I spotted Riel’s Twitter feed via Goose Lane Editions (her publisher) a while ago and look forward to her tweets about writing and nature. As a novelist, involved parent and volunteer librarian at her children’s school, Riel knows literature. I’m eager to show her recommended titles to my daughter.
Connection to NB: I am pretty much a life-long New Brunswicker. I grew up in Hawkshaw, went to university in Fredericton and lived there for about fifteen years. Now I live in Quispamsis.
Children: Eli (8 years old) & Tess (6 years old)
My favourite book as a child was Miss Suzy by Miriam Young and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. It is the story of a squirrel, Miss Suzy, who is scared from her home by some mean squirrels. She eventually meets some brave toy soldiers and it has a happy ending. I have always loved animals and nature, so it was easy to like a story about a sweet, kind squirrel. My mom saved the book for me and I still have it today.
What’s a favourite book that you read to your children?
My children are at very different reading levels and like a wide variety of books, so instead I’d like to mention my favourite book to read at story time at their school library (I volunteer there once a week). That book is The Circus Ship, written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. I love the book. It is rhyming so it is wonderful to read out loud, the story has adventure and suspense, and Van Dusen’s illustrations are detailed, colourful, whimsical and just plain fabulous. As bonus points, it is fun to tell the children that Van Dusen lives nearby in Maine and, best of all, there is a little connection to Saint John, NB, that inspired the story, which is explained in the back of the book. Highly recommended.
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The New Brunswick Public Library stocks these titles. Click a link to see if it’s available near you now. (You can also get most books shipped to your closest library, free of charge.)
What Are Your Favourite Books for Kids? asks people with connections to New Brunswick about children’s books that became special in their lives.
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