit Radio

Explore the world of children’s literature!


RAR #153: Jim Trelease’s Read-Aloud Handbook, 8th Edition


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.

https://odmc.overdrive.com/  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 http://global-zone08.renaissance-go.com/welcomeportal/1068.  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!







Building Belonging- diversity, Christmas, Uncategorized

Christmas and Other Holidays Around the World, and The Gingerbread Man series

Want to learn about Christmas from each area of the world? Table Life Blog has it covered! Here is a sneak peek!

Christmas Around the World in 100 Books

Christmas Around the World in 100 Books - Christmas in North America

Christmas Around the World in 100 Books - Christmas in Latin America

Christmas Around the World in 100 Books - Christmas in Africa


Click on over to National Geographic to learn a little bit about other winter celebrations other than Christmas!


In my lessons with one of the kindergarten classes we’ve been reading The Gingerbread Man Loose in…” series by Laura Murray.  Enjoy this book trailer – your primary age children will especially like the adventures of Gingerbread Man!

Wishing all of the Halton Hills Christian School community a blessed Christmas!  It might look different this year from our usual traditions with family and friends, but it is still just as meaningful.  I hope that you will feel near to God and that you will be safe.  Looking forward to 2021!

Authors, Christmas, Uncategorized, Vintage

Vintage Christmas Books and Special Christmas Books for the Family

Apps and websites, Building Belonging- diversity, Christmas, Uncategorized

Icelandic Book Tradition, Globe Trottin’ Kids, and Diverse Christmas Books

Click below to read about the amazing Christmas tradition in Iceland that involves lots of reading!  This would be great to adapt to do with your kids at home!


Jólabókaflóð: An Icelandic “Christmas Book Flood”

This article about the Christmas Book Flood comes from the amazing Globe Trottin’ Kids site! Take a look around at the rest of the website, your kids will love it!

Home | Globe Trottin’ Kids

The mission of Globe Trottin’ Kids is to engage kids in “learning about world geography and cultures, understanding and appreciating diversity in our world, and being kind, caring, and responsible global citizens.”  It is easy to click on various countries and learn about their statistics and culture.  There are photos, videos, infographics, links, and even a “Read Your World” section with book suggestions and resources!  I have been using this with one of the classes I teach and it has been so fun!

Globe Trottin' Kids

And lastly for this week, please have a look at this fantastic list of culturally diverse Christmas books! What a great way to build up your child’s home library!

The Ultimate List of Diverse Christmas Children’s Books to Read this Holiday Season

Have a great week HHCS!

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

Anti-Bullying, and Just Ask! Book

This week I am featuring some articles and book lists on the topic of anti-bullying.  I invite you to take a look and find a book to read and discuss with your children!

A Mighty Girl is an amazing source of reading-related information for everyone.  Take a look at the article titled “The End of Bullying Begins with Me” for some helpful books to share with your children, tweens, and teens.

A Mighty Girl

The End of Bullying Begins With Me: 18 Bullying Prevention Books for Young Children

Doing Good Together™

Doing Good Together has an article about “Picture Books About Bullies, Bystanders, and Being Kind.”

A Growing List of Picture Books about Bullies, Bystanders, and Being Kind – Doing Good Together™

Check out this article from Scholastic, focused just on tweens and teens:

Books About Bullying for Middle Schoolers

This week I featured the book “Just Ask”, written by Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in lessons in some of the classes that I teach.  This book is amazing! It is written in a matter of fact, age appropriate way for children to learn a little bit about some of the differences that some people have, such as diabetes, asthma, autism, down syndrome, dyslexia, ADHD, nut allergies, blindness, and deafness.  Sotomayor compares the differences that people have being just like the different flowers in a garden.  Rather than making assumptions or avoiding people with differences, the author encourages children to just ask their questions in a polite and friendly way.  What a great book to help our children be more accepting and understanding of each other!  I love the tagline at the bottom of the book too- “Be different, be brave, be you”!

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You Book Poster Image

Source:  Commonsensemedia.org

Moose information of the week:  The main predators of moose are wolves and bears.

brown moose surrounded by snowfield

Enjoy the new snow everyone!

Apps and websites, Events, Uncategorized

Remembrance Day, and KidLit Tv

Explore the world of children’s literature with KidLit.tv!

Here you can find book trailers, podcasts and tv shows about children’s literature, craft and activity ideas, and more!

KidLit TV

Remembrance Day is coming up very soon!  Here are some great books to help talk about this topic with your child.  https://www.cbc.ca/parents/learning/view/15-books-to-help-your-child-and-you-reflect-on-remembrance-day


Remembrance Day books

Don’t forget to work on your Christmas shopping a little early and get some great Christian books for your family!

The AR (Accelerated Reader) due date is on Nov. 19! I hope the students are close to meeting their reading goals!
This week’s moose info- enjoy this read aloud!

“Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while”.

