For parents and educators, Todd Parr’s children’s books and ToddWorld television show have been a conduit for sharing ideas about complex emotions with young readers. So with the arrival of the new coronavirus, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers saw a spike in interest in his books. But as the economic damage from the outbreak deepens across the country, families who might turn to his titles may not be able to afford the luxury of buying a book.
LBYR and Hachette Book Group are hoping to address that need with a new initiative called “Reading with Todd Parr Makes Us Feel Good.” Throughout the month of June, LBYR and HBG will match every copy of a Todd Parr book bought directly from the publisher by indie bookstores with a donated copy that will be given to the Children’s Book Project, a literacy nonprofit that distributes books to children in need.
“The school and camp closures have put many parents and families in a difficult position, and it seemed like a good time to give back to communities and broaden availability for books that would make kids feel accepted and comforted,” LBYR executive v-p and publisher Megan Tingley said.
This is not the first time that Parr has partnered with a nonprofit to distribute books, but this particular initiative was a natural fit for the author, who lives in the Bay Area. Founded in 1992, the San Francisco-based nonprofit has distributed nearly three million books in its 28 years.
“There is always a need to get more books to kids around the world. The need is even greater right now,” Parr said in a statement. “Being able to help and support kids who need it, and indie booksellers, is truly the definition of Reading Makes You Feel Good.”
The partnership with indie bookstores is an important component of the program for Tingley, who hopes that it can be promoted by bookstores to their benefit, while having a broad impact at the same time.
“We thought it would be great to build awareness for both this great nonprofit literacy organization as well as for bookstores,” she said. “This way, in addition to helping needy kids, we are also helping two important community groups.”