The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader are putting the finishing touches on the fall leg of the 2020 Children’s Book Week, closing out this year’s two-part program honoring children’s books and the love of reading. After transitioning to an all-virtual celebration this past spring due to Covid-19 restrictions, the week-long celebration, slated for November 9–15, is building on this momentum by providing online programming materials for all interested participants.
Unlike in previous years, registration is not required for CBW. All activities, bookmarks, and other resources are available for free online to download and print. “We continue to encourage any and all to celebrate Children’s Book Week this fall at home, online and in whatever setting is appropriate for their communities,” said Shaina Birkhead, associate executive director of the CBC.
Here’s an overview of what to expect for the fall festivities:
Cast Your Ballot. A CBW first, voting for the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards is taking place in the fall. Readers are invited to select the Book of the Year in four categories: K–Second Grade, Third–Fourth Grade, Fifth–Sixth Grade and Teen. The polls will close on November 15, and winners will be announced in early December. Votes can be submitted online, and printable ballots are available here.
Promoting Creativity. In keeping with this year’s Book Week theme, “Read. Dream. Share,” the CBC has produced an Educator’s Kit, containing prompts designed to help teachers engage young readers. Among the activities is a book-sharing quiz that encourages recommendations and discussions.
Creator Videos. As part of an initiative by Every Child a Reader and KidLit TV, a series of 22 videos featuring the 2020 Book Award finalists has been released. Among the select content are read-alouds, guided drawing activities, and a science experiment.
Age-Appropriate Activities. To provide options for at-home celebrations, the CBC has created a variety of grade-level projects. Assorted matching games, scavenger hunts, and word games, along with answer keys, are available to print and download.
Bookmarks for All. The 2020 Book Week poster, designed by author-illustrator Carin Berger, is the same one from the spring event. Updated bookmarks, created by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, the Fan Brothers, Michaela Goade, John Parra, Sydney Smith, and Duncan Tonatiuh feature new activities including seasonal suggestions, like drawing a scarecrow face.
A Partnership of Epic Proportions. Reprising its relationship with kids’ digital library platform Epic!, the CBC is providing free-of-charge access to a curated book collection for young readers of all grade levels. The selected titles from a variety of publishers exemplify this year’s CBW theme and include a number of Book Award finