James Saunders, VP of direct sales, shows off some of the new titles published by Beech Street Books – a division of Saunders Book Company. The new books cover various Canadian topics and are intended to supplement elementary school curriculum. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday Saunders Book Company has been in the educational book distribution game for 54 years, and it’s that “market research,” that led them to start a publishing company that does textbooks differently.
Saunders launched a publishing company called Beech Street Books three years ago, named after the street where the Saunders boys grandparents owned a home. This year, the publishing company released 43 new English books and 24 French translations as part of six new Canadian series and as an addition to an existing series launched previously.
All the books are educational, Canadian content, and they include authentic voices. Where the author writes about Indigenous groups, there are voices from Indigenous people.
James Saunders, VP of direct sales for Saunders Book Co. said the company branched out into publishing after seeing gaps in Canadian content offerings.
“We try to get just a little more in-depth than other publishers … We wanted to do it our way,” said Saunders. “It’s been an enlightening process. It’s helped us learn as we go.”
One of the series launched this year is called Canadian Celebrations. Each book focuses on a Canadian celebration such as fall fairs, Pride festivals, Family Day, or Thanksgiving. The book includes the history of the celebration, details on how it is celebrated in the different provinces, information about who participates, and lots of photos. In fact, the book on fall fairs features a photo from the Great Northern Exhibition on the cover.
“We couldn’t find any books out there on fall fairs,” said Saunders. “And there was very little for young readers on Pride festivals.”
The Canadian Celebrations books are written for a Grade 1 to 2 reading level and include bright and beautiful photos. Start your free trial. Stand out with a professional
website, portfolio, or online store. Squarespace OPEN “We wanted to make sure there was lots of information and we wanted to cover the country and all aspects of the festivals,” said Saunders.
There isn’t a book on Christmas and New Years. The Beech Street Books team decided to cover festivals that were more uniquely Canadian, or done differently in Canada.
The other series include:
The Great Canadian Road Trip – There are 13 books in this series, each dedicated to a Canadian province or territory. These bright and colourful books are laid out similar to a video game or computer screen with information presented in a non-linear fashion. The books contain information on the people, environment, food, culture and history of each region. There are jokes throughout as well as trivia and recipes.
Indigenous Peoples’ Contributions to Canada – This series was written in consultation with Indigenous people and each book looks at a specific area of contribution. For instance, one book dives into the contribution of sports, what modern day sports come from Indigenous heritage, and some highly-successful Indigenous athletes.
Settler Life in Canada – This series looks at how the early settlers to Canada coped, with each of the four books focusing on a different area of survival. One book on Homes looks at early construction, Indigenous influence on shelter-style and structure, and includes inquiry questions meant to encourage critical thinking for the reader. In the back of the book is a hands-on activity related to the book’s content for the reader to try.
Canadian Science: Technology and Sustainability – This series looks at various technologies invented by Canadians and the sustainability of each of […]
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