This spring marks the centennial celebration of Children’s Book Week, the nation’s longest-running literacy initiative. Spearheaded by the Children’s Book Council and its charitable arm, Every Child a Reader, Book Week will take place from April 29 to May 5. Kicking off the festivities, the CBC announced today that Ayesha Curry—bestselling author of The Seasoned Life Entrepreneur, host of Ayesha’s Home Kitchen on Food Network, and wife of NBA superstar Stephen Curry—will serve as spokesperson and chair of Children’s Book Week 2019. The official poster, illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Yuyi Morales (Viva Frida; Dreamers), is also revealed here for the first time.
Featuring the 100th anniversary theme, “Read Now. Read Forever.,” the poster shows children of all ages reaching out to one another and sharing books. The poster art and other downloadable resources are now available at the Every Child a Reader website. More than 125,000 posters will be distributed during Children’s Book Week to more than 1,000 schools, libraries, and bookstores in all 50 states. Locations and details for more than 2,500 Book Week events will be listed on an online map in early April.
Curry said in a statement, “I’m proud to serve as the spokesperson and chair for the 100th year of Children’s Book Week. My family is at the heart of everything I do and one of the things that we all share is a love of reading. I remember reading and being read to as a child and that experience has shaped my life. As a parent, I love watching my children get excited about reading. With a book in their hands, they can travel to make-believe lands or read about people who make a difference.” Curry’s video in celebration of Book Week will be posted on the Every Child a Reader site, along with her list of must-read children’s books.
Additional components of the 100th Children’s Book Week will include:
- KidLit TV is sponsoring and producing 100 videos of authors and illustrators—including Eva Chen, Julie Fogliano, Christian Robinson, and David Ezra Stein—sharing their favorite literary characters. The three-to-five minute segments will be available on KidLit.tv beginning in late March.
- Voting will take place for the 12th annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards, the only national book awards chosen solely by young readers. Kids and teens can vote online from March 1 through June 2. Teachers can also submit group ballots for their classes online.
- Random House is publishing 100 Years of Children’s Book Week Posters, edited by Leonard S. Marcus, on March 5. The volume will feature work by early luminaries in children’s illustration such as N.C. Wyeth and Marcia Brown, as well as contemporary artists including Mary GrandPré, Jillian Tamaki, and David Wiesner.
- Nineteen illustrators are collaborating on yearlong anniversary poster panels, to be released one month at a time, in addition to six original bookmarks. Event kits, activity pages in a dozen languages, a poetry bookmark, and more materials will be available on the Every Child a Reader website.
- The Rabbit Hole in Kansas City, the world’s first “Explora-a-Storium,” will feature a three-dimensional portal through which kids and teens can experience the history of Children’s Book Week and classic children’s books. The museum is scheduled to open in the fall.
- Parents magazine will be a media partner for the anniversary celebration, and BookCon, First Book, Sesame Street, Screen Free Week, and other national organizations will serve as marketing partners.
Shaina Birkhead, associate executive director of Every Child a Reader and the Children’s Book Council, said of the celebration, “We’ve been planning for the 100th anniversary for quite some time, and to see every segment of the children’s book world come together so enthusiastically is very rewarding, mostly because kids of all ages will have lots of many fun materials and original visual resources to enjoy before, during, and long after this year’s Children’s Book Week!”
Stay tuned for more announcements regarding the 100th annual Children’s Book Week.