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Canadian Kids' Bookstores Choose Their Top Books for Little Kids in 2013

We are delighted to present amazing gift ideas from four kids-focused bookstores: Ella Minnow (Toronto), Kaleidoscope Books (Ottawa), Woozles (Halifax), and Babar Books (Montreal) as well as from the kids' book staff at McNally Robinson (Winnipeg and Saskatoon). This post will focus on books for younger readers, divided into board books, picture books, and first chapter books. Later in the week we will post the stores' picks for older kids—middle-grade and YA.

We will introduce each category then provide a link to the full list.

Many thanks to the staff and owners of the participating bookstores; they happily made their selections, complete with annotations, at the height of their busiest season of the year. We appreciate it!


Board books: These are the sturdy little numbers our kids booksellers chose (the full list includes annotations and links to the books on our site):

Little You by Richard Van Camp (McNally Robinson and Woozles)

The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson illustrated by Julie Morstad (McNally R


In My Tree by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich (Ella Minnow)

Welcome Baby by Barbara Reid (Woozles)

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard (Kaleidoscope)

Baby Beluga by Raffi (Kaleidoscope)

Night Cars by Teddy Jam (Babar)

Red Is Best by Kathy Stinson (Babar)

Picture books: Key of course to picture books is the quality of their illustrations as well as of their stories. Here are the booksellers' gorgeous picks for the young kids on your list:

Once Upon A Northern Night by Jean Pendziwol, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (McNally Robinson and Babar)

Loula Is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villeneuve (McNally Robinson)

Mr. King's Things by Genevieve Cote (McNally Robinson)

Mr. Zinger's Hat by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Dusan Petricic (McMally Robinson)

Whimsy's Heavy Things by Julie Kraulis (Ella Minnow)

Circles of Round by Signe Sturup, illustrated by Winnie Ma (Ella Minnow)

The Man With the Violin by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Dusan Petricic (Woozles and Babar)

Lasso the Wind by George Elliott Clark, illustrated by Susan Tooke (Woozles)

Ava and the Little Folk by Alan Neal and Neil Christopher (Kaleidoscope)

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (Kaleidoscope)


First Chapter Books: For those just beginning to shoo their parents when they try to read to them, these are some excellent choices:

Racing for Diamonds by Anita Daher (McNally Robinson)

Travels With My Family by Marie-Louise Gay (McNally Robinson)

Me & Mr. Bell by by Philip Roy (Woozles)

Jacob Two Two and the Hooded Fang by Mordecai Richler (Kaleidoscope)

December 10, 2013
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