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August 5, 2017

A Chair to Curl Up In – Children’s Reading Place Readers in Residence – Bob and Jan McInnis

From my chair, I get to observe families sharing the joy of reading and join in the experience when the time is right. Here are some ideas I am thinking about from the last two weeks at the Children’s Reading Place.

In the heat and sunshine of summer our children and grandchildren are on the move from early morning until they fall into bed for a restful sleep. Taking time over a book allows them to slow down for a few moments and enjoy both the shared story and the acknowledgment of their appreciation and love for each other.  In this light,  reading becomes a nurturing activity that will bring a child and parent closer together.

When you spend time reading to and with your toddlers, they find new ways and words to express their thoughts and feelings. The relationships that play themselves out in the pages of the book become models for young children to emulate. That’s why selecting and sharing quality, age appropriate books becomes so important.

I watched a mom, curled up on the floor with her son, stop and explain the meaning of a word in the story they were sharing. His eyes focused on her face as she said the word, gave him a simple definition, and then said the word again, His eyes sparkled and he repeated the word, quietly at first and then out loud. Mom smiled and took him back to the story. Later I watched them leave, with a new book, holding hands and imagined how her son would remember his morning.

Two boys, brothers I think, were tucked in the cubby in the Shel Silverstein room. The older boy, about 7 years-old was reading to his younger brother, maybe 5 years-old, from a Roald Dahl book. It was a pretty awesome moment but I was taken by the way the older brother demonstrated reading to his younger sibling. His little finger trailed across the page from left to right. From one edge of the page to the other and repeat. I wondered when I learned and who taught me this important and basic skill of how to read a book. It was pretty cool, that the teacher and student were brothers.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader” – Margaret Fuller



Birdies for Kids - Full Colour Words

July 19, 2017

Welcome to Summer Giving!

Calgary Reads is excited to be part of Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink. Donate today and your donation will be matched up to 50%!


Until September 3, 2017, make your donation through Birdies for Kids and Calgary Reads will receive 100% of your contribution plus the matching gift.

Funds will be directed to the Children’s Reading Place, our newest initiative dedicated to supporting children’s literacy by making books and reading accessible to all children. Help us stock the shelves this summer!


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July 17, 2017

A Chair to Curl Up In – Children’s Reading Place Readers in Residence – Bob and Jan McInnis

The Friendly Giant is a popular Canadian children’s television program that aired on CBC Television from September 1958 through to March 1985.  In the opening of the show, the Friendly Giant issued an invitation for children to join him in the safety of his home (which happened to be a castle) with the line ” a chair for two more to curl up in”. It was a simpler time; a time when families had time to share lives together. That is what we are offering at the Calgary Reads Children’s Reading House. We trust that as parents and children read together in one of our chairs, they will be encouraged to find a place in their homes to learn, laugh and love while curled up with a great book.

Jan and I have been provided with the opportunity, as Readers in Residence, to share our love of reading with children and their parents and grandparents. We get to read with families, encourage parents to read with their kids, and watch the magic that happens when two or more curl up with a great book.

Over the next months, we will watch for moments where laughter erupts, where love is in the air and where simple, important lessons are learned that we can pass on through these posts.

So far the experience has confirmed that when a dad and his son, or a grandma and her granddaughter, or two 10 year-old girls find a comfortable spot with a great book laughter, love and learning finds them.

I picked up Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens” at the beginning of the month and found it so interesting and challenging that I found a copy of his new book ” Homo Deus” which has lead me on an adventure of exploring the work of three other controversial thinkers.

What are you reading? Have you found any great books that have sent you on an expedition of discovery this summer? Let us know what you are enjoying so we can share it with supporters and visitors.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”