Let the children’s imagination soar with books this summer

Every month, we receive a selection of books recommended by the Ottawa Public Library for children. This month, they’ve provided us with audio book suggestions in the spirit of the coming summer months and inevitable travel. These are for the 8-12 year olds in your life. Enjoy! The TD Summer Reading Club is a free program for kids that is hosted at public libraries across Canada every year. Those who register for the club will receive a free poster, an activity book, and stickers with secret codes. These codes will unlock rewards online. This year’s theme is Imagine. And kids can sign up all summer long at 33 branches of Ottawa Public Library!

The children’s fun has just begun when they join the TD Summer Reading Club. There is also a ton of exciting library programs waiting for kids to practice their literacy imaginary power at Ottawa Public Libraries.

Let the children’s imagination soar with these exciting books throughout the summer!

Me and My Dragon

By: David Biedrzycki

Children will like this funny imaginative story of having a bright-red, not-too-scary dragon as a pet.  A boy shares ways to take proper care of it, such as going to the vet for a checkup, and what they’d do together to clear snow from neighbour’s driveway, or how to frighten away bullies. It also contains some comedy cautionary advice “But don’t give them broccoli. It gives them gas. And you don’t want a fire-breathing dragon with gas”.

Mr. Benn-Red Knight

By: David McKee

Mr. Benn searched the shops for something to wear for a fancy dress party. He found a tiny old shop which was packed with strange costumes.  After taking the red armour and going through the fitting room door, he found that he had travelled back in time to a medieval world. There he was as a real red knight, with a white horse, by a castle, along with and a poor dragon who had been banished from the castle by the King because of the matchmaker’s rumour. Mr. Benn soon finds himself on a quest-like endeavor and helps the dragon get back the kingdom to be King’s fire-lighter, and puts the evil matchmaker into the dungeon. When he walks through another door, he’s magically transported back to his real life again.

The story is full of time travel, knights and dragons, with great plots, wonderful characters, and charming narration.

Mitchell’s License

By: Hallie Durand Illustrated by Tony Fucile When three-year-old Mitchell is reluctant to go to bed, his father issues him a driver’s license and he gets to drive his father to bed. He cleans the windshield (his dad's glasses), kicks the tires (his slippers), shifts into reverse by pulling on his father’s ear, and beeps the horn by bonking his nose. But when Mitchell insists the tank is empty and cookies are the fuel, his dad takes control to ensure the road to sleep is safe and smooth, and an incredibly entertaining ride.

The woods

By Hoppe, Paul When a boy can't find his stuffed bunny at bedtime, he heads to the woods which are conveniently right next door to his bedroom. Along his journey he meets a number of strange creatures, from a three-headed dragon to giants, and even a monster. It turns out that they are just as frightened as he is and need a little help of their own. In the end, the creatures are eventually revealed to be the boy’s own stuffed animals scattered on his bedroom floor.

Sharks vs. Train

By: Chris Barton Illustrated by: Tom Lichtenheld Two young boys go to the toy box to select toys for playtime. One chooses a train and the other a shark. So begins a series of hilarious and imaginative contests on a seesaw, in hot air balloons, bowling, shooting baskets, and more. Who will win - shark or train? Well, the answer depends on the contest.  If it’s underwater, the shark will surely triumph. But who will win roasting marshmallows? The train will be winner every time. Neither the shark nor the train are very good at playing hide and seek or playing video games. "Sure would help if we had thumbs" one of them says. Just when the competitors can't bear it any longer,  Mom calls out, “boys, lunch!” it’s time to for a little break… until next time.

Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit

By Chris  Van Dusen, Randy likes space, robots, and baseball. But he is not very good at baseball at all. One night he sees a fireball that is headed right for his town! No one believes his warnings, so he utilizes all his science and mathematical skills to build a giant robot to hit the fireball back into space and saved his own town and the world.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

By: William Steig

One rainy day, Sylvester the donkey finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But in a moment of fright caused by a lion, he asks his magic pebble to turn him into a rock. The trouble is, now he can’t hold the pebble to wish himself back to normal again. This is a joyful story about a little monkey finally being reunited with his loving family and being changed back from rock to his own donkey self. The winner of the 1970 Caldecott Medal is a modern classic beloved by children everywhere.

Harold and the Purple Crayon

By: Crockett Johnson One night after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight. But there wasn’t any moon. So he uses his purple crayon to draw a moon. Then he draws a path, and then he sketches a boat, and then he finds himself in deep water! This story shows just how far your imagination can take you.


By Rossell, Judith Oliver likes to ask many questions. So when his mother cannot explain the gurgling in the tub drain, he builds a cardboard box submarine, goes down the drain to investigate what’s going on there. He finds a cruise ship filled with vacationing penguins that can fly. Oliver’s imaginary adventures finally take him back home where he decides to build a jet pack.

Winnie in Space

Thomas, Valerie Three, two, one ... whoosh! Winnie (The witch) and Wilbur (the cat) are on an amazing journey to zoom into outer space! Dodging satellites, shooting stars, and flying saucers, Winnie soon finds a lovely little planet for their picnic. But when some space rabbits nibble their magical rocket away, Winnie needs a wand-full of magic to save the day!

On My Way to the Bath

By Maizes, Sarah Baths are boring. Anything is more fun than a bath. That’s why on her way to the bath. Livi is a snake! Slinking and sliding. Or she’s a gymnast. See her perfect cartwheel? Now she’s a jungle cat, stalking her prey. The only thing Livi isn’t is in the bath … yet. Once Livi gets into the tub, she doesn’t want to get out. She suddenly sees that baths aren’t so boring after all: “I’m a shark …”

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