Canadian Children’s Book Week Kicks Off May 2

Posted in: Uncategorised | 0

en français 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (April 30th, 2021) – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is excited to announce the 2021 Canadian Children’s Book Week tour. From May 2 to May 8, Canadian children’s authors, illustrators and storytellers will embark on our first-ever virtual tour, reaching 17,205 kids and teens across the country. Hosted on digital platforms, our goal is the same as it has always been: to share stories and captivate the imaginations of children and teens. Throughout the week, 45 authors, illustrators and storytellers will visit hundreds of schools, public libraries, bookstores and community centres across Canada to read from their books and share with children the magic of reading, writing, illustrating and storytelling. Touring participants will be visiting students all across Canada, including remote communities like BC’s Salt Spring Island, Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories, and Lennox Island First Nation, PEI.  

“We are grateful to our sponsors, funders and partners for making this year’s tour so wide reaching,” says Rose Vespa, Executive Director. “Although COVID-19 has meant that creators cannot physically tour across Canada, for the 2021 tour we are able to reach more communities than ever through the digital platforms. Thanks to our Adopt-a-School program, 30 schools that would be unable to pay the reading fee will have a creator virtually inside their classroom, leaving a lasting impact for students even without ever physically being there.” This year, the Adopt-a-School program is possible thanks to generous personal donations through our 2019 #GivingTuesday campaign, the Government of Manitoba, the Government of the Northwest Territories, First Book Canada, Storytellers of Canada, Marquis and the YVR Dungeon Masters. The tour is also made possible because of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Through our partnership with the Storytellers of Canada, Book Week includes two storytellers, Dr. Rita Cox and Selina Eisenberg. This year’s bilingual tour is possible through a partnership with Communication-Jeunesse, our sister organization in Quebec. For the first time ever, we are working together to bring this national tour to Anglophone and Francophone students. “We are delighted with this brand new collaboration with our English-speaking counterpart for the organization of this tour which is close to our hearts,” says Pénélope Jolicoeur, Executive Director of Communication-Jeunesse. In total, there will be 348 presentations in English and French during the one week that Book Week takes place. 

Aside from being our first-ever virtual tour, this year’s Canadian Children’s Book Week is unique in another respect. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of First Book Canada, for 10 author visits through the Adopt-a-School program, every child participating will receive their own copy of that author’s book. “For many of the schools and daycares in our network, the opportunity to have an author come right into a classroom and talk directly with students and educators about their work is very rare,” says Tom Best, Executive Director of First Book Canada. “That’s why it is such a privilege and honour to work with the CCBC, their partners and so many remarkable Canadian authors and illustrators on this Book Week virtual tour. For most of these students this will be the first time they have met an author whose book they now own.” Featured authors are Aidan Cassie, Paul Covello, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Katherine Battersby, Clayton Hanmer, J. Torres, Carolyn Fisher, Robin Stevenson, Saumiya Balasubramaniam, and Charlene and Wilson Bearhead. While 10 creator visits are funded by First Book Canada, for the additional 20 Adopt-a-School visits, each class will receive two copies of the author’s books. The CCBC will also be subsidising 162 additional readings. 

This year’s theme, Readers Take Flight/Tournée lire à tout vent, celebrates the way stories can make the impossible possible. The poster art was created by Philippe Béha, illustrator of more than 180 books. The poster is available to download for free online

For more information about the program, to see the full tour schedule, or to find out how to host readings in your community next year, please visit To spread the word about Book Week, use the hashtags #CCBCBookWeek2021 and #lireatoutvent and tag @KidsBookCentre on social media. 

For schools, libraries and households not participating in the tour, head to Bibliovideo, the CCBC’s YouTube channel, for exclusive videos to celebrate Book Week. 

Download the PDF of this press release here

For more information, please contact:  

Emma Hunter
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
416 975-0010 ext. 2 

Official Tour Roster (English)


Aidan Cassie, author/illustrator Paul Covello, author/illustrator
Jean E. Pendziwol, author Robin Stevenson, author
Katherine Battersby, author/illustrator Saumiya Balasubramaniam, author
Michelle Barker, author  

British Columbia 

Debbie Ridpath Ohi, author/illustrator Kenneth Oppel, author
Hatem Aly, illustrator Kevin Sylvester, author
Jean E. Pendziwol, author Mireille Messier, author

British Columbia (Kootenay Region)

Charlene & Wilson Bearhead, authors Lori Doody, author/illustrator
J. Torres, author/comic book writer Monique Polak, author


Debbie Ridpath Ohi, author/illustrator Mireille Messier, author
Katherine Battersby, author/illustrator Rita Cox, storyteller
Kenneth Oppel, author Shane Peacock, author

New Brunswick

Carolyn Fisher, author/illustrator Lori Doody, author/illustrator
Cecil Castellucci, author/graphic novelist Michelle Barker, author
Clayton Hanmer, illustrator Monique Polak, author

