Happy New Year! What to watch for in 2018

Happy new year everyone! We’re getting ready to release three new resources for early childhood education. Two new books to help kids learn the alphabet, and a third addition to our One Story a Day collection that we hope will inspire parents and their children to read together every day.

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The world of Super Hammy and friends is still growing! The original collection, published last spring, is now available in French. The new Super Hammy ABC activity book, like the ABC poster, provides a handy visual resource for kids while they learn their letters.

Both the French and English collections of Super Hammy – My First Reading Series are on sale now!




hami and psoter


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Next, let me introduce you to The Alphabet Family. Mr. and Mrs. Alphabet have 26 wonderful children and every one of them, from Adam to Zoe, is special and unique in his or her own way. Madia loves math and wants to visit the moon. Raoul loves running and listening to the radio. Quinn and Utah are inseparable, and once they met the Queen! Read the book aloud while matching the illustrations to keywords in the text.

One Story a Day for Beginners is our third collection of stories from all walks of life and for every occasion. This mix of facts, fables, and heartwarming narratives will inspire curiosity about the world and bring you closer as a family every day.

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The publication dates are still to be determined. All the best for 2018!

“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can. I wish you Happy New Year and diary full of best stories ever written in your life.”
~Lao Tzu


New Reviews for Three Little Piggy Banks and Super Hammy – My First Reading Series

It’s been a year since the publication of Three Little Piggy Banks, the financial literacy story book that teaches an easy way to manage money at any age. The author, Pamela George, has become recognized as a local authority on financial wellness! She was featured in a CBC Ottawa special, the Big Owe, putting Canada’s addiction to credit cards in the spotlight. She is also hosting workshops to share the wealth of her experience as a credit counsellor who has seen it all. Here is another great review of Three Little Piggy Banks:


Looking for an easy way to teach kids about money? 

Our most recent publication is Super Hammy – My First Reading Series, by Oksanna Crawley, a former Kindergarten and Reading Recovery teacher. This collection of levelled readers has now been approved by Fountas & Pinnell! Fifteen books in three levels of difficulty will help struggling or first time readers grow accustomed to sentence structure and common words. The set comes with an audiobook CD voiced by the author/illustrator’s daughter, a professional voice actor. See what teachers are saying about Super Hammy:



2 - posterLooking for more resources to help young readers? The Super Hammy alphabet poster is a great tool for kids who are learning to recognize and write the letters of the alphabet. The new poster features more funny and original artwork by Oksanna Crawley to give kids a visual memory anchor for the sound of each letter.


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The entire series has recently been translated into French ! Super Hami is available for pre-order today and will begin shipping in December.


Do you have feedback about any of DC Canada’s books? We would love to hear from you! Write to us at info@dc-canada.ca, follow us on Facebook, or tweet to us on Twitter!

Praise for Three Little Piggy Banks, a Financial Literacy Story Book

Below is a rave review of Three Little Piggy Banks by Pamela George. The review comes from a librarian, Catherine Bellamy, and is published in the Resource Link newsletter:

As a librarian, I haven’t often come across books that teach financial literacy to kids, so when I read Three Little Piggy Banks, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Financial literacy can seem intimidating, even for adults who have been paying bills and other expenses for years and years. It seems almost impossible to unpack such a mature subject for the youngest of children, but author Pamela George deftly simplifies the subject for young children. The book provides a very basic understanding of money: saving it, sharing it, and spending it. In the book, five-year old twins, Ella and Andy, are taught about saving money by their parents, who buy them each three piggy banks for their birthday. One piggy bank is for saving, one piggy bank is for sharing, and one is for spending.

In this book, children are shown how to be fiscally responsible in the simplest way. Each week, the children receive an allowance and they must decide how much to put in each bank. The kids each want to buy something big: Ella wants a camera and Andy wants a bicycle. Their parents guide them to getting what they want by setting goals, setting aside money every week, calculating how long it will take to save up enough money, all the while setting aside some of their allowance for sharing with others and for savings. Even though the book is about financial literacy, it also teaches about having compassion for others less fortunate, which is why one of the piggy banks the children receive is for sharing.

