First Book

Equal access to quality education for children in need

Press Release

Mo Willems and First Book Join Forces to Bring New Books to New Orleans Kids

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012 -- Mo Willems, author and illustrator of the award-winning Elephant & Piggie books, is teaming up with First Book, the national nonprofit that provides new books for kids in need, to bring books to second-graders at Title I schools in Louisiana and Massachusetts.

Willems, who the Washington Post called "the most famous man in the literary world, if you are under three feet tall", grew up in New Orleans and lives in Massachusetts. This is the second year he has worked with First Book to reach children from low-income families in those communities.

"First Book works with kids in thousands of Title I schools, and they love Mo's books," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "These are the popular, high-quality books that more affluent parents are able to afford for their children, and those are exactly the kinds of books we want to distribute. We're excited to provide them because the kids are excited to read them."

First Book is providing over 7,000 Elephant & Piggie books, thanks to support from Willems and Disney Publishing Worldwide, who are making the books available at a third of the retail price. Disney is also providing activity kits, stickers and posters free of charge to each classroom, and every book will include a special note from Willems.

Willems and First Book have dubbed the annual project 'Friendiversary', in honor of day when Gerald (the elephant) and Piggie (the pig) became friends. Click here to learn more.

As part of the celebration, First Book is also making Elephant & Piggie books and the Friendiversary activity kit available to each of the 27,000 schools and programs in its national network.

About First Book
First Book has distributed more than 90 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.  By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and the elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit us online or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

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