Q & A with Pat Mora
April 30, 2021 is the twenty-fifth Anniversary of Children’s Day, Book Day (CDBD), a daily initiative. Libraries, schools and homes encourage all our children to be readers.
Twenty-five years ago, you founded El día de los niños, el día de los libros which is widely celebrated, usually in April, at libraries, schools and community centers. Why do you now prefer that this initiative be called Children’s Day, Book Day?
English is the official language in the U.S. Although hundreds of languages are spoken in our country, Spanish the second most-spoken, I saw situations in which using Spanish made some youngsters feel the celebration wasn’t about or for them. Think of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Children’s Day, Book Day (CDBD) begins that annual celebration triad (April, May, June), although our celebration is a year-long initiative. The national Children’s Day Book Day Community is composed of organizations committed to all our children and literacy.
Why do you prefer this approach instead of having Children’s Day, Book Day activities centralized in one organization?
GREAT question. Again, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day do not belong to one organization. They are national celebrations. I resisted the efforts by some organizations to own this initiative. I hope that all schools, libraries, literacy and family organizations, colleges, universities, companies and foundations invested in supporting children and literacy, creatively participate in this initiative.
How do you and the Children’s Day, Book Day Supporters hope to encourage 25th anniversary celebrations, especially since many will be virtual?
This is a challenging year for the world and our country. I have great faith that families, schools, libraries, and the supporters I mentioned above, will generously and creatively inspire our children to be readers. A basic idea is a Triple Treat for the 25th: inspire our children to read a book April 30th, to draw a poster and to enjoy a treat. I know my granddaughter would welcome that celebration triad.
You often say that motivating children and their families to be readers is essential in our democracy. Why?
From our nation’s beginning, reading and books were an essential tradition. Our complex nation and world need readers and thinkers who value knowledge and ideas. I worry about the habit of passive viewing.
What are your most fervent wishes for Children’s Day, Book Day as you look forward to the next 25 years?
I’ve believed in the importance of this initiative to daily celebrate children and inspire them to be readers for many years. I grew up in such a home.
I hope that our families, teachers, librarians, professors, and national, state and educational leaders, aided by the media and businesses, will creatively invest in celebrating our diverse children and growing a nation of readers.
Every day, year by year, we want to celebrate Children's Day, Book Day with special celebrations on April 30th. Although I won't be on earth for the 50th Anniversary of CDBD, I plan to attend in spirit.Pat reads Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day, Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros: