While browsing the countless titles that line the shelves of the bookstore or library, it’s not always easy to choose a book that your child is going to love. Some children are partial to certain topics like dinosaurs or volcanoes, while others simply want to read the same story over and over again. Sometimes, you may want to share books on a particular theme with your kids, such as pets or the environment, but it can be hard to know where to start looking among the multitude of children’s books available.
But thanks to a new website launched by the Quebec government, selecting books for your child just got a whole lot easier. Quebec Reading Connection is a helpful and informative resource completely dedicated to English-language children’s books. Curated by a team of librarians and educators at the Ministry of Education, the site brings together an impressive collection of quality children’s books from Quebec, Canada and around the world. Its aim is to encourage reading and a love of literature in children, providing a wide range of resources to do so.
The books are displayed on the home page and visitors to the site can browse through an online carousel that gives the feeling of being at the library. The site also offers an excellent search tool, where you can find books by title, author, illustrator, ISBN, country of origin, series, year of publication, keyword and by awards won.
Once you select a book and navigate to its page, you are greeted by a summary of the storyline and other pertinent information, such as the level of the language, the type of illustrations and more. The page includes a list of keywords that indicate the book’s themes, the grade level the book is appropriate for, a list of questions that can be used to discuss the book, as well as suggested activities so that children can gain a deeper understanding of the book. It also lists activities to help children who are learning English as a second language.
At the moment, only elementary-aged titles are included in this online library; however, there are plans to expand into pre-teen and young adult literature in the near future. Parents will find picture books, reference books, poetry, biographies and more. Although the website appears to be more educator-focused, parents should not be deterred. There is a section completely dedicated to parents that provides information about the benefits of reading aloud, ways to help children learn how to read, how to explore books and tips to motivate reluctant readers.
In a day and age when the art of reading seems to have lost its place to the constant chatter of the online world, this virtual library is a welcome site. It is a valuable resource for parents, not only providing them with a wealth of information about books but also equipping them with the means to give their children a reading experience that will enrich lives and maybe turn them into life-long readers.
Make sure to bookmark this site at quebecreadingconnection.ca