10 Great Books to Get Kids Reading Over March Break!

Get kids excited about reading by giving them what they want to read! Join us in celebrating local authors and illustrators during March Break with this collection of children’s books from beloved authors like Sheree Fitch, George Elliott Clarke, Jennifer McGrath, and lots more!

1. The Snow Knows
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In this deceptively simple children’s picture book, a pair of award-­winning storytellers share the joys of winter. A lyrical prose poem, The Snow Knows introduces readers of all ages to animals, both domestic (a tabby cat by the wood stove) and wild (a choir of coyotes), celebrating wilderness and outdoor play. With whimsical hide-­and-­seek illustrations, readers will love following footprints and catching a glimpse of an owl’s wing or pheasant’s feathers, suggesting what appears on the following page.

2. Music is for Everyone
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Music is for Everyone is sure to get you excited about making music! Singer-songwriter Jill Barber takes her young readers through many different kinds of music–hip hop, jazz, classical, folk–and instruments in an energetic, rhyming tour. Sydney Smith’s gleeful illustrations capture all the joy that comes from making music–in all its forms!

3. The City Speaks in Drums
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The City Speaks in Drums follows two boys from North End Halifax as they explore their neighbourhood and the city beyond, finding music everywhere. At the skate park, by the Public Gardens, down Spring Garden Road, and on the boardwalk, drums and saxophones and dancers and basketballs create the jumbled, joyful, pulsing rhythm of Halifax. Shauntay Grant’s playful spoken word-style poem and Susan Tooke’s vivid illustrations create a wildly energetic and appealing journey through the big, bright city.

4. The Terrible, Horrible, Smelly Pirate
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Set in the misty waters around Halifax Harbour, this fun, read-aloud pirate story follows the adventures of a terrible, horrible, smelly pirate named Sydney and his friend Parrot Polly. After answering a riddle set by a tricky mermaid, the rascals dig for treasure by the old lighthouse on McNab’s Island. Children will enjoy the anticipation as the chest is raised to the surface and the surprise as its unexpected contents are revealed.

5. The Land Beyond the Wall: An Immigration Story
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Emma lives on the grey, lonely side of a wall, where people speak in whispers and no flowers grow. On the other side, there is happiness and colour, but she can never go there. Following Emma’s arrival in a strange land (Halifax’s Pier 21), her placement in a group home, and the discovery of her voice through art, The Land Beyond the Wall is a beautifully rendered allegory that uses magic realism to confront the harsh realities of immigration and the universal struggle of finding one’s voice, and one’s place in the world.

6. Lasso the Wind
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Lasso the Wind is the first collection of children’s poetry by renowned poet and playwright George Elliott Clarke. By turns absurd, witty, playful, and profound, Clarke’s poems speak to the vivid wonder, the bright joys, and the secret pains of growing up in this world. With bold and contemporary illustrations by Susan Tooke, Lasso the Wind is a masterpiece.

7. My Two Grandmothers
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Acadian Mémère and Scottish Nannie seem to have nothing in common but their grandchildren, but in this endearing picture book from bestselling author Diane Carmel Léger and noted illustrator Jean-Luc Trudel, difference is celebrated. A co-publication with New Brunswick’s award-winning Bouton d’or Acadie and simultaneously published in French, Nannie and Mémère is a whimsically illustrated, heartwarming tale of the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, and a celebration of family, of all shapes and sizes.

8. A Harbour Seal in Halifax
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One snowy night in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, a strange figure peeks out from behind a parked car. A woman screams! So begins a lost harbour seal’s adventure through the steep streets of the sleepy winter city. Celebrated children’s author and illustrator Doretta Groenendyk brings the true story of Halifax’s famous winter 2015 flip­slippery visitor to life with colourful paintings and simple text.

9. Be a Nature Detective Series

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Peggy Kochanoff’s collection of nature detective books is bound to get children outside exploring their surroundings! From exciting forest walks in Be a Wilderness Detective, to muddy treks through shallow waters in Be a Pond Detective, to nighttime adventure walks with parents in Be a Night Detective, children will love the beautiful watercolour illustrations of animals and their environments and seek out the answers to the questions asked on each page!

Be on the lookout for the next book in this series, Be a City Nature Detective!
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10. Sheree Fitch Collection

Silly, funny, and outrageous, Toes in My Nose is the book that launched Sheree Fitch’s career as Canada’s premier nonsense poet. From Popcorn Pete and Mabel Murple to Zelba Zinnamon, these are some of the best-loved poems and characters in Canadian children’s literature!
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And don’t miss the classic, Mabel Murple, where a purple girl in a purple world rides a purple motorbike through purple puddles!
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Plus, Fitch’s thought-provoking poems in If You Could Wear My Sneakers, where 15 of the 54 articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are turned into approachable poems for children to easily understand.
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And who could forget There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen? Where Willa Wellowby’s house is overrun by monkeys and she has no choice but to call the authorities!
There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen (pb)