Canadian Magazine Industry News
12 June 2009,     GUELPH, ONT.
New Internationalist partners with 8-year-old on Robert Munsch book
At eight years old, Taya Kendall already has more publishing experience than many of the people regularly featured in magazine launch stories on Masthead. Not only did the grade 3 student at Sir Isaac Brock Public School in Guelph, Ont., found the SIB Times student newspaper in January, she has also just self-published a new story called Braids by legendary children's author Robert Munsch. The book will be sold for $10 at various outlets in Ontario, as well as through the New Internationalist magazine. All proceeds from book sales will go to Children of Bukati, a program that helps AIDS orphans attend school in Butula, Kenya, by providing pencils, school uniforms and a lunch program.

Toronto Star reporter Vit Wagner wrote about the book's genesis in today's paper:

In January, Taya met Munsch at a reading at the Guelph Public Library. The famed Canadian children's author was struck by the girl's resemblance to a character in one of his unpublished stories, about a girl who reluctantly allows her hair to be braided but is ultimately pleased with the result. Munsch granted Taya permission to use the story in the school newspaper she had launched earlier that month at Sir Isaac Brock Public School.

All proceeds from Braids will go to a children's charity that helps AIDS orphans in Kenya attend school.
Kendall eventually decided that the story should become a book and Munsch agreed. Though her parents gave her a hand, Grendall retained creative control and commisioned the illustrations out to students at Sir Isaac Brock, including her youngest sister, Eden, who turns 6 on Monday.

About 5,000 copies of the book were printed so far. “I think people should buy it because all the money is for charity," Kendall said in a press release.

When he heard about the project, Ian McKelvie, publisher for New Internationalist, a magazine known for its campaigning stance on a range of world issues, contacted Kendall’s mother and discovered the book was only going to be made available through selected stores in Ontario.

“I think the project is a terrific idea that deserves the broadest possible audience,” says McKelvie. “I knew we could offer our support with general sales as well as market Braids to our readers. 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 shipping and handling fees will cover those costs.”
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