Gearing Up for a Revitalized Children's Book Week

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Children's Book Week is being celebrated this year from Monday, May 12, to Sunday, May 18. The 89th annual event, sponsored by the Children's Book Council (CBC), in association with the CBC Foundation, features an array of activities, including the First Annual Children's Book Choice Awards and a children's version of the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) Big Read with New York City's Mercantile Library for Fiction.

"The longest running national literacy event in the country will become the most recognizable and celebrated literacy event this May when publishers, retailers, librarians, teachers, parents and, most importantly, children come together to celebrate all that is wonderful and magical about children's books," said Robin Adelson, executive director of the CBC. "Children's Book Week will kick off on Saturday, May 10, with a blowout celebration of children's books at [New York City's] Bryant Park Reading Room, featuring authors and children's book characters."

Also new this year, the CBC is launching the Children's Choice Book Awards. "The Children's Choice Book Awards gala on May 13 [in New York City] will be a celebration of the books, authors, and illustrators that children have chosen as their favorites, hosted by Jon Scieszka," said Adelson. The awards were created to provide young readers with an opportunity to weigh in on the books being written for them. Children can cast their votes for their favorite books, author, and illustrator at bookstores, school libraries, at, and via the hub site.

To help bookstores and libraries promote Children's Book Week, CBC has created a variety of materials for publicity and display purposes. "This year's Children's Book Week offers booksellers the opportunity to tie their Children's Book Week celebrations into summer reading," said Adelson. "In addition, we are providing the official Children's Book Week poster, designed by Mary Grand Pre, to all booksellers free of charge, and the Children's Book Week site,, has downloadable activities for booksellers to share with their young patrons, including a color-in version of the poster, puzzles, and downloadable bookmarks designed by Gene Yang that double as paper dolls and come with a wardrobe."

Bookstores in ABA's Book Sense program will be receiving the Children's Book Week poster and information sheets promoting Children's Book Week and the Children's Choice Book Awards in the April Red Box. And a Children's Book Week-related theme for websites will be available in May.

"After 89 years, Children's Book Week was ready to be revitalized," Adelson explained.  "It has been great fun to put together a week of celebrations, both national and local, that all speak to the importance of reading and the wonderful books that are being and have been written for children. It is particularly satisfying to see so many individuals and companies come together in support of this initiative and, ultimately, in support of children." --Karen Schechner