Nursery Rhymes & Lullabies

The Read to Me Program is thrilled to launch a NEW collection of music for babies! Hickory Dickory Dock features lively nursery rhymes, soothing lullabies and original songs that babies and families will love listening to.



The collection, funded by a grant from the CIBC Children’s Foundation, features an amazing array of talented artists, including David Myles, Measha Brueggergosman, Jill Barber, Amelia Curran, Rose Cousins, Ronald Bourgeois, Charlie A’Court, Jamie Junger, Asif Illyas, Ian Sherwood and Mary Jane Lamond. Hickory Dickory Dock is available as a free download in the Read to Me! bag given to every baby born in Nova Scotia, at the hospital bedside.

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New Baby Books!

Read to Me! is pleased to announce new books in the Read to Me book bag. Every two years our Book Selection Committee, a group of experts in the field of children’s literature and early child development, chooses new titles so that the books in the Read to Me bag are of the highest quality. This year we are excited to be able to share three books for families to enjoy together!

The new titles that will be given to every baby born in Nova Scotia for the next two years are:

Welcome Baby

Barbara Reid’s Welcome Baby is a celebratory greeting to a newborn baby. This book features bright images that will attract a baby’s attention, along with a bouncy rhyming text for parents to read aloud. The loving sentiment and images in this book will encourage bonding with baby. Babies will love hearing this book over and over again!


Baby Look


Baby Look features bright close-up images of smiling baby faces, which are visually stimulating to babies. This book is also a tummy-time book. Tummy time helps to strengthen baby’s neck and back muscles. The book can be stretched out in front of baby to distract and entertain them during tummy time. As baby grows, they will enjoy talking about the words and images on the reverse side of the book.



Play is how babies learn! Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis’s book Play will encourage families to engage in all sorts of play with their baby.  Babies will enjoy and respond to the book’s playful language and bold black and white images of happy, smiling babies. The back of the book contains helpful tips about playing with baby.





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100,000th Read to Me! Bag

An important milestone was marked November 19, 2014 at the IWK Health Centre with the delivery of the 100,000th Read to Me bag! Premier Stephen McNeil presented the bag to Christine Grantmyre, and her new daughter Annalise.  Christine and Alan Grantmyre’s three older children, George, Ava and Charlie had also received Read to Me! bags when they were born. “The province of Nova Scotia is committed to supporting early literacy, and we congratulate Read to Me on this important milestone. Ensuring the gift of books and a positive start to reading for every child born in the province is an important investment in the future of Nova Scotia,” says McNeil.

Premier Stephen McNeil presents the 100,000th Read to Me bag to Christine  Grantmyre

Premier Stephen McNeil presents the 100,000th Read to Me bag to Christine Grantmyre

Since 2001 Read to Me, a non-profit, hospital-based program, has provided a free bag of baby books and reading resources to the parents of every baby born in Nova Scotia. The Read to Me bag contains everything parents need to start reading to their baby from birth, including high-quality baby books, a CD of music and rhymes, a month by month reading guide and baby’s first library card.

Five day old Annalise Grantmyre, recipeint of the 100,000th Read to Me bag

Five day old Annalise, recipient of the 100,000th Read to Me bag

Many parents who receive the Read to Me bag are surprised to learn the many health and education benefits that come from reading. A growing body of evidence shows that reading to a baby supports their cognitive, language and social-emotional development. “Read to Me is more than just the simple act of giving books,” says Read to Me Director Carol McDougall, “when a baby is cuddled in a parent’s arms, hearing their words and seeing pictures in a book they receive important experiences necessary to shape their growing brain. The simple act of reading together builds the foundation for reading and learning for life.”

“For over a decade the Read to Me program has been a key partner in early literacy,” says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. “This signature yellow bag has put hundreds of thousands of free books into the hands of new parents, helping to shape a new generation of readers. It is my pleasure to be here today as we present the 100,000th Read to Me bag.”

Christine Grantmyre displays one of her family's favourite Read to Me books, Baby Boo! which they received 9 years ago with her first child, Charlie.

Christine displays one of her family’s favourite Read to Me books, Baby Boo! which they received 9 years ago with her first child, Charlie.

