Celebrate Family Literacy Day and ‘Learn at Play Every Day’

With the holiday season coming to an end, there is still much to celebrate this month. On January 27th – and the weeks surrounding it – we celebrate Family Literacy Day®. This initiative was started by ABC Life Literacy Canada to help  families improve their literacy skills together. During this time, schools, libraries and literacy groups will participate in fun events and activities.

Toronto’s Barbara Reid, a renowned author and illustrator in children’s literature, is the Honourary Chair of this initiative. She is famous for her artwork in plasticine (a kind of modelling clay), and her pictures tell stories of their very own.

I asked Barbara for tips on how families can take advantage of this occasion to create teachable moments together. This is what she had to say: “I love this year’s theme, ‘learn at play every day,’ because there are so many fun activities where learning just happens naturally. Follow a recipe or make a shopping list together, point out signs and transit maps, listen to the story behind a child’s artwork, sing a song, get a library card, play I Spy, and, of course, read aloud together!“

It’s only fitting that this month’s Hooked on Books is dedicated to the author and her award-winning picture books. Choose a favourite and sit down as a family to read together.

Welcome, Baby

By Barbara Reid
For ages: baby – 3

This board book is an essential for baby’s first library. The poetic text illustrates the concept of welcoming a new baby into the world and the expansion of family. This little book also makes a great gift for new parents  and older siblings.

Read Me a Book

By Barbara Reid
For ages: baby – 3

Read Me a Book captures the essence of reading together as a family. The colourful pages demonstrate different family members bonding over books. It’s perfect for Family Literacy Day  and all year.

Sing a Song of Mother Goose

By Barbara Reid
For ages: baby – 8

This keepsake includes 14 nursery rhymes paired side-by-side with the author’s plasticine illustrations. Families will enjoy new renditions of cherished fables and songs  like Jack and Jill, Pat-a-Cake, and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.


Picture the Sky

By Barbara Reid
For ages: 3 – 8

This is the writer’s latest title and a companion to Picture a Tree. Students can use their imagination and creativity to identify the stories within the pictures. The sky is truly a work of art in every respect in this picture book.

For more ideas to ‘learn at play every day’ from Barbara Reid, visit FamilyLiteracyDay.ca for a list of activities for your family!

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