Toronto Public Library announces First & Best booklist 2008

    Because the first books you share with your child should also be the best

    TORONTO, Nov. 6 /CNW/ - Toronto Public Library is pleased to announce
today its second annual First & Best booklist: a selection of the best of 2008
Canadian children's books for children from birth to five.
    "As the largest public library in Canada, we see it as part of our role
to promote library service to the youngest members of our community, and to
also champion and provide discerning advice on Canadian children's literature
to Canadian parents and caregivers," says Ken Setterington, Child and Youth
Advocate for Library Services at Toronto Public Library.
    "We recommend books on our First & Best list as the best of the year for
building reading readiness in children five and under."

    First & Best '08:

    A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker. Illus. Kady MacDonald Denton.
    Candlewick Press.

    A Pocket Can Have a Treasure in It by Kathy Stinson.
    Illus. Deirdre Betteridge. Annick Press.

    Chicken, Pig, Cow by Ruth Ohi, author/illus. Annick Press.

    It's Moving Day by Pamela Hickman. Illus. Geraldo Valério.
    Kids Can Press.

    Little Panda by Renata Liwska, author/illus. Houghton Mifflin Company.

    One Watermelon Seed by Celia Barker Lottridge. Illus. Karen Patkau.
    Fitzhenry & Whiteside

    Ready for Winter (and Spring, Summer, Autumn), by Marthe Jocelyn,
    author/illus. Tundra Books. (boardbook set of 4, by season)

    The Sweetest One of All by Jean Little. Illus. Marisol Sarrazin.
    Scholastic Canada Ltd.

    Thing-Thing by Cary Fagan. Illus. Nicolas Debon. Tundra Books.

    Time is When by Beth Gleick. Illus. Marthe Jocelyn. Tundra Books.

    The list is available on the library's website, and all titles on the
    list can be borrowed from the library.

    The First & Best list is part of Toronto Public Library's Ready for
Reading program, an approach to library services for children from birth to
five years that helps parents and caregivers build early literacy skills in
their children through fun, everyday activities at home and at the library.
The library issued its inaugural First & Best list in 2007 and was pleased,
says Setterington, that parents and caregivers found it useful.
    Pre-reading skills highlighted by Ready for Reading are: print motivation
(a positive attitude toward books and reading); phonological awareness (the
ability to hear the smaller sounds in words); vocabulary; narrative skills
(the ability to understand and tell stories); print awareness (noticing print
and understanding its usefulness); and letter knowledge.
    This announcement follows the October 28 opening of the library's second
KidsStop, an interactive early literacy centre for children and their parents
and caregivers in the library's recently renovated Dufferin/St. Clair Branch.
A visual and playful delight, this KidsStop has a fairytale Enchanted Forest
theme inspired by historic Doris McCarthy murals circling the room and
features a whimsical dragon sculpture, inspired by Robert Munsch's classic
fairy tale, The Paper Bag Princess, illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
    "I'm delighted to celebrate our First & Best list and the opening of our
latest KidsStop," says Setterington, "just one week apart. Both efforts
clearly demonstrate the library's commitment to children and their families
and caregivers."
    Setterington is a children's author and storyteller as well as frequent
critic of children's literature. In 2003, he co-authored A Guide to Canadian
Children's Books in English with Deirdre Baker in 2003.

    Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library
system. Every year, more than 16 million people visit our 99 branches and
borrow more than 29 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library,
visit our website at or call Answerline at

For further information:

For further information: To interview Ken Setterington about the First &
Best list, or to visit to the Dufferin/St. Clair Kidstop please call or email:
Media Contact: Lillian Salmon, Communications Officer, (416) 397-5936,

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