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November 21, 2006
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Canadian Children's Book Week

Community and Cultural Affairs

Premier Pat Binns, Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Elmer MacFadyen and Education Minister Mildred Dover spent some time Monday with children in local libraries as part of the launch of Canadian Children’s Book Week in Prince Edward Island.

One of the activities scheduled to kick off Canadian Children’s Book week was a free book give away to all Grade one students, and on Monday Premier Binns visited Southern Kings Consolidated school to present this year’s free book – Franklin in the Dark – to the grade one students.

For the past seven years, the Canadian Children’s Book Week has provided every Grade one student in Canada with a free Canadian children’s book to be taken home to keep and to read with their parents. This year marks the 20th birthday of the classic Canadian children’s books based on Franklin the turtle, written by Paulette Bourgeois, illustrated by Brenda Clark and published by Kids Can Press. This year’s book, Franklin in the Dark, is also available in French as Benjamin et la nuit, published by Les éditions Scholastic.

“Franklin the Turtle is one of Canada's best-loved book characters, and I am pleased to be able to present this book to the students,” said Premier Pat Binns. “Canadian Children’s Book Week provides an opportunity for the creators of children’s books to connect with libraries and classrooms and encourage children to make reading part of their everyday activities.”

Ministers MacFadyen and Dover joined cartoonist and illustrator Bob Kain at the Confederation Centre Children’s Library Monday morning to kick off the provincial tour, which is taking place in every province and territory during TD Canadian Children’s Book Week.

Mr. Kain is a well-known illustrator from Chirp Magazine who created the characters Chirp, Tweet, Squawk, Grandma, Grandpa, and Sparky. Monday morning he entertained the children from St. Jean’s School in Charlottetown by reading jokes from his 2005 published book Laugh with Chirp, and then demonstrated the step-by-step process of how to draw Chirp and his friend Tweet.

Mr. Kain is a strong believer in the value of audience participation, and demonstrated this by involving both children and adults in the process of drawing their own characters. He will be touring Island schools throughout the week to meet with children and teachers and encourage them to experience the joy of books through illustrations and stories.

Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Elmer MacFadyen thanked Mr. Kain for his dedication to the children and to Canadian Children’s Book Week. “I want to commend Mr. Kain for sharing his talents with students across the province this week. Book Week is a great opportunity to help children develop an appreciation for Canadian books.”

“It is fascinating to see how a simple cartoon character can enhance the outcomes of the art curriculum and how art can be linked to subjects such as language, core French and the sciences,” added Education Minister Mildred Dover.


What is Book Week?

TD Canadian Children's Book Week is Canada's largest celebration of reading and Canadian children's books. The first Book Week tour was held in 1977 and since then over 300 Canadian authors, illustrators and storytellers have toured throughout the country in the first week of every November. Book Week offers the opportunity for authors and illustrators to reach over 50,000 children in schools and libraries across Canada every year.

TD Grade One Book Giveaway Program

This annual book giveaway program, which provides over 500,000 books to Grade One children across Canada, is fully funded by the TD Bank Financial Group. Franklin in the Dark is a story about a young turtle who is afraid of the dark. He learns that almost everyone has one fear or another. The problem is that Franklin is afraid to go into this shell! This delightful story presents a logical and touching solution.

The Book Week Theme

The theme for 2006, Deep Reading, was selected to allow for a wide variety of titles and reading/interest levels to be used to get children excited about reading Canadian books. The week will be used to explore books that give an inside look into the colourful and magical world above and below the sea – through picture books, fiction and non-fiction.

Imperial Oil Foundation Writing Contest

The Imperial Oil Foundation is once again sponsoring a writing contest, which is to be part of the Book Week celebrations. Libraries can encourage children to enter the contest during Book Week, and schools can use the contest as a classroom writing activity during Book Week and throughout the month of November. The story or poem must be written during the current school year, and be no longer than 2,000 words. The deadline to enter is December 1, 2006. Visit the Book Week website for complete contest details.

National Film Board of Canada Video Circulation

The Canadian Children's Book Centre is once again working in conjunction with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) to arrange special screenings of the award-winning Talespinners during TD Canadian Children’s Book Week 2006. In addition to the Talespinners video and From Book to Film: Animated Classics by Sheldon Cohen, a new title, The Three Wishes, will also be available. Both Talespinners and From Book to Film are in French also. The films can be borrowed for 3 months for free from the NFB (only return shipping costs are required).

About the Canadian Children's Book Centre

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is a national, not-for-profit organization, founded in 1976 to promote the reading, writing, and illustrating of Canadian books for young readers. The CCBC provides programs, publications, and resources for teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, and parents. For more information, please visit the CCBC website

Media Contact: Barb Kissick
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