happy child reading a book

Disney to Celebrate Donation of 75 Millionth Book to First Book During Eighth Annual Magic of Storytelling Campaign

Stars to Inspire the Next Generation Through Stories

Kenneth Branagh to Narrate PSA Presented Across Disney’s Platforms

Photo credit: Disney*

The eighth annual Magic of Storytelling campaign kicked off yesterday, during which Disney will celebrate its 75 millionth book donation to First Book, a nonprofit that provides new, free and affordable books to educators and organizations serving children in need. The Magic of Storytelling campaign aims to inspire families’ imaginations, cultivate a lifelong love of reading in kids and bring new books to underserved communities across the country. 

The Magic of Storytelling campaign comes to life across Disney’s extensive network of broadcast and digital platforms and on MagicOfStorytelling.com. Through March 31, 2020, families, and fans can post on social media, purchase any book on shopDisney.com or bid on one of several auctions sponsored by First Book; and for each action, Disney will donate a new book to First Book: 

• Share a “Shelfie”: Take a selfie with a favorite book or in front of a bookshelf. For every post to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MagicOfStorytelling, Disney will donate one book to First Book.  

• Buy a Book: For every book purchased on shopDisney.com, Disney will donate one book to First Book.  

• Place a Bid in First Book’s Auctions: Legal U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older can bid on First Book’s Charitybuzz auctions. Disney will donate one book for each auction bid received. To learn more and access the official rules and information, visit MagicOfStorytelling.com.  

In celebration of the launch of the Magic of Storytelling campaign, Disney and First Book, in cooperation with Albuquerque bookseller Bookworks,  hosted a book distribution event at the Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, featuring Rebecca Roanhorse, New York Times bestselling author of “Race to the Sun” (Disney•Hyperion Books/Rick Riordan Presents, January 2020). Additionally, during the campaign, ABC owned and affiliate television stations across the country will be distributing donated books to schools and programs in their local communities to celebrate the joy of reading.  

“On behalf of the 450,000 educators in our network, we are so very grateful for the 75 million new books made available through Disney’s generosity and long-term collaboration,” said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO and co-founder of First Book. “Over 80% of the educators we work with let us know that without the work of First Book, the children and communities they serve would have access to few or no books. Disney’s powerful commitment to spreading the Magic of Storytelling has inspired millions of people to help get essential books and resources to educators serving children in need across the country.” 

David Ambroz, executive director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney Television, added, “Access to books and education is the best path out of poverty for kids in need. We’re thrilled to work with First book and teams across Disney for the eighth year in a row to make such an important impact for kids around the country. We’ve learned through this campaign over the years that when children receive their first book and are encouraged to read and learn storytelling, the possibilities are endless.” 

Talent participating in the campaign includes Peter Weber, star of the hit romance reality series “The Bachelor”; Jaina Lee Ortiz from “Station 19”; Julie Bowen from “Modern Family”; and many more fan favorites across ABC, Freeform, Disney Channels, National Geographic and FX. A new public service announcement (PSA) highlighting the life-changing impact that books have on children – and featuring imagery inspired by Disney’s two upcoming films, “Mulan” and “Artemis Fowl” – is voiced by director Kenneth Branagh (“Cinderella,” “Artemis Fowl”).  

To learn more about the Magic of Storytelling and view the PSA, please visit MagicofStorytelling.com

About Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products brings the magic of The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) powerful brands and franchises—including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, ESPN, 20th Century Fox and National Geographic—into the daily lives of families and fans around the world to create magical memories that last a lifetime.   

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California on July 17, 1955, he created a unique destination built around storytelling and immersive experiences, ushering in a new era of family entertainment. More than sixty years later, Disney has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of family travel and leisure experiences, with iconic businesses including six resort destinations with 12 theme parks and 52 resorts in the United States, Europe and Asia with approximately 160,000 cast members; a top-rated cruise line with four ships and plans for three more to be completed in 2021, 2022, and 2023; a luxurious family beach resort in Hawaii; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business; one of the world’s largest children’s print publisher; one of the world’s largest licensors of games across platforms; more than 200 Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.  

These experiences are created by Disney Imagineers, the creative force behind experiences found in Disney theme parks, resort hotels, cruise ships and consumer products—including books, games and merchandise. 

About Walt Disney Television

Walt Disney Television is the iconic collection of The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) entertainment and news properties creating award-winning content across an impressive portfolio of television brands and businesses, including ABC Entertainment, ABC Studios, ABC News, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, Freeform, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, FX Networks and FX Productions, the Disney Channel networks and National Geographic Partners. A home to dynamic storytellers and talented creators, WDT develops, produces and programs exceptional content of unparalleled scale and reach with more than 250 programs each year reaching upward of 227 million households a month across multimedia platforms. 

About First Book

Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1992 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is a leader in the educational equity field. Over its 27-year history, First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources, with a value of more than $1.5 billion. First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its network of more than 450,000 registered teachers, librarians, after school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit eCommerce site. The First Book Network comprises the largest and fastest-growing community of formal and informal educators serving children in need. First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. First Book Impact Funds target support to areas of particular need, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in children’s books. For more information, visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter. 

First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. 

Eligible educators, librarians, providers, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter. 

*COPYRIGHT ©2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All photography is copyrighted material and is for editorial use only. Images are not to be archived, altered, duplicated, resold, retransmitted or used for any other purposes without written permission of Disney teams. Images are distributed to the press in order to publicize current programming. Any other usage must be licensed. Photos posted for Web use must be at the low resolution of 72dpi, no larger than 2×3 in size.  

Media Contacts: 

Walt Disney Television

Elisa Bolduc

(818) 460-5095


Disney Publishing Worldwide

Christine Saunders

(212) 456-1835


image of an educator reading to two kids from a picture book. There is text that says, 'Matching Challenge: Be a Champion for Educators! Your gift by May 31 can go twice as far to provide new, high-quality books and other resources educators need to help students unlock their full potential.' There is a red button in the bottom, right corner that says, 'I'll give now'.