Little Canada by Matt Napier illustrated by Renné Benoit
Canada isn't a little country. It has ten provinces, three territories, and is the second largest country in the world in terms of area. It can be difficult for young children to understand: what is Canada? This board book can help answer some of those questions. Set up in a question-and-answer style, the book explores lots of Canada's common symbols, animals, and cultural aspects. There's enough of a pause (and some visual clues) that kids have a chance to figure out the answer; books that encourage them to talk and use their words help to build their confidence when it comes to language and literacy. I'll admit that it was a bit strange to see the appearance of poutine (delicious, delicious poutine) in a children's picture book, but it also seemed to fit into the style of the book. (The mid-book plug for Tim Horton's, too, was a bit of a surprise, but in terms of Canadian culture, not out of place). The board book pages are sturdy for young readers, and it would make a good gift for new Canadians, ex-pat families, or people wanting to make sure that their little ones grow up with the appropriate amount of Can-con.