5 Wonderful Library Reads That Are Perfect for the Family

We’re traveling to Canada through the world of books for the 25th anniversary celebration of Family Literacy Day!

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Three books sit left of center ringed by images of families. Red ribbons with the red maple leaf border the right edge. A small image with "literacy day" across a black background sits in the upper right corner. Everything is set against a white background.

Every January 27th, Canada celebrates bringing families together and helping raise awareness about the importance of reading, as well as getting children involved in activities centered around reading. Since its founding in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada, thousands of schools, libraries, and literacy programs have joined in to help families build bonds and children grow their comprehension skills. In celebration of Family Literacy Day’s 25th anniversary, we explore five libraries and highlight their children’s book picks sure to help you and your family enjoy a day of reading fun!

Pickering Public Library, Ontario

Head to Pickering Library and wade through their shelves of fun outdoor books based around this year’s Family Literacy Day theme: “Let’s have a family party!” They’ll have books centered around science, nature, arts and crafts, cooking, and all-around family-to-do enjoyment ready for you to check out. Browse their recommended book list full of all-day family entertainment, like The Best Ever Cake Book by Denise Smart.

Different desserts and appliances circle around larger desserts. A cake sits at the top with other cakes sitting below it. The title sits in the center in red and white letters. All of it sits against a bluish background.

Gather the kids and all the ingredients you’ll need to enjoy crafting all kinds of lovely, delicious cakes. In The Best Ever Cake Book: 20 Step-by-Step Cake Recipes From Around the World, you’ll follow easy instructions and illustrations to bake up some of the most amazing desserts from different countries. Your kids will enjoy learning, baking, and, most of all, spending time with family this reading holiday!

Richmond Hill Public Library, Ontario

If you’re looking for fun story times, music, and games, head to the Richmond Hill Library’s Central branch and make a beeline for the Children’s Area. After the fun and games, stop by their bookshelves and pick up a book from their recommended book list, including You Are Loved by Margaret O’Hair, a sweet narrative that’s all about families of every kind.

Different families from different backgrounds are showcased. They are all hugging each other. There are hearts, a sun, and colorful splatters across the foreground. The title sits in the top center in colorful letters. The author's name is at the top in small, black letters. Everything is set against a light blue background.

Follow this sweet narrative and heartwarming illustrations, from Sofia Sanchez and her adopted family to single-parent families, large families, small families, extended families, and every kind of family in between. It doesn’t matter if you’re raised with two moms or two dads by your grandparents or have a blended family; a family that instills strength through love is the right kind of family. So, for Family Literacy Day, You Are Loved is the perfect take-home for families everywhere to read together.

Vancouver Island Regional Library, British Columbia

If you’re out and about and happen to be in the area, stop by any local branch of the Vancouver Island Library on Saturday for a day of enjoyable reading games, making goodies, and singing songs. Don’t forget to peruse the shelves and snag a good book from their recommended book list. One book to add to your checkout pile is Dear Reader: A Love Letter to Libraries by Tiffany Rose.

A you girl sits off center in the foreground, smiling. She has a book in one hand that's opened, and a pen in the other, ready to write. A stack of books sits beside her with octopus arms coming out of the top book with a green cover. A rainbow is off on her left side. Planets sits above her in a cloud. Written across the cloud is the title in bold, blue letters. The author's name is to the right of the girl in small, white letters. The background is a dark blue color.

In Dear Reader: A Love Letter to Libraries, a young black girl with a keen appetite for books sees one problem: many of the books don’t feature characters that resemble her. Throughout this enlightening narrative, a young child who enjoys diving into stories full of characters going on wild adventures longs for books with characters of color. So, she pens a love letter to libraries in hopes of seeing more diversity in the kinds of books she loves to read. A wondrous story for families to learn as they read during Family Literacy Day.

Ottawa Public Library, Canada

Join in the fun at the Ottawa Public Library, where they have a plethora of programs to choose from for the whole family. To help you enjoy Family Literacy Day, the Ottawa Library branches will have a Clay Creations’ virtual workshop with author Barbara Reid, a storytelling game families can try together with a roll of the dice, and author Rob Justus, who just released his new graphic novel Death & Sparkles and the Sacred Golden Cupcake. Join him at the Rosemont, Manotick, and Alta Vista branches for his book launch event! Also, don’t forget to grab his latest graphic novel for the kids to read once you get home!

A creature with a square head holds up a baby unicorn who's holding a solid gold cupcake with a red circular center. Flames surround the creature at the bottom. A unicorn and a two- horned creature made of stone stare down at the creature and baby unicorn. The title sits in the center near the top in blue and white letters. The author's name sits in the bottom right corner in red letters. The background is a greenish black with transparent colorful rays shooting from the center.

The second installment of his Death and Sparkles graphic novel series, Death and Sparkles and the Sacred Golden Cupcake, is bound to create a world of fun. Sparkles the Unicorn’s horn begins glowing, and he receives a message left by his parents. This Family Literacy Day, go on a quest with Death and Sparkles to discover the meaning behind the message and dive into a whirlwind of reading fun!

Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia

For our last stop on our library tour, head to any Halifax public library branch and get into the spirit of Family Literacy Day by learning Ten Ways to Build Family Literacy at Your Library. Don’t forget to check out their vast selection of graphic novels for kids of all ages at any one of their local branches. One novel to add to your list is Warriors. A Thief in ThunderClan by Dan Jolley and Erin Hunter.

An injured brown cat-like animal leaps through the air with its claws bared. A white cat stands behind the first one. The tail of a smaller animal is seen at the bottom. Giant trees surround the cats and the small animal. The title sits at the top in large, yellow letters and small white letters. The author's name sits at the bottom in white letters.

Dan Jolley and Erin Hunter bring you many fun illustrated stories about Brightheart and the ThunderClan, including this introspective tale about trust and faith in friends. After surviving a dog attack, Brightheart is part of the ThunderClan again, but many battles and betrayals leave her hard-pressed to quell her suspicions of her ThunderClan mates. When Freshkill disappears from camp, Brightheart and her friend Cloudtail do some investigating of their own to unearth the culprit. Through it all, Brightheart will discover who she can trust and remember who she is as a ThunderClan member. Jump into this adventurous tale and many more by Jolley and Hunter and make your reading holiday that much more entertaining.

For this Family Literacy Day, be sure to grab your library cards and head to your local libraries. Enjoy a day of togetherness with games and activities, and take home a good book for the family to read.

If you’re interested in learning more about Family Literacy Day Canada, click here.

Be sure to check out our A Young Reader’s Escape into Fantasy and Sci-Fi bookshelf and others at Bookshop.org.