Greetings, readers! I am honored to have had the chance to present such great books this month pertaining to themes such as poetry and Earth Day. This week I have another wonderful one. At the end of April, there falls a special holiday that is perfectly addressed in this week’s book: Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael López.
Here is a description from Goodreads:
Take a ride in a long submarine or fly away in a hot air balloon. Whatever you do, just be sure to bring your favorite book! Rafael López’s colorful illustrations perfectly complement Pat Mora’s lilting text in this delightful celebration of El día de los niños/El día de los libros; Children’s Day/Book Day. Toon! Toon!
Borrowing from the traditional Mexican holiday “El día de los niños” (Children’s Day/Book Day), El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros also known as “Día,” is a celebration that emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In April, book fiestas are held in libraries, schools, homes, parks, and wherever reading can be found. Though events celebrating Día generally take place around April 30, the joy of reading is really meant to be celebrated daily. The celebration therefore involves not only an annual event, but also a year-long commitment to linking children and their families to books. Founder Pat Mora states that “Día creatively celebrates all our children, the importance of bookjoy in their daily lives, and promotes culminating April Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations that unite communities.”
When Mora created the holiday, she also created this beautiful book to accompany and feature it. Boldly and vibrantly illustrated, the story takes us through scenes depicting a diversity of happy children celebrating the day by reading their favorite books. We see children reading in cars, on planes, and in trains; at the library; with their parents on a boat; and at home in their a yard. We also see more imaginative settings such as reading while riding an elephant; sailing with a whale; submerged in a submarine; and elevated on a hot air balloon. Children will be able to relate to the scenes with which they are most familiar, and also to expand their imaginations with the more incredible ones.
Mora emphasizes reading across geographies and languages. Not only is the book written in English and Spanish, but it also highlights other languages: “We read in English and Spanish in Chinese and Navajo too.” The book opens a window for students who enjoy reading to be exhilarated that there is a holiday dedicated to the practice, and it will invite more reluctant readers into seeing and feeling bookjoy.
The end of the book includes a letter from the author and suggestions for celebrating Children’s Day/Book Day; El día de los ninos/El día de los libros. For even more ideas, check out the following resources:
- Another resource by Pat Mora, a Dia planning booklet titled: Children’s Days, Book Days: Planning for a Día Year.
- A toolkit of resources for teaching about Día by Texas Library Association
- Here is a video from Colorín Colorado wherein Pat Mora describes “The Story Behind Book Fiesta.”
Día has also been successfully promoted as “Diversity in Action.” Check out this webpage for more information and free program resources including booklists, planning tools, coloring and activity sheets and more. We encourage all our readers to celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; El día de los ninos/El día de los libros this week, this month, this year — and every day!!!
Images: Modified from Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros. Illustrator: Rafael López.