PaperTigers’ Global Voices: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre Presents: TD Canadian Children’s Book Week ~ by Holly Kent, Sales and Marketing Manager, The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre runs several programs that promote the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of quality Canadian children’s books in Canada. TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is one of our most ambitious programs, and the results are overwhelming.

Each year, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre sends dozens of authors, illustrators, and storytellers on a whirlwind of tours in every Canadian province. The first Book Week took place in 1977. Eleven authors set out on the first Children’s Book Festival tour sponsored by the one-year-old Children’s Book Centre. Today, close to 35,000 children, teens and adults participate in activities held in every province and territory across the country. In 2012, 29 touring creators gave 396 readings in schools, public libraries, bookstores and community centres host events as part of this major literary festival.

The best thing, in my opinion, about TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is that so many communities who wouldn’t normally be included in an author tour are able host readings and presentations. Aside from the fact that authors are touring less and less, Canada is big – really big. Travel to less populated cities and towns can be prohibitively expensive. TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is sometimes a child’s first encounter with an author, and often their first experience getting excited about reading.

Willow Dawson, an author/illustrator from Ontario read at Eliot River Elementary School in Cornwall, PEI during TD Book Week 2012: “After the session, a bunch of kids stayed behind for autographs. Thankfully, I didn’t have to rush off to the next event so there was a little time to draw each of them a small picture. The next day I received a really beautiful email from a mother thanking me for inspiring her son to read for the first time in his life. He was one of the kids who stayed after for a picture! Her message really made me choke up.”

Each year, TD Book Week celebrates a specific theme for which books are chosen and classroom materials are created. The 2012 theme was Read a Book, Share a Story, selected in part to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lillian H. Smith becoming the first trained children’s librarian in Canada, and in the British Empire. The twenty-nine authors, illustrators, and storytellers who toured Canada were the very embodiment of this theme.

The 2013 TD Canadian Children’s Book will be held May 4 – 11 and we are excited to announce the authors, illustrators and storytellers who will be touring. Visit the TD Book Week site in September to find out what province/territory each of these creators will be touring and the types of readings and workshops they will be giving. Schools, libraries, bookstores and community centres interested in hosting a Book Week visitor can apply online starting mid-September. For more information, please contact Shannon Howe Barnes, Program Coordinator shannon(at)bookcentre(dot)ca

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1976. We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of Canadian books for young readers. Our programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers.

At the heart of our work at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre is our love for the books that get published in Canada each year, and our commitment to raising awareness of the quality and variety of Canadian books for young readers.

Our programs, such as TD Canadian Children’s Book Week and the TD Grade One Book Giveaway, are designed to introduce young Canadian readers not only to the books all around them, but to the authors and illustrators that create them. Our quarterly magazine Canadian Children’s Book News and the annual Best Books for Kids & Teens selection guide are designed to help parents, librarians and educators discover the world of Canadian books and to help them to select the best reading material for young readers.

We are thrilled to have  The Canadian Children’s Book Centre join us as PaperTigers’ Global Voices Guest Blogger for the month of August. Part 2 of the series will be posted here on the blog on August 15th and Part 3 on August 22nd.


2 Responses to “PaperTigers’ Global Voices: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre”

  1. PragmaticMom Says:

    So wonderful to get a perspective from our Northern neighbor!

  2. Marjorie Says:

    So great to hear the history of Children’s Book Week – and thank you for sharing that special moment from Willow Dawson’s school visit.