My Heart Fills With Happiness Selected for the 2019 TD Grade One Book Giveaway, with Text in Plains Cree and Select Copies in Braille

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (June 27, 2019) – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is thrilled to announce that My Heart Fills With Happiness/sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett, has been selected for the 2019 TD Grade One Book Giveaway. Every grade one child in Canada is set to receive a copy of the title to take home this fall. This book is a celebration of Indigenous culture, family and finding joy in life’s simple moments. This year has been declared the International Year of Indigenous Languages by the United Nations, and this special edition also includes the text in Plains Cree, as well as English or French.

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

My Heart Fills With Happiness is published by Orca Book Publishers and was the winner of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize. “I am honoured that My Heart Fills With Happiness has been chosen as the TD Grade One Book Giveaway and especially thrilled that children will be receiving it in Plains Cree and English/French,” says author Monique Gray Smith. Julie Flett, illustrator, notes that “while I was working on this book, I was inspired by Monique’s beautiful words, and many of my experiences as a child growing up in Ontario, as well as my experiences of working with children in Vancouver where I live now.”

“Orca is delighted that My Heart Fills With Happiness has been selected for this year’s giveaway,” says Andrew Wooldridge, Publisher. “This is a wonderful book that has already engaged thousands of children. Its message of kindness, support and respect has really struck a chord and its underlying impact on Reconciliation has been profound. We are especially glad that the version that the CCBC has chosen is the dual-language edition in Cree and English. This is a book that every Canadian should read and reflect on. TD and the CCBC are hugely important proponents of reading for children and we are grateful for their efforts on behalf of Canadian children’s books.”

Since 2000, over 9.5 million books have been given to Grade One students nation-wide. For many children, My Heart Fills With Happiness will be the first book they have ever owned.

“As part of our corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, we are proud to support increased access to books via the TD Grade One Book Giveaway Program. Time spent reading is time well spent on growing imaginations, and reinforcing literacy skills and confidence.” says Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship at TD Bank Group. “That’s why the TD Grade One Book Giveaway is such an important program to help increase access to early learning and build a more inclusive tomorrow.”

“The educational benefits of reading and literacy are immense, but we also see books as a way to bring joy and build connections and empathy,” says Rose Vespa, Executive Director of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. “My Heart Fills With Happiness is the perfect example of this and I am proud for it to be the first giveaway book during my time at the CCBC. This fall over half a million children will receive a copy of My Heart Fills With Happiness, and for many this gift will spark a lifelong love of books and stories.”

“For the first time, the CCBC has partnered with the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) to undertake a pilot project that will distribute printbraille editions of the book to grade one students who are blind or partially. Printbraille copies of the book will also be available at select CNIB Foundation centres and hubs throughout Canada.”

You can download the PDF of this press release here.

For more information, please contact:


Emma Hunter
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
416.975.0010 ext. 221 | emma@bookcentre.ca

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, please visit our website.

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with 13 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.4 trillion in assets on April 30, 2019. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol “TD” on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

About TD Global Corporate Citizenship
TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. In March 2018, TD launched The Ready Commitment, a new multi-year program to help individuals and communities prosper. As part of The Ready Commitment, TD targets CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for an inclusive tomorrow – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD’s aspiration is to link business, products, services, and community giving to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but about their future and their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment