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El día de los niños/El día de los libros

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spanish familyChildren notice things.  Every year in this country, in the space of 5 weeks, we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  An observant child will inevitably ask “So, when is Children’s Day?”  Of course, the standard answer from every parent is “Every day is Children’s Day!”

Actually, the observant child has a point. Seventy-seven countries around the world celebrate a Children’s Day during the course of a year.  The United States is one of the few developed nations that does not. In Mexico, Children’s Day is celebrated every year on April 30.  That day is called El día de los niños.  It is quite a celebration, too!  Schools have carnivals, towns have parades, and children receive special treats.  Mexican immigrants in the American southwest brought their observance of Children’s Day into their communities in this country, and in 1996, a children’s author named Pat Mora noticed. She thought it was a wonderful idea to celebrate children, but her background as an educator and author led her to think that it would be even better to celebrate children’s books!  That was the beginning of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day).

With the support of children’s librarians and teachers, Pat Mora’s idea has spread across the country.  This year, hundreds of libraries and schools will celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day sometime near April 30.  In our community, we have two opportunities to celebrate.

On Saturday, April 27, from 1:00 -4:00 p.m., the Kenton County Public Library will partner with the Cincinnati Public Library to hold a joint celebration at the Bond Hill Branch.  The celebration will include performers, crafts, and free books for children.  On Tuesday, April 30, at 7:00 p.m., enjoy a Bilingual Puppet Show at the Erlanger Branch.  Children’s Librarians Lise Tewes and Theresa Goedde, with the help of Spanish speaking volunteers, will present a short puppet show in English and Spanish.  Free books will be available for all the children in attendance.  Plan to participate in one or both of these events to celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day this year!

This post was written by Lise Tewes, children’s librarian at the Erlanger Branch.

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