child reading

Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of children’s books and reading.  This year will mark its ninety-ninth year, making it the longest-running national literacy initiative in the United States.  And it’s just about to kick off again:  from April 30 to May 6. Next week, bookstores, libraries, museums, and schools across the country will celebrate the joy of reading in oh-so-many ways.
For a preview of what’s planned for 2018, you may wish to go to this recent article from Publishers Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/76648-children-s-book-week-2018-preview.html.

But how, you may ask, did Children’s Book Week come about in the first place?  Read on:

In 1919, at the urging of Franklin K. Mathews, Librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, a yearly Children’s Book Week (CBW) was founded to focus attention on the need for quality children’s books and the importance of childhood literacy. It was a success from the get-go.

Then, in 1944-1945, Frederick Melcher, editor of Publishers Weekly, entrusted the responsibility for CBW to the newly established Association of Children’s Book Editors. As this group steadily expanded CBW’s scope, the Association of Children’s Book Editors evolved into what is now known as the Children’s Book Council (CBC), a nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers in North America, dedicated to supporting the industry and promoting children’s books and reading.

Over the years the CBC has grown into a strong advocate for children’s and childhood industry, working in partnership with national organizations on reading lists, educational programming, and literacy initiatives. One of these is Every Child a Reader, who has had leadership of CBW since 2008, and is the CBC’s charity of choice. Every Child a Reader’s national programs — which, in addition to Children’s Book Week includes the Children’s Choice Book Awards, and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Program — strive to make the reading and enjoyment of children’s books an essential part of America’s educational and social aims and to enhance public perception of the importance of reading.

So, Children’s Book Week offers us all the perfect opportunity to put the spotlight on reading to, and with, young people. Me? I’ll be doing a creative writing lesson/craft project with kids at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida this Saturday morning.  The event will be a two-fer:  it happens on April 28th, which is Independent Bookstore Day (who better to celebrate CBW than fabulous independent booksellers?) and gives the community a jump start on celebrating the April 30-May 6 Children’s Book Week with a fun, free event.  I am thrilled to be part of the hoopla!

What are YOU planning to do to celebrate—and encourage—childhood reading during this year’s Children’s Book Week? Please share your ideas and activities with me…I’d love to know how you are making a difference, one young reader at a time.

Happy Reading!


p.s. For more information about my event at Copperfish Books; Children’s Book Week; Children’s Book Week Spotlight events; Every Child a Reader; Independent Bookstore Day; and the Children’s Book Council, please check out the links below:

Copperfish Books event posting:  https://www.copperfishbooks.com/pages/events/331/special-story-time-with-dianne-ochiltree

Children’s Book Week: http://everychildareader.net/cbw/

CBC: http://www.cbcbooks.org/

CBC News Release – Children’s Book Week Spotlight: http://www.cbcbooks.org/over-50-childrens-book-authors-and-illustrators-to-feature-in-childrens-book-week-spotlight-events/#.WuNqK8gvywU

Every Child a Reader: http://everychildareader.net/

Independent Bookstore Day: http://www.indiebookstoreday.com/





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