Children’s Book Week is May 10th – 16th

Children’s Book Week starts today, May 10th. This annual celebration of children’s books, reading, and storytelling has been honored nationwide since 1919.

In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children’s books. It was Matthiews who suggested Children’s Book Week, which would be supported by publishers, booksellers, and librarians. With the help of powerful allies, in 1916 the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association worked with the Boy Scouts in sponsoring a Good Book Week.

The Children’s Book Council was formed in 1944 and assumed responsbility for Children’s Book Week, which was moved from November to May in 2008. That year, they also created the Children’s Choice Book Awards. The third annual Children’s Choice Book Awards will be held Tuesday, May 11, at Guastavino’s in New York City.

To learn more about Children’s Book Week and to view some of the events taking place locally and nationwide, please visit the Children’s Book Week website.

How do you, your school or library plan to celebrate Children’s Book Week?

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April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month (NPM) is a month-long, national celebration of poetry that takes place each April. Established by the Academy of American Poets, the concept is to increase public awareness of the art of poetry, living poets, our complex poetic heritage, and poetry books and journals.

First celebrated in 1996, the Academy reaches out to educators, librarians, and booksellers, distributing hundreds of thousands of NPM posters and holding special events.

The Academy’s website offers free poetry lesson plans and tip sheets for teachers, tip sheets for librarians and booksellers, and a list of 30 ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month.

How do you plan to celebrate National Poetry Month?

I think I’ll dig out a poetry collection that belonged to my late mother and read “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In high school, we were required to memorize the entire poem. It surprises me how much I remember of this poem despite the fact that I’ve been out of high school for over 20 years (yes, I am as old as dirt).

I used “Paul Revere’s Ride” for an assignment in my college public speaking course. Condensing a famous poem isn’t easy, but it was neat to relive a tiny bit of my childhood by reciting it again.

Whether you reacquaint yourself with poems you loved years ago or discover a new poet whose work you enjoy, be sure to celebrate National Poetry Month in some way.  If you decide to pen your own poem, I would be thrilled if you shared it here.