September is promising to give us a plethora of spectacular cosmic events.
The month was ushered in by a Super Blue Moon, while on the 17th of September, Venus will be at its brightest. The 19th will have Neptune at opposition (meaning the planet will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long via telescope). On the 22nd, Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise!
This year’s Autumnal Equinox will also fall on September 23rd, meaning there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. Finally, the last Super Moon of the year—the Harvest Moon—is set to rise in all its glory on the 29th. Meanwhile, Illuminarium at the Distillery District is offering an all-ages immersive event titled Space: A Journey to the Moon and Beyond!
In honour of these and other cosmic events, here are some lovely books all about the heavens above.
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.
Inspired by Alyssia’s post Literary Homes You Can Buy! (Or Just Visit), my recent vacation where I toured historical sites, and the summer travel season, I thought I’d bring you a post on literary locations you can visit. Though it won’t be through any such means as a magic wardrobe, that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as fantastical!
We’ll start this list off with two epics, and being a biased fan, we’ll begin with my favourite world: Middle Earth.
Most people know that the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies were filmed in New Zealand and that, besides the incredible bigatures, much of the stunning scenery we see on screen are straight shots of actual locations. So I’m here to recommend three lesser known places than Matamata, NZ (home to the Shire) to visit.
Moseley Bog, Birmingham, UK served as Tolkien’s inspiration for the Old Forest, a place that might be more familiar to book fans than movie fans. In the books, it abutted Buckland—ancestral home to Merry Brandybuck—and was full of living, angry trees and a curious (and much debated) character named Tom Bombadil.