The Invisible Bear

Metzger, Cécile. The Invisible Bear. Toronto: Tundra, 2020.
Alone. Unseen. Invisible. A quiet solitary existence. Until Madame Odette moves next door and brings colour and sound and friendship into Bear’s life. This softly illustrated picture book – originally published in French – will speak to readers of all ages, especially during this time of Covid-19. 

Buy online or in-store from Hemingway’s

Merry Christmas!

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.
Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” – Bob Hope

Boynton, Sandra. Christmas Parade. New York : Little Simon, 2020.

Tate, Nikki. Christmas: from Solstice to Santa. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers, 2018. 

“Christmas Eve was the time when everybody was unselfish. On that one night, Santa Claus was everywhere, because everybody, all together, stopped being selfish and wanted other people to be happy. And in the morning you saw what that had done.

“‘If everybody wanted everybody else to be happy all the time, then would it be Christmas all the time?’ Laura asked, and Ma said, ‘Yes, Laura.’” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder 

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Last week, a group of sixth-grade students read an adaptation of A Christmas Carol: a new version of the story with Scrooge portrayed as a woman. 

    “At the beginning of the story, Scrooge is greedy and does not care about others. When young, she did not marry the man she loved because she cared about money more than him. Now, she is rude, mean, and interrupts Cratchit every time he tries to talk. She also walks through an alley of people in need without even looking at them.
   “At the end of the story, Scrooge is different: she has become kinder. She doubles Cratchit’s salary and helps his family in need. In addition, she wants to celebrate Christmas, so she eats dinner with her niece. She also gives a gift of money to a young boy.
    “Why does Scrooge change? She changes because she realizes the sins of her past and realizes how wrong she was to not marry the man she loved. She realizes the sins of her present and realizes how wrong she has been to treat Cratchit so cruelly. She sees her future – sees her dead body – and realizes there will be nobody to mourn her when she dies. She sees how she has been, and she changes.” – Harshaan

More Christmas stories




Marwan’s Journey

Arias, Patricia de. Marwan’s Journey. Hong Kong: Minedition, 2018.
A little boy is walking, leaving his homeland and travelling into the unknown. Step after step, day after day, Marwan and his family trudge along, searching for safety, imagining a new home where they will live in peace. Simple yet powerful full-page illustrations by Laura Borràs accompany this picture book originally published in Spanish. Told from the first person point of view, it is highly recommended for readers 8 years old and up. 

More stories of refugees

Who is a great author?

Here are answers from sixth-graders:

“I really like Jeff Kinney’s series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He provides a good amount of pictures, and the writing in his books is not the printer writing. He uses a different font, which helps because it can get tiring to see the same typing in all books. Jeff Kinney’s books are also relatable, which I like.” – Ravneet

“I like Rick Riordan’s books because his books are funny, crazy, and have enough mythology to give you a headache to memorize them. He writes about Greek mythology, Roman mythology, Egyptian mythology, and then a Greek-Egyptian mix. I can only memorize Zeus, Hades, Neptune, Venus, Apollo, Horus, Hermes, Demeter and a few more. I have read almost all his books.”  – Japvir   

“I like the author Rachel Renee Russell for a few reasons! Firstly, the books don’t have too much writing in them, and the font is easy and big enough to read. Secondly, the books are very interesting: they are about two middle-schoolers who don’t like each other, which is an experience I’ve gone through, and I honestly like reading about something I’ve experienced; I just like seeing others’ opinions or how they would handle something I have gone through.” – Sunmeet

“Eric Wilson makes the writing very interesting and sometimes slows down time.” – Mehtab

What stories make time slow down for you?

What a Beautiful Morning

Levine, Arthur A. What a Beautiful Morning! Philadelphia, PA: Running Press Kids, 2016.
Life is delightful for Noah when he visits his grandparents. Every day starts with a song and leads to all sorts of adventures. But all that changes when one summer day Grandpa can’t remember how to cut his cinnamon French toast. A touching story of love for readers who are facing the consequences of dementia in their own families. Highly recommended for all ages.

More picture books

Be You!

Reynolds, Beter H. Be You! New York: Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2020.
An upbeat and encouraging story by a master storyteller. The illustrations, the font, the design of each page all contribute to create a picture book for readers of all ages. A perfect companion to Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! 

More stories of individuality

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie