Online Activities and Resources

For kids, teens, adults, and the whole family! 

Don't forget to check out all the Library online resources!

Note: Please be aware that activity hyperlinks will lead to public websites and social media pages that are not monitored by TPBL.

New links will be added regularly - check back soon!

Colouring Sheets & Printables Comics Concerts
Digital Escape Rooms Drawing & Art Films & Documentaries
Magazines & Ebooks Movement & Physical Activity Online Performances
STEM for Kids Story Time Story Time with Authors
LGBTQ2S+ Category Other Activities

 

 

Colouring Sheets & Printables section

Liz Climo, author of the Rory the Dinosaur books, has a full colouring book available on her Tumblr.

LegoLand's website has colouring sheets available (and adds new ones weekly).

Susie Ghahremani, author of Stack the Cats, has colouring sheets on her Instagram Stories (Instagram account is needed to access). 

#ColorOurCollections is an initiative from over 100 museums and libraries worldwide that make their collection available as colouring sheets. Browse through offerings from the New York Academy of Medicine, Trinity Hall in Cambridge, and even the Canadian Canoe Museum!

Click Clack Books has printables featuring the world of Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin's super popular Click Clack Moo books.

Scholastic has a collection of colouring pages, word searches, and other activities featuring popular characters like Clifford and Captain Underpants.

Crayola includes Disney, Trolls, letters, and even adult colouring sheets on their page.

DC Comics Kids has lots of colouring sheets and other printables on their website.

Free volume 1 of various comic series from Mad Cave Studios (rated Teen)

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Comics

Marvel Comics is offering free access to some of their most popular titles for free until May 4. Download the Marvel Unlimited app through the Apple or Google Play app stories and select the free comics option. No credit card info is required! 

Elise Gravel, author of the Olga series, has a free ebook, colouring pages, and short comics on her website. 

Colouring pages and activities from Kazu Kibuishi, author of the super popular Amulet graphic novel series.

Roundup from School Library Journal of online webcomics appropriate for tweens and teens.

DC Comics Kids' Camp on Twitter has new activities, colouring sheets, and more every day.

Over 100 chapters of various manga series available free from Shonen Jump Magazine.

CloudLibrary has a small selection of kids and teens comics in their graphic novel and comics sections (Library card needed to log in).

 

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Concerts section

 

NPR is regularly updating a list of live virtual concerts organized by genre. Check it out - you might be surprised at the wide range of musicians offering free music!

Like the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Facebook for links to online performances from many different local and Canadian musicians.

CanadaPerforms is a concert initiative and relief fund for artists funded by Facebook Canada and the National Arts Centre to help ease the financial strain for Canadian artists and authors impacted by the closure of performance venues and literary events across Canada related to COVID-19, and to lift the spirits of Canadians during the crisis. Artists and authors who are selected perform online. These events will be announced and listed on the NAC’s Facebook page. Visit their website or Facebook for a schedule of upcoming concerts.

Sign up here to receive NACO Home Delivery, a weekly email from the National Arts Centre with an audio recording of a concert from their archives.

Billboard has created a page of livestreams and virtual concerts, many of which are fundraisers for the fight against COVID-19.

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Digital Escape Rooms section

These escape rooms have been created by public libraries and educators. Try one yourself, or share it with friends and see who can escape first!

Escape From Wonderland Digital Escape Room, created by: Erin Honeycutt, Children's Librarian at Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System in Moultrie, Georgia, USA. Suitable for: All ages

Escape from Star Killer Base: a Star Wars Themed Escape Room, created by Richmond Hill Public Library. Suitable for all ages

Marvel's Avengers Escape from the Hydra Base, created by Richmond Hill Public Library, suitable for all ages

Pete the Cat and the Birthday Party Mystery, created by the Abington Free Library. Suitable for ages 2-8

Pikachu's Wild Rescue, created by High River Library. Suitable for ages 6+

Dav Pilkey's Dog Man Digital Escape Room, created by a school library media coordinator, suitable for middle school

Hogwarts Digital Escape Room, created by Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA. Suitable for: for middle school and or families

Space Explorer Training Digital Escape Room, created by Morgan Lockar, CCPL Adult/Teen Services Librarian, Campbell County Public Library. Suitable for ages 11+ or families

Ancient Egypt Tomb Challenge, created by Morgan Lockar, CCPL Adult/Teen Services Librarian, Campbell County Public Library. Suitable for ages 11+ or families

Escape the Fairy Tale: a Goldilocks and the Three Bears Themed Escape Room, by Marissa Lieberman, Children's Librarian at the East Orange Public Library, New Jersey. Suitable for middle school or families

Escape the Fairy Tale: a Snow White Themed Escape Room, by Marissa Lieberman, Children's Librarian at the East Orange Public Library, New Jersey. Suitable for middle school or families

Escape the Sphinx, created by Ashley Le Master, adult services programmer at the Clermont County Branch Library. Suitable for middle school or families

Escape the Snow Ball, a Stranger Things escape room created by Zion Benton Public Library for tweens or teens

Cinderella Escapes! created by Stefanie Reed at Henika District Library. Suitable for tweens or families

The Minotaur's Labyrinth Escape Room, created by Kren Liu at the County Library's Riverton Branch. Suitable for tweens and teens

Breakout.edu is an educational website that has several different escape rooms, including Zombie Outbreak and Haunted Theme Park (scroll down page to find the high school section). Suitable for teens

Spy Apprentice Digital Escape Room, created by Lauren Rura and Felicia Brock at Washington-Centerville Public Library. Suitable for teens and adults

Sherlock Holmes Digital Escape Room, created by Sherlock the Musical. Suitable for teens and adults

Mandalorian Escape Room, created by Manchester Community College Library. Suitable for teens and adults

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Drawing & Art section

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Dav Pilkey at Home posts new videos, activities, and more featuring characters from Captain Underpants and Dog Man every Friday.

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Draw Every Day with JJK on YouTube, hosted by Jarrett J Krosoczka. Author of the Lunch Lady, Platypus Police Squad, Hey Kiddo, and more

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Mo Willems, creator of many well-loved series like Elephant and Piggie, Unlimited Squirrels, and Knuffle Bunny is inviting learners into his studio for Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

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Dave Romans, author of Astronaut Academy, is sharing drawing games on YouTube called Art Club @Yaytime

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Films & Documentaries section

Rotten Tomatoes has rounded up 200 certified Fresh movies streaming for free online (note: RT is an American site, so not all links may work here in Canada). Titles include Bull Durham, Sabrina, The Remains of the Day, and Leaving Las Vegas; award-winners, blockbusters, animation; movies released from 1968-2015. One catch: you will need to watch ads for access.

Netflix has made many of their educational documentaries free to stream on their YouTube channel.

The National Film Board of Canada site includes a wide variety of films, including children's animations based on Robert Munsch classics and insightful documentaries. Browse by category, including World War II, hockey, cultural diversity, "making of" classic movies, and tons more.

The National Film Board of Canada's Indigenous Cinema website offers free streaming of more than 200 titles by Indigenous directors. Spanning both short and feature-length movies produced from 1968 to 2017, the collection includes entries from contemporary artists, writers and filmmakers such as Kent Monkman, Duane Linklater, Katherena Vermette, Drew Hayden Taylor, Michelle Latimer, Tracey Deer and Jeff Barnaby.

Curio.ca is an educational streaming platform for educational institutions. Currently, this CBC resource is temporarily free to all users, and includes programs, documentaries, audio content and archival material. Everything from episodes of Canada: A People's History to Studio K from Home, a friendly and funny show with kid hosts and puppet characters offering fun activities for those stuck at home.  

Visit CBC Gem for access to HotDocs @ Home, some of the hottest documentaries from one of the biggest documentary film festivals in the world. Free streaming (with ads).

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LGBTQ2S+ Category

For Families

Nina West, a former RuPaul's Drag Race contestant, hosts Story Time with Nina on Instagram.

Family Pride Fridays from 12-1pm feature Zackey Lime and his puppet friends in a family-friendly LGBTQ+ hour!

Go to the Drag Queen Story Hour's Facebook events page for a long list of different events throughout June from NYC performers. 

Dixon Place, an artistic incubator in NYC, offers DP TV. DP TV includes informational, dramatic, and visual performances - read the program description to find LGBTQ+ content like Campfire, a queer storytime (for grown ups), or Tea Time with Shelton Whimsy

The Criminal Queerness Festival brings together queer playwrights from around the world. Events will be presented on Zoom and Facebook Live and include performances, master classes, and panels on activism and other issues impacting the queer global community. 

Pride Dragfest 2020 presents more than 100 performers over three days. NYC Pride and GLAAD will stream the event on their Facebook pages.  

Beyond the Shelter, an interactive Pride kickoff party happening June 4, will have singing, dancing, singalongs, trivia, and more. Find more info on their website.

Global Pride 2020 is an international event happening on Saturday June 27 with speeches, performances, and other content. Follow their Facebook event for more details - speakers and performers will be announced beginning on May 30.

Toronto is holding a Virtual Pride Parade on June 28 and a Trans Rally and Dyke Rally June 26 & 27. Visit their page for details.

For more Toronto programs, visit their June calendar - events are happening almost every day! Human Rights Series, trivia, how to workshops, and tons more.

Visit our local Thunder Pride Facebook page for details about their Pride month activities including story time, a drag makeup workshop, and lots more.

Head to the It Gets Better instagram page and check out their IG Live for lots of cool content including a new interview with a queer YA author every Tuesday, Twitter takeover with queens from RuPaul's Drag Race Friday nights, and even an upcoming "How to Look Good on Zoom" tutorial.

Follow local group Fantasy Haus to learn about their events, including Mean Mugging: Painting with Kings and Queens; Drag Queen Storytime, and more.

Glad Day Bookshop (located in Toronto) is offering GD TV on their Facebook page with Live shows and archived videos. Shows include You Betta Bake!, Isoslayytion with Nikki, and a Virtual Paint Night.

 


Magazines & Ebooks section

The Big Alone, a free picture book for kids about physical distancing, is available at http://www.thebigalone.com/

TIME for Kids is offering free access to four different grade-specific digital editions of TIME for Kids and Your $ financial literacy magazine. Quizzes and worksheets are also available.

BookRiot has a roundup of free ebooks for kids available from different publishers and platforms.

Audible Stories has tons of free audiobooks for kids and teens and has materials in six different languages. Audible Stories can be accessed on desktops or tablets.

Free digital versions of Ranger Rick are available, along with activities, educator's guides, and animal crafts. 

FOR TEENS & ADULTS

Visit the non-profit Internet Archive for links to tons of texts along with audio, tv, and movies.

All Booklist and Book Links content is freely available until further notice from BookList and the American Library Association. These magazines are full of book reviews, interviews, and other articles about the book world. TBPL staff read this magazine to help us make decisions about what to purchase for our library!

Publisher Simon Teen is offering some of their best selling YA ebooks to read for free during April, including City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and the classic fantasy Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce.

Nerdist recommends horror classics available to read on the free website Project Gutenberg.

Project Gutenberg itself is a treasure trove of over 60,000 free eBooks. Primarily older literary works whose copyright has expired, the site is browsable by genre, age group, and topic. 

FOR EVERYONE

Scribd, a subscription audio and ebook service, is offering 30 days of free service. They have a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction, and materials in English and other languages. Just download their app through the Apple or Google Play app stores. No credit card is required

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Movement & Physical Activity section

The Best Free Yoga Classes available online (as per The Cut website).

Take a class from a fitness studio at home with this link roundup from CBS News.

Try Mindfulness Activities or Physical Activities with Math offered from the Ontario Physical Health Education Association.

