The story of Giraffe and Bird by Canadian author Rebecca Bender was brought to life by the author herself at the Bkejwanong First Nation Public Library on Walpole Island First Nation Thursday.
Bender is a children’s author who is part of the TD Grade One Book Giveaway, a program of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. She brings her series of books to Grade 1 classes and at the end of her presentation, signs a copy of a book for each student.
Pam Hedden’s Grade One class from Bkejwanong Kinomaagewgamig school got to sit and learn how the author came up with her ideas, how she illustrated her book and were asked for ideas for more adventures for Giraffe and Bird.
Librarian Linda-Lou Classens said this is the first time they have hosted an author from the TD book program to read to a class, and said it was a great opportunity for the kids to find out how books are created and get a new book to take home at no charge.
“I was approached by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and asked if I wanted my book to be part of this program, and of course, I said yes,” Bender said. “It’s a wonderful program where over 500,000 books have been given away across Canada to Grade 1. I am getting to travel around and meet the students, sign some books and help promote the program.”
The author, who is also an art director and designer, showed the class her original art work that was used for her Giraffe and Bird books, and as they called out future adventure ideas for the pair, she drew a quick design of what that might look like.
“I always try to give them a glimpse into what I do and that I started out like them; a child that loved to draw and loved stories, so I hope they make that connection that they could be up here one day doing the same thing,” Bender said
Bender signed each student’s book at the end of the presentation.
“It’s wonderful how grateful and appreciative they are to have a book they get to take home. Sometimes they are saying it’s their first book so I think it means a lot,” she added.
Classens, who sits on the National Creative Committee for planning the TD summer reading program for 2018-2019, appreciates the sponsorship of TD for the program, and reaching out to First Nations libraries like Bkejwanong First Nation Public Library.