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Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books on Health and Safety

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.


Teaching health to primary grades left me scrambling for resources. But I found the following picture books work great as starting points when discussing safety rules—at the pool, playground, neighbourhood, during a fire, as well as safety regarding allergies, dressing for the weather, sleep and hygiene.

Swimming, Swimming, by Gary Clement, is a fun depiction of the classic song: “…When days are hot/When days are cold/In my swimming pool.” The lyrics provide the framework for Clement’s playful depiction of a day-in-the-life of an avid swimmer meeting his friends at the pool.


The following four great resources by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by Martine Gourbault, are fun, rhyming stories that teach.

In No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons), the girl befriends a dragon at the beach and invites him home where his sneeze starts a fire. A slew of safety rules are addressed throughout the story: stay down low to avoid smoke, ha …

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Halloween Exclusive: An Interview with Scaredy Squirrel

Book Cover Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween

From costume ideas to trick-or-treating strategies, Scaredy Squirrel helps readers plan for the spookiest night of the year! Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween is the second in a series of nutty safety guides featuring everyone's favourite worrywart. And Scaredy was kind enough to take some time away from his preparations to answer our most burning questions (with a fire extinguisher on hand, of course) about his new book and about his plans for Halloween. 

49th Shelf: Scaredy Squirrel, you’re afraid all year long, but at Halloween the world gets scary on purpose. Is this holiday extra frightening for you, or is it pretty much business as usual? 

Scaredy Squirrel: I, Scaredy Squirrel, feel it’s necessary to be extra prepared during the extra-frightening Halloween season. It’s the time of year for lighting candelabras, carving pumpkins, and crossing the road; only a small sampling of the hair-raising activities involved in the spookiest time of year.

49th Shelf: You mention in Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween that every kind of candy comes with its own pros and cons (for example, chocolate is delicious, but it tends to melt in the paw). Are you ever tempted to just stay home on Halloween? Is the candy worth the worry?

SS: It’s always tempting to st …

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