Jumpstart is offering lots of resources and ideas for help keep kids active at home. Categories include quiet activities, videos, outdoor activities, and indoor activities. 

Canada's National Ballet School is offering free video lessons for kids, seniors, and all ages on their website.

Try a Feldenkrais Method Awareness Through Movement lesson with a free class from Feldenkrais Thunder Bay (donations to Shelter House or United Way appreciated).

Join the local BodyMind Centre every day in April for Morning Meditations, a live streaming presentation that is also available as an archived video. Other free streaming programs are also available.

GoNoodle is used in many classrooms to get kids moving. These videos lead kids in dancing, stretching, running, jumping, deep breathing, wiggling, and more. 

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Online Performances section

Visit Quarantine Dance Specials 2020 on Facebook to see inspiring traditional Indigenous dances, with new videos added regularly.

The National Theatre is regularly making a new performance available on their YouTube channel. Coming April 30: Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch!

Starkid Theatre is showing Twisted: the Untold Story of a Royal Vizier on their YouTube channel. Like Wicked, this re-telling of a classic fairytale tells the story from the villain's perspective. This parody musical "celebrates and lovingly pokes fun" at Aladdin but is not for children. The play contains adult language. 

Watch a free performance from Shakespeare's Globe Theater on their YouTube channel (a different play is available every two weeks) or check out their #LoveinIsolation project which invited artists to perform Shakespeare's words from their homes.

Dead Poets Reading Series is a crowd-sourced YouTube channel featuring anyone around the world reading a poem by a dead poet. All are welcome to participate, so if you feel inspired, submit your own video!

Universal has created ‘The Shows Must Go On’, a new YouTube Channel that will be streaming a full-length musical every Friday at 7pm GMT for free so you can bring the theatre home! It will be available for 48 hours. This Friday April 10: Jesus Christ Superstar

MACBETH: Shakespeare’s chilling Scottish tragedy is realized by Emmy-winning magician Teller (of Penn & Teller) and Helen Hayes Award-winning director Aaron Posner as a startling, supernatural show brimming with magic, mayhem, and madness. Watch the complete play on YouTube from the Folger Theatre.

Watch highlights from Cirque du Soleil's biggest shows for free on their YouTube channel (new specials added weekly). 

The Metropolitan Opera will stream a title from its Live in HD series each night through the duration of the closure. The performances, originally captured as live broadcasts in movie theatres worldwide, will begin at 7:30 PM from the company's homepage. (The featured performances—and several others—are also available via the Met Opera on Demand subscription service, though the videos in the nightly series will be made available for free for 20 hours following the initial stream). Visit their calendar for a schedule of upcoming shows.

Be transported to a fantastical world of dazzling dance, music and enchantment with the Royal New Zealand Ballet company. They will be livestreaming one show per month of their Facebook page, so check out the Events section on their page for full details.

With its unique and spectacular blend of storytelling, dance, large scale puppetry and aerial work, fire performance, live music and stage combat, Phantasmagoria has been wowing critics and audiences alike since 2010. Each production offers new stories taken from the diverse centuries old literature of horror and the macabre! Tune in Sunday evenings for an online performance or check out the videos on their page for previous episodes. 

Actor Patrick Stewart is reading A Sonnet a Day on his Facebook page. Videos from previous days can also be viewed.

The Renaissance Theatre in Ohio is producing QuaRENtine Creations to continue to engage, educate and inspire the community. A new video will be added every Saturday evening.

FOR KIDS

Puppet Time with ZacKey Lime is a brand new, family-friendly, hour long program for LGBTQ+ families with kids 10 and under, made possible by Glad Day TV from Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto. More details and how to watch available on their Facebook event page.

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Other Activities section

Go to Explore.org for a list of 98 different animal and nature focused live streams. Who will you visit? Sharks? Wolves? African elephants?

Travel to Egypt and tour Pharaoh Ramesses VI's Tomb.

Take a curiousity challenge and watch a ROM Around You video that connects an activity you can do with ROM exhibits. New videos added every Monday at 11am.

