Children’s Book Week is the national celebration of books and reading for youth. Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated nationwide in schools, libraries, bookstores — anywhere where kids and books connect.
It all started with the idea that children’s books could change lives. In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children’s book. He proposed creating a Children’s Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians. In 1916, the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association cooperated with the Boy Scouts in sponsoring a Good Book Week.
In 1944, the newly established Children’s Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children’s Books Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week was moved from November to May. At that time, responsibility for Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child A Reader, the philanthropic arm of the children’s publishing industry.
The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919, and the task remains the realization of Frederic Melcher’s (co-founder of the Children’s Book Council) fundamental declaration, “A great nation is a reading nation.”
All information taken from bookweekonline.com. Check out the site for more information about Children’s Book Week, such as official events across the country, books lists for kids and teens, and to download your official Book Week bookmark designed by Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The 2011 Children’s Book Week poster was designed by Peter Brown, author and illustrator of several picture books, including The Purple Kangaroo and The Curious Garden. Copies can be ordered online for only the cost of shipping.
Read to your kids! It’s one of the things I most thank my parents for.