26 years ago, children’s author Pat Mora had a great idea. She wanted to introduce the tradition of Mexico’s April 30th El día del niño to her community, but she wanted to add a component that celebrated children’s literacy. That's when El día de los niños/El día de los libros - or “Día,” as many now call the celebration - was born.
Día promotes not just children’s love of reading, but encourages finding literature and activities that recognize the importance of the home language and culture of each child. It celebrates all of the languages and cultures in the community. In fact, some libraries have even said that the abbreviated name Día could stand for “Diversity in Action.”
Part of Kingwood’s monthly display is devoted to Día. If you check your local branch, they may have books displayed as well.
How can you celebrate Día with your child? Here are four ways:
This is a bilingual book all about this special day and what we can do year long to promote books. Children will see themselves reflected in Rafel Lopez's vivid illustrations. And on rereads? You'll notice new details every time.
Share a book with words in another language or about another culture in your community with your child.
Show your child that other languages and cultures are important. If you can't read Spanish but would like to share a book in English and Spanish with your child, try one of our Read Along titles which can read to you as you go.
Not sure what to pick? Librarians can give you recommendations or you can request a book bundle
The ALA (American Library Association) also offers reading lists for various age groups. Please find them below:
Watch one of HCPL’s Bilingual Story Time videos or attend a Bilingual Story Time in person.
Although there is not a specific playlist for our bilingual story times, you can get them by going to our YouTube page ( https://www.youtube.com/c/harriscountypl ) and searching for "bilingual" or "bilingual story time". A list of videos will pop up.
Write a book with your child using all of the languages they know.
Emphasize that as a member of their community, the stories your children have to tell are important.
If they are too little to write, help them along. Gone is the old thinking that children need to learn to read first and then write. Writing their own books and seeing their thoughts and ideas put down into written words encourages children's print awareness. And who knows? When your little one becomes a world famous author some day, you may have the only copy of their earliest work.
If you would like to learn more about Día, check out the ALA website for the event: http://dia.ala.org/
Happy Reading, everyone!