Like Thunder Bay Culture & Events on Facebook to see their Culture from your Living Room posts every Friday. They feature a round up of all sorts of activities available for free from home. 

Become a Citizen Scientist with NASA and be part of a collaborative project between scientists and the public! Help find interstellar dust impacts, be a penguin detective in Antarctica, or play NeMO-Net, a single player iPad game where players help NASA classify coral reefs by painting 3D and 2D images of coral. Join a Snapshot Safari and identify African wildlife caught on camera across the continent. 

What Do We Do All Day? is a website with games and kids' activities for "unplugged" kids.

Take a free course on Practicing Mindfulness at Home from the Mindfulness Project. 

Are you a teen interested in writing? Check out the Wave Blog by the Ripple Foundation for the opportunity to publish your work and share with an audience of your peers. 

Thunder Bay Museum and Lakehead University are offering Hump Day History: free live webinars will be held every Wednesday at 7 p.m. and feature local historians discussing various topics relating to the history of the region. Visit the Museum webpage for full details and a schedule of upcoming lectures.

Boston.com compiled a roundup of crosswords, Soduko, and other puzzles available for free online.

Scholastic has created Learn at Home, a site with weekly activities and educational resources sorted by age (K-9).

Visit Think Indigenous - Online Indigenous Education K-8 for videos on traditional and contemporary fine arts, history, Indian sign language and more. 

The Uncensored Library is hosted virtually inside the video game Minecraft and offers access to lots of digital books containing articles that were censored in their country of origin. Created by Reporters Without Borders, this project is meant to protect the work of journalists in places where authoritarian governments routinely censor independent media. You do need to play the game to access the Library. More details available in this Popular Mechanics article.

Use Netflix Party to host a virtual movie night for your friends (each participant must have their own Netflix account and a Chrome browser [Chrome is free to download]).

CBC has a roundup of Canadian book launches, readings, and festivals online. 

House Beautiful has a list of ten different historical homes you can tour, including Buckingham Palace!

Levar Burton Reads is a podcast hosted LeVar Burton (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek) that invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. LeVar’s narration blends with gorgeous soundscapes to bring stories by Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury and more to life.

Take a free course from Disney Imagineers as they share how they use a wide range of skills – from story development and conceptual design, to math, physics and engineering – that all come together to create immersive experiences. Imagineering in a Box allows you to explore different aspects of theme park design, from characters to ride development, as you design a theme park of your very own.

Google Arts and Culture is full of activities, guided tours, bits of history, and lots of esoteric information. Tour a museum or art gallery, learn about the history of of the hoodie, decipher dinosaur bones, and so much more. Do not skip this link - the odds are very good something will catch your interest!

WizardingWorld.com is hosting Harry Potter At Home, a hub of information and activities for parents, children and carers to discover the magic of Harry Potter, by reading or listening on their own or together with loved ones, whilst staying at home. Explore the hub for a wealth of creative and craft activities, quizzes, puzzles and more. There will also be a weekly email newsletter bringing fresh ideas into inboxes each Friday. 

Learn photography skills with free courses from Nikon on topics like Photographing Children and Pets and the Fundamentals of Photography.

Watch a sheep shearing at Egli's Sheep Farm on their Facebook videos.

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STEM for Kids section

New from TVO Kids, try TVO m(Math)Power games for kids aged K-6. Based on the Ontario curriculum, it is safe, advertising free, and tracks kids in-class progress.

TumbleMath uses picture books and stories to teach math concepts for students from K-6. 

Wonderopolis is a free website where natural curiousity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery. Each day an intriguing question is asked and explored. Check out past questions and answers, or submit your own! Categories covered include math, science, and technology, arts and culture, and social studies.

Canadian Bushcraft, an outdoor education program run by Caleb Musgrave, an Anishinaabe man from Hiawatha First Nation, is offering free online video classes through their Facebook page. 

Science North Thunder Bay Facebook page is offering At Home Science short videos.

