Todd Smith has been contributing to A Good Book Drive for eons and it’s our absolute pleasure to be posting this. Not only did Todd generously volunteer to make us our lovely video, but he’s even managed to spread the book love around. His girlfriend Anna asked that her pals give her the gift of book donations to the drive for her birthday this year. 

To take things even further, Todd shared his insights in this TED-talk worthy interview, where he lets us in to his love of design and the books that will inspire a new generation of readers to stay profoundly curious: Go by Chip Kidd and What People Do All Day by Richard Scarry.

Joy Pecknold, Western editor of Fashion magazine, blog editor for Kiwi Collection, and freelancer all over the place, donated Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

We can’t do justice to Joy’s wisdom, so you’ll have to listen for yourself. But, we will share a favourite part: “This book. In grade six our principal read it out loud to us, to the whole class, and I remember that being very cool. He would read us a chapter every Friday. He was someone in an authority position who loved books and he wanted to share that with us.”

Andy Dixon isn’t afraid to die. Don’t get him wrong, he’s not stoked on dying, but stories like Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have helped him come to grips with the whole scary idea of death: “It really teaches you that life is some sort of absurdist, insolvable puzzle that we’re all kind of stuck and fumbling our way through … it was sort of the great equalizer, everyone can relate to the idea that life doesn’t many any sense. Everyone kind of wants to resist logic.”

Nothing illogical about that. For more of Andy Dixon’s musings on artistry, legacy, and mortality listen here

Who doesn’t remember flipping through pop-up book Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill or giggling with glee over Roger Hargreaves’ Mr. Men and Little Miss series; Little Miss Sunshine in particular?

Little Miss Lauren Ho, part of the crew of community supporters at The Juice Truck, donated these most memorable books from her childhood. “I think I just liked the girl, you know? You want to be the person in the book,” she said of Hargreave’s sunshine story, “She’s cute, she has pigtails, she has freckles. I have freckles!” Delightful. Hear more from Lauren here

Artstarts gallery volunteer and mom of three Kori Tarry donated the most historically mentioned book on A Good Book Drive: Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever. “It explains  and radiates the idea of unconditional love between a mother and a child. I found a connection there, no matter what you do your mother will always love you.”

Hear more about how Kori experienced the evolving familial love examined in this family classic.

Brett Beadle, co-owner of The Shop Vancouver (one of A Good Book Drive’s ardent community supporters), and son to voracious readers and English teacher parents, donated a memorable young adult classic that helped him graduate from “bunnies” to “bad ass”. Brett describes S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders as a formative reading experience that challenged him with more mature subject matter, the kind that “spins the wheels in a different direction.” Hear Brett elaborate on his story in his appropriately gruff biker voice here.

Rudy Buttignol, President and CEO of Knowledge Network and BBC Kids, donated the first ever book to be published by the network: Which Way Back? featuring the delightful adventures of Luna, Chip, & Inkie. Rudy hopes that this book, which possesses a “touch of innocence without guile” will be considered a “keeper” throughout the family.

Hear Rudy share his story and confess to a fear more than a few of us paranoid bookworms share: “I’m a voracious reader and I travel a lot and I never ever travel without a book that’s at least 200 pages long. I actually fear running out of something to read while I’m travelling. I will even carry extra weight just to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Self-proclaimed “mommy’s boy” Dane Stevens of Cavalier Jewellers donated a new book that, though he hadn’t read it as a child, he knows he would have loved if he did. He even narrates the entire book (yes, the entire book) when we speak with him. 

It reminds him of his fondest memories of his own dog: “Coming home everyday, and he was there every day. I got him in grade three and every day my job was to come home, let him out, and take him for a walk. That was my thing, that’s what we did, and that’s exactly what’s described in the book.”

Holler at Dane if you’ve got a great story about your childhood pup. 

Kevin Quinlan, Director of Policy and Communications for the City of Vancouver, donated Kit Pearson’s award-winning novel The Sky is Falling. As a ten year old, reading this book (twice) provided Kevin with a window into Canadian and world history through the protagonist’s ten year old eyes, driving a meaningful connection between past and present. 

As Pearson’s gifted storytelling is wont to do, this novel broadened Kevin’s understanding of history while allowing him to realize “that there are connections to what kids did in the past, fifty, sixty, even seventy years ago and today; and that we might think that things are quite different in a number of ways, but in many ways [the experiences] of being a kid, growing up, and leaving your family are probably still as similar today as they were in the past.”

Well said, Kevin. Listen to more of his story here.

Though Canadian pop/rock singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas recalls having all of Robert Munsch’s collection at her disposal as a kid, she chose to donate Mortimer, the goofy story of an even goofier little boy who refused to go to bed because he just wanted to keep on singing.

The correlation here seems obvious, but for Hannah this story resonated on a much more personal level: “It reminds me of when I was a kid with my sisters and we’d be laughing and giggling all night and our parents would come and tell us to be quiet.”

Listen to Hannah’s story here