The Book Bank & StoryMobs Finally Together!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 18, 2016

Media Contact:

Roxanne Deans, 416-670-6074

StoryMobs will be pursuing some fantastical beasts

of its own with If I Had a Gryphon!


Toronto, ON… It’s time to lure those Sasquatch out of hiding and release the Kraken, because StoryMobs is mobilizing any and all mythological creatures for If I Had a Gryphon on Saturday, September 10, somewhere just east of downtown Toronto.
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring … he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might more challenging than she thought. An imaginative new book written by Vikki Van VanSickle, filled with playful illustrations by Cale Atkinson.
StoryMobs are where great books meet flash mobs with a dash of ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ thrown in. A story mob is inspired by an exceptional book and allows for participation in a variety of ways including costumes & props, simple choreography and reading from the book. StoryMobs are primarily aimed at families, but warmly welcome the involvement of book-lovers, flash mob-enthusiasts and fun folks of all ages. StoryMobs is a free event.
Like other flash mobs, StoryMobs appear out of nowhere in an apparently spontaneous way, in a busy public space, at a (quietly) designated time and then disperse without any additional fanfare after they have finished.

*Exact location for all StoryMobs will be given to participants 24 hours before event.

Book:     If I Had a Gyphon by Vikki VanSickle, illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Date:     Saturday, September 10, 2016-08-18

Time:     Sometime between 12:00 and 3:00pm

We are thrilled to be partnering with The Children’s Book Bank for this StoryMob. The Children’s Book Bank is a registered charity that supports childhood literacy by providing free books and literacy support to children in low-income neighbourhoods in the Toronto area. Since opening its doors in 2008, The Children’s Book Bank has distributed over 600,000 free books to children and their families in the Toronto region. To learn more visit

And a special thank you to Penguin Random House and Vikki VanSickle for their support of our event.

The StoryMobs project was created to inspire a sense of community, while nurturing literacy and imagination. For more information on how to get involved, visit the StoryMobs website at

Book of the Month – August

The Book of the Month for August is Gordon Korman’s Island Book One: Shipwreck.  The first book of the Island trilogy is about six kids who are shipwrecked on a desert island. Read this adventure story with us and find out how these kids cope and survive.



Read the Book of the Month with us and participate in the discussion!

1) Write us a review (#BookBankReads) and we will post it to our blog

2) Tweet your thoughts on our choice to @bookbankcanada using the hashtag #bookbankreads

3) Follow @bookbankcanada on Instagram and post a picture of yourself reading using the hashtag #bookbankreads

A Message from First Nations School of Toronto Teacher, Malia Mitha

Over the past several years the students at First Nations School of Toronto, which is a specialized school in the Toronto District School Board located at Dundas St. and Broadview Ave., have been able to visit the Children’s Bookbank. Each experience walking over to the book bank has been an exciting time for the students as they are emergent readers and always look forward to the opportunity to scour the bookshelves looking for books of interest to take home.

As the grade 1/2 teacher at First Nations School, I really value this experiential excursion because it reinforces the importance of reading, in addition to the joy it brings. Each visit begins with preselected read alouds, which always peak the interest of students, as they are well written books that are rich and engaging. Personally I find the opportunity to listen to a great read a bonding experience for the students and myself as they witness how for those fifteen minutes nothing else matters expect what is being heard and experienced in our imagination.


On behalf of our school community we would like to acknowledge the cherished gift we have each year to visit the Children’s Bookbank multiple times. As an educator I will continue to commit time in our school year to visit the friendly staff at the book bank seeing that picking up a book is often not part of the students daily routine in this age of rapid technology development, nor is it always possible due to financial constraints to have access to a plethora of great literature at home.

-Malia Mitha, Grade 1/2 Teacher, First Nations School of Toronto


Book of the Month – July

July’s Book of the Month is “Silverwing” by Kenneth Oppel.   “Silverwing” is about a young bat, Shade who is the runt of his colony. Shade is determined to prove himself amongst his peers in this richly imaginative tale. Read this truly original work of fantasy with our Book of the Month club members!


