Disney Publishing and First Books have been working together for a long time to place books into the hands of kids. Disney’s donation of its record 50 million books was cause for celebration. To mark the event, Disney, ABC and First Book invited book lovers to the the inaugural “Disney Reads Day” held at Disney Stores nationwide. Bringing book lovers of all ages the “Magic of Storytelling” now in its fourth year which hosts a campaign full of activities through March 31st, Disney Stores hosted celebrity storytellers at select stores.
My oldest granddaughter and I attended the “Disney Reads Day” event at the Disney Store inside the Glendale Galleria. Arriving at 10 am we secured our spot on the carpet and excitedly waited for the first celebrity.
The beautiful Katherine McNamara from Shadowhunters was the first to sit in the coveted Disney chair and read Aladdin and the desert race. Charming and sophisticated Coleen Sullivan from KABC Eyewitness news was up next and had the group hypnotized with her magical storytelling. Adorable Trinitee Stokes from K.C. Undercover came out dressed as Elsa and looked like the true princess she is. Sharing a short story of the adventures of Tiana, her personality showed through in her reading. Last but certainly not least, was the handsome young man from Girl Meets World, August (Auggie) Maturo. Listening and watching Auggie read a short story of Monsters’ Inc brought a smile to many of the audience and even had the group participating when he interacted with us as he showed pictures and interjected his own personal feelings.
I had the opportunity to ask the celebrity readers a few questions after their storytelling. All expressed the delight at being a part of the event. Ms. Sullivan talked about how books open a child’s imagination. Books are “an incredible and powerful tool for children and adults”. Trinitee loves reading and thinks that literacy is a big part of kid’s lives. Katherine was always surrounded by books and feels that books and reading “adds a little magic” to our lives. She also talked about the importance and excitement that having “your own book” brings to kids. Auggie Maturo, shared that he was not nervous reading to an audience, since he reads to kids all the time. He mentioned that he doesn’t have a favorite book but loves to read all stories.
I brought up the question of hard copy books vs electronics and if any one preferred one over another when reading. All the celebrities agreed a hard copy was something magical. Trinitee said she liked that she “could flip the pages”. Katherine also said that she loved having a book in her hands but if someone wanted to use electronics to read, any way that allows for someone to enjoy the magic of reading is great. Eight year old, Auggie said he loves electronics but has not tried reading books electronically because he likes having a book in his hands where he can flip through the pictures.
The event ended all too quickly but the magic of storytelling will continue for this Entertainment Report and her family. If you would like to enjoy Disney Stories, sign up for the “Magic of Storytelling” at Disneystorycentral.com and share your favorite book with us.
First Books and the Magic of Storytelling was launched on January 20, 2016 and will continue through the end of March. Advertising on all of the Disney / ABC Television stations as well as on the Disney and ABC radio stations, the campaign was launched as a means to place a book into the hands of every child possible with the goal of 1 million books donated. With the Disney donation of over 50 million books, the goal has been reached, however contributions continue to be accepted. The public can share the magic by making a donation directly to First Books. For every $5 donated, Disney Publishing Worldwide will provide two books to First Book. Join Disney Publishing and First Book to provide children with the magic of storytelling and help them build their own library and a love of reading that will last a lifetime. For more information visit www.firstbook.org/beinspired.
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I LOVE living near Disneyland and having APs so I can visit the parks all the time. As the ET reporter for Chip and Co and a Travel Agent, I enjoy sharing my Amazing Magical Adventures with my fellow DAs.
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