Newfoundland & Labrador

Carolyn Fisher, author/illustrator Monique Polak, author
Katherine Battersby, author/illustrator Paul Covello, author/illustrator
J. Torres, author/comic book writer  

Northwest Territories

Aidan Cassie, author/illustrator Paul Covello, author/illustrator
Clayton Hanmer, illustrator Rita Cox, storyteller

Nova Scotia

Hatem Aly, illustrator Mireille Messier, author
J. Torres, author/comic book writer Natasha Deen, author
Kenneth Oppel, author Rita Cox, storyteller


Charlene & Wilson Bearhead, authors Natasha Deen, author
Debbie Ridpath Ohi, author/illustrator Nicola Winstanley, author


Aidan Cassie, author/illustrator Hatem Aly, illustrator
Carolyn Fisher, author/illustrator Michelle Barker, author
Cecil Castellucci, author/graphic novelist Selina Eisenberg, storyteller
Charlene & Wilson Bearhead, authors  

Prince Edward Island

Debbie Ridpath Ohi, author/illustrator Nicola Winstanley, author
Kevin Sylvester, author Robin Stevenson, author


Charlene & Wilson Bearhead, authors Robin Stevenson, author
Clayton Hanmer, illustrator Saumiya Balasubramaniam, author
Jean E. Pendziwol, author Shane Peacock, author
Nicola Winstanley, author  


Cecil Castellucci, author/graphic novelist Monique Polak, author
Charlene & Wilson Bearhead, authors Natasha Deen, author
J. Torres, author/comic book writer Saumiya Balasubramaniam, author


Kevin Sylvester, author Selina Eisenberg, storyteller
Lori Doody, author/illustrator Shane Peacock, author 
The French-language touring creators for 2021 are:
Annie Bacon, author Dïana Bélice, author 
Alain M. Bergeron, author  Steve Beshwaty, illustrator 
Stéphan Bilodeau, author  Jocelyn Boisvert, author 
Lora Boisvert, author  Carolyn Chouinard, author 
Lucile de Pesloüan, author  Alex S. Girard, author/illustrator 
Andrew Katz, author  Magali Laurent, author 
Emmanuel Lauzon, author  Juliana Léveillé-Trudel, author 
Diya Limgh, author  Anne Renaud, author 
Élise Rivard, author  Pierre Rodrigue, author/illustrator 
Lina Rousseau, author  Julie Royer, author 
Mireille Villeneuve, author


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

About Communication-Jeunesse
Communication-Jeunesse is a national non-profit cultural organization that was founded in 1971 to promote and appreciate Quebec and Franco-Canadian literature aimed at young people ages 0 to 17. The vitality of the organization is largely based on the quality of its associative life and the commitment of its members has been at the heart of its operations since its creation. The members of Communication-Jeunesse enrich its actions and promote its development with as much rigor as energy. For more information, please visit

About First Book Canada
First Book Canada’s mission is to transform the lives of children in need by improving access to educational opportunities. Through a market-driven model, First Book Canada is creating equal access to quality education—making everything from brand new, high-quality books and educational resources, to winter coats, backpacks, and moreaffordable to its member network of more than 10,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. First Book Canada members work in classrooms, after school and summer or early childhood programs, shelters and health clinics, libraries, community programs, and other settings serving a majority of children in need. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed more than 7 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in Canada. First Book Canada currently reaches hundreds of thousands of children every year. For more information, please visit

About Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada
Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada (SC-CC) is devoted to connecting people, reflecting culture, and inspiring discovery through the art of Storytelling. SC-CC was founded in 1993 as a result of a national meeting in Montreal instigated by Rosalyn Cohen. Since then, SC-CC has held a national conference in a different location each year. In 2000, SC-CC was incorporated as a Non-Profit Organization and received its National Arts Service Organization designation. SC-CC functions as the national representative for those involved in maintaining and practising oral traditions in Canada and encourages the participation of all peoples, by recognizing storytelling as a common root of all cultures and by making strong, positive efforts towards regional and cultural inclusion. For more information, please visit

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

About Canada Council for the Arts
The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Council champions and invests in artistic excellence through a broad range of grants, services, prizes and payments to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations. Its work ensures that excellent, vibrant and diverse art and literature engages Canadians, enriches their communities and reaches markets around the world. The Council also raises public awareness and appreciation of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities. It is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO in Canada to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.

About the Ontario Arts Council
Established in 1963 to foster the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is an agency that operates at arm’s length from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The OAC’s grants and services to professional, Ontario-based artists and arts organizations support arts education, Indigenous arts, community arts, crafts, dance, Francophone arts, literature, media arts, multidisciplinary arts, music, theatre, touring, and visual arts. In 2019-20, the OAC invested $51.9 million in 197 communities across Ontario through 1,965 grants to individual artists and 1,152 grants to organizations. For more information, please visit