by Jess K August 16, 2020
With the current limitations around travel, an easy way to bring adventure into your little one’s life is through the power of reading. A good story can take you to the depths of your imagination through colourful illustrations of magical lands far far away, or it could change the way you see and appreciate the world around you. Growing up introverted and bookish, my favourite literary characters affirmed me and offered comfort during difficult times. To this day, I still hold on to the lessons I learned during my early reading years! The gifts of literature are never-ending.
Whether you are spending time indoors this summer or finding a safe spot in the shade for family time, a thoughtfully written book can set the tone for your day and bring joy to your young reader’s life! Here are some of our picks for impactful summertime reading.
Recommended for Kids Ages 3-5
Not only is this book a love letter to the Earth, it is also a great introduction to environmentalism and the importance of being a friend to our planet! Acclaimed author Patricia MacLachlan captures the beauty of nature to show us how generous and powerful our planet is. With its interactive pages and nature-inspired illustrations by Franscesa Sanna, this is a fun way to start talking about sustainability and environmental awareness. My Friend Earth ($24.99) is available in-store at Leslieville and Roncesvalles, as well as online.
Recommended for Kids Ages 3-6
This beautifully illustrated book by Carole Lindstrom weaves together Indigenous history and contemporary movements around land and water in North America. In an interview, author Carole Lindstrom shares her belief that every day must be spent protecting the earth, specifying that “Native peoples have been, and continue to be, the stewards of the land and water. This is stewardship in the 21st century.” Lindstrom’s book, partnered with Michaela Goade’s illustrations, is as lively as it is crucial, offering young readers a practical framework to engage with current affairs. We Are The Water Protectors ($24.50) is available in both our Leslieville and Roncesvalles location, as well as online.
Recommended for Kids Ages 4-8
Books are an exciting way to remind your little one that we are all beautifully connected. In this vibrant picture book, author-illustrator Christian Robinson takes on the mission of uplifting diverse perspectives, including the kids who feel as small as the tiniest ant. This exploration seeks to show us that we are all important and valid in our unique ways of seeing the world. With its detailed illustrations, this book is a great way to open up discussions about the beauty of difference and self-acceptance! You Matter ($23.99) is available online, as well as at both our Leslieville and Roncesvalles stores.
Recommended for Kids Ages 4+
You can celebrate self-love with this book by actor and activist Grace Byers and artist Keturah A. Bobo. This book is a reminder that respect and kindness are important parts of co-existing with others. Through rhythmic writing and evocative illustrations, Byers assures young readers that, just as the sun shines and rain pours, the unique things about us are the very things that define us. The book does not shy away from the differences and disagreements we may face with others, yet its message remains loving and optimistic, making this a warm and inspiring story for your little ones to embrace. I Am Enough ($23.99) is available in-store at both our Roncesvalles and Leslieville locations or online.
Recommended for Kids Ages 5+
The latest entry in Susan Verde’s I Am series, all filled with expressive illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds, offers young readers realistic situations in which they can practice compassion and see the world through a loving lens. This entry in Verde’s series continues the trend of portraying simple yet truthful definitions of life that exude such warmth off the page that it is bound to inspire your little ones to be the best versions of themselves that they can imagine. Like many of the books listed in this article, Verde’s heartfelt contribution is a reminder of the importance of compassion and mindfulness. I Am Love ($18.99) is available in-stores at both locations and online.
Recommended for Kids Ages 0-7
If you’re looking for a story that will both comfort and engage young readers, Toronto-based author Abby Zaitley has written a book that is filled with thoughtful affirmations and water-colour style illustrations by Begüm Manav. This book encourages self-love and self-acceptance. We also carry the accompanying activity book that preaches the story’s message and is sure to both entertain and uplift any child that gets their hands on it. The I Like Me I Love Me book ($22.95) is available online and in-store at both our Leslieville and Roncesvalles locations. The accompanying activity book, sold separately ($12.00), is available in-stores and online.
Recommended for Kids Ages 8-14
This is the perfect pick for a young girl in your life! This book by Jessica Sanders is a much-needed reminder that through self-acceptance, we have the power to achieve our potential. Written with deep intention and a desire to challenge mainstream beauty ideals, Jessica Sanders has written something truly empowering with the help of illustrator Carol Rossetti. Love Your Body ($22.99) is currently available online or at our Roncesvalles location.
Local author-illustrator Dylan Glynn’s story is built around a touching metaphor for self-love and acceptance that uses the familiarity of nature to remind young readers the value of what makes us different and special. The titular character of the book struggles to be liked by others, but the book’s heartwarming moral and bright-coloured illustrations will be encouraging for any young reader dealing with shifts in their surroundings. Rain Boy ($24.99) is available online and at both store locations.
We can’t imagine a better time to be encouraging our children to exercise their imaginations, and whether it’s through reading about fantasy worlds or learning about the world outside of our backyards, these books make that possible from the comfort of your home. If you’re in the market for books and stories that will inspire, engage, educate and entertain your young children, all of these wonderful selections (and many more!) are available for purchase at our store, and we are always growing our collection! Visit the Kids + Baby Books section of our store to explore for yourselves!
Jess is a pug-loving Toronto based writer, currently studying English literature. She joined the Scout team last August and enjoys spending time learning about how different artists and makers express themselves through their unique crafts.
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405 Roncesvalles Ave
Toronto ON M6R 2N1
416 546 6922
1140 Queen St E
Toronto ON M4M 1L1
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