I Read Canadian

I Read Canadian Day, which is coming up on February 17th, is a day to celebrate Canadian books, to acknowledge the writers and illustrators who create them, the publishers who get behind them, and the independent bookstores where you can buy them. The I Read Canadian initiative takes place this Wednesday in homes, schools, libraries and bookstores across the country. All Canadians are encouraged to read a children’s book by a Canadian author or illustrator for even 15 minutes.  

The initiative began two years ago as a collaboration between the Canadian Children’s Book Centre; children’s author Eric Walters; CANSCAIP (the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) and the Ontario Library Association.

The goal is to raise awareness of all Canadian books and to celebrate the richness, diversity and breadth of Canadian literature. And this year, as we seek to connect while remaining physically distanced, the goal seems to resonate even more deeply.

If you’re a teacher, librarian, home schooler or simply a lover of books, you can register to participate at the official website here: https://ireadcanadian.com/day/   And at noon EST February 17th, a series of videos called I Write Canadian will premiere on the CCBC’s YouTube channel, Bibliovideo. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoRQbrmtvSYMRm1emqkhP8Q?sub_confirmation=1

Set aside a few minutes to check out the presentations. And remember to read Canadian for even a few minutes on February 17th!

Giving Back

Today is American Thanksgiving and tomorrow is Black Friday. Honestly, I feel like I’ve just lived through a month of Black Fridays. The advertising started weeks back; so did promotions for Cyber Monday.

But after Monday comes Tuesday. The 7th annual Giving Tuesday. Billed as the ‘opening day of the giving season,’ Giving Tuesday is a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and support favorite causes. It’s also a time to focus on small individual acts of kindness.

This year, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre is participating in #GivingTuesday to raise money for Canadian Children’s Book Week 2020. Book Week is designed to give schools, libraries and community centres across Canada an opportunity to have an author, illustrator or storyteller visit. I’ve been lucky enough to participate twice: going to Montreal in 2006 and to Ontario in 2015. It’s a whirlwind week, doing back-to-back talks in schools for five or six days straight, but it’s one of the best ways I know to share the creative process with young readers and inspire a love of reading.

Book Week is searching for a new sponsor. While that takes place, the CCBC is being proactive and asking for help. Their goal is to raise $5,000 to support Book Week, which will cover 20 readings and reach nearly 1,000 children. All the money donated goes directly towards the Adopt-a-School program. If you’re able to help, here’s the link: