International Book Giving Day, 14th February, is a day dedicated to getting new, used, and borrowed books into the hands of as many children as possible.
Two of my favorite KidLit bloggers are behind the wonderful International Book Giving Day (Delightful Children’s Books and My Book Corner)! To celebrate, I had to attack the piles of books all over my house. My husband is very happy that I am getting rid of some books but for me, it’s all about getting the right books to the right people.
This first pile of books is going to a rural elementary school in Michigan which I learned has a small budget of only $300 a year for purchasing library books. I shipped it out two boxes of picture books and chapter books via U.S. post office media rate last week so I hope it gets there in time for International Book Giving Day!
My second pile of books is going to my son’s 3rd grade teacher and it’s a small stack of non-fiction picture books. She used to be a 5th grade teacher so she’s looking to expand her 3rd grade classroom library and said she was short on non-fiction.
My last pile is from judging graphic novels for the Cybils. I’m trying to get a 7th grade reluctant reader girl reading and I know that she likes graphic novels but they must have strong female characters, preferably set in modern times with middle girl social issues. Alas, only Raina Telgemeier seems to be writing these but there were a few from the Cybil YA Graphic Novel short list that I think she would like.
International Book Giving Day was created by Amy Broadmoore, founder of the American children’s book website, Delightful Children’s Books, in 2012. Inspired by her son’s desire to ‘invent a holiday when people gave books to each other’, the determination to link that with Valentine’s Day was born just 10 days before the day itself! 2014 sees an increased presence of Emma Perry, My Book Corner – UK, allowing Amy to create a little more room for more bookish projects.
The beauty of International Book Giving Day is its simplicity. Participants do not need to organize a huge event to take part.
1. Giving a Book to a Friend or Relative
Gift a book to a child who would enjoy receiving a book on February 14th. A perfect alternative to overpriced chocolate and roses … although chocolates still make a good present!
2. Leaving a Book somewhere …
Choose a waiting room where kids are stuck waiting. Purchase a good book, and deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice.
Try leaving them in playgrounds with our downloadable bookplates or bookmarks tucked inside! The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids.
3. Donating a Book
Donate books to a school library, children’s hospital, or nonprofit organisation working to ensure that all kids have access to books. A list of some of these organisations can be found on the website.
This is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Since we are not celebrating Valentine’s Day (or even if you are), this charming picture book fits the bill to gift to anyone year round. A boy has a crush on a girl and gives her little gifts that are NOT a Valentine as he wins her friendship. I really like how his homemade gifts reflect her interests and how gracious she is in accepting them. Small details like making this an interracial couple with the girl taller than the boy promote inclusion. Even boys who don’t like girls will enjoy this fun and funny story. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Participants are encouraged to let us know they are participating at http://bookgivingday.com.
Photos of Book Giving Day festivities are shared each year on social media, by adding the hashtag #giveabook to Instagram / Twitter / Facebook photos or by emailing photos to email@example.com.
International Book Giving Day has received great support from well known children’s authors from around the world. Mem Fox, Clara Vulliamy, Dub Leffler, Katrina Germein, Chris Haughton, Sindiwe Magona, Ed Emberley, Dianne Wolfer, Kathryn Apel, Ed Vere, Claire Wildish, Peter H. Reynolds, Sandy Fussell, Priya Kuriyan, Janeen Brian, Barney Saltzberg, Hazel Edwards, and Frane Lessac have all given books to children on February 14th and are encouraged others to do the same.
Let’s see how many people we can get to commit to giving a book to a child by February 14th! Happy International Book Giving Day (coming up soon!)!!
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.