About the Brady Brady series
Mary Shaw developed Brady Brady while trying to get her hockey-obsessed five-year-old son, Brady, to read. She found it difficult to get her son’s attention and noticed she called his name twice each time she needed him to listen, constantly calling him “Brady Brady.”
There was a limited supply of sports-themed books aimed at early readers, so to encourage Brady to read, Shaw wrote books that interested her son. Shaw wrote her first book, Brady Brady Gumface, a football story, after Brady stuck gum to his face during a road trip. After putting her ideas on paper, she sent copies to a few publishers in Canada and the United States, but only received rejection letters.
Eventually, Shaw sought guidance from a friend, Dave Chilton, author of the bestselling book,The Wealthy Barber, who then introduced her to Chuck Temple, an illustrator. Temple immediately drew the Gumface manuscript. Chilton recognized the potential of the script, and arranged a meeting with Stoddart, Canada’s largest publisher at the time.
In 2001, Stoddart signed Shaw and Temple to a four-book deal, featuring the loveable Brady Brady characters from Gumface. Rather than launch with a football theme, the publisher took advantage of the mass appeal of hockey in the Canadian market. It was a natural fit considering Shaw’s close association with the sport, as husband, Brad Shaw, is a former National Hockey League player.
Within weeks, a then-pregnant Shaw, wrote Brady Brady and the Great Rink followed soon after by Brady Brady and the Runaway Goalie. After a highly successful series launch, Stoddart decided to develop the series beyond the initial four books. Those plans changed however, when Stoddart filed for bankruptcy protection.
Following Chilton’s personal advice and his successful publishing and marketing model with his own book, as well as with the Wealthy Barber Calendar which sold 2.5 million copies, Temple and Shaw acquired their rights back. In 2004, and despite overwhelming odds, the two set up an independent publishing company, Brady Brady Inc., and assumed complete control over the production, distribution and marketing of the brand. Since 2004, the independently owned company has carved a niche in the competitive publishing industry, with the books having sold a combined total of almost 500,000 copies to date.
Signed contracts with Scholastic Canada in both the English and French divisions, international distribution, national Literacy tours, and key affiliations with professional sports teams and players, make Brady Brady a true Canadian success story.
The series grew from a simple idea to a published list of 15 titles in hockey (12), football (1) and baseball (2).
The books encourage both young male and female readers to embrace reading, and are recognized by parents, coaches and educators as an excellent resource to support language literacy and character development.
The company continues to have success with both its traditional distribution channels, as well as its strategic affiliations.