Books for Newborns

Huntsville Public Library is proud to partner with Books for Newborns Muskoka to provide books and information to new parents and their babies in Huntsville and the surrounding area.

Upon your child's birth, you will receive a package from Books for Newborns and the Huntsville Public Library. New parents and babies receive these packages at the Huntsville Hospital or with the Midwives of Muskoka.

Please see below for Books for Newborns' history and what they do to support early childhood literacy in Muskoka.

About Books for Newborns Muskoka

Books For Newborns Muskoka was established in 1989 by a group of women teachers in Muskoka. This volunteer group researched for a year and then created a package encouraging parents to read to their children from birth. In January 1990, the committee began to personally deliver packages to babies in the Huntsville and Bracebridge hospitals
and talk to their families about the importance of reading. This personal contact provided a positive link between home and school. We know from talking to parents that they have found reading to their children to be a rewarding experience for the whole family.

The package contains a nursery rhyme book, a congratulatory letter to the parents, a statement of objective and philosophy, a short bibliography of children’s books and a quote by a famous journalist about reading to children. Information from the local libraries is also included.

In preparing this package, we contacted community groups focusing on the needs of children and their parents.

Throughout the years, we have spread the benefits of reading to children in these ways;

  1. Displays in local malls and libraries
  2. Newspaper articles
  3. Television “human interest coverage”
  4. Speaking to local service and professional groups
  5. Visits to speak with families participating in the Great Beginnings program, Early Years drop-in centres and pre-natal classes in Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Parry Sound, Magnetawan, Burk’s Falls, Sundridge and South River.
  6. Storytime program (reading books on the local television cable station)
  7. Speaking to Huntsville High School students in their Family Studies Class

Co-operation from local hospitals, public health nurses, personnel of government-run programs, media, local bookstores, printers and libraries, service groups and teachers was invaluable.

The committee presently consists of Shirley Spiers, Debbie Cockram, Elaine Rea and Joan Gemmill.

Growing With Books - Phase 2
We received a generous donation from Barbara Mitchell (nee Weston) and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. This grant allowed us to expand our Books For Newborns program. We were able to reach out to other children in the community.
In the past, The Books For Newborns committee delivered quality children’s books to agencies that serviced children and their families, such as;
  • Children and Family Services
  • Great Beginnings – Baby and toddler programs
  • Family Focus and Family Services (parent group)
  • Early Years Drop-In Centres in Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Burks Falls, South River, Sundridge, Magnetawan and Parry Sound
  • Midwives
  • Interval House and Chrysalis House
  • Family Expo

We also visited the local libraries and schools to read and give out book packages.

Huntsville Public Library facilitated this by ordering hundreds of books that we needed to purchase.

We believe that every child should have a book that is their very own.

Book Lists

Click one of the links below for a list of recommended reads.

Wordless Books

Nursery Rhymes

Naming Books

Interactive Books


Numbers and Counting




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Thursday 10 AM - 6 PM
Friday 10 AM - 6 PM
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Contact Us

Amber McNair
Youth Services Librarian
Huntsville Public Library 7 Minerva Street East, Huntsville, ON, P1H 1P2

T. 705-789-5232 ext 3406
Toll Free: 1-888-696-4255 ext 3406
Email the Youth Services Librarian

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