First Book and Disney: A match made in heaven or… maybe not January 28, 2020 – Posted in: Content, Reading / Literacy


First Book, a non-profit whose mission is to work to provide equal access to quality education, recently announced that they’ve now distributed 75 million Disney books to children and educators in need. 

Their tweet:

Through our longstanding relationship with @Disney and @DisneyBooks we’ve reached an incredible milestone: together we’ve provided over 75 MILLION books to the children & educators we serve! We just wanted to say THANK YOU! #magicofstorytelling

Founded in 1992 First Book has distributed over 185 million books to date. Almost half of which have come from Disney.

While it is hard to argue about the need for quality books for impoverished children it is worth considering who really benefits from providing these kids  with so much Disney related material.

Sure the kids benefit, the bar is so low in many cases that any physical book shaped object would be a plus, but I question Disney’s altruism.

Their goal, I fear, is less literacy and compassion and more business and brand building. They are in the market for future Disney moviegoers, Disney+ subscribers and Disneyland visitors as much as they are helping to provide needy children with “equal access to a quality education”. I trust the tax break Disney gets from the donation doesn’t hurt either.

These kids need a healthy mix of books that reflect their world and their struggles. They do not need to be placed on the Disney train to be enthralled by the magic of storytelling.




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