Great Books For Studying Canadian Geography in the Elementary Years

Are you looking for some great books to introduce the geography of Canada or to add onto an existing study? Here is a list of some of the best Canadian geography books for elementary children from preschool through grade 7. 

An image showing different covers of books for studying Canadian Geography in the Elementary Years.

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Canadian Geography Books – Atlases and Mapping: 

Atlases are books filled with maps and charts. They are a very useful resource. Every family should have one! The below Canadian-themed mapping book is also really neat because it teaches about mapping but has a special Canadian focus! 

My Canada: An Illustrated Atlas
Age Range: JK – Gr. 2
A simple, colourful atlas for our youngest students! 

The essential bestselling kids’ map book of Canada, perfect for ages 4 to 8

This picture book atlas is a whimsical and informative introduction to Canada, from sea to sea to sea. Each province and territory is featured on its own spread, with icons and labels indicating the capital city, other major cities, key lakes and rivers, iconic landmarks, animals, and plants, significant national and provincial parks, and more.

Inspired by the illustrator’s map of PEI, a longtime gift shop bestseller, each map is lively and colourful with plenty of details to discover. Simple labels make key places and landmarks easily searchable for further research. My Canada also includes basic introductory information about the country, showing respect for the land’s Indigenous history. Revised and updated with expert input in 2020, this book is a current and kid-friendly portrayal of our diverse and abundant country. Also available in French.

Scholastic Children’s Atlas of Canada
Age Range: K-Gr. 4

My home, my province, my country  Canada! Detailed maps introduce young children to the geography, history and culture of Canada. Revised and updated.

Enrich and expand every young child’s view of the geography, history and culture of Canada! This bright and colourful beginner’s atlas presents both a topographical map and a political map of each Canadian province and territory. The attractive spreads include informative text, photographs and illustrations of interest to children. They can locate mountains, lakes and rivers, and their own city, town or region. They can discover our natural resources and what people do for work and fun all across Canada. Designed to complement primary social studies curricula, the atlas begins with map concepts and skills, a map of the world and a map of Canada, and ends with a gazetteer. Also included are historical maps of Canada that provide children with a sense of how Canada has changed from the time of native peoples through the waves of immigration. This exciting atlas is an ideal reference for children at home and in the classroom.

Updates include population data, place names and names for Indigenous groups.

Collins Canadian Student Atlas
Age Range: Gr. 5-9
A great atlas for kids who have outgrown the Scholastic Children’s Atlas of Canada. 

This introductory atlas for secondary school students aged 11-14 is designed to help students develop map, atlas and data handling skills. The content adheres closely to the requirements of the Curriculum and incorporates results of classroom testing.

Its clear and accessible layout will motivate pupils of all abilities. An easy to follow introductory ‘map and atlas skills’ section, useful for both teacher and pupil, is followed by clear, easy to read reference maps presented with locator maps, fact boxes and flags, descriptive text, detailed map keys and photos.

Detailed reference and thematic mapping of Canada and its provinces provide perfect support material for social science subjects studies at secondary level.

Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids
Laura Peetoom and Paul Heersink
Age Range: Gr. 2 – 4
A way to study maps (scale, symbols, directions, etc) with a special focus on Canada 

Where in the world are you? Learn to read, understand and create maps.

Maps are pictures of places. They can be printed on paper or shown on a screen. A map shows you how to get around in a place that is unfamiliar. A map can even tell you new things about a place you know.

What is a map, anyway? How do they work? Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids will walk kids through elements of a map. By discussing concepts such as scale, symbols, and colour, they’ll see how maps work and how to read them. Basic principles of navigation explain how early explorers and navigators were able to chart the world, and Canada in particular. A special section on David Thompson highlights the achievements of this great Canadian cartographer.

Books About Canada Overall: 

When studying about Canada, it’s helpful to have a variety of books that teach about our country overall. These make great books to leave around the house (Ever heard of strewing? Leave neat resources around where kids are sure to find them and watch them be drawn into learning without realising it!) Also included art some great books to have on hand for the younger preschool and kindergarten ages! 

M Is For Maple: A Canadian Alphabet 
Michael Ulmer
Age Range: JK – Gr.1
An alphabet book about Canada’s places, landscapes, people, history, and culture. Could be used as a jumping off point with older children. 

Whether sharing the stories of Anne of Green Gables and Terry Fox, or revealing Canada’s importance in growing grain that feeds the world, “M is for Maple” is a shining tribute to Canada. From British Columbia to Newfoundland, this Canadian alphabet book shares our nation’s symbols, history, people and culture. In clever rhymes and informative text, author Mike Ulmer shares the unique details of Canada. Illustrator Melanie Rose has captured the beauty and splendor of Canada, from the Northern Lights to brave Mounties and the beautiful cities of Toronto, Victoria, and Quebec. Destined to become a national classic, “M is for Maple” is a treasure for Canadians young and old.

Carson Crosses Canada
Linda Bailey
Age Range: JK – Gr. 3
A cross-country road trip adventure. 

From the author of If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur comes a funny and sweet cross-country roadtrip adventure with a sassy septuagenarian and her quirky canine.

Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they’re setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson’s favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky — and grasshoppers! — in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie — and a surprise for Carson!

O Canada
Author: Ted Harrison
Age Range: JK – Gr.3
An art journey across Canada by artist Ted Harrison. Stunning artwork!! 

“O Canada” was first heard in 1880, but it was not until 100 years later that it became Canada’s official national anthem. In this, the first illustrated edition of “O Canada,” acclaimed Canadian painter Ted Harrison takes us on a spectacular journey across Canada, “from east to western sea.” Through his joyous eye, Canada is revealed as a land of singular beauty.

Are We There Yet? A Journey across Canada
Author: Alister Mathieson
Age Range: Gr. 1 – 3
A family road trip adventure. 

How many times have you listened to young children travelling in the car tiringly say Are We There Yet? I am sure on family road trip across Canada it would be muttered many times. Yes, this book has young seven-year old Lizzy saying it a few times, but it is all part of her youthful exuberance and her slightly impatient character. Lizzy and her family from St Johns, Newfoundland, take a family camping trip across Canada.

Infused with fun, majestic landscapes and absorbing facts the book’s engaging narrative and brisk pace will capture young imaginations in this grand trek across Canada. The family includes geography and trivia buff, Dad; Mom, a proponent of a healthy lifestyle; Sam, an eleven-year-old boy who depicts the importance of preservation and sustainability; nine-year-old Gabbie, the narrator, who is an avid learner and social media guru; young Lizzy; and, of course, there is the family dog, Chili, a much-loved and adorable little pug whose delightful antics keep everyone entertained.

Are We There Yet? is a timeless and enduring story capturing the uniqueness of this vast, beautiful country, coast to coast. It will bring back fond memories of family vacations or motivate you to explore new parts of Canada. It will prompt you to share your stories and pictures on social media, or perhaps even go back and look at old photo albums. The book is a celebration of Canada that inspires readers of all ages to appreciate the natural resources, distinct cultures, Canadian heroes and magnificent landscapes that characterize the country.

Hey Canada
Author: Vivien Bowers
Age Range: Gr. 2 -5
Similar to Wow Canada but for younger readers. A cross-country roadtrip. (Out of Print)

Gran has decided that she is taking nine-year-old Alice and eight-year-old Cal on a road trip across Canada “before she’s old and creaky.” With a sparkling combination of poems, silly songs, tweets and blogs, the trio records the trip for readers everywhere to share. Starting in St. John’s Newfoundland, where they have a “find-it” list that includes a moose and an iceberg and going all the way to the Pacific Ocean, the gang in Hey Canada! offers a delightful way to learn about vast, varied, and surprising Canada.

The book combines narrative, poems, photos, comics about historical events such as the battle at Fortress Louisburg, maps (including provincial flags, birds, and flowers), in a lively, easily accessible format. Not only great fun to read, this is a valuable resource for young Canadians and for visitors across the country.

Author: Emily Rose Oachs
Age Range: Gr. 2 -6
About Canada and what makes it special. 

O Canada! The opening words of the Canadian national anthem are a fitting exclamation for appreciating the country sometimes called the True North. Canada’s untouched wilderness, Arctic animals, and native peoples are all worthy of a shout-out. This read points out to capable young readers what makes Canada special.

The Big Book of Canada (Updated Edition): Exploring the Provinces and Territories 
Author:  Christopher Moore 
Age Range: Gr. 3 – 7
This book goes through each province and territory, exploring the places, people, history, and more.

A gorgeous gift book, reference book, and just plain fun-to-read book–updated for Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

From Nunavut’s Barren Lands to the Torngat Mountains of Newfoundland, from Quebec’s Saguenay Fjord to the pingos of the Northwest Territories, The Big Book of Canada explores the many fascinating places that make up this vast land. Christopher Moore, one of the country’s foremost historians, brings each province and territory to life, drawing together history and politics, the famous and the infamous, the people, places and industries that have defined a nation. The book is lavishly illustrated with more than 140 photographs and 110 original pieces by award-winning artist Bill Slavin.

