Celebrate Children’s Book Week Nov. 13-19
For the Appeal
The first Children’s Book Week was organized by Frederic G. Melcher in 1919 and his original goal is as important today as it was in 1919: “Book Week brings us together to talk about books and reading and, out of our knowledge and love of books, to put the cause of children’s reading squarely before the whole community and, community by community, across the whole nation. For a great nation is a reading nation.”
One young friend of mine, Alessandra Pinter, age 7, has embraced a love of books, reading, and learning as revealed in a note to her grandmother, written when she was six: “… I am doing great in school. Most of all I like the library. I can take books from the library. It is fun to go to school. I like to go to school and learn new things. This is a picture of me taking books from the library. Love, Alessandra!”
All children want to learn, and Children’s Book Week acts as a catalyst for what the adult community should focus on every week of every year – to bring books, reading and learning to all children on a daily basis. If we can accomplish this and have all children sharing the same mindset as Alessandra, we can and will reach Melcher’s goal, because a great nation IS a reading nation, but children can’t do it alone. It’s up to you.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
“Library Lil” by Suzanne Williams, illustrated by Steven Kellogg, Dial Books, 32 pages
Read aloud: age 4 and older.
Read yourself: age 7 and older.
Library Lil loved books from the day she was born. In fact, by the time she was eight, she had read every book in the children’s section of her library. It came as no surprise, then, that when Lil grew up she became a librarian.
Lil was an expert librarian. She chose all the best and exciting books. She was also a first-rate storyteller for children. Despite all of these things, the people of Chesterville didn’t come to the library. Their favorite form of entertainment was TV, and Lil knew it would be a big job to change their attitudes. But Lil wasn’t afraid of anything, and one stormy night this gutsy librarian got the chance she’d been waiting for.
Lil proved to be the coolest librarian around who got the people of Chesterville back on the right track Ð nixing television in favor of good books!
Library: Silver City Volunteer Library, Silver City Volunteer Fire Dept., High St., Silver City
Volunteer Librarian: Quest Lakes
Choices this week: “Mortimer!” by Robert Munsch; “Little Bear” books by Else Holmelund Minarik; “I Love You, Good Night!” by Jon Buller and Susan Schade
Books to Buy
The following books are available at favorite bookstores.
“One Potato, Two Potato” by Cynthia DeFelice, illustrated by Andrea U’Ren, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006, 32 pages, $16.00 hardcover
Read aloud: age 4 Ð 5 and older.
Read yourself: age 7 Ð 8.
Mr. and Mrs. O’Grady were very poor and shared everything they had Ð one winter coat and one blanket, one candle, one chair, and one gold coin. And every day they had one potato to eat, and shared it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The O’Grady’s felt very lucky to have what they did, but the one thing they both longed for was for each of them to have a friend. When Mr. O’Grady found a magic pot buried in the ground, they discovered that whatever went into the pot came out doubled. A miracle, indeed, but what would the O’Grady’s do with that pot?
A wonderful old folktale, this fresh retelling rings with the warmth of love, family, friendship and generosity.
“Dear Max” by D. J. Lucas, a.k.a. Sally Grindley, illustrated by Tony Ross, McElderry Books, 2006, 141 pages, $14.05 hardcover
Read aloud: age 6 and older.
Read yourself: age 8 and older.
Max, age 9, wants to be a writer when he grows up, and when his uncle gives Max a book for Christmas by world-famous author D.J. Lucas, Max begins a correspondence with the author. Max and D.J. share thoughts about storytelling, imagination, their secrets, and help each other with their writing. Ultimately, Max and D.J. Lucas gain something of even greater value Ð friendship and the importance of sharing their story with each other.
Perfectly wrought, “Dear Max” provides the subtle message that we all have a need to share our stories and have much to gain by doing so.
• Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.