Every Grade 1 Student in Canada to Take Home a Copy of Malaika’s Costume 

Over 550,000 copies to be distributed through the TD Grade One Book Giveaway 

Toronto (October 26, 2021)—Fall marks the beginning of this year’s TD Grade One Book Giveaway. In the coming months, over 550,000 copies of Malaika’s Costume, written by Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher and published by Groundwood Books, will be distributed all across the nation to Grade 1 students, including those in remote areas and Indigenous communities. Translated into French by Isabelle Allard, francophone Canadians and French immersion students will receive copies of Le costume de Malaika, published by Éditions Scholastic.

Since the program was established in 2000, over 11 million books have been distributed to students. This year, a launch of the program will take place on October 28 at 1:30 PM EDT as a part of the Toronto International Festival of Authors. The event is free for all to attend and will feature a celebration of Carnival as we hear from author Nadia L. Hohn about young Malaika, and follow along with illustrator Irene Luxbacher as she shows us how to design our own Carnival costume. Then get ready to join Grade 1 students from across Canada for a colourful dance party that celebrates family, community and the Caribbean diaspora. Register to attend here.

“This is definitely a dream come true,” says author Nadia L. Hohn. “As a former Grade 1 teacher, I know how important it is for children to have their own copy of a physical book that they can keep for themselves and cherish as they become emergent readers. Having had a chance to share Malaika’s Costume through many author visits, I know that children connect with my story’s themes of resourcefulness, family, immigration and cultural celebration.”

“Hurray for Malaika’s Costume,” says illustrator Irene Luxbacher. “Now so many others will get the chance to open their minds and hearts to Malaika… her vivid, lively culture and her beautiful blended family… What a gorgeous cultural exploration I’ve had and what a wonderful journey it’s been!”

Administered by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and through the generous support of TD Bank Group, every year the TD Grade One Book Giveaway gives the gift of a great Canadian children’s picture book to every Grade 1 student in Canada. Working with ministries of education, school boards and library organizations, the CCBC distributes over 550,000 giveaway books annually.

“Thanks to the continued support from TD of our most beloved program, children all across Canada will be able to enjoy this story of community and family,” says Rose Vespa, Executive Director of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. “Like Malaika’s imagination turns her into a beautiful peacock, books have the power to transform children into lifelong readers. Now in its 21st year, the TD Grade One Book Giveaway has been a formative part of a whole generation of young people’s childhood.”

“We’re proud to mark the 21st year of the TD Grade One Book Giveaway with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and celebrate this year’s title, Malaika’s Costume,” says Farah Kurji, Senior Manager, Philanthropy (Canada), TD Bank Group.  “We believe that providing Grade 1 students across Canada with this title to take home will help them develop their reading skills, which is foundational at this stage in their lives. Through this initiative and the others we support, we’re increasing access to early learning opportunities for Canadian children, which can help open doors for their futures.”

Head over to the CCBC’s YouTube channel, Bibliovideo, to watch the trailer of Malaika’s Costume, perfect to get young readers excited for this amazing book. Watch the video now and subscribe to the channel for more videos all about Canadian books for young people.

Resources for teachers are available online at bookcentre.ca/malaika. Educators, parents  and librarians will find free printable activities, discussion questions and classroom resources.

Do you have photos or videos of your children or students enjoying Malaika’s Costume? Share them with us on social media, tagging @kidsbookcentre.

For parents searching for more great titles to read, a list of all 21 TD Grade One Book Giveaway titles is available here.

Download the PDF version of this press release here. Find the online version here.

For more information, please contact:

Emma Hunter
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
416.975.0010 ext. 2

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

About Groundwood Books
Groundwood Books is an independent Canadian children’s publisher based in Toronto. Our authors and illustrators are highly acclaimed both in Canada and internationally, and our books are loved by children around the world. We look for books that are unusual; we are not afraid of books that are difficult or potentially controversial; and we are particularly committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere. For further information, visit groundwoodbooks.com.

About Éditions Scholastic
Éditions Scholastic introduces young people to the joys of reading and encourages them to broaden their horizons. Still today, after almost 50 years, we continue this mission thanks to our award-winning French-Canadian books. For more information, visit scholastic.ca/editions.