TD Grade One Book Giveaway 2022


This fall, Grade 1 children nation-wide will take home Fast Friends, written by Heather M. O’Connor, illustrated by Claudia Dávila and published by Scholastic Canada. Translated into French by Isabelle Allard, francophone Canadians and French immersion students across Canada will receive copies of Amis instantanés, published by Éditions Scholastic.

When Suze, a nonverbal student, is introduced to high-energy Tyson’s class, everyone is tentative about him being around her. But while the other students and even the teacher don’t understand Suze, Tyson does. And Tyson and Suze might have more in common than anyone thought.

Since 2000, in cooperation with ministries of education, school boards and library organizations across Canada — the CCBC has given every Grade 1 child a free Canadian children’s book.

The book is to be taken home by each child to keep and to read with their parent(s) or caregiver. This far-reaching annual book giveaway program, which provides over 550,000 books to Grade 1 children across Canada, is fully funded by TD Bank Group. The program is intended to encourage literacy and reading for young children. It supports the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s mandate of bringing great Canadian books to Canadian children and to promote a love of reading and a passion for books.

The coordination of the TD Grade One Book Giveaway is done by the CCBC. If you have any questions regarding the 2022 program, please contact Meghan Howe at

Read-aloud version of Fast Friends

English narration by Heather M. O’Connor. Recording copyright © 2022 by Scholastic Canada Ltd.


Fast Friends colouring pages

Fast Friends Word Search (b&w)

Fast Friends Word Search (colour)

Fast Friends Word Search (answer key)

A Letter from the author, Heather M. O’Connor

Classroom activity: Body Language

Classroom activity: Same and Different

Classroom activity: Wheelchair Etiquette


In selecting the 2022 TD Grade One Book Giveaway, our priority was to feature a story that challenges pre-conceived attitudes and raises awareness of varied physical, intellectual and/or cognitive capabilities in order to fight ableism and promote a more inclusive Canadian society. We received a number of titles for consideration; Fast Friends was ultimately selected as this year’s giveaway book. However, given the importance of inclusivity, we would like to share a booklist featuring characters with various physical, intellectual and/or cognitive capabilities.

A Kids Is a Kid Is a Kid
Written by Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Groundwood Books, 2021
Children in a playground share the questions they’re tired of being asked—and celebrate with pride what they believe are the most important or interesting things about themselves. As they pick up new friends along the way, there is a feeling of understanding and acceptance among them. Finally, the new kid asks their favourite question: “Hey kid, want to play?”

Beep Beep Bubbie
Written by Bonnie Sherr Klein
Illustrated by Élisabeth Eudes-Pascal
Tradewind Books, 2020
Kate is worried things won’t be the same when her bubbie gets a motorized scooter. Will Bubbie still be Bubbie on a scooter? But, after shopping at Granville Island, Kate sees what a good friend the scooter is to her grandmother. Her brother Nate loves the scooter’s bells and whistles, and Kate makes new friends on their joyous outing.

Florence & Leon
Written by Simon Boulerice
Illustrated by Delphie Côté-Lacroix
Orca Book Publishers, 2018
Florence is a swimming instructor. She has a small problem with her lungs: it’s as if she’s breathing through a straw. Leon is an insurance salesman. He has a small problem with his eyes: it’s as if he’s seeing the world through a straw. One day, Florence and Leon bump into each other, literally, and this mishap turns their lives upside down. Available in French as Florence & Léon.

Golden Threads
Written by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Illustrated by Miki Sato
Owlkids Books, 2020
Emi and her stuffed fox are happiest playing under the ginkgo tree. But then a storm sweeps Fox away. Are Emi and his home gone forever? Ripped and tattered, Fox wonders if Emi would even love him anymore. But Fox finds his way into the care of Kiko who mends him lovingly with golden thread. Stitch by stitch, Fox’s heart is mended.

I Talk Like a River
Written by Jordan Scott
Illustrated by Sydney Smith
Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, 2020
I wake up each morning with the sounds of words all around me. And I can’t say them all… When a boy who stutters has a ‘bad speech day,’ his father takes him on a walk by the river to help him find his voice. The boy is reassured and comforted by his father’s love and by finding a connection with the natural world. Available in French as Je parle comme une rivière.

