Book List Theme 4

Beautiful British Columbia

Prepared by Mehjabeen Ali and Stephanie Hong, Surrey Libraries

hp-green Available as an Audiobook hp-orange Available at NNELS* hp-blue Available at CELA*

* NNELS and CELA provide access to audiobooks for people with perceptual or print disabilities.


Ages 3-5

Explorers of the Wild
by Cale Atkinson
Written and illustrated by Kelowna-based author Cale Atkinson, Explorers of the Wild is a sweet, heartfelt adventure story of a young boy who explores nature while making an unlikely friend. A great read-aloud with a twist of humour and stunning visuals, the lush forests, wide mountains, and charming animals are all reminiscent of B.C.’s natural surroundings.
Animals of the Salish Sea: Coast Salish First Nations and Native Art
by Melaney Gleeson-Lyall
A great fact book that will sure get little ones excited and curious about the various animals found in Coast Salish First Nations traditions. It features bright and colourful artwork from a variety of artists with a brief description of what these animals symbolize in Coast Salish culture as well as information facts under a fun “Did you know?” section.
West Coast Wild
by Deborah Hodge
An ABC book about all the natural wonders of the Pacific west coast and how everything is all connected. It is sure to capture imaginations and inspire young readers to learn more about what the wild has to offer. While slightly on the advanced side, it is a great opportunity to help build a little reader’s vocabulary with the help of some gorgeous artwork illustrating the beauty of British Columbia.
Sharing Our World: Animals of the Native Northwest Coast
by Garfinkel Publications
This wonderful information book provides an insightful glance into the amazing creatures found in the Pacific Northwest. The beautiful and striking illustrations introduce children to aboriginal artwork, as well as the importance of the connections of the natural world to First Nations storytelling and culture.
In the Red Canoe
by Leslie A. Davidson
British Columbian author Leslie A. Davidson provides readers with a touching story about a canoe trip a young girl and her grandfather embark on and all the wonderful things they see. From the “loon’s wild call” and the beavers lodge, the natural surroundings become the focal point for connection and this heartfelt story about intergenerational family bonding.
British Columbia Lullaby
by P.L. McCarron and Joy Steuerwald
A deeply charming lullaby that highlights all of the natural beauty that British Columbia has to offer. From the vast ocean to the high mountains, this exquisitely illustrated book and perfect read aloud provides a sense of familiarity through the friendly critters and recognizable sites/landmarks. Furthermore, it captures one’s love for the province with the touching refrain of “and my heart belongs to you”.
S is for Salmon: A Pacific Northwest Alphabet
by Hannah Viano
This simple ABC reader with bold and contrasting illustrations is a great way to introduce what nature has to offer out in the Pacific Northwest. While various animals and sea creatures are featured, the book also takes the time to introduce children to some of the great plants and trees that can be found right here in British Columbia like the great Douglas Fir.

Ages 6-8

British Columbia: The Best Place on Earth (My Canada series)
by My Canada
Colourful photographs and descriptions of many topics are packed into this factual book for young readers to enjoy.
Flood Warning
by Jaqueline Pearce
Tom and his friend Peggy love to play with Tom’s dog Amos in the wide open countryside of the 1940s. Living on dairy farms, he helps his parents with feeding and milking the cows. But what will Tom do when the nearby Fraser River starts rising and brown muddy water could flow into their farming community’s houses and barns? The dairy cows are scared. Can he help save them?
The Two Sisters
by E. Pauline Johnson
This Coast Salish legend about an iconic landmark is retold vividly, accompanied with beautiful imagery of the province’s Pacific coast. Capturing themes such as peace, celebrating Indigenous traditions, and the role of women in society, the book also includes a fuller retelling of the legend and helpful learning resources about this Pacific Northwest region.
Weirdly Wonderful A to Z: Exotic Aquatic Creatures from the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada
by Dave Stevens  
An alphabet book with big and colourful illustrations of West Coast sea life. Learn about these aquatic creatures in a book that’s fun, entertaining and educational.
A Whale Tale
by Frieda Wishinsky
It’s 1778 on the West Coast. In this eighth book of the Canadian Flyer Adventure series, Matt and Emily’s magical sled has taken them to the Nootka region on the West Coast. It’s 1778 and a famous explorer has also come to BC’s shores. Canoes and whales are part of their adventures in this book.

Ages 9-12

Far West: The Story of British Columbia
by Daniel Francis
Full of maps, descriptions of BC’s habitats and historical pictures, this book spans both the province’s history and development. Don’t forget to read about places, people, natural resources and animals through “pop up” text boxes along the way.
S is for Spirit Bear: A British Columbia Alphabet
by G. Gregory Roberts
People, places, animals and landmarks are presented through each letter of the alphabet. In rhyming short verses, meet Aboriginal peoples, learn about the Gold Rush, travel to the Queen Charlotte Islands and finish with a visit to Zeballos in the Nootka Sound. Side margins on each page present more information on each topic.
People of the Land: Legends of the Four Host First Nations
by Johnny Abraham, Glenn George and Aaron Nelson Moody
Sacred legends and traditions passed through time are included in this anthology of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations stories and legends. A beautiful celebration of the four host First Nations for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest
by Caitlyn Vernon
Packed with eco-stories, photographs and many perspectives including those of Indigenous communities’ about this vast rainforest, this book provides young readers with an appreciation of one of BC’s most amazing regions. From its sea life and water bodies, to its ecosystems, to discussions on conservation, this is a fascinating book.
Cloudwalker
by Roy Henry Vicker
Swans, cedar trees, and northern BC lakes form the backdrop to this adaptation of a traditional legend.  When a Gitxsan hunter’s plans to capture the swans to feed his people fails, he becomes the Cloudwalker. Legend has it that three rivers, including the Skeena or Ksien river were formed as a result of this transformation.