It’s almost officially summertime, and StoryWalks are back! In partnership with the City of Vaughan’s Department of Parks, Forestry and Horticulture and five Canadian publishers to bring a selection of picture books to local Vaughan trails, where park visitors will be able to piece together stories one page at a time as they make their way along the trails. It’s a great way to explore the great outdoors while fostering a love of reading. You’ll find one picture book in each of Vaughan’s five wards, plus a sixth book at the Kortright Centre! Read on for a taste of what to expect this year at our local parks.
Ward 1: Mackenzie Glen District Park
Little readers can follow the friendship journey of Emma and Frank at the Mackenzie Glen District Park, where we’ll be reading Friends for Real by Ted Staunton and illustrator Ruth Ohi (IG: @ruthohi / Twitter: @Ruth_Ohi). Mackenzie Glen is the perfect place to meet a new friend, whether it be on the soccer field, at the splash pad or playground, or maybe at one of the many concerts and events that take place on the park grounds (see The Caverners: Tribute to the Beatles on July 26!). This relatively flat parkland means it’s easy and accessible for families with little ones, and a parking lot and onsite public washrooms make picnicking a breeze. As part of the Bartley Smith Greenway (a 15 km trail running from Steeles Ave all the way up to Teston Rd) the park also has easy trails situated conveniently within a subdivision.
Friends for Real is provided by Scholastic.
Ward 2: Nort Johnson District Park
In Sometimes I Feel Like a River by Danielle Daniel (IG: @danielledaniel) and illustrator Josée Bisaillon (IG: @joseebisaillon), readers can follow short poems about nature that invite mindfulness as they stroll through the park. Young readers are encouraged to use all their senses to fully experience the world around them and connect with nature. With the poems spread throughout Nort Johnson District Park, travel the easy 1.5 km trail along the Humber River and focus your attention on the rushing water, the trees, the sunshine, and the birdsong as you make your way through the book. Located near the Woodbridge Pool & Memorial Arena, pop by Nort Johnson District Park after a swim for a picnic, or hit up the Woodbridge Village Farmers Market throughout the summer! Parking is available at the arena.
Sometimes I Feel Like a River is provided by Groundwood Books.
After writing a post about diverse realistic fiction for both adults and young readers, I knew I had to create a second post featuring diverse fantasy novels! I do not read fantasy often but when I do, I love fantasy that’s aimed at young readers. These novels are fun, adventurous and perfect for kids and adults who want to escape from the real world. All links below will take you to the Vaughan Public Libraries catalogue so you can request these books!
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston. This is the first in a trilogy that promises Men in Black vibes and that is definitely something I didn’t realize I’ve been missing in my books! Amari has never stopped believing that her missing brother Quinton is still alive. When she stumbles upon a ticking briefcase in his closet, she discovers the world of the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. She is now unexpectedly in a world of magic where she feels left out. Despite all that, she is determined to tough it out to try and see if she can figure out what happened to Quinton.
Building off of Alex’s post about children’s literacy and developing early literacy skills, I’d like to talk about a couple of my more recent forays into picture books and children’s literature and highlight some titles for children & adults alike!
I recently encountered this delightfully written galloping ride of a fever dream, scaled for the reader as a picture book! It’s Everyone’s Awake by Colin Meloy, illustrated by Shawn Harris, and I didn’t know this at the time, but the author, Colin Meloy, is the lead singer & songwriter of The Decemberists, and the musical romp of the prose makes a lot more sense knowing this! This is one of those books you almost can’t help but read aloud, and would make for a great storytime read.* The storyline, if it can be referred to as such, is as straightforward as it gets: everyone’s awake in the night when they should be sleeping, but obviously you’re not picking up a book called Everyone’s Awake just to find that out: it’s everything in between the quite simple story that makes this such an incredibly energetic book, whipped into even more of a frenzy with the incredible illustrations by Shawn Harris and – just look at that colour palette! The pages practically vibrate with energy and movement between the illustrations and the colours, words jumping off your lips faster than you can read them. And by the end (one would hope) you have tired yourself out with all that energy expended, ready to fall asleep.