The note to parents and teachers by the author at the beginning of the book outlines some of the goals the author hopes the book will accomplish. Among these goals are to teach delayed gratification, keeping track of expenses, living within out means, and separating spending and saving. There is even an exercise that parents can do with kids, such as buying or making piggy banks and decorating them with children (modeled after the story). There is even a worksheet at the end of the book to help kids create financial goals and keep track of how much they are saving, spending, and sharing. This is an excellent book to help parents and educators teach children about financial literacy and why it is so important.

Thematic Links: Financial Literacy; Being Responsible with Money; Spending; Sharing; Saving; Delayed Gratification; Setting Goals; Allowance; Learning Skills

By Catherine Bellamy

Pamela George is giving a free workshop in Ottawa on Nov. 21st where she will be happy to answer questions about personal finance. Sign up today!  https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/event/three-little-piggy-banks-teaching-financial-literacy-children

finlit workshop info

Spark the Natural Curiosity of Kids with ‘Into Math with Imagination’

Mathematics is defined as “a boring subject that has nothing to do with real life and is developed just to torture every student for eleven years of school.” *

Just kidding! Math can be as fun and imaginative as any other subject in school. Galileo Galilei described mathematics as the language of the universe, which is very elegant but he forgot to mention that it helps us do cool stuff! Math is all around us every day. How can we help students who are reluctant to embrace this message and seem anxious learning the material?

To help students who struggle or lack motivation in mathematics educators have turned to the discovery method as a support or alternative to rote learning of arithmetic. Discovery learning exercises give students the benefit of seeing mathematical concepts applied directly to their favourite subjects and activities. These exercises use arithmetic to develop the underlying skills that support competency in math, especially logical reasoning and the ability to discuss ideas.


A good mathematical education begins with arithmetic, but the objective of discovery math is to prepare students for real world experiences by mastering the skill of solving problems. This is the reasoning behind Yasmina Roberts’ discovery learning series: Into Math with Imagination. These three storybooks combine mathematics, fiction, and non-fiction to give kids a chance to explore mathematical concepts in different settings. Readers will discover math in these stories the way they encounter it in real life, and hints embedded in the story will guide them toward the correct manner of solving the problem.

Antventures, the first in the series, is for children in Grade 1. The story follows Limpo, a young ant who decides to skip school and observe the adult bugs working in his community. Already, it doesn’t sound like your typical math book!


Mystery in the Sea is for students in Grade 3 and up. Oct is a fastidious young octopus who enjoys collecting and exploring. He’s lived his entire life on the 4th layer of the coral reef, or the 7th depending on whether you count from the top or bottom. This time he’s taking on the mystery of the missing Blue Diamond, which was stolen from Queen Snake.

Logic Land is also for students in Grade 3, but you’ll find more than math to puzzle you here. Logic Land is a world of wizards who would rather use math than magic! Yes, the power of human logic is their go-to method for solving problems.



Yasmina Roberts has a Master’s degree in mathematics from the University oToronto and has taught math in both public and private schools. Her love of puzzles is second only to her love of the natural world, and she hopes to pass on this joy through her series, Into Math with Imagination.







*The preface to Logic Land, by Yasmina Roberts

Playwise Wins 2017 Game of the Year Award from Creative Child Magazine

Congratulations to George Ghanotakis and the team at Institute Philos! Playwise, the Game of Wisdom, has won Creative Child Magazine’s Game of the Year Award!

Playwise is so much more than a fun game. It provides the framework for productive conversations that foster critical thinking abilities, moral reasoning, empathy, and dialog skills in children ages 6 and up! It also develops executive function skills such as flexibility in entertaining multiple perspectives, reflection, problem solving, and attentiveness to others. It’s a character building tool that improves student performance in every subject across the curriculum.

Here’s how to play:

Playwise is a game of discussion. Players take turns asking a philosophical question from one of the five categories and reward the best answer with the question card and a laurel card. The winner is the first to collect 10 laurels and a question card from each category.  The more original and creative your answer, the more likely you are to win! You can also win bonus laurels by building on the ideas of your fellow players. Draw comparisons between one idea and another or explore the implications of your opponent’s argument to highlight its strengths and weaknesses. It may lead to a fantastic new insight! It may also lead to bed sheet togas.

