Small Saul by Ashley Spires named the 2016 TD Grade One Book Giveaway

Toronto March 16, 2016:  The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC), TD Bank Group and Kids Can Press are delighted to announce that Small Saul, a children’s picture book written and illustrated by British Columbia author-illustrator Ashley Spires, has been selected for the TD Grade One Book Giveaway for the 2016–2017 school year.

A program of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, with the generous sponsorship of TD Bank Group, the TD Grade One Book Giveaway provides a book to every grade one student in Canada. Working with ministries of education, school boards and library organizations, the CCBC and TD distribute over 550 000 giveaway books each year. As part of the program, Spires will embark on a national tour to visit grade one audiences in schools and libraries across the country.

“I am thrilled that Small Saul has been chosen for this year’s TD Grade One Book Giveaway,” said Spires. “It’s a wonderful way for so many children across the country to be introduced to Canadian books, and it’s a great opportunity for Canadian authors and illustrators, too.”

Since 2000, almost 8 million books have been given to grade one students nationwide as part of the TD Grade One Book Giveaway, and for many children, it’s often the first book they have ever owned.

“TD is passionate about fostering a lifelong joy of reading among young boys and girls across Canada. Through our children’s literacy programs, such as the TD Grade One Book Giveaway, we’re encouraging children to get excited and discover a love for reading by placing a book of their very own in their hands,” says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. “We’re thrilled to give this gift to every grade one student in Canada. We believe this year’s book selection, Small Saul, will help inspire children and parents to learn and explore through reading.”

“Ashley Spires is truly deserving of this honour,” said Lisa Lyons Johnston, President, Kids Can Press. “Her bestselling books have earned her international acclaim and award recognition. Thanks to the CCBC’s mission to bring great Canadian books to Canadian children and through the generosity of TD Bank Group, young readers across the country will be inspired by the unforgettable character of Small Saul—a little pirate who dared to be different.”

As part of the program, the publisher and author-illustrator of the giveaway book are financially compensated, and the CCBC pays for the rights to use the book for a year. The books are available in both English and French. (Éditions Scholastic is the publisher of Petit Paul.)

Ashley Spires is the award-winning author-illustrator of several acclaimed children’s books, including the Binky Adventure series, Larf and The Most Magnificent Thing, which has surpassed 130 000 copies sold in under two years. Her new graphic novel, Fluffy Strikes Back, the first in a new companion series to the Binky books, publishes April 1, 2016.

Kids Can Press, part of the Corus Entertainment family, is the largest Canadian-owned children’s publisher. Its catalog includes an award-winning list of over 700 picture books, nonfiction and fiction titles for young readers. For over 40 years, Kids Can Press has distinguished itself as a publisher of high-quality children’s books and continues this tradition with its digital publications, custom publishing partnerships and brand marketing initiatives. Browse Kids Can Press books at

About TD’s Commitment to Children’s Literacy
The ability to read is often taken for granted. This skill is paramount to success during school years and beyond, which is why TD believes it’s important to get children reading and to foster a lifelong joy of reading. Since 2000, TD has invested more than $35 million to support children’s literacy and reading programs at local schools and public libraries across Canada.

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

Contact: Michaela Cornell
Communications Strategist, Kids Can Press / 416-479-6766