The Telling Tales Selection Committee is composed of book lovers from all walks of life; our mission is to spotlight a diverse array of Canadian children’s authors and artists in order to serve as many pockets of our community of young readers as possible. 

This team of community partners—students, educators, reviewers, editors, and librarians—volunteer their time and energy to read through hundreds of submissions from across Canada. Each member brings their expertise and lived experience into the annual selection meeting— these voices contribute to Telling Tales delivering a robust and well-rounded festival line-up, reflected in our annual reading list.

Content Labels

Beginning with our 2023 titles, Telling Tales is committed to providing Content/Discussion Topic Labels on an ongoing basis.

Content/Discussion Topics

You have probably seen ratings on movies or video games. Maybe you’ve noticed a little list of content before the episode of a TV show you’re streaming. These content labels are a gentle “heads up” to prepare people for what they are about to see.

Books are only just beginning to highlight the content in them. 

Because content labels are not always put in books by authors and publishers, Telling Tales will provide these labels on our Reading List titles.

Why Label Content?

Labeling sensitive content helps people make informed choices. The decision to label content/discussion topics is with care for our community of readers in mind. 

We encourage parents, caregivers, and educators to research and/or read any of the materials before introducing them to children to be sure the themes and content in them are appropriate. This also allows parents, caregivers, and educators to be prepared to have conversations with child readers about the content they will encounter in a book.

Who Decides What to Label?

For the 2023 titles, Staff have crowd-sourced content labels from book review platforms like Storygraph and Goodreads, in addition to using our knowledge of the books via the Selection process. 

Starting in 2024 our Selection Committee will decide on Content/Discussion Topics. Our Selection Committee is a diverse group of volunteer students, teachers, educators, librarians, and community members who read and vote on the books that are featured in our programming.

As the book space changes we will see more books containing content/discussion topics listed. If the author or publisher provides content/discussion topics, Telling Tales will use those in addition to the expertise of our Selection Committee.

A Commitment to Ongoing Review

An important part of providing labels for content/discussion topics is listening to our community who uses the Reading List and doing continuous review. Telling Tales will continue to change and grow in order to provide our community with the best possible reading experiences.

We welcome feedback from our community. Email