LegoLand offers video tutorials of Lego Build Challenges and weekly trivia, colouring sheets, word searches, mazes, and more.

The Florida Keys Reef Relief organization is streaming lessons about shark biology, oceanic ecosystems, and more on their Facebook page.

Space School is in session! Lesson plans, an interactive space flight experience, and family activities developed with Discovery Education are available to prepare the next generation of engineers and explorers.

IceCubeatHome is a series of weekly Zoom webinars held Wednesday evenings by scientists at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory about living and working at the South Pole. Follow their Twitter for access to the Zoom meeting and for interesting pictures and videos about South Pole life.

If you have access to an Oculus Rift headset, try the free virtual reality game Exploring the Universe from Antarctica from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. You’ll travel from the South Pole to outer space to find the origin of an astrophysical neutrino detected by IceCube.

Virtual Field Trips from Discovery Education cover tons of different topics, including the future of cars and airplanes, how nature inspires science, and so much more. 

Go on a Home Safari with the Cincinnati Zoo on their YouTube page.

Online Ocean, created by Ocean Wise and the Vancouver Aquarium, houses resources for kids to learn about the ocean and the creatures within it.

Girls Who Code at Home CS educational activities available featuring a women in tech who pioneered innovative technology. New activities released weekly.

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Story Time

Dilico and Anishnabek Family Care and Bimaadiziwin Wiidookaagewin are streaming a children's story time and hand drum song every Thursday afternoon at 2pm and Teachings and Tea with Grandma Bea Wednesdays at 6pm. Past sessions are also available on the Bimaadiziwin Wiidookaagewin Facebook page.

Also locally, Anishnabek Nation Youth hosts a live storytime and discussion with books by Indigenous authors every week day at 11am on their Facebook page. 

Mondays with Michelle Obama will faeture the former First Lady as she reads one of her favourite books at 12pm on Mondays as part of the Read Together, Be Together initiative from PBS Kids and Penguin Young Readers. Viist the PBS Kids YouTube or Facebook to livestream.

Thursday nights at 7pm, join Dolly Parton for Good Night with Dolly, a bedtime story available on her YouTube channel. Past episodes are also available.

From Julie Andrews, check out Julie's Library, a family-friendly story time podcast hosted by Julie Andrews and her daughter. For more details, visit the website.

Favourite Stories Read Aloud

Read Together, Be Together has authors like Nicola Yoon and Magic Treehouse author Mary Pope Osborne reading picture books on Wednesdays at 3pm. Visit the program's main page for more info.

Visit #SavewithStories on Instagram for picture books read by celebrities from Ellen DeGeneres to Weird Al to Noah Centino. Can also be viewed on Jennifer Garner's Facebook page.

Search #operationstorytime on social media to find many more videos, or check out this roundup of videos on Romper

Visit Storyline Online for many different picture books read by some very familiar faces 

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Story Time with Authors section

 

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James Dean, creator of Pete the Cat, reads various books daily at the Pete the Cat Club on Instagram or Facebook

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Mac Barnett, author of Triangle, Extra Yarn, and tons more, hosts Mac's Book Club daily on Instagram

 

 

 

 

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Stay at Home Storytime with Oliver Jeffers, author of Lost and Found, Stuck, and more, can be found on Instagram and as archived videos on his website

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My Weird Readaloud is hosted by Dan Gutman, author of the My Weird School series, and can be found daily on Facebook

 

Visit the Ontario Library Association's YouTube channel for videos of Canadian authors reading their books as part of the Forest of Reading program. 

Check out Authors Everywhere! on YouTube for a growing collection of workshops, readings, activities, art projects, writing games, advice, and more by a community of children's book authors and illustrators.

CBC’s list of Canadian authors and illustrators sharing readings of their books online will be updated regularly.

We Are Teachers has a roundup of authors who are doing online readings or other activities.

For a wide ranging round up of authors with videos, activities, and more in one giant Google doc compiled by kidlit website Liv Bits

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