-Malorie Blackman


Events, Social-Emotional, Uncategorized

World Kindness Day, and Mr. Rogers

24 Picture Books To Teach Students About Kindness

World Kindness Day is coming up on Nov. 13 and I thought I’d get the information out a little early- let’s look for ways to teach about kindness all month long!  Here is a list of book resources to share with your children- I will be reading some of these books to some classes at school.  World Kindness day also overlaps with Cardigan Day! Cardigan Day celebrates the work of Mr. Rogers, who taught adults and children about kindness, among many other things.  Last year I bought this lovely book for my daughters- “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood- The Poetry of Mr. Rogers”.  I love having Mr. Rogers’ song lyrics written and illustrated in this book, it is so beautiful.

Source:  inspirekindness.com

The online book fair is underway!  Get those orders in and find some Christian books and merchandise in time for Christmas!  Here’s a note from Ann, the book fair lady!

Hello Parents, Students, Teachers, Grandparents and your Loved Ones.
It’s Ann Schieckoff, the Living Books and Kerusso T-Shirt Lady.  This year’s Book Fair, as with most things, has a “Covid” look to it.  Sorry, no tables full of product.  Instead an email linking you to both a Catalogue and Order Form with lots of great Fiction, Devotionals, Christian Living, Bibles, Boxed Christmas Cards, and much more for the whole family.  Over 800 items to choose from!
Launch Date is: Wednesday October 28,2020
Order Deadline is: Friday November 13,2020
Buying gifts for students who shouldn’t see in the bag? – no problem – simply mark the order.  “Gift Order, please give to Parents Only”
Plus, every order is entered into a draw for the “Family Basket” (retail value $100).
** A percent of all orders goes to supplying Free Christian Books for the HHCS library.
Orders will be packaged individually by myself and delivered to the school before the end of November (Items with December release dates will follow as soon as possible).
Welcome to Halton Hills Christian School’s Book Fair – Covid 19 Style
Attached to this email you will find:
1.) An Order form in 2 formats.  A printable PDF version and an Excel version. Please note that Prices are Tax Included on these 2 forms.
2.) A Deals and More 1 page flyer
Also the Link! Use this link to download the Living Books 20/21 catalogue and Christmas Good News Flyer 2020.  (Please do not use the Order Form on the Catalogue Site as it does not reflect the taxes)
To Place an order, use one of these options:
1.) Print the PDF Order Form attached, record your order, drop it and payment off at the school.
2.) Print the PDF Order Form attached, record your order, scan it and email it directly to me at annsbooksandtees@gmail.com
3.) Use the Excel file attached.  Record your order and then SAVE it to your computer under your family name.  Email that file to me at annsbooksandtees@gmail.com
4.) Type your order into a separate email and list your name, phone number and payment method.
5.) Phone me directly at 519-501-2274 (6-9pm) or leave a message and I will call you back.
Payment Methods: 
Cash and Cheques can be delivered to the school with your order.  Please send order and payment to school with your child.
Credit Card *If you do not feel comfortable giving your number over the Internet, please give me your phone number and I will call for your number once I have your order complete.
E-Transfer, please make note on the form that you wish to pay by e-transfer. I will verify your order and email you the correct amount to Transfer  (Some of the items on the bottom of the Order Form are limited quantity).
Wishing you Christ’s peace and safety during these times we are in.
Blessings and wishing I could be with you.
Ann Schieckoff


Apps and websites, Events, Uncategorized

Space Week, and Upcoming Events- Book Fair and Bookmark Contest



This year’s theme for our new bookmark contest will be Favourite Book Characters.  I can’t wait to see what book characters you like the most and how you will draw them!  Feel free to put a quote from the book to go with your character and bookmark!

 Your bookmark must represent this theme.  A winner will be chosen for each of the following groups:

GROUP 1- Jk/Sk/Grade 1

GROUP 2- Grades 2,  3, and 4

GROUP 3- Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8

The winners will receive a $5 Indigo gift card from Mrs. Baillargeon, the teacher-librarian.  Winners will be chosen based on creativity and artistic effort.

All designs and drawings must be original.  Your design may be in colour or in black and white.  If in colour, make sure to colour it in well and very neatly.  If in black and white, it should be outlined with a thin marker or a pen.  No pencil drawings will be allowed.  Make sure your design is neat, easy to read, and reflects the contest theme for this year.  If you write something, make sure all writing is clearly printed and words are spelled correctly.

A paper copy of the bookmark contest rules will be sent home with your child- they can design the bookmark in the space provided. 

TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR BOOKMARK AND SEND to Mrs. Baillargeon at l.baillargeon@hh-cs.org with your name, grade, and homeroom teacher by:  Friday Nov. 13. (due the same day as the Book Fair order!)

space suit reading

I am late to tell you about World Space Week but I figured it would be good to feature about it anyway!

In keeping with the space theme, check out https://storytimefromspace.com/! This site features astronauts reading children’s books aloud as they float weightlessly on their space station!  So fun!  Some of the books that the astronauts read are Astronaut Annie, Mousetronaut, and A Moon of my Own.

A reminder to everyone to keep working on your Accelerated Reader goals for Term 1.  Parents, you are able to have your child take AR tests at home if you would like, just as we did last spring.  Connect with your child’s homeroom teacher if you have any issues with this.  Of course the students are taking tests at school as usual too.  Keep reading HHCS!

Moose fact of the week:  A flap of skin called a bell hangs below the moose’s throat. Go HHCS Moose!


black moose under tree