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Chaiwala! selected for TD grade one book giveaway

l to r: Priti Birla Maheshwari and Ashley Barron

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has announced this year’s pick for the TD Grade One Book Giveaway. This fall, every grade one child in Canada will receive a copy of Chaiwala! written by Priti Birla Maheshwari and illustrated by Ashley Barron (Owlkids Books). The book tells the story of a young girl and her mother enjoying a cup of chai during their stopover in Jaipur.

“To celebrate Asian Heritage Month, the CCBC is thrilled to announce Chaiwala! as the selection for the 2023 TD Grade One Book Giveaway,” Sarah Sahagian, executive director of the CCBC, said in a press release. “Set in Jaipur, India, Chaiwala! is an engaging story about travel, adventure, and the special treats that make for magical childhood memories, like ordering a delicious cup of chai at the train station.”

“As a teacher myself, it’s wonderful to see children developing a love for reading and learning about the importance of culture and diversity,” Maheshwari said in the release. “Every child should be able to see themselves in the books they read.”

“The book is an ode to living in the moment,” Ashley Barron said in the release. “It’s a celebration of the senses and an insight into a very special drink – chai – and how it’s crafted. I hope every child who reads the book is inspired to celebrate their own favourite food and drink.”

The CCBC, with the sponsorship of TD Bank Group, will distribute more than 500,000 copies to grade one students across the country. Francophone Canadians and French immersion students will receive the French translation, also entitled Chaiwala! The CCBC is also continuing their collaboration with CNIB Beyond Print to produce print braille editions to ensure the book is accessible to children with print disabilities.