First Book Canada and Paul Harbridge bring magic of reading to Maple school

Maple students “discover” the magic of reading with local children’s author

TORONTO, Ontario (March 6, 2018) – On March 2nd, First Book Canada and children’s author Paul Harbridge brought the magic of reading to grade 2 students at Discovery Public School. The Reading Celebration included a presentation from Paul Harbridge, where he discussed the book, the illustrator’s process of making the artwork, and read from When The Moon Comes. Each student received a brand new, signed copy of Paul’s children’s book When The Moon Comes that they can keep, take home, and share with their family. This Reading Celebration was generously supported by KPMG.

“Our students so enjoyed meeting an actual author, hearing him read his story, and learning about the writing and illustrative processes. Our students have a better understanding of how authors often start with what they know, and then can turn it into an amazing story. Everyone appreciated receiving their own autographed copy of Paul Harbridge’s book. I believe students are now inspired to try writing their own stories based on their unique experiences,” said Elli Weisdorf, teacher at Discovery Public School. “Being part of a Performance Plus school in York Region District School Board means our families often don’t have a lot of money for pay for objects or experiences. Experiences such as today’s visit give students opportunities that they might not have outside of school, and they can also now enjoy the richness of today’s story at home over and over again.”

“The children were a wonderful audience and we all had a great time. I shared how I came to write my story, showed a video of how the illustrator Matt James makes his marvelous pictures, and then read the book. At the end of our session, the students asked me some very good questions about the story and the writing process, and then each of the children received their own copy of the book, a gift from First Book Canada. They were thrilled,” said Paul Harbridge, author of When The Moon Comes. “I would like to thank Elli Weisdorf of Discovery Public School, First Book Canada and Evan Munday of Tundra Books for making this day happen. And, of course, thanks to the children for their enthusiastic participation.”

First Book Canada has seen the impact of reading to children through Reading Celebrations like the one at Discovery: conversations with volunteers and authors have allowed students to discuss topics and stories that they might otherwise feel too shy or intimidated to start. Studies have shown that reading aloud to children in an engaging way, like a Reading Celebration, promotes literacy, language development, and a love for reading.

“It’s always wonderful to pair a bestselling Canadian children’s author with a brand new book and a classroom of eager elementary school students, keen to read and discover new worlds,” said Tom Best, Executive Director of First Book Canada. “Thanks to the support from KPMG in Vaughan, we were able to introduce a critically acclaimed author to school children who just don’t have that sort of opportunity very often.”

About First Book Canada

First Book Canada provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. By making new, high quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis, First Book Canada is transforming the lives of children and elevating the quality of education in the country. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed over 6 million new books to hundreds of thousands of children in need across Canada. For more information, or to register for books, visit us at and follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Tom Best, Executive Director, First Book Canada
866.732.3669 ext. 0130