Help kids find a favorite book in April
What: Whether they’re reading under the covers with a flashlight or devouring the latest book series, children can always turn to a book to indulge their imaginations. As a varied genre, children’s literature offers just about anything a child could want to read, fostering a lifelong love of reading in many. On April 2, help nurture this love and join young readers in celebrating International Children’s Book Day.
Background: International Children’s Book Day has been celebrated since 1967 and is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People. It is held annually on April 2 in honor of Danish fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. The day aims to support reading in childhood and recognize all the adults who play a vital role in reading, including authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers, and parents. Each year, a different country sponsors the day and brings special attention to the children’s books of its nation. Mexico is the 2012 host country, joining countries around the world celebrating the day with book readings, special book award ceremonies, and library events.
Story Pitch: Several companies and organizations that support children’s literature and youth literacy have a great opportunity in supporting the day. Children’s book publishers can showcase both classic stories and new publications, while also showing parents, librarians and educators how to choose age-appropriate books for young readers. Authors and illustrators have a good chance to promote their books with readings for children, as well as talks for adults. Bookstores will want to support these events, in addition to highlighting their children’s book selection. While many children love reading, not all children have good access to books or support as they learn to read. Organizations that focus on child literacy are able to share how they’re working to increase reading skills and improve children’s book availability at home and in schools. Librarians play an important role in promoting childhood reading, and libraries may host events for young readers to learn how to use the resource.
Story Hook: Reading is vital for success in school and employment, yet there is a major gap in achievement within different income levels. Among American children living in poverty, about two-thirds have no books to read at home. Access to books is one of the critical factors in raising reading skills and comprehension among children. What programs are successful in increasing children’s ability to have easy, ongoing access to books? Do these children become more motivated to read and seek out new books? Consider the following as you make your pitch:
- What are some of the most popular children’s books?
- Many think of children’s literature as only picture books, but the diverse genre also includes offers in nonfiction, poetry and biography. How can children find age-appropriate books that aren’t typically shelved in the “children’s literature” section?
- What are some the most prestigious children’s book awards in the U.S.?
- Why are children of non-native English speakers more likely to struggle with reading? Can books in their parents’ native language help them find greater support at home? Where can parents find non-English children’s books?
Tips: A librarian specializing in children’s literature is a great person to speak on ways parents can both choose books for their children and foster independent reading. Additionally, someone who overcame early struggles with reading to become successful in the literary field is an inspiring contact.
International Board on Books for Young People
National Education Association
Reading Is Fundamental
Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators
–Researched, compiled & written by Kristina Elliott
Event Dates from CHASE’S Calendar of Events
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