We all know that magical moment in parenthood. It’s quiet — too quiet — and you’re worried your toddler has gotten into something messy/dangerous/expensive. You rush to their room expecting to see something bad and find them quietly sitting with a pile of books, flipping through the pages.
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Moments like these are one of the reasons I cannot stop buying or checking out children’s books. Even the ones that I’ve read a hundred times or the ones they always pick out to delay bedtime. No matter how old they are, I want them to find books that are perfect for them and keep their minds buzzing with stories and new things to learn.
Celebrate all the things you love about children’s books with Children’s Book Week this week, May 2-8, a week for recognizing the importance of books for young people and the joy of reading!
How to Celebrate Children’s Book Week
This year’s book week challenge is How Do You Book? The nonprofit Every Child A Reader is challenging kids to think about what, how and where they read, and they have loads of activities to help you participate!
What You Read
Have your kid figure out their favorite genre — there’s even a quiz provided! Then help them get recommendations from the internet, friends or a librarian for that genre, genres with similar qualities, and even the complete opposite genre just to try something new.
Where You Read
Let your kid try out all kinds of different places to read books, whether around the house, at the park or in the library. Give up your favorite reading spot and see if they love it as much as you do!
How You Read
Do an experiment with your child to figure out how they focus best on reading. Let them try reading with or without music or noise, with people or alone, with a snack and without.
Find more details, prompts and activities for How Do You Book? here.
Step-by-Step Drawing Lessons
22 different children’s artists shared step-by-step instructions for drawing some of their favorite characters!
Visit the Library
The central location of the Austin Public Library is one of my favorite places in the city. It’s so beautiful and is the perfect spot to spend a day. Let your kids pick out whatever books they want and take them out to the reading porch to read or decide which ones to take home.
Your local branch of the library is a great spot to visit too! Your librarian can give you recommendations for specific books or point out which children’s books are new.
Share Your Favorite Children’s Books
What books do you remember from your childhood? Which ones did you keep coming back to? Find them at the library or order them to read with your kids.
Find New Books on Instagram
Start following these great accounts on Instagram to get new recommendations for the best new children’s books:
Give Them Some Screen Time
Ok, ok. I know this is totally counterintuitive. But if you have a reluctant reader, it might help to incorporate some videos or even movies.
Watch movies or shows based on kids books — read the book first and then see the show or movie. Streaming services have lots of shows based on children’s books: Pete the Cat, Stinky and Dirty, Llama Llama, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Go Dog Go, and on and on. Some movie options include Roald Dahl books like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, and The BFG; Dr. Seuss books like The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who; Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs; Ferdinand; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; and even the brand new The Bad Guys.
Even if you don’t have time to spend on lots of activities this week, take a little extra time to read books with your kids! It’s special time together that helps them develop a love of reading and helps shape them into who they’re going to be.