Books

Canadian children's writers & illustrators are sharing readings of their books online

As book tours and festivals are cancelled and Canadians stay indoors, writers across the country are filming readings of their books for viewers.

As Canadians stay indoors this month, writers and illustrators across the country are filming readings of their books or drawing lessons for viewers to watch online.

Here's a collection of taped and upcoming readings.

This list will be updated regularly. It was last updated on March 26, 2020.

Alice Aspinall

Alice Aspinall posted readings from her book Everyone Can Learn Math on her Facebook page.

Aspinall is a high school math teacher. Everyone Can Learn Math is a children's book about learning math. It is illustrated by Alexandria Masse.

Ernest Cadorin

Ernest Cadorin is a writer and teacher of Zen martial arts. He self-published a book of stories called The Arrows of Zen.

He has posted a reading of one story, The Test, on his YouTube channel.

Vanessa Canevaro

Vanessa Canevero posted a video of her reading her book I Want a Dragon on FacebookI Want a Dragon is a picture book about a girl who has everything — expect a dragon.

Aidan Cassie

Aidan Cassie posted a video of her reading her picture book, Sterling, Best Dog Ever, on YouTube.

Cassie is a children's book writer based on the West Coast. Her next book, The Word for Friend, will be published in 2020.

Anita Daher

Anita Daher is reading her YA novel Forgetting How to Breathe one chapter at a time on YouTube.

Forgetting How to Breathe is about a 13-year-old girl named Tia who is sent to a foster home in the country, away from her mother and the live she knows in the big city.

You can see the rest of the videos here.

Barbara Derrick

Barbara Derrick will be hosting a live reading of her book Walking in Your Power on March 27 at 3 p.m. MT. The event will take place on YouTube.

Walking in Your Power is a book about an elderly woman named Muskwa (Cree for Bear) who reminds us to pay attention to the wisdom the elders in our lives can share.

Zetta Elliott

Zetta Elliott read the first three chapters of her middle-grade novel Dragons in a Bag on YouTube.

Elliott is a poet, a teacher and a writer for children and young adults. Dragons in a Bag is about Jax, a young black boy who sets out on an adventure with mythical creatures.

Dylan Glynn

Dylan Glynn posted a read from the picture book Rain Boy on YouTube. Rain Boy is about how Rain Boy is misunderstood by everyone he knows, except Sun Kidd. Will he get a chance to show everyone who is really is?

Monique Gray Smith

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage — Cree, Lakota and Scottish — author who often writes and speaks about the resilience of Indigenous communities in Canada. Her books Speaking Our Truth, You Hold Me Up and My Heart Fills With Happiness.

Gray Smith has uploaded readings of the picture books You Hold Me Up and My Heart Fills With Happiness on her YouTube channel.

Alyxandra Harvey

Alyxandra Harvey is a YA science fiction and fantasy writer based in Ontario. Her books include the series the Dark Chronicles and the novels Green Jack and Haunting Violet.

She posted a reading from her YA novel, Love Me, Love Me Not, on YouTube. She will be posting more readings on her channel.

Catherine Hernandez

I Promise is a picture book by Catherine Hernandez (right) and illustrated by Syrus Marcus Ware. (Arsenal Pulp Press, Dahlia Katz)

Catherine Hernandez, the author of the novel Scarborough and the picture book I Promise, will be doing a reading from I Promise on at 11 a.m. ET on Wed. March 25. I Promise was illustrated by Syrus Marcus Ware.

The event is being presented by the Festival of Literary Diversity.

Nadia L. Hohn

Nadia Hohn's new book is about how a young Louise Bennett found her voice and embraced patois, despite being told to “speak properly” and only use standard English by her teachers in Jamaica. (Submitted by Nadia L. Hohn/Owlkids Books)

Nadia L. Hohn is the author of A Likkle Miss Lou, a picture book about Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett Coverley, a Jamaican poet known for bringing international attention to Jamaican patois.

