Giveaway open to Canadians.

Fact: kids love nonfiction.

When we go to buy or borrow reading material for our children, we adults seem to be the most drawn to to make-believe. Maybe this is because our lives expose us to an abundance of non-fiction – newspapers, reports for work – and we crave a break, and assume the same of our kids. Research, however, as well as personal experience, has taught me that kids love to read nonfiction books, and motivating them to love reading is one of the most important steps in reading instruction.

Recently there’s been a big push towards providing nonfiction titles for boys in particular, which is well-founded, but at the beginning of this school year at least half of my girls would steer away from the fiction bins at self-selected reading time as well. Instead they would choose to read animal facts, jokes, arts and crafts instructions, or biographies. Chances are, there is a child in your life whose reading could be enhanced by more exposure to this genre.

The goal of this post is introduce you to a few non-fiction titles your child(ren) might enjoy, and even give you the opportunity to win them! In honour of Canada Day, I reviewed a few different Scholastic books about our beautiful country:

101 Canadian Jokes by Howard Hershkowitz

What kid wouldn’t get a kick out of jokes like these:

What has antlers and sucks blood? A  moose-quito!
How do you keep a grizzly bear from charging? Take away its credit cards!

I mean, this is funny stuff, people. And the beauty of books like this is that kids start sharing jokes with each other, telling the riddles at home, and making reading an interactive activity.
This one covers some of the wacky laws we’ve had on the books in our country, like the old B.C. law that made it illegal to kill a sasquatch, or the current Fredericton, N.B. law that forbids the wearing of a snake!
Again, this gets kids reading, thinking, and talking about the material. Chapter books can sometimes be overwhelming. Books like this, that look like chapter books but instead have little snippets of information, keep kids motivated. Children gain the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a book, but with less time and struggle. If this is what it takes to foster a love of reading, I’m all for it!
Crazy Canadian Trivia by Pat Hancock
Everything you never wanted to know about Canada – the Great Outhouse Race, the world’s biggest ice-cream sundae, the oldest living person and the day Niagara Falls stopped falling. Again, little bits and bites that kids will love to share with their friends and family.
Go Green, Canada! by Jeff Sinclair
This timely book is not just reading material, but also contains puzzles, games and quizzes that kids can complete. (It’s very hard to keep these books in the classroom library, as the kids find it difficult to refrain from writing in the answers!) Though a child-friendly format, this book actually tackles some important issues, and offers valuable tips about saving our environment.
So, what do you think? You must know a child who would love to spend the rest of the summer poring over these gems. If you are a Canadian resident, they can be yours! To win ALL FOUR books (total retail value $27.00):

Leave a comment telling me one thing you love about Canada. That’s it!

For additional entries, leave a separate comment letting me know that:

  • you subscribe to This Mom Loves through email
  • you follow This Mom Loves publicly through Google Friend Connect
  • you follow @thismomloves on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway

The contest will end on Wednesday, July 14th at midnight Eastern time, after which a winner will be chosen through random number generation.

If you don’t win, consider picking up one of these titles, or at least peruse the non-fiction shelves the next time you’re in the bookstore or library. Every kid should be encouraged to read for pleasure; it just may take some trial-and-error to find out what type of book pleases them!

P.S. I didn’t even need a sad book to start the waterworks yesterday when I said goodbye to my beautiful Grade 3 class — before the last bell rang I had tears streaming down my face. Sure, I’m more than thrilled to begin my wonderful long holiday, but I have grown to love the children and will truly miss them!
Disclaimer: These titles were provided to me by Scholastic Canada for review purposes. Opinions, as always, are my own.

62 comments on “Kids Need Nonfiction! Books About Canada – Review and Giveaway”

  1. Thanks for the great suggestions. I do find it more challenging to get boys interested in reading as opposed to the girls. I will take any tips I can get to help facilitate that "love for reading!" You sound like an amazing teacher!

  2. I love everything about Canada…our extreme weather, friendly neighbours, vast landscape and every single person that calls this great nation HOME

  3. My kids love to read and they love to learn about their wonderful country.

    I was born and raised in Beautiful British Columbia, where you could ski and golf in the same day. The gorgeous mountains and the views of the Pacific Ocean are next to none in my opinion.

    Now I live in Ontario where we get to experience the change of seasons – Fall brings with it the fire reds, burnt orange and vibrant yellows. It's my favourite time of the year here!!

