First Book and Penguin Random House Partner to Bring Brand New Books and Red Mittens to Kids in Need Through Red Mitten Campaign
Campaign marks release of “A Poem for Peter,” a new children’s book based on the life of beloved children’s author Ezra Jack Keats
The Campaign will donate up to 5,000 brand-new books and 5,000 pairs of brand-new red mittens for every Ezra Jack Keats title sold in participating book stores through the end of December.
“We are so grateful to Penguin Young Readers and Andrea Davis Pinkney for partnering with us to celebrate this iconic title and simultaneously serve children,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “Pairing the beloved Peter – one of the first widely-read children’s books featuring an African-American child – with a pair of warm mittens for a child in need is a gift that meets some of the most acute needs in the communities we serve. It supports our mission to promote diversity in children’s literature, and it provides warmth in the winter months.”
Listed as a “Best Book of 2016” by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, and Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus says “A Poem for Peter” is, “A love letter to the man who gave readers the beautiful and enduring image of a black boy in a red hooded snowsuit…More to the point, Pinkney lets readers know what Peter meant and still means as a milestone in inclusive children's literature…He brought a world of white / suddenly alive with color…A loving and forceful reminder that Keats' Peter is our Peter—always.”
“When a child has warm hands on a cold day, those hands can hold a book,” Pinkney said. “Those same warm hands and their eager fingers can point out a book’s pictures, follow its words, turn its pages, and share that book with the next reader. I’m so grateful to First Book for making warm hands and eager readers possible.”
Book ownership and a print-rich environment are leading indicators of a child’s educational success, but for the 32 million children growing up in low-income families in the U.S. alone , books are scarce. A recent study found that in one Washington, D.C., neighborhood, there was only one book for every 830 children.
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