ALSC and REFORMA recently announced two pieces of exciting news about the Pura Belpré Awards. First, they will now be presented every year instead of every other year, a good sign that there are more books published now that can be considered for the award than when the award was first established in 1996. Second, to raise funds to support the award Celebración, REFORMA is holding a fabulous raffle in which you can win a piece of original art from The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos (Children’s Book Press, 2008), a new picture book biography of Pura Belpré by Lucía González, illustrated by Lulu Delacre. Raffle tickets are just $10.00 and will be available at the ALA conference in Anaheim.
Where do the weeks go? Tomorrow I leave (again) to Chicago Public Library’s Kraft Great Kids Family Night. Families who have been reading my books (thanks to wonderful Chicago librarians) will be bussed to an evening reading. Every child who attends will receive a signed copy of one of my books thanks to the Library’s efforts. I also get to chat with Chicago Public Library’s children’s librarians. Such occasions are always a treat for me.
In the future, I’ll say more about the Día celebrations I was privileged to attend in ’08. I’m so grateful to everyone around the country who took part or supported Día events that honored children, all our children, and that promoted literacy. ¡Gracias, gracias!
A week ago I received an Honorary Doctorate at North Carolina State University. That afternoon, I spoke to the first graduating class of elementary education majors. It’s always difficult to convey to teachers and librarians what a significant role they play. Congratulations to all you teachers and librarians out there. You are so important!
(posted by Laurina for Pat)
Early tomorrow I leave for the ALA Día event in one of the U.S. Senate chambers. Won’t the attending school children be excited? Me too!
I remain amazed at how Día keeps growing throughout the month of April and even into May. Although April 30th has been the traditional celebration date these past twelve years, what is important is that communities hold annual spring celebrations of their daily commitment to link all children and families to books, languages and cultures. Partnerships with schools,parents, local organizations, book stores, funders and the media strengthenthe celebrations–and the community too.
I’ve learned a great deal from the Día events I participated in–Seattle,Portland, and Riverside, Ca. I’ll be sharing what I’m learning on my web site soon.
Deep thanks to all of you who enrich Día events with your talents and creativity.
It’s not too late too late to celebrate Día on April 30. Companion sites, Reading Rockets and Colorín Colorado have activities and resources devoted to Dia. Send an e-card, download fun activity sheets, review recommended booklists and read what some libraries are doing to celebrate.
I just read about an exciting book festival that happened over the past weekend in Mesilla New Mexico, the 14th Border Book Festival. With a children’s storytelling tent, a Book and Pet Parade, author visits at schools the previous week, as well as many other events for children, adults and families, it sounded like a Bookjoy! event to me!
The heart of annual Día celebrations is promoting literacy and bookjoy. Organizers often schedule puppet shows, storytellers including bilingual storytellers, author and illustrator presentations, student performances based on books, and, of course, book give-aways. Many Día celebrations also include food, music, crafts and games. I’m particularly excited when books are part of at least some of the crafts and games—making book covers or a book-related craft, book bingo or lotería, book walk instead of a cake walk. Since all of us committed to Día want to know what others are doing, on this blog I’d like to collect many Creative Día Ideas, maybe 100.In 50 words or less, please send us some of the creative ideas that help make your Día a success, one idea per numbered item. Including your contact information is optional. I’ll start the list:
1. In areas where children may not have book cases, secure small, sturdy cardboard boxes and have materials so that children and their families can decorate their book boxes. This creates a good opportunity for stressing the importance of family reading and of having a special place for books including library books.
Across this country in April ’08, librarians, teachers, parents and their communities are celebrating Día. This weekend I’m participating in four library events in Riverside, CA. Last week, I enjoyed participating in great library events in the beautiful Northwest. Thanks to the staff at Seattle Public Library and Multnomah County Library (Portland area), I spoke to many students and their teachers and also participated in Día events. I enjoyed seeing diverse families listening to Mariachi music, nibbling on fresh fruit, listening to story tellers, making hats and maracas.
I’m so grateful to all the dedicated adults and young people who are working hard to share bookjoy in fun and creative ways, who are linking all our children and their families to books, languages and cultures this month and every month. Gracias, gracias!