    I try to write about my travels through this amazing country, it's a hit and a miss but if you're interested… check it out. Canada Travel

  4. I love that where I live, both the mountains and the ocean are in easy driving distance. And, then, there's the whole free health care thing too . . .

    Great books!!

  5. There are many things I love about Canada but I must say it is that we are humble in our winnings. Canadian Olympics this winter. When we won we were happy. When we didn't we were happy for the winners. We do not need to always feel we are the best and to boast about being the best. We love who we are. We are Canadians.

  6. What I love about Canada is:
    -The toque. For inventing hat hair, Canuck-style
    -Tim Hortons. For brewing coffee that tastes as good as it smells. And for chocolate sour cream Timbits
    -McIntosh apple. That sweet crunch was brought to you by Ontario's Johnny (Appleseed) McIntosh, in 1796
    -Wayne Gretzky. You don't have to be a hockey fan to call the pride of Brantford a great athlete, and one classy guy.
    -The Maple Leaf. Our flag, bold and graphically spare, makes the heart swell.
    -Canadian bacon. Make fun if you will, as long as you serve it crisp
    -Beer. There are just some things we do better
    -Maple syrup. Without which pancakes would just be a stack of fried flour.
    -Robert Munsch. We love him, and his children's books, forever
    -Terry Fox. For still giving cancer a run for the money, 25 years on.
    and so many more but I will stop now so I don't take up too much space.

  7. What I love about Canada is that anything is possible here. You can literally do anything you want to!

    jenandjoey at gmail dot com

  8. I love that Canadians are courteous and kind (for the most part). I love our diverse landscape and love our freedoms that we often take for granted. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  9. I love Amanda O'Neill's post. I think Canada is great. We are very fortunate to live here.


  10. I came to Canada as a child, after my family was thrown out of our East African country because of politics, economics and our ethnicity… After being a refugee and running from country to country for years, Canada accepted my family and we built our lives here, grow and persevered. I love Canada. Truly LOVE Canada and all the opportunity I have been gifted here; I love the universality of healthcare, education, and melding of cultures… I love and appreciate the diversity, the people who stand for quiet respect and upholding the concept of human dignity. I love this land and it's water, it's resources and the awe-inspiring beauty which is incomparable to any other place on earth and reflects the diversity of the people…

    I love this land, my home, my heart. I love the true north, strong and free!

    Aliya D.

  11. I love Canada! (and books, especially nonfiction)

    I especially love:

    – multiculturalism
    – universal health care
    – we're generally more polite
    – we don't carry guns (so we don't have daily shootings)

    callista83 AT cogeco DOT ca

  12. I love that when traveling when people hear that you are from Canada they are very kind to you and express great love for Canadian travellers. I love that canadians are kind to others all over the world:)

  13. I love our blue skies. I also love our lakes, parks, and cities. I love the RCMP and beavers and the maple leaf.

  14. One of the many things I love about Canada is the health care system. It's not perfect but it's better than some other places.

    cwilliams127 at gmail dot com

  15. I really appreciate the health care. Especially with relatives that are aging, it's nice to be able to see a doctor and not fight with HMOs.
    I also like our weather, as nutty as it is.

  16. Canada is an amazing country to live in. We have clean water, a roof over our heads and laws in place to respect you as a person. I am constantly reminding my children how wonderful it is to live where we live. Truly amazing! A beautiful land.

  17. I love so many things about Canada and our family loves to celebrate Canada Day with a party! One of the best things about Canada is that we get all 4 seasons and very rarely get major natural disasters! Love your blog Kate keep up the great work!
    Krista S.

  18. My daughter would love these books as she learned about the provinces and their capitals this year in school. These books would be GREAT!

  19. There is so much about Canada that I love…but I would say mostly the friendliness wherever you go in this country. My girls love reading, we spend alot of time at the library and searching yard sales for books.

  20. I love that as Canadians we do not need – or want to travel abroad to discover different cultures and ethnicity. We are truly blessed in this country to have the diversity that we do both in our population and our physical landscape. We are the envy of the world for a reason!

  21. Canada is just the best place to live. We had the
    beauty of all 4 seasons and have some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world– I have travelled it from coast to coast. As for us as a Nation — just tell me who doesn't like Canadians
    keep up the good work

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