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3 children's books that Halifax's Woozles bookstore must have on their shelves

Suzy MacLean from Woozles children's bookstore in Halifax shares three titles that her customers love.
Woozles' Suzy MacLean with three books her customers love in Halifax. (Suzy MacLean)

Woozles children's bookstore opened its doors in Halifax in 1978. A neighbourhood staple for over 40 years, the store was founded by Suzy MacLean's parents, Liz and Brian Crocker, and their friend Ann Connor Brimer.

MacLean shares three books that the store always keeps stocked on their shelves because they are so beloved by her customers.

Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Town Is by the Sea is a picture book written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith. (Groundwood Books/Steve Farmer)

"Town Is by the Sea is about a boy who lives in a little town by the sea whose father every day goes down beneath the sea and digs for coal. As a bookseller, it's been just so wonderful watching this book fly off the shelves and delight young readers with its beautiful illustrations and often elicit tears in the eyes of older readers. I've had so many adults come up to me, almost hugging the book with tears in their eyes, saying, 'They got it right. This is where I came from. This is Cape Breton.' Town Is by the Sea will remain an important book for this community."

Mi'kmaw Animals by Alan Syliboy

Mi'kmaw Animals is a board book by Alan Syliboy. (Nimbus Publishing)

"I have to tell you about Mi'kmaw Animals. It's a little board book and it is by Alan Syliboy, our local treasure. He does exquisite paintings. This book is full of paintings of animals. There are the names of the animals listed both in English and in Mi'kmaw with the phonetic spelling. It would be a perfect book for anyone who comes to visit Nova Scotia and wants to take a little something home. As the parent of a young child I can tell you that the vibrant illustrations and the high contrast of the book itself really lends itself to enthralling little people."

A is for Adventure by Jan Sebastian LaPierre and Christopher Hoyt

A is for Adventure is a picture alphabet book written by Jan Sebastian LaPierre and illustrated by Christopher Hoyt. (

"A is for Adventure starts with A and ends with Z. Each page is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet, but also an activity that a child could and should do outside, maybe even at a national park. There's a listing of national parks at the back of the book with a map. We're learning so much these days about how the developing child's brain is affected in a positive way by access to nature. I think that's true of adults too, so this is a great book and one that certainly we always try to have on our shelves."

Suzy MacLean's comments have been edited for length and clarity.


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