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Using Picture Books to Build Positive Reader Identities

Picture books have the power to ignite our imaginations and allow us to travel to worlds we never knew existed. Carefully selecting picture books with your child that positively reflect their unique lived experiences, background, history and culture, allow children to see themselves in the texts and promotes self-love and a positive sense of identity. When children read and listen to picture books that are of interest and that connect with their daily lives, they become deeply engaged in thinking and learning and become more motivated to read. Picture books provide opportunities to have deep conversations around the big ideas in the book and also provide opportunities to build foundational reading skills. 

Please see below for more information on how to access a variety of texts to use with your child. 

TDSB Virtual Library
There are many books and resources supporting students throughout their K-12 reading journey in the TDSB Virtual Library. Many of these include features like read-aloud, highlighting, and animation to support engagement with the text and story. Learn more about the Virtual Library and its early reading resources here:  


These guides highlight books and resources on the TDSB Virtual Library for K-2 Learners and include Tip Sheets to help you use them. The Tumblebook Library and Pebblego are great starting points for English early readers.  Tumble Biblioenfants and Crabtree are good for French readers. Selected external resources are also curated here.

  • Passwords for TDSB Virtual Library Resources

Many resources on the Virtual Library are licenced by the TDSB for students and families. Some of these may require passwords. Use the same username and password that your child uses to log on to their online classroom to access the password document. If you need help accessing passwords, your child’s teacher or teacher-librarian will be able to help you. 


TDSB School Libraries and Teacher-Librarians

Students may learn in and borrow books from their school library as part of their weekly program.  Reading and discussing the books they borrow, and having conversations about their reading preferences, choices and experiences in the school library are all ways to build lifelong literacy skills. If you have questions about the school library program, speak with your school’s teacher-librarian. 

Toronto Public Library

Visit your local public library branch to borrow books or participate in programs supporting literacy development.  A library card from the Public Library is free and provides access to books, eBooks, programs and more.  Some Toronto Public Library services supporting reading development include: 

Toronto Public Library Ready for Reading (ages 0-5) and TPL Kids (ages 6-11)

Explore these Toronto Public Library sites for reading suggestions, find information and access Toronto Public Library programs for children. 

My Visit to Toronto Public Library Social Story
This social story supports children who may feel anxious about visiting the Public Library.

Leading to Reading 
This free program for children who are reading and writing below their grade level  is open to children in Grades 1 to 6 who can communicate in English. Children meet volunteers at the library once a week for a maximum of an hour where they receive one-to-one help and encouragement with their reading and writing skills.

Dial a Story 
Kids and their families can listen to a story by phone any time of day for FREE by calling the library's Dial-A-Story service. Available in 16 languages.

Summer Reading Club 
This fun, yearly reading program for kids occurs both in public libraries and online.  

Accessible Books 
Access books in a wide range of accessible formats with your public library card. 

Other Resources

Bibliovideo StorytimeThis Youtube channel from the Canadian Children’s Book centre includes many books read aloud by authors.