April 23, 2009

Celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) on April 30th, and Every Other Day of the Year!

By now, most of us know that 1 out of every 2 children born in the US is of Latino heritage, and that by 2050 nearly 30% of this country’s population will be Latino. What some of you may not know, is that studies have revealed that children who are read to from an early age (preferably before they begin school), do better once they get to school. And a child who does better in school is more likely to stay in it, and go on to college, and become a contributing member of society. So if we want to ensure a bright future for our Latino children as their numbers continue to grow, we should make an effort to read to them as much as we can, and to make that a priority in our lives. El día de los niños/El día de los libros provides us with a perfect opportunity to celebrate children, books, and the act of reading!

Founded in 1996 by author Pat Mora, “Día” as it is commonly called, is “a daily commitment to link all children to books, languages and cultures.” Día is housed at the American Library Association, and there are Día celebrations held at libraries all across the country on or near April 30th. To learn more about Día and its celebrations, get a brochure of recommended books, and much more, visit Día’s official website.

This is particularly exciting year for Día, because its founder, Pat Mora, has released her first ever Día themed bilingual picture book, entitled Book Fiesta!, illustrated by the amazing Rafael López. LibreríaLectorum.com recently interviewed the author about Día and her new book. Click here to read that interview. To learn more about Pat Mora, Día, and the book, visit the author’s website.

I have listed some Día events in my calendar. That, along with the information and resources found in the websites mentioned above, should provide you with many options for celebrating Día today, this week, this month, and this year. So tell your friends and family to celebrate, read to their kids, and buy books by Latino authors! That is the best investment we can all make in our future!

The titles below belong to a list of Día recommended titles put together by The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) - a division of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA - the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, and the Association of American Publishers’ Publishing Latino Voices for America (PLVA) Task Force. It includes books in English and Spanish, as well as in the popular bilingual format. I think that it provides a nice variety of titles to help you begin to build your library. Enjoy!

¡Feliz día de los niños y los libros!

April 9, 2009

Tell Your Story to NPR!

Hello everyone! I know that I've been a little MIA lately (busy, busy!), but I have been updating the calendar of events, so I hope that you are taking a look every so often, since it is updated very, very often. Check it out, or you may miss out on a writing workshop by Liliana Valenzuela, or a memoir workshop by Ana Castillo, to name only a couple! I get announcements about events from many sources, and I am making every effort to let you in on those through the calendar, as part of this blog's promise to provide you with "an insider's perspective" on the Latino market, so take advantage of it, and support Latino literature by attending the events whenever possible.

And here is an exciting opportunity for those of you who want to share your stories:

To any and all book lovers who have a good story to tell about how a book or librarian infused a child's life with joy or purpose. NPR's Latino USA is planning a feature to air before El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/ Book Day) in April that will share some of these stories about the power of books. Do you have a story or can you help us find one? We are in search of all voices: young, old, in Spanish, Somali or any language. Write to us and tell us the story, and we may call you up for an interview. Others will be included on our web site. We are especially interested in stories about Latino and immigrant children. Or the kids themselves if they'd like! Please send them to Katie Davis: KDavisDC@aol.com. Good luck!