It’s Children’s Book Week! (May 12-18)
Before my first-born arrived, I began collecting children’s books and continued over the years. We have an extensive collection of all types of children’s books. I love books and enjoy reading. I made sure that the books were always accessible to my kids when they were younger. The more expensive hardcover paper books were on the top shelf and the others were on the bottom within their reach. You know little people have been known to rip a few pages here and there. Of course as they grew and became readers themselves, all books were available to them.
Like any mom who wants to instill the love of reading in their kids, I spent a lot of time reading to them. Fortunately, my time was well spent as they are all avid readers. Even when they don’t feel like it, we make reading a priority instead of watching T.V., or playing video games. I am particularly attracted to books with a good message. Books are a great way to teach children about history and life in general.
As a way to celebrate the 95th anniversary of Children’s Book Week (CBW), I asked each of my daughters to select a book from our collection that they enjoyed reading. I would then highlight their choices on my blog.
Before we begin, here’s a brief summary on Children’s Book Week. It was established in 1919 and is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Each year, events are held across the country at different locations such as schools, libraries, and bookstores. It is organized and administered by Every Child a Reader, a literacy organization dedicated to fostering a love for reading in children.
Book Selection #1
My fifteen year old selected, When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan. It’s a story about the life of Marian Anderson, an African-American singer. She enjoyed it so much that she read the book several times. Of course I asked why she selected this book, and she said, “it was inspiring to read about how she overcame discrimination”. “People were able to appreciate her voice and her talent.” “I also sing and play piano, and I like reading about other singers.” It really is a great story about perseverance.
As a little girl growing up in Philadelphia, it was obvious that Marian had something special. She was a phenomenal singer with the range of a contralto. Sadly she experienced discrimination because of her skin color in the United States. She goes on to become one of the most famous singers in the world. Ms. Anderson is mostly known for her historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 which drew an integrated crowd of 75,000 people.
I highly recommend this book. The illustrations are vibrant and representative of the times. It was also selected as a The Robert F. Siebert Honor Book in 2003. The interest level for this book is grades 3-5.
Book Selection #2
My twelve-year-old daughter selected Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco. Her older sister suggested that she read this book and she did. She also re-read this book several times. When I asked her to tell me more about her book selection, her response was,”the book was a good example of taking the labels away and getting to know someone.” “He learned that Mr. Lincoln was a really cool guy.”
The story was about a really cool African-American Principal who was very engaging and well-liked by the kids. One little boy everyone called “Mean Gene” was a bully and always angry. He came from a family that did not like people who were different. This is a great story that shows how Mr. Lincoln is able to find a way to connect with Eugene despite their differences. You’ll have to read the story to find out what happens.
I highly recommend this book because it provides a powerful message about diversity, and ways that we judge people based on appearance. The artwork is very colorful and tells a great story. The interest level for Mr. Lincoln’s Way is grades 3-4.
What are some of your favorite children’s books with a great message?
Peace and Blessings,