The Flying Canoe by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Daniel San Souci and Justin San Souci

The Flying Canoe: A Christmas Story

A French Canadian legend, “The Flying Canoe” tells the story of a group of lonely fur traders on Christmas Eve, far away from their families at home in Montreal. A stranger appears and claims he can get them home, but they must not speak until they get there. They climb into an enchanted canoe…and the rest is history.

There are many versions of this story, but this Eric A. Kimmel does an excellent job retelling it, and the beautiful illustrations draw children into the tale.

A nice seasonal treat.

If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche

This one fits perfectly with the Grade 3 unit on Structures (and also ties in with Urban and Rural Communities). “Step into homes from around the world and discover the many fascinating ways people have lived and still live today. Uncover the reason why each home was constructed the way that it was, from houses built on maze-like streets (to confuse invaders) to homes built on wheels (to be able to travel in your home at any time!)”

The illustrations in this book are intricate bas-relief cut-paper collages, and provide a springboard for art lessons as well. Quality nonfiction isn’t always easy to find, and I’d recommend adding this one to your collection.

Just a Second by Steve Jenkins

I’m always thinking like a teacher, and this book is perfect for teaching the concept of time. Did you know that:

In one second…a hummingbird beats its wings 50 times,
In one minute…a skydiver in a free fall plunges 3 1/4 km, and
In one adult takes about 900 breaths?

The book gives examples for each of these, as well as one day, one week, one month and one year. Some neat graphs and timelines are included at the back of the book. I’ll be pulling this one out when I teach time later this year.

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