George Ghanotakis is working to establish his own Canada-wide tournament of philosophical, democratic discussion inspired by the National High School Ethics Bowl and Philosophy Slam taking place in the United States. He’s calling it the Playwise Olympiads in celebration of the classical tradition of education.  We’re currently looking for schools (elementary, junior high, middle school, and secondary) who are interested in hosting the first event in 2018! For more information, or to volunteer, feel free to contact us any time at info@dc-canada.ca or see the Institute Philos website.


Canada Learning Code Week

From June 1 to 8, more than 10,000 kids across Canada will take part in Canada Learning Code Week, an educational program that combines history and literature with a simple programming tool called Scratch.  These are beginner lessons for kids who want to learn the basics of computer programming. No experience necessary!

We’re very proud to be partnered with Canada Learning Code this year. Students will be using Scratch to create a trivia game based on Bario Leblieux from Dustin Milligan’s story series the Charter for Children.


If you’re new to the series, Bario Leblieux aims to help children understand the right to minority language education, which is guaranteed by section 23 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The purpose of section 23 is to preserve and promote French and English, the two official languages of Canada, in provinces where it is not spoken by the majority of the population.  Kids will learn a little history, test their language skills, and learn some basic programming that they can apply to create… just about anything!

Check out the Canada Learning Code website to find a class near you!

The Little Big Thinker Contest!

Put your thinking caps on kiddos! Students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 can win books and games for the classroom in this year’s Little Big Thinker Contest by answering one of the following four questions and sending it to us before May 15th:

  1. Can you imagine what would happen if no one went to school?
  2. Imagine a tree could tell you something. What would that be?
  3. Do you think the world would be a better place if everyone looked the same?
  4. Imagine you’re in a world where no one uses money. What would happen?

Can you imagine what would happen if no one went to school? I bet you can and do very often! How would life change, and where would you be during the day? Would you have different friends? How would you learn, or would you play all day?

Imagine a tree could tell you something. What would that be? Trees can live to be a hundred, even a thousand years old! What would they be thinking about all that time? They must have a story to tell.

Do you think the world would be a better place if everyone looked the same? How would it change things, or not? What would we look like?

Imagine you’re in a world where no one uses money. What would happen? How would we get the things we need if we cannot make or grow them ourselves? What a different world it would be!


The Little Big Thinker Contest is based on the Little Book of Questions series and the parlor game Playwise by Dr.  George Ghanotakis, founder of the Canadian Institute of Philosophy for Children.  Dr. Ghanotakis has developed a line of books and games for the classroom to facilitate the development and assessment of critical thinking ability in elementary students. The practice of answering hypothetical questions challenges students to imagine and engage with new or different points of view. Students will develop their ability to share ideas, challenge their own perceptions and the perceptions of others, and evaluate their own reasoning.

Ask the class to analyse these questions and investigate the possible outcomes of these four hypothetical situations. They may choose to answer in any format that suits their strengths and personal style. If they’re better speakers than writers, please feel free to record their answer. If a student is shy but loves to draw, submit a picture of his or her answer with an explanation of what is being shown.

Encourage the class to imagine the outcome of their decisions and explain their reasoning. Give them time to develop and refine their answers to show them off in the best light.
Send them to info@dc-canada.ca, or mail them to us at:

DC Canada Education Publishing
180 Metcalfe Street, Suite 204
Ottawa, ON.
K2P 1P5

You can answer these questions in any format you prefer so long as the answer is clear. There are no wrong answers! Write a story based on what you think of the question, or draw a picture and explain what is being shown. Pair up with a classmate if you can work better together, or work as a group to develop your ideas and submit the answer alone. We can’t wait to hear what you think! Submissions are due by May 15th and the contest winners will be announced on May 31st. Contact Susanne at DC Canada if you would like to host a classroom tournament of Playwise! Watch our Facebook page for more information.