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Gifts by Jo Ellen Bogart and Barbara Reid: The 2011 TD Grade One Giveaway

Book Cover Gifts

“This book belongs to...” reads the label inside the cover of the new print run of Gifts, written by Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrated by Barbara Reid, and this year, grade one students all across Canada will have the pleasure of completing the sentence with their own names. Gifts is being distributed as part of the TD Grade One Giveaway, now in its 11th year, which has previously featured books by Canadian authors as beloved as Paulette Bourgeois, Sharon Jennings, Dennis Lee, and Marie-Louise Gay.

This year’s pick certainly lives up to the legacy. Gifts is Jo Ellen Bogart’s story-in-bouncing-verse of an adventurous grandmother who travels the world, bringing her granddaughter the most remarkable, intangible souvenirs: a lion’s roar from Africa, a sunrise from Mexico, “a rainbow to wear as a ring” from Hawaii, the song of a sitar in India, and “a memory from Beijing.” The story is enriched by Barbara Reid’s plasticine illustrations, which solve the puzzles that Bogart’s story poses: the memory is a dragon-decked teapot, the rainbow is printed on an inner-tube, the sunrise is a picture, and the lion’s roar is delivered by Grandma who has gotten down playfully on her hands and knees.

How the 2011 Grade One Giveaway came to be chosen was an exe …

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