Children’s Book Week is 100 Years Young!

April 29 through May 5,2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week. The 100th Anniversary theme — Read Now ∙ Read Forever – looks to the past, present, and most important, the future of children’s books.  Grab a kid, grab a book and read together this week! And every week!  And every day! — ALW

By Jessica Emmett

Everyone has a favorite children’s book. Whether you love Dr. Seuss, Goodnight Moon or Brown Bear, Brown Bear, you probably get the warm fuzzies when you think about some book from your childhood. Children’s books are the gateway to becoming lifelong learners and lifelong readers, and the standards are high. For a book to end up in your school, your library or your hands, lots of people have to think it’s pretty great (and it helps if it gives someone the warm fuzzies, too).

This week we have been celebrating Children’s Book Week with fun activities and ideas to help get kids in Waco excited about reading!

Children’s Book Week

In 1919, librarians, editors, booksellers and Boy Scouts decided to start a literacy initiative to promote reading among young people in the United States. In 1944, the Children’s Book Council assumed responsibility for running Children’s Book Week, an event that connects libraries, bookstores, schools and homes—anywhere where young readers are reading.

Today, Children’s Book Week is the longest running national literacy initiative in the country. Over 1,300 libraries, bookstores and schools host events to celebrate the week. This year is the 100th anniversary of the first Children’s Book Week, so we can celebrate all year long. The theme this year is Read Now • Read Forever.

Why Read?

Getting kids to read helps expand their vocabularies. Learning new words helps young brains develop just like exercise helps their bodies. It’s like mental cross-training! Better readers are better writers, so reading all those books can lead to strong job skills along with a life-long love of James and the Giant Peach.

Reading is a great way to experience other cultures, too. Kids can learn about places they’d like to visit and about the unique history and people who live there. What a great way to start conversations and inspire a new generation of travelers!

Learning about history, science and how the world works can inspire innovation and creativity. When kids read books, they walk away with brand new ideas and ways to solve problems.

One of the best side-effects of reading is developing a great imagination! When kids learn what might be—instead of being limited to the things they can see—they dream bigger. Think about Harold and his purple crayon… Imagination is magic!

How Can You Help?

Inspiring young people to become readers is everyone’s responsibility. Reading to kids is the obvious way to share books with them, but it’s not the only one. Be a great role model by reading for work or for fun. Kids absorb and mimic your behavior, so reading inspires them in a positive way.

Bring kids to the library regularly to encourage them to value reading, sharing and community resources. While you’re there, take a trip to the children’s department to see if we have your favorite book. Take a little time to pass it on to a young person in your life. The books of your childhood help tell your story in the best words possible.

If you don’t have a favorite childhood book, or you’d like to discover something new, just ask us. Our librarians have amazing suggestions for the best books. They know the classics and what’s new, so you might discover a new favorite.

Be sure to sign up for Library News emails to get book recommendations, too!

What’s Happening?

The Children’s Book Week event is a nationwide party for our favorite children’s books, and part of it takes place at your Waco Library! On Wednesday we had a carnival at West Library and participants made up stories to share with their friends. We had a book walk game and gave out fabulous prizes (books!) On Friday, we’re having a Rainbow Fish party at South Waco Library! Hear the classic story, make a snack and something crafty, too.

Of course, every day, we have books for you to read and enjoy. Everyone age 5 and over can get their own library card. You can even register for a card online and swing by the library to pick it up!

So, cross the bridge to Terabithia and join us where the wild things are April 29 through May 3 and we promise, you won’t have a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.

The Rainbow Fish party is May 3 at 4 PM at the South Waco Library (2737 S. 18th St.)

For more information about online card registration, Library News emails and Library programs (including Summer Reading Club) be sure to visit

Jessica Emmett is the Community Services Supervisor for the Waco-McLennan County Library. She loves “preaching the gospel of the library” and has been doing marketing, promotion and outreach for the Waco Library for almost three years. Before joining the Library team, Jessica worked for a decade in public education, as an aide, teacher and librarian. She loves how her job lets her teach people of all ages about something she loves—the library!

Jessica enjoys lots of hobbies, including cooking, disc golf and running. She loves to read (of course) and usually has three or four books open at a time. When she’s not doing outreach, Jessica spends a lot of time in a very lonely office, so be sure to say “hi” if you see the Library table at your next Waco event!

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.

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