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Guelph girl publishes new Robert Munsch book for charity


For Immediate Release
June 12, 2009

GUELPH, Ontario — A new book written by acclaimed children’s author Robert Munsch and published by an eight-year-old girl from Guelph, Ont., goes on sale today in support of Children of Bukati, a charity that supports more than 650 HIV/AIDS orphans at Bukati Primary School in Butula, Kenya, by providing pencils, school uniforms and a lunch program.

The project was spearheaded by Taya Kendall, a Grade 3 student at Sir Isaac Brock Public School in Guelph, Ont. The book, titled Braids, is illustrated by close to 30 students from Sir Isaac Brock, including Kendall’s six-year-old sister, Eden, the book’s youngest artist.

In January, Kendall launched a school paper called the SIB Times as a way to connect with other students, share information, hone her communication skills and raise money for Children of Bukati, a charity founded in 2006 by Cate Dewey, chair of the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph.

Weeks later, she had a chance meeting with Munsch at the Guelph Public Library. After learning of her efforts, he immediately offered to send her one of his unpublished stories.

“I wanted to make the story into a book because it was meant to be a book,” says Kendall, who had originally thought she would simply feature the story in a special edition of the SIB Times. “I think people should buy it because all the money is for charity. When they buy the book, they are making all the kids in Butula and the kids at my school and Dr. Dewey and Robert Munsch happy. They’re the reason I published Braids.”

In Guelph, the book is for sale at the Bookshelf, Fighting Griffin Family Karate, the Guelph Children’s Museum, Macondo Books, Merry Go Round, Simply Wonderful Toys and the University Bookstore. It will also be available at Stone Road Mall June 16 to 21 at a table located outside the Children’s Place and sold at various locations in Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto and Owen Sound.

The book can also be ordered by phone, mail order and online in partnership with New Internationalist, an independent magazine renowned for its campaigning stance on a range of world issues. After learning about plans to publish Braids, Ian McKelvie, North American Publisher of New Internationalist, contacted Rebecca Kendall, Taya’s mother, and discovered the book was only going to be made available through selected stores in Ontario. “I thought the project was a terrific idea that deserved a wider audience throughout Canada. I knew that New Internationalist could offer its support as well as market Braids to our readers. They had no experience with e-commerce, and for us it was only a matter of adding another product to our online store. All proceeds from book sales will go to Children of Bukati and any shipping and handling fees will cover our costs.”

Munsch is one of Canada’s most loved children’s authors. He has written more than 40 books and has sold 30 million copies, many of which have been translated into other languages.

His book Love You Forever was the bestselling children’s book in Canada from 1986 to 1988, and the New York Times named it the bestselling children’s picture book in the United States in 1994. The book, which has sold more than 20 million copies, was even read aloud in an episode of the NBC comedy series Friends.

“Robert Munsch has the uncanny ability to take an issue that is a serious and real concern to a child, add humour and show parents and teachers what it feels like from the child’s perspective,” says Dewey. “The book will provide enjoyment for a Canadian child and the essentials of life and hope for a child in Kenya. Profit from the sale of one book will feed an orphaned child for a week and provide a pencil for the child to use at school. Profit from two books will provide a school uniform for a child.”

For more information and to order the book, go to

Braids is available at the following locations:

Bookshelf, 41 Quebec St.
Fighting Griffin Family Karate, 210 Kortright Rd. W.
Guelph Children’s Museum, 6 Dublin St. S.
Macondo Books, 18 Wilson St.
Merry Go Round, 219 Silvercreek Pkwy. N.
Simply Wonderful Toys, 10 Paisley St.
University Bookstore, University of Guelph

KW Bookstore, 308 King St. W., Kitchener
The Children’s Museum, 10 King St. W., Kitchener
Words Worth Books, 100 King St. S., Waterloo

Ella Minnow, 1915 Queen St. E.
Mabel’s Fables, 662 Mount Pleasant Rd.
Parentbooks, 201 Harbord St.
Treasure Island Toys, 581 Danforth Ave.
Owen Sound
Downtown Bookstore, 945 2nd Ave. E.
Ginger Press Bookstore, 848 2nd Ave. E.

Contact information for media:

Cate Dewey  
Founder, Children of Bukati
[email protected] or [email protected]

Taya Kendall (via Rebecca Kendall)
[email protected]

Maggie McFadzen
Communications Officer, Upper Grand District School Board
519- 822-4420, Ext. 725
[email protected]

Ian McKelvie
North American Publisher
New Internationalist
[email protected]


Categories: Media Releases