We can read, you and I,
see the letters become words,
and words become books…
You and I read, round and round,
bookjoy around the world.
Pat Mora, Bookjoy, Wordjoy
“El día de los niños, el día de los libros,” or “Children’s Day, Book Day” (often known as Día), is a celebration of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. After learning about Mexico’s tradition of celebrating April 30 as El día de los niños / Children’s Day, author Pat Mora helped create a new holiday in 1996 the United States emphasizing the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds, linking families to diverse books, languages, and cultures.
Mora, an award-winning author of books for children, teens and adults, is a literacy advocate excited about sharing what she calls “bookjoy.” Her children’s book, Book Fiesta!, captures the bookjoy spirit of reading, books, and children that are at the heart of El día de los niños, el día de los libros.
How to Share Bookjoy Throughout the Year
In addition to making the library a regular part of your children’s lives, here are a few additional ideas for creating excitement around reading and books for your family.
- Get caught reading. Let your child see all family members reading to illustrate that you are a family that enjoy books and reading, a bookjoy family.
- Create book time together. Teach your child that enjoying books together is a special time. Talk about the illustrations and ask questions connected to the book you’re sharing.
- Get a library card. Children can get their own library card and use it to check out fun books and other library resources.
- Frame it. Take a photo of your child reading in a special chair and frame it. Maybe even a reading throne.
- Develop a book habit. Set aside time each day to enjoy books with your child. It could be before bed, outside, after dinner, while traveling, or whenever is convenient.
- Build your own book. Accordion books are easy to make and are a great way for children to write and illustrate their own stories.
- Read diverse books. Make multicultural exploration a family focus as you choose picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, and even poetry. Ask a librarian for reading recommendations or visit www.diversebookfinder.org.
- Make a “Time to Read” clock. Use a paper plate to create a clock that indicates when it’s time to read together.
- Attend storytimes. The library has many different storytimes available for children to enjoy and learn. Each storytime features reading, writing, singing, playing, and talking.