Keep on Reading! Children’s Book Week (May 7-13)

Children's Book Week 2012 poster David WeisnerIt’s Children’s Book Week, which means this week is another special reason to encourage your kids to read!  This celebration of books (sponsored by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader) officially began in 1919, though the idea was originally formulated in 1913 by Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America.  To date, this week is considered the longest-running literacy program in the U.S. (Read more about the history at bookweekonline.com)

Each year, events with children’s book authors and illustrators are also sponsored across the country.  Find a 2012 event at a city near you.  You can also request a free copy of this year’s Children’s Book Week poster by David Wiesner (“Art & Max,” “Flotsam,” and “The Three Pigs”) and download a free Children’s Book Week bookmark by Lane Smith (“It’s a Book,” “Grandpa Green,” and “Madam President”).

Since spring and rain are on my mind (it’s been endless wet weather in New York), here are some new and old spring-related books that are perfect for the season:

Gem by Holly Hobbie – The author/illustrator of the “Toot and Puddle” series showcases her superb watercolors in this (mostly) wordless book about a frog and a young girl’s discovery of the world.

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano – Spare and poetic as a haiku, this first-time author focuses on a boy waiting for his garden to bloom.  Subdued illustrations by Erin E. Stead, who won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” are a perfect accompaniment.

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger – A tribute to nature and the environment, Seeger shares the different  shades of green that exist in the world, along with scenes of what a world would be like without green.  Strategic cut-outs on each page also give a hint of what will come next.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown – Inspired by the High Line in New York City, this story follows a little boy as he plants a rooftop garden with the hope of transforming a dark and dreary world into something bright and bold. (Brown’s signature drawings are detailed, lush, and vibrant.)

Yellow Umbrella by Dong Il Sheen and Jae-Soo Liu – Gentle sounds of rain from the accompanying CD pulls you through this wordless book, which follows a yellow umbrella as it travels through a sea of dark and colorful umbrellas.

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