Read the Book of the Month with us and participate in the discussion!

1) Write us a review (#BookBankReads) and we will post it to our blog

2) Tweet your thoughts on our choice to @bookbankcanada using the hashtag #bookbankreads

3) Follow @bookbankcanada on Instagram and post a picture of yourself reading using the hashtag #bookbankreads

Book of the Month – June

The Book of the Month for June is “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson.  “Bridge to Terabithia” is an Newberry award-winning book about two lonely children who create a magical secret kingdom in the woods.  This is a book about friendship, imagination, and struggling with “big” feelings. Read this wonderful classic book with our Book of the Month club members!


Read the Book of the Month with us and participate in the discussion!

1) Write us a review (#BookBankReads) and we will post it to our blog

2) Tweet your thoughts on our choice to @bookbankcanada using the hashtag #bookbankreads

3) Follow @bookbankcanada on Instagram and post a picture of yourself reading using the hashtag #bookbankreads

Meet Volunteer and Board Member, Patricia


Founder, Kim Beatty with volunteer and board member, Patricia Sculthorpe.                       Photo by Dave Fitzpatrick

“I think I need to do something more meaningful with my time.” Those were the words I blurted out two and a half years ago to my friend Jane, at the gym where we both work out. Jane paused in the middle of lifting a kettle bell. She’s one of those people whose eyes truly twinkle when she’s excited. Her eyes twinkled madly and she asked, “Have you heard of The Children’s Book Bank?”

I hadn’t. But as a former marketing director at a publishing house, the mother of 3 (mostly grown) children, and a lifelong bookworm whose favourite places are libraries and bookstores, I soon agreed to visit The Book Bank with her to check it out.

Like everyone who crosses the threshold at 350 Berkeley, I was instantly entranced by the magical atmosphere of the place. The sun was streaming in through the windows, children were choosing books, babies were crawling on the floors, cheerful volunteers were suggesting good read-aloud picture books to parents, and the whole place hummed with the joy of people pleased to be surrounded by books, artfully displayed and available for free. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I wanted to curl up in the giant leather chair in the front room and start reading myself!

I was lucky enough in the next few months to be invited on to the Board of the Book Bank and soon after became a volunteer once a week. I was quickly humbled by the strength and expertise of the staff (moving books is almost as good a workout as weightlifting at the gym!) and the knowledge of the other volunteers, many of whom are retired schoolteachers or librarians. I’m constantly staggered by the commitment of both the Book Bank’s founder and by the other Board members and the volunteers. I love being around people who care so much about getting books into the hands of small people who might not otherwise have books at home. I’m pleased that I was able to inspire my daughter to run a book drive at her school, resulting in a donation of over a thousand books. But I am also aware that The Children’s Book Bank gives away 10,000 books a month, 6,000 of which are given away from its main location, with another 4,000 being distributed through our partners in various high needs areas in the GTA. Which means The Children’s Book Bank needs at least 10 book drives like the one my daughter ran, every month of the year!

In our Board meetings we talk strategy about growing the effectiveness and reach of The Children’s Book Bank and discuss ways to fundraise to keep this vital place open, staffed and stocked with great books. There are always challenges, but the passion around the table for making a difference in the lives of our customers, is inspiring.

At the end of the day, I’m just proud to be part of such an amazing organization. And I can say now to Jane, who is a former Board Director, that my life is definitely more meaningful since The Children’s Book Bank became part of it. Thanks Jane.



1000 in 1 Day / Storybook Photo Booth

As part of the 100in1Day Toronto events happening all over the city, The Children’s Book Bank is hoping to collect 1000 kids’ books (1000 in 1 Day) to add to our inventory.

We’ll also be setting up a Storybook Photo Booth, with props and costumes, so your little ones can dress up as some of their favourite Storybook Characters. And you’ll be able to take a snapshot home of you with you for free, courtesy of Downtown Camera.

So cull your bookshelves (or visit your local bookstore and buy a few) and come spend the day with us at the Book Bank. And don’t forget to tell your friends!