For over a decade Read to Me has been promoting books and reading in Nova Scotia, one baby at a time. “With this important milestone we celebrate the gift of reading to 100,000 Nova Scotian children. That is a wonderful achievement that will have a powerful impact on the future of Nova Scotia,” says McDougall.

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Gaelic Book Available!

In celebration of Gaelic Awareness Month we are pleased to announce the availability of the Gaelic baby book, Calum Cadalach. Families can request the book when they are visited by a Read to Me! representative at the hospital when their baby is born.

Calum Cadalach (Sleepy Malcolm) has been made available via partnership between Gaelic Affairs, Read to Me and the Nova Scotia Provincial Library. Says Read to Me! director, Carol McDougall, “Language is an important window into a culture and so we are delighted to partner with the Office of Gaelic Affairs and the Nova Scotia Provincial Library to provide a book to new families to help nurture the Gaelic language in Nova Scotia.”

Calum Cadalach is also available as an audio file so parents can access the pronunciation of the Gaelic. The sound file is available at (Click on the YouTube link listed.)

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50 Best Books for Babies

The Read to Me Program has launched a new resource, the Read to Me 50 Best Books for Babies!

New 50 best file for web

“When introducing books to babies, the key is to choose the right books for the right time”, says the program’s director, Carol McDougall, “We are often asked by parents for guidance on selecting the best books to read to babies, and we felt that a list of titles specifically geared to babies would be a useful and welcome resource.”

The books on the list were chosen by Read to Me with assistance from a group of Nova Scotia children’s librarians. The selected books contain strong rhythm and rhyme to help build vocabulary, feature bright colours and bold images for visual stimulation and help nurture bonding and attachment by encouraging playful interaction between parent and child.

You can download a free copy of the poster, along with a check list of titles, here.

The Nova Scotia Provincial Library has purchased sets of the 50 Best Books for Babies for every library system in the province. Says McDougall, “We are so grateful for the support from the Provincial Library, which will help get these great books into the hands of families across Nova Scotia.”



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New Mi’kmaw CD

Celebrating the Mi’kmaw Language


We are excited to launch Ninen Na Mi’kma’ji’jk, a beautiful collection of songs and rhymes in the Mi’kmaw language for young children. Early childhood experiences play an important role in preserving language and culture, and this CD will bring a richness of Mi’kmaw language to listeners. This new CD will be available in the Mi’kmaw Read to Me! bag offered to families at the hospital bedside in Nova Scotia. The CD is also available for sale through Nimbus Publishing.

Thanks to a generous donation from The Wallace and Margaret McCain Family Foundation, through the Ashoka Changemakers competition Inspiring Approaches to First Nation, Métis and Inuit Learning, we are now able to offer this new resource to Mi’kmaw families. Ninen Na Mi’kma’ji’jk was created by Read to Me! in partnership with Dr Bernie Francis and CBC. Dr. Francis is a respected authority on the Mi’kmaw language and an accomplished musician. The cover of the CD features the Mi’kmaw hieroglyph for the word ‘child’, created by the Mi’kmaw Elder, Jane Meader, of Membertou First Nation.

Bernie Francis at CBC Halifax

Bernie Francis at CBC Halifax

Read to Me! extends heartfelt thanks to Dr. Bernie Francis, The Wallace and Margaret McCain Foundation, the Ashoka Canada Changemakers competition, and CBC for supporting this wonderful new resource for Mi’kmaw families.

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Contact Information

Phone: (902) 470-6487 or (902) 470-7763
IWK Health Centre 
5850/5980 University Avenue 
PO Box 9700
Halifax, NS B3K 6R8
Fax: (902) 470-8785


I'd like to express my appreciation for the Hey Diddle Diddle CD. My son, William, was born mid-July. Every evening, I rock him and sing along with the CD. He instantly relaxes and usually falls asleep. I've even started to take it for car rides. He once stopped crying and fell asleep by the time I backed out of the driveway! My favourite track is You Are My Sunshine. I find Monsters Love Banana Bread terribly catchy, even though I am not a fan of country music.

Katherine and Baby William

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