Posts Tagged ‘Children’s Book Week’

I had the honor of being a judge today for a UIL Oral Recitation contest. What this means is,sidewalk ends I got to listen to fourth and fifth graders read Shel Silverstein poems. There were other selections of course, but the majority were by Shel. One girl’s recitation of Cloony the Clown was so funny and spot-on, I had to keep from laughing while she read.

It was actually sort of a surreal experience, because in many ways I don’t see myself as a grown-up, but today I had to pretend to be one in front a roomful of children. I had to write critiques on what they read, and try to be truthful without Crushing Their Souls. Which really wasn’t that hard. It’s not exactly a complicated event, although when you’re good at it, you definitely stand out.

I do feel it was fitting to have the competition this week, since we’re still in Children’s Book Week. Nothing like bloodthirsty the spirit of competition to encourage children to read. I am a little sad that the majority of the contestants were girls. I see reading as a “safe” pursuit for girls, and as too “girly” for most boys. Boys obviously don’t want to read eww yuck Poetry!

It was a good mix of races, though, which I was pleasantly surprised by. Two out of three of my top picks were girls of color, with really great poems that they recited well and confidently. I was so proud to listen to all the contestants, even the ones who were terrible. (And there were a few!)

Since really getting involved in the feminist, anti-racist, book blogging community, I’ve really begun to see things differently, and I think even a year or two ago I might not have made note of those things. I have another competition next weekend, and I hope to keep doing this and other related activities soon. It doesn’t pay much, but I had a lot of fun, and I enjoy working with kids a lot more than I thought I would. Who knew?? (Not me!)

I guess this will wrap up Children’s Book Week for me. Can’t wait to see how next week goes. Hopefully the kids remain as nice as they were today. (knock on wood)


You can also read about the last day of judging.


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In honor of Children’s Book Week, all the links below are related to that topic.


  • Children’s Storybooks Online is a neat little site full of fun and interesting e-storybooks. Read with your child on your lap, and click through the pages together.
  • Nominated for a Children’s Choice Book Award, Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin is a cute, funny, and visually fascinating read. I’d recommend it to any family.
  • Finally, who wouldn’t want to read books while sitting on a big stuffed book? Big Cozy Books specializes in stuffed book furniture for libraries and elementary schools across the country, with floor plans and furniture for rooms of all sizes. If you’re a teacher or librarian, or know one, then this site is for you. I know I’d have no problem curling up in a book chair with a good book.

If you have any suggestions for great books or book-related sites, please leave them in the comments. Have a great week and share the joy of books with a child near you! (In a non-creepy way, of course. Be nice!)

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Children's Book Week

Thanks to Nari over at The Novel World, I realized that the week of May 11-17 is Children’s Book Week, courtesy of the Children’s Book Council.

In a quote from their website:

“Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes-any place where there are children and books. Educators, librarians, booksellers, and families have celebrated children’s books and the love of reading with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book related events.”

I’ll be doing a guest post on The Novel World this coming Wednesday the 13th about my experiences with reading as a child, and how that translates to reading as an adult and with my son.

In my opinion, there is nothing more important to a young child than access to books, and being read to. This week, make the time to do something bookish for a child. Read to your own child, re-read a children’s book you once loved, donate new and gently used books to a shelter, or donate money or time to a local library.

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emily Buchwald

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