The Power of Parenting

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Giller Prize Winning Author, Joseph Boyden Donates Books to Moosonee’s Imagination Library Program

Tuesday, January 27, 2021

(Toronto, January 27, 2021) – Children in Moosonee have a special reason to celebrate Family Literacy Day today – author Joseph Boyden has provided the funding for a month’s worth of books to the Imagination Library program in the town that provides the setting for his two bestselling novels.

Boyden, who won The Giller Prize for his new book Through Black Spruce, wanted to do something to encourage literacy in Moosonee, a rural, Ontario town without a bookstore or public library.

“It’s fantastic to give back a little to a community that has given me so much. My greatest and earliest memories are of my mother reading to my siblings and me. Books have opened up doors to worlds I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced. It is precisely this that has made me the writer I am today.”

Two local moms, Connie Hergott and Theresa Crown, partnered with Invest in Kids to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to the town in February 2008 and have worked tirelessly to generate support and funding for the early literacy program which provides enrolled children with a free, age-appropriate book in the mail once a month until their fifth birthday.

Boyden is not alone in his generosity. Best Start in Cochrane also recently gifted the program with a grant to help with costs and local organizations and merchants have also contributed. The community must find the funds to cover the cost of the books and provide volunteers to manage their database, while The Dollywood Foundation of Canada covers the administrative costs.

“We have had a very successful first year of the Imagination Library in our community,” says Hergott. “We are proud that over 130 of Moosonee’s preschool-aged children have been able to receive a free book in the mail each month. We continue to need funding to meet the demand for our program and are grateful for people like Joseph Boyden and programs such as Best Start, which value literacy development and believe our program is needed. These contributions to the Moosonee Imagination Library have helped us to sustain the program and ensure that children who are not yet in school have access to good quality books, right in their own homes.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program is designed to give children an early start to their learning and development, providing age-appropriate books to encourage reading and language skills. The program offers a way for parents to connect with their children, support their children’s language development and prepare them for kindergarten. In Canada, every book is mailed with one of Invest in Kids’ Comfort, Play & Teach® activity cards, which give parents tips and ideas on how to support their child’s healthy social, emotional and intellectual development as they read to their child.

Moosonee is part of a growing number of Canadian communities taking part in the Imagination Library program. Each month children receive books that are carefully selected by a group of experts in education, child development and early childhood literacy, ensuring that the content they read and the illustrations in the books are supporting them appropriately at every stage of their development.

Since November 2006 when Invest in Kids partnered with The Dollywood Foundation of Canada to launch The Imagination Library in Canada, families from communities coast-to-coast in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Newfoundland have had the opportunity to register their child. In March, Nova Scotia became the first province in Canada to offer the program to all First Nations children born in the province and in October the Yukon announced that it was implementing the program across the entire territory, making all newborns eligible to join. In 2008, the program delivered over 5 million hard cover books to over 490,000 children throughout the United States and Canada.

To learn how to start an Imagination Library program in your community, please call The Imagination Library at 1-877-583-KIDS x 293 or visit or

Invest in Kids is a national charity dedicated to supporting parents in the most important undertaking of their lives – raising a child. Understanding the power of parenting, the critical importance of the first five years and parents’ hopes to be the very best parent they can be, Invest in Kids translates the science of parenting and child development into easy-to-understand resources that strengthen parenting knowledge, skills and confidence and provide practical approaches that have context in the world in which they live. For additional information visit,

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library supports children’s language and literacy skills and prepares them for school by gifting every signed-up newborn with a free age-appropriate book a month until the child’s fifth birthday. It helps parents build a positive parent-child relationship through rich sensory exchange as they start reading to their child from early on. Started in the U.S. by Dolly Parton in 1996 in her native Tennessee, the Imagination Library expanded across the States and is currently benefiting more than 480,000 families and their young children. The program has been available in Canada to families with children under five since November 2006, when it was launched by Invest in Kids in partnership with The Dollywood Foundation of Canada. For additional information, visit: or


Media Contact:
Krista Lamb
Invest in Kids
Manager, Media Relations and Publicity
1-877-583-5437 or (416) 977-1222 ext. 224 
[email protected]