Great Reads (ages 7 and under)

Do you love nature? Join us for Laura Alary and Kass Reich’s What Grew in Larry’s Garden on Tuesday May 26 at 10:30 a.m. EST – and check out these other great books too!

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The Bug Girl
Written by Sophia Spencer with Margaret McNamara, Illustrated by Kerascoët
Published by Tundra Books

Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder--and wouldn't leave!--at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her very favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies . . . but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia's mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response--letters, photos and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs--and it worked! Now Sophie tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds and the importance of staying true to yourself.

Read our interview with The Bug Girl herself, 11 year old Sophia Spencer!

For outdoor and bug-related activities, check out this "Get out and Read" Activity Kit from Tundra Books.

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At the Pond
Written and illustrated Geraldo Valério
Published by Groundwood Books

On a dull gray day, a boy puts his dog on a leash and they walk to a shimmering pond where snowy white swans swim freely. One of the swans invites the boy and dog for a ride. They climb on its back and sail into a stunningly beautiful landscape, dotted with wildflowers, spoonbills and ibises. Foxes, rabbits and deer appear in this paradise, then butterflies and even bigger, more beautiful flowers. The boy unleashes his dog on shore, and the dog bounds off to play.

Now the boy wraps his arms around the swan’s neck — he has a new friend. But when he puts the leash on the swan, the sky turns stormy gray, the water becomes turbulent, and the other swans fly away. Both the boy and swan are miserable, until the boy realizes he must free his friend. When he drops the leash into the pond, warm color fills their world and they return to where the boy’s dog happily awaits him.

Geraldo Valério, a master of wordless picture books, explores the nature of true friendship and love in his newest creation.

Watch Geraldo Valério in action as he creates one of his illustrations here.

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The Walrus and the Caribou
Written by Maika Harper, Illustrated by Marcus Cutler
Published by Inhabit Media

When the earth was new, words had the power to breathe life into the world. But when creating animals from breath, sometimes one does not get everything right on the first try!

Based on a traditional Inuit story passed forward orally for generations in the South Baffin region of Nunavut, this book shares with young readers the origin of the caribou and the walrus—and tells of how very different these animals looked when they were first conceived.

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Watch it Grow: Backyard Life Cycles
Written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
Published by Scholastic Canada

Barbara Reid’s one-of-a kind art brings an engaging exploration of nature to life!

Readers young and old will enjoy this introduction to the marvels of the natural world: watching a tadpole hatch from an egg, a caterpillar turn into a butterfly, an acorn become a mighty oak and a glorious sunflower grow from a tiny seed!

Barbara Reid's love of the outside was celebrated in her acclaimed picture books Picture a Tree and Picture the Sky, and in Watch It Grow, she blends simple text with her signature Plasticine illustrations to awaken curiosity and encourage learning.

Activity: Here’s an idea for creating a ‘sprout house’ using materials from home.


Inspired by our June 9 event with Mahtab Narsimhan, Sherry J. Lee and Charlene Chua, here are more books about friends that you don't want to miss!
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William’s Getaway
Written by Annika Dunklee, Illustrated by Yong Ling Kang
Published by Owlkids Books

William’s little brother, Edgar, always wants to play. But today, William wants some time to himself. William has a big getaway planned: an escape up into his hot-air balloon. It’s the perfect place because Edgar is always afraid to join him. But Edgar decides that today, he wants to come. William is very surprised and extremely disappointed.

Edgar over-prepares for the journey. What if he gets hungry, thirsty, cold, bored? What if he gets scared? So William gives up his grand plans for a solo getaway to help his little brother up, offering him encouraging words and an exciting adventure. This loving sibling story celebrates the bond between brothers, the wonders of an imaginary adventure, and the value of an occasional compromise.

Take a sneak peak inside William’s Getaway.

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Friends for Real
Written by Ted Staunton, Illustrated by Ruth Ohi
Published by Scholastic

When Emma loses Squeezy, her favourite stuffy, she tries to find another toy to replace her best-loved “pet.” It’s hard. No one else is exactly like Squeezy, and for Emma, Squeezy is perfect. But instead of finding Squeezy, Emma ends up discovering an unexpected friendship, and that two imaginations are better than one. This touching, smart story of lost-and-found treasures is a great reminder that things don’t always go as planned, but they can turn out better than expected.

Activity: Friends for Real Printables!

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My Best Friend
Written by Julie Fogliano, Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
(Simon and Schuster Canada)

New York Times bestselling author Julie Fogliano and Caldecott Honor winner Jillian Tamaki come together to tell a delightful story of first friendship.

she is my best friend i think
i never had a best friend so i’m not sure
but i think she is a really good best friend
because when we were drawing
she drew me
and i drew her.

What is a best friend, if not someone who laughs with you the whole entire day, especially when you pretend to be a pickle? This pitch-perfect picture book is a sweetly earnest, visually stunning celebration of the magic of friendship.

Take a closer look at the illustrations.