It’s Me, Henry!
Written by Stéphanie Deslauriers
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Orca Book Publishers, 2022
Henry marches to the beat of his own green thumb. Most days, Henry doesn’t notice how different he is from other kids, but some days, he does. When his class goes on a field trip to his favourite place, the botanical gardens, Henry shows the other kids that his unique interests are really something special. Available in French as Laurent, c’est moi!

My Art, My World
Written by Rita Winkler, Mark Winkler and Helen Winkler
Illustrated by Rita Winkler
Second Story Press, 2021
Rita Winkler, a young woman living with Down syndrome, shows us the world as she sees it through her art: a place full of joy and colour. She lives her life with enthusiasm and a dry sense of humour. She takes yoga and dance classes, but Rita’s passion is making art. Her love for the world is portrayed in her art.

My City Speaks
Written by Darren Lebeuf
Illustrated by Ashley Barron
Kids Can Press, 2022
A young girl who is visually impaired finds much to celebrate as she explores her city. On a walk with her father, the girl takes in the sounds, tastes and smells of the city she loves. Her city speaks with honks and beeps, chimes and rumbles, sirens and clangs. But sometimes—like when she plays her violin—it just listens.

My Ocean is Blue
Written by Darren Lebeuf
Illustrated by Ashley Barron
Kids Can Press, 2020
Join a young girl as she experiences a day by the ocean. As she swims, explores, kayaks, skips rocks and watches wildlife, the girl experiences the ocean and all its shapes, sounds, smells and sights. Nothing the girl experiences escapes her careful observation and appreciation. And at day’s end, she can’t wait for her next trip to the beach.

Noni Is Nervous
Written by Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Tundra Books, 2013
Noni is nervous about a lot of things, like play dates, bossy friends and global warming. But she’s mostly nervous about her first day of school. Who will she sit with? What will she wear? And worst of all — what if the teacher is mean? As Noni learns how to navigate through her first day of school, her nerves dissipate and she ends up having a great time. Available in French as Ninon s’inquiète.

Rainbows in the Dark
Written by Jan Coates
Illustrated by Alice Priestley
Second Story Press, 2005
Abby dislikes visiting the second-hand clothing shop with her mother. That is, until she meets Joanna and Charlie—Joanna’s guide dog, a loyal friend and worker who helps her to see, but he’s no help in picking out clothes for a very special event. With Abby’s assistance, a wonderfully colourful outfit is soon ready for Joanna.

Splish, Splat!
Written by Alexis Domney
Illustrated by Alice Crawford
Second Story Press/ Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf, 2011
Colin doesn’t like the colour of his room so his Mom hires two painters to give it a new look. Heather and Molly are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with each other. As they chat and paint a surprising effect appears on the walls. Will Colin like the new look or not? ASL signs used in the book and a fingerspelling alphabet are included.

The Two Trees
Written by Sally Meadows
Illustrated by Trudi Olfert
Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing, 2015
Jaxon’s older brother Syd is really smart, but all Jaxon wants is someone to play with. When Syd has trouble interacting with other kids due to his autism, Jaxon is torn between loyalty to his brother and the frustration of having a sibling who is “different.”

Violet Shrink
Written by Christine Baldacchino
Illustrated by Carmen Mok
Groundwood Books, 2020
Violet Shrink doesn’t like parties. Large gatherings with lots of noise make her tummy ache and her hands sweat. While Violet likes to spend time alone, her whole family loves parties with loud music, games and dancing. Now the Shrink family reunion is approaching… Can Violet muster up the courage to have a talk with her dad?

What’s Up, Maloo?
Written and illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
Tundra Books, 2020
No other kangaroo can hop like Maloo! But one day Maloo’s friends find him stepping instead of hopping. What’s wrong, Maloo? His pals look for ways to help Maloo regain the spring in his step. With patience, support and a little “hop” from his friends, can Maloo gets his bounce back? Available in French as Malou.

Written by Robert Munsch
Illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Scholastic Canada, 2021
It’s finally time for Lauretta to get a new wheelchair. But she isn’t satisfied with a regular 5- or 10-speed model. But when her brother has an accident, only Lauretta and her wheelchair can get him to the hospital in time! Available in French as Vroum!