Tag Archives: Recommendations

Feel Good Spring Films

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…

“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

As I write this, winter seems to have a stranglehold on our weather, though I swear I see some trees stubbornly budding. I’ve decided it doesn’t matter what the actual temperature is⁠—or the fact that we’ve still got snow⁠—it’s March! It’s spring break! And spring is sometimes a feeling more than a state, especially in Canada.

But to truly give myself (and you, dear reader) that spring-is-coming feeling, I’ve decided to compile a list of my favourite films that make me feel all hopeful and peaceful and green and blossoming. (Those are all real emotions, I promise).

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Anthologies for All Ages

I love reading anthologies, as they allow me to discover new authors by giving me a glimpse into a few completely different stories. I am also a huge fan of short stories in general as I think the form really lends itself to creativity because writers have to create a whole world within a limited space. I also really like reading short stories because you can really divide and stretch out the reading experience. Reading a single story a day is a great way to keep your mind engaged with reading if you’re short on time. These anthologies also work great as audiobooks as you can listen to one story with ease on a commute, while running errands, gardening or doing any number of housework.

Now that my spiel is out of the way, here are some anthologies that include multiple authors in them for a variety of ages! While there are target/ideal readership ages (created by the publishers) for each anthology, I still think there’s no shame in reading an anthology for a younger audience. I personally love children’s fiction and there are so many great authors that write compelling stories for any audience.

All links will take you to the Vaughan Public Libraries catalogue where you can request these titles for yourself! 


Ancestor Approved

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith.

This anthology features stories by 17 Indigenous authors, with notes and information about the authors at the end of the book for further reading. With great writing and a solid introduction to new writers, readers will definitely want to seek out other stories by Native writers and learn more about Heartdrum, the publishing imprint behind this collection.

Flying Lessons & Other Stories, edited by Ellen Oh. This anthology, made in partnership with We Need Diverse books, features a star-studded cast of children’s authors. Readers will no doubt recognize some of their favourite authors such as Soman Chainani and Jacqueline Woodson and the many other successful authors that make up this compelling and engaging collection.

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The Power of Fairytale: The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

The Magic Fish by Trung Le NguyenI know graphic novels are sometimes seen as not “true literature”, especially those for young audiences, but I can confidently tell you that if you read The Magic Fish, you will change your mind. This wonderful story really emphasizes the power of language and how some emotions can’t be expressed in words, and this book does that through the power of fairytales.

This book stars 12-year old Tiến Phong who reads stories with his mother, Hiến, to help improve her English. The stories they share together are often put in juxtaposition to Hiến’s memories of leaving Vietnam as a refugee or to Tiến’s experience in figuring out his sexuality. The duo used stories to connect and to share what they couldn’t really put into words themselves. The illustrations were just lovely and really helped convey the beauty of the stories. I loved that the illustrations tended to be one colour, such as all purple or all red, but still conveyed depth through slightly different hues. Some of the fairytales, such as Hans Christian Andersen’s version of “The Little Mermaid”, may be familiar to readers but since I am not a huge fairytale reader, I found the stories all new and exciting. The illustrations were not only beautiful, but the words in the fairytales were also really well-written as well.

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