Hohn will read from A Likkle Miss Lou on March 24 at 11 a.m. ET. The event is being presented by the Festival of Literary Diversity.

Rukhsana Khan

Rukhsana Khan posted a reading and a workshop for kids inspired by her book Many Windows. Many Windows is a book for readers aged 9-12 about six friends from different religious and cultural backgrounds who come together and learn about each other's backgrounds.

Alice Kuipers

Alice Kuipers is a YA and children's book writer. Her books include the YA novels  Me (and) Me and 40 Things I Want to Tell You and the Polly Diamond picture book series.

She shared a reading of her picture book Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale, illustrated by Bethanie Deeney Murguia, on YouTube.

Andrew Larsen

Andrew Larsen is children's book author. He posted a reading from his first book Bella and the Bunny on Facebook.

His other books include A Squiggly Story, The Imaginary Garden and Bye, Bye, Butterflies!

He has more videos on his Facebook page.

Jenny Lee Learn

Jenny Lee Learn shared a video of her reading from her picture book Truck Got Stuck on YouTubeTruck Got Stuck is a picture book for children aged 3-6.

Lee's other picture books include Geese are Not Pets and My Mommy Likes.

Amy Leask

Amy Leask posted a reading of her picture book If You Met a Yeti on YouTube. The picture book imagines what yetis might think of humans if they ever crossed paths.

If You Met a Yeti is illustrated by Sheniece Toni Cater. Leask is the author of several children's books, including the Think About It! series.

Kerry MacGregor

Kerry MacGregor is a Canadian writer who now lives in France. She's a journalist who has contributed to CBC, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and other publications.

She's reading from her middle-grade novel series The Ice Chips, which is co-written by Roy MacGregor and illustrated by Kim Smith. Check out her YouTube channel for more readings.

Elly MacKay

Red Sky at Night is a picture book by Elly MacKay. (Tundra Books, theaterclouds.com)

Elly MacKay, a children's book author and illustrator, will be doing a reading and children's activity. Her books include Butterfly Park, Red Sky at Night and The Tallest Treehouse.

The event will take place on March 24 at 2 p.m. on Tundra Books' Instagram.

Wendy McLeod MacKnight

The Frame-Up is the latest book by acclaimed children's writer Wendy McLeod MacKnight. (Stephanie Comeau, HarperCollins )

Wendy McLeod MacKnight is a children's book author based in New Brunswick.

Her middle-grade novel The Frame-Up is a mystery and crime story set in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, where the paintings come to life and become characters.

McKeod MacKnight will be posting readings on her Instagram.

B.R. Myers

B.R. Myers shared a reading an excerpt from her YA novel Rogue Princess. Rogue Princess is a gender-swapped science-fiction retelling of Cinderella.

Myers is a YA author. Her other books include the Nefertari Hughes Mystery Series. She also writes romances for adults under the pen name Daphne Dubois.

Kenneth Oppel

Kenneth Oppel is an award-winning Toronto writer of YA, middle-grade and picture books. His bestselling work includes the Silverwing trilogy and Airborn, which won the 2004 Governor General's Literature Award for children's literature — text and the Michael L. Printz Honor Book. His latest books include Bloom, Inkling and The Nest.

Oppel plans to do daily short readings for three weeks, which started on March 16. Visit his Twitter page or YouTube channel for links to the readings.

Barbara Radecki

Barbara Radecki read the first chapter of her YA novel Messenger 93 on YouTubeMessenger 93 is an adventure novel about a young girl who might be the reincarnation of Joan of Arc.

Messenger 93 is her second book. She is also the author of  the YA novelThe Darkhorse.

Ahmad Danny Ramadan

Ahmad Danny Ramadan is a novelist and children's writer based in Vancouver. His books include the novel The Clothesline Swing, which was longlisted for Canada Reads in 2018.