The Kids Book of Canada
Author: Barbara Greenwood
Age Range: Gr. 3 – 7
A wonderful book about Canada overall: maps of the provinces and territories showing major cities, rivers, mountains and points of interest, the provincial and territorial coat of arms, flowers, birds and trees, famous Canadians, history, important events, industry, environmental challenges and more. 

Finally, the premier children’s resource on Canada is available in a fully revised paperback edition — bringing up to date this bestselling treasury of information that has long been an essential book for schools, libraries and homes from coast to coast.

Ten years after its debut, this title in the acclaimed Kids Book of series is more than ever an indispensable tool for researching school projects or a conversation piece for sharing Canadian facts with friends and family. Bursting with rich and detailed illustrations, this book is as far-ranging, fascinating and full of surprises as the country it describes.

Wow Canada
Author: Vivien Bowers
Age Range: Gr. 3 – 7
An engaging book about a fictional family’s cross-country roadtrip. 

The multi-award-winning Wow Canada! has steadily wowed readers with its original, witty, and fabulously informative cross-country excursion. This thoroughly updated edition is filled with amazing facts, historical wonders, and descriptions, photos, and illustrations of Canada’s most famous sights and hidden gems — it’s the perfect accessory for that family car trip across Canada. Eleven-year-old Guy and his family travel from province to province — and even up to Canada’s territories! Guy is the ideal narrator, curious but cool and always armed with a wry comment. Incredible sidebar material offers moments of respite from the family’s high-speed travels, making Wow Canada! both the perfect car trip guidebook and a fantastic armchair travel book.

The Kids Book of Canadian Geography
Author: Briony Penn
Age Range: Gr. 3 – 7
About Canada’s landscape, life forms, ecosystems, landscapes, climate and more. 

This installment in the critically acclaimed and bestselling Kids Book of? series is a landmark event in Canadian publishing. The Kids Book of Canadian Geography, the only trade book of its kind, is an indispensable resource. Writer and illustrator Briony Penn takes a fresh approach by showing how Canada’s landscape, life forms, ecosystems and climate yield clues to help youngsters understand the ever-changing story of geography. What does a huge rock in the middle of a plain tell us? What makes spruce trees adapted to the north? What does the star-nosed mole tell us about woodlands? These and many other clues are explained to help youngsters “decode” and understand their environments. This book traces the continents’ formation and explains how they arrived at their present state, touching on ancient landscapes, evolving climate, continent shaping and life on the land, including human settlement. Then, kids get a richly detailed and illustrated tour through the eight geographical regions of their country.

Canadian Geography Books For the Preschool and Kindergarten Age Group: 

If you are introducing Canada to your young learners, using simple picture books with bright colours, Canadian symbols, and early language and numbers is the best plan. One of the top authors for this is Per-Henrik Gürth. His series of Canada theme books for young children is brilliant.

Books about Canadian Provinces and Territories: 

If you want to take a virtual trip across Canada, grab some books that go into specifics about particular provinces or territories that you are studying.

Canadian Geography Books - Discover Canada Province by Provice Alphabet Books

Discover Canada Province by Province
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Age Range: Gr. 1 – 3

Written in a two-tier alphabet format using poems and expository text this lushly illustrated series introduces readers to the rich and diverse landscapes, wildlife, cultures, and folklore of each of the Canadian provinces and Territories.

Canadian Geography Books - Close Up Canada: Provinces and Territories

Close-Up Canada
Publisher: Scholastic Canada
Age Range: Gr. 2 – 4

These books introduce each province and territories’ special landmarks, events, culture, geography, and cities to young readers.

Canadian Geography Books -Great Canadian Roadtrip Series

Great Canadian Roadtrip Series
Beech Street Books
Age Range: Gr. 3 – 6
There is one for each province and territory such as “Explore Nova Scotia”, “Explore Yukon”, etc.

Get ready to explore Canada like never before-from coast to coast to coast. This highly visual series takes readers on a road trip across the Canadian provinces and territories. Visit major cities, and head off the beaten path to explore the people, environment, foods, cultures, and history of each region. Detours add fun trivia and jokes to the road trip, while maps show the route travelled.

Books About Specific Canadian Geography Topics:

Canadian Geography Books - Close Up Canada: Canadian Topics

Canada Close Up Series
Age Range: Gr. 2 -4
Sometimes it’s nice to have a book that has content about a specific topic in Canada. This series is a wonderful one for learning more about animals and nature in Canada. 

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