April– The Month of Reading!
Celebrate the Magic of International Children’s Book Day!
|April is a month chock full of opportunities to celebrate reading. There’s National Library Week April 3rd-April 9th. Then there’s D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Day on April 12th. April 23rd is Shakespeare Day. And April 30th is El día de los niños, el día de los libros or Children’s Day, Book Day, a day to encourage family literacy.|
But the celebration I want to discuss is International Children’s Book Day. This celebration began in 1967 to inspire a love for reading and to call attention to children’s books every April 2nd.
I love this celebration for a number of reasons. One, I stand behind the idea of stoking those burning desires for reading early. My children’s first regular outings were to the library, and to this day that remains our reward for everything. Both my children are as big of book nerds as me! A point of pride for this Book Mama!
But in addition to that early love of reading, there is something in particular about children’s books that is special. I firmly believe children’s literature should be held on a pedestal above any other genre. A good children’s book evokes feelings and creates cherished memories unlike any other. It can build safe spaces or entire worlds for us to escape. It also bonds and builds relationships.
I will never forget my father reading The Hobbit with me at bedtime growing up. Those evenings cuddled up next to him while he shared the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf are still among my favorite memories. And yet, I managed to replicate that joy when sharing one of my own childhood favorites with my son for the first time. It was like experiencing the magic of Harry Potter for the first time all over again!
It even inspired me to pick up a few of my other favorites from childhood to read on my own again. The joy was still there, despite the years gone by. In fact, I found I was able to enjoy them again in a completely different way with an entirely new layer of life experience and wisdom.
It made me think, why should the whimsical fun of children’s books be limited to children? Why should we wait until we’re reading to our own children to pick up a formative favorite?
The joy of reading does not need to be limited by our age. Embrace that inner child from time to time and slip back to that world from your childhood, I dare you! You might find there’s no better escape than not only departing to a new world than your own, but leaving behind the bonds of “adulting” as well. It might even make you smile… 😉