On his Twitter page, Ramadan hosted a live reading of his children's book Salma the Syrian Chefpublished this month. It tells the story of a young girl who wants to make her mother — busy with job interviews and English classes — smile with a homemade Syrian meal. He will also do a reading at 11 a.m. on March 23 for the Festival of Literary Diversity

Jerry Rideout

Jerry Rideout posted a reading from his first picture book A Dinosaur Lives Next Door on YouTube. It's inspired by Rideout's son who once believed he saw a dinosaur in the neighbour's backyard.

David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson is a Winnipeg writer of Swampy Cree heritage. He has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Aloneillustrated by Julie Flett, and the YA Reckoner series, which includes Strangers, Monsters and Ghosts.

Robertson did a live reading of When We Were Alone on his Twitter page on March 18. The moving picture book shares the conversation between a girl and her grandmother about the residential school system.

Robertson will also be doing a reading an activity at 11 a.m. ET on March 27. This event is being presented by the Festival of Literary Diversity.

Esmé Shapiro

Alma and the Beast is a picture book by Esmé Shapiro. (Tundra Books)

Esmé Shapiro is a Canadian-American children's book writer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her first book, Ookowas a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustration.

Shapiro read her book Alma and the Beast on Instagram live on March 16.

Danika Stone

Danika Stone is a writer from Alberta. She writes novels for teens, including SwitchbackInternet Famous and All the Feels, as well as adults, including The Dark Divide and Edge Of Wild.

She posted a reading of her latest YA novel Switchback on YouTube.

Joel A. Sutherland

Joel A. Sutherland is the author of the middle-grade series Haunted Canada. He is currently doing a Haunted Canada "road trip." Every day, for 18 days, Sutherland is sharing a different Haunted Canada story.

You can see all the videos on YouTube.

Jillian Tamaki

Jillian Tamaki is a finalist for the Doug Wright Award for in the Best Book category. (Reynard Li)

Jillian Tamaki will be doing a reading, will talk about her latest book, My Best Friend and will present an activity for kids.

The event, which is being presented by the Festival of Literary Diversity, will take place on March 26 at 11 a.m. ET. You can get more details about the event at FOLD's website.

Nikki Tate

Nikki Tate is sharing videos of her reading her book Tarragon Island one chapter at a time on Facebook. You can see more videos on her Facebook page.

Vikki VanSickle

Vikki VanSickle is a Toronto-based author of YA, middle-grade and picture books. Her work includes The Winnowing, a dark fantasy YA novel, as well as the Clarissa books, which include Words that Start with BLove Is a Four-Letter Word and Days that End in Y. She has been a finalist for the Red Maple Book Award.

VanSickle did a Facebook Live reading from the Tundra Books page on March 18. She read the picture book Teddy Bear of the Year.

G.E. White

G.E. White posted a reading from her YA fantasy novel Eyes of the Eternal on YouTube. Eyes of the Eternal is about a teenage boy who is sent to a medical facility after committing a crime that seems out of character — and that he doesn't remember committing.

Steve Wolfson

Steve Wolfson shared a reading of his picture book, Monster Cheese on YouTube. Monster Cheese is about a boy who ends up on a wild adventure after accidentally dropping his grandmother's secret ingredient. It's illustrated by Bill Johnson.

Wolfson has more readings on his YouTube channel.

Jessica Young

Jessica Young is a Canadian teacher and writer based in Nashville. Her children's books include My Blue Is Happy, Play This Book, Pet This Book and more. 

On her YouTube channel, she reads her picture book A Wish is a Seed.

Werner Zimmermann

Werner Zimmermann has illustrated dozens of Canadian children's books, including the Governor General's Literary Award finalist At the Pond, Brave Highland Heart and Whatever You Do, Don't Go Near That Canoe! 

He posted this video on his Facebook page.

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly

The Montreal bookstore will be doing a live reading of a children's book every day at 11 a.m. ET. You can watch their videos, which will include French and English readings, on their Facebook page.

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