TD Helps Love of Reading Take Flight for Grade One Students across Canada

Nov 30, 2010 | Corporate Member News

TD Grade One Book Giveaway is the largest annual free book distribution program to children in Canada

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) and TD Bank Group have once again teamed up to help foster a love of reading with the distribution of more than 500,000 copies of Marie-Louise Gay’s heartwarming story, Caramba. Now in its 11th year, the TD Grade One Book Giveaway is the largest free book distribution program to school-aged children in Canada and distributes books to Grade One students all across the country.

Caramba is the story of a cat who sadly realizes that unlike all other cats around him, he can’t fly! A shy quiet tomcat, Caramba wishes he could take flight with the others, but hasn’t been able to master this aviation talent. When his fear of being different pushes him to secretly practice on his own, Caramba soon discovers that it is what is different about him that makes him special.    

“I wrote Caramba to help children understand that we each have our own strengths and talents, and we’re all special in our own way,” says author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay. “Caramba helps expose children to important life lessons in a colourful and fun to read way.” 

Marie-Louise Gay, who has produced 40 picture books and has won many prestigious Canadian and international children’s literary prizes, kicked off the annual TD Grade One Book Giveaway this month with a seven city national reading tour. Published in English by Groundwood Books and in French by Dominique et compagnie, the captivating story and beautiful illustrations in Caramba are but a few of the reasons that CCBC, in conjunction with TD, selected this special book for the annual TD Grade One Book Giveaway.

TD is passionate about the issue of childhood literacy and has encouraged children to read in school, at home and in public libraries for more than a decade.

“Every year, together with the CCBC, we reach hundreds of thousands of children with an exciting new book aimed at encouraging the love of reading,” says Frank McKenna, TD’s Deputy Chair and Literacy Champion.  “Books like this year’s Caramba by Marie-Louise Gay will surely instill a passion for reading at an early age for so many kids across the country.”

“Thanks to TD’s support, we can use this wonderful story to start a conversation with children across the country about the importance of reading,” says Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, Canadian Children’s Book Centre. “We hope that Caramba captures the imaginations of Canadian children and helps them discover a life-long love of literature.”

This November was filled with literacy initiatives designed to foster a love of reading in children. In addition to the TD Grade One Book Giveaway and author tour, November marked the honouring of the most distinguished English and French language children’s books of the year at the Canadian Children’s Literature Award galas in Toronto and Montreal. This year’s TD award winners, taking home a $25,000 cash prize each, were author Mélanie Tellier and illustrator Melinda Josie for Le géranium, and author Arthur Slade for his book The Hunchback Assignments.  

About The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is a national, not-for-profit organization and registered charity founded in 1976 to promote, support and encourage the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for children and teens. With book collections and extensive resources in five cities across Canada, the CCBC is a treasure-trove for anyone interested in Canadian books for young readers. For more information, please visit

TD Grade One Book Giveaway
The TD Grade One Book Giveaway is the largest free book distribution program to school-aged children in Canada. Since 2000, TD has given away more than 4.5 million Canadian children’s books. For more information, please visit

TD Community Giving
TD invests in communities to make a positive impact where it does business and where our customers, clients and employees live and work. In 2010, TD donated over $50 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, we focus on Education and Financial Literacy, Creating Opportunities for Young People, and the Environment. For more information, visit

For further information:

Charlotte Teeple
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
[email protected] 

Megan Hooper
[email protected] 

Carrie Makrigiannis / Ryan Lockhart
Environics Communications
416-969-2750 / 416-969-2749
[email protected] / [email protected]

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