Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre

So many books, so little time! Canadian Books Galore!

We asked local librarians to recommend some Canadian picture books for our series of staged readings, Snippets of Canada 150. And boy, did we get some wonderful ideas – more than 50 books in all! We loved reading them, and had a hard time choosing which ones to include in our presentation. We wanted books that were funny, innovative, dramatic, not too long and, of course, Canadian. We also wanted to leave room in the presentation for songs, storytelling, and audience participation, so in the end, we couldn’t use them all. We hope our audiences will enjoy the ones we did chose, maybe borrow them from the library and read them again – and then “check out” some of the others!

Here’s the complete list of suggested authors, sorted by categories. Many authors have written several books, and they’re all available at the Ottawa Public Library!

Cute and funny books about animals

Nicholas Oldman, Jon Klassen, Melanie Watt, Jeremy Tankard, Catherine Rayner, Brenda Silsbe

First Nation stories

David Bouchard, Michael Kusugak, Susan Avingaq, Danielle Daniel, David Robertson, Rachel & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley

Canadian scenery

Phyllis Root, Gary Paulsen, Per Henrik Gurth, Cora Taylor

Multicultural authors

Ruth Ohi, Rukhsana Khan, Aubrey Davis

Famous Canadian authors

Robert Munsch, Roch Carrier, Jean Little, Paulette Bougeois, Linda Bailey, Phoebe Gilman Barbara Reid Marie-Louise Gay

Other Canadian authors – less famous but no less interesting!

Lindsay Mattick, Ashley Spires, Annika Dunk Lee, Allan Morgan, François Tardif, Réjean, Edith Fowke

Librarians also had some music suggestions

Raffi, Sharon Lois & Bram, Carmen Campagne, Gordon Lightfoot, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Wade Hemsworth

And the books we chose? Well, here are four of our favourites:

Ernest, by Catherine Rayner

I Want my Hat Back, by Jon Klassen

A Promise is a Promise, by Michael Kusugak

Grumpy Bird, by Jeremy Tankard

We can hardly wait to share these readings at a library near you July 4–19, 2017!

Read all about Snippets of Canada 150 here. It’s part of AOE Arts Council’s Neighbourhood Arts 150.


What a great group to work with!

I met the story tellers Amanda and Wilf and together with them and 4 other participants we listened to the stories and formed teams to work in. I had set out a whole box of materials with which to work and we dove right in and created characters and backdrops. It can be a challenging task to work with someone else’s story, but the participants were fast to grasp the concept of animation. All they needed was some guidance, some inspiration on how to animate a scene and off they went. We even had people take materials home to work on some characters. One participant made a wired puppet with movable limbs!

Over the weeks teams were rebuilt, ideas changed, we had some good laughs together and git was wonderful to see the movie come together. Truly a great experience for me and the participants. Two of them will go on to make movies, one music video is in the works, and the other participant is helping me and a fellow Ottawa based film maker finish an animation project.

-Tina Le Moine