Tag Archives: Children’s Book Week

Why Reading Matters – Guest Post

Part two of this weekly celebration of children’s book is a guest post from Bonnie from A Working Title, on reading as a child, and reading to her child. How has reading changed your life?

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Some of my earliest memories are of being read to by my mother. We would lay in my bed at night after picking out my favorite story book, and read together. After she was done, the book always went under my pillow so I could dream about it. These are some of my happiest memories, and a large part of why I am such a voracious reader today.

My mother made it a point to share books with me. We went to the library together, and the bookstore, and every holiday I received new books from her and the rest of my family. I still vividly remember the Christmas I opened the boxed set of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books, and my copies of the Little House books are battered and well loved after 15 years of reading them. I think my most favorite book to have read to me was Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, and one of the first books I began reading to myself.

Because of my mother and the book-rich environment she provided, by second grade I was reading at a sixth grade level. By sixth grade, I was reading the same books my teachers were reading for fun. I was on a first name basis with all the librarians in town. My best friend was the daughter of the head librarian, and I can remember competing with her to see who could figure out silent reading first. I worked at my school’s book faire every year and was paid in free books. I was a book lover, a bibliophile, a collector.

My room was decorated with book cases and books instead of posters of boys and bands, although that’s not to say I didn’t like those things, too. There just wasn’t room on the walls! Many important parts of school came relatively easy for me, especially paper writing and critical analysis assignments. My vocabulary was large and well developed, and I could roll SAT words off my tongue like nobody’s business. I still read every day, and now, with my own son, we read a book (or two, or five) every night before he goes to sleep. It’s something I treasure deeply, and I’m so glad I can share my love of books with him, just as my mother did with me.

All this memory mining to say, there is nothing more important, and nothing easier, than reading to your child. It expands their minds and their imagination, and introduces them to new vocabulary and concepts. Reading together promotes a lifetime of learning, and brings families together in the evenings for quiet time and sharing. If you don’t have a child of your own, read to your nieces or nephews, or younger siblings. Volunteer at your local library or woman’s shelter for children’s story time. And if you’re too shy for that, donate to your library, elementary school, or other established literacy promoting charity.

It’s Children’s Book Week, a week to promote the books we loved as children, and the new books coming out from authors today. But there’s no reason at all that it can be Children’s Book Week every week. Make it a point to share books with the kids around you at all times of the year. They’ll benefit from it, and so will you. Make book lovers out of everyone, and the world will be filled with enough books for everyone.

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Children’s Book Week

Children's Book Week

There are a number of ways to celebrate Children’s Books Week, no matter if you are a parent, teacher or librarian. If you already read to your child, then you’re on the right path to promoting literacy and instilling a love of knowledge. This year the winners of the Children’s Choice Awards and the Teen’s Choice Awards will be announced May 13th. Although the voting period has already ended, there are still a lot of ways to participate next week.

Book Week Online has some amazing resources and ideas for celebrating this week.

Some ideas are:

– Make your own bookmarks

– Stage a read-in

– Donate books to a local family shelter or children’s hospital

– Go to Book Week Online to find some awesome children’s puzzles to work on in the classroom or at home

Just remember to making reading fun and not a chore. This year’s Children’s Choice Book Award finalists are as follows:

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year:
The Donut Chef written and illustrated by Bob Staake (Golden Books/Random House Children’s Books)
Katie Loves the Kittens written and illustrated by John Himmelman (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! written and illustrated by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Book Group)
Sort It Out! written by Barbara Mariconda, illustrated by Sherry Rogers (Sylvan Dell Publishing)
Those Darn Squirrels written by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (Clarion)

Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year
Babymouse: Puppy Love by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House Children’s Books)
One Million Things by Peter Chrisp (DK Publishing)
Spooky Cemeteries by Dinah Williams (Bearport Publishing)
Underwear: What We Wear Under There by Ruth Freeman Swain (Holiday House)
Willow written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan, illustrated by Cyd Moore (Sleeping Bear Press)

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year
100 Most Dangerous Things On the Planet by Anna Claybourne (Scholastic Reference)
Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi (Graphix/Scholastic)
The Big Field by Mike Lupica (Philomel/Penguin Young Readers Group)
Swords: An Artist’s Devotion by Ben Boos (Candlewick Press)
Thirteen by Lauren Myracle (Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group)

Teen Choice Book Award
Airhead by Meg Cabot (Point/Scholastic)
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown and Company)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press)
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group)
Paper Towns by John Green (Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group)

Author of the Year
Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (Amulet Books/Abrams)
Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn (Little, Brown and Company)
Christopher Paolini, Brisingr (Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House Children’s Books)
James Patterson, Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (Little, Brown and Company)
Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth (Disney- Hyperion Books)

Illustrator of the Year
Laura Cornell, Big Words for Little People (Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Robin Preiss Glasser, Fancy Nancy: Bonjour Butterfly! (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Mo Willems, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! (Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Book Group)
David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon, Smash! Crash! (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
Jon J Muth, Zen Ties (Scholastic Press)

The finalists for Book of the Year in the Kindergarten to Second Grade, Third Grade to Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade categories were the books that received the highest number of votes in the IRA-CBC Children’s Choices program. This joint project of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the CBC began in 1975. Publishers submit hundreds of titles, all published in 2008, to be evaluated and voted on by 12,500 children.

For the Teen Choice Book Award, the CBC and the CBC Foundation enlisted the help of TeenReads.com to select the finalists. More than 2,200 teens voted for their favorite book of 2008 on the TeenReads website, part of The Book Report Network. The five books that received the highest number of votes are finalists for the Teen Choice Book Award.

The Author and Illustrator of the Year finalists were selected by the CBC and CBC Foundation from a review of bestseller lists. Only authors and illustrators associated with books published in 2008 were considered.

The Children’s Choice Book Awards program was launched last year with the announcement of 25 finalists in 5 categories. The Teen Choice Book Award was added this year. The Children’s Choice Book Awards program was created to provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them and to help develop a reading list that will motivate children to read more and cultivate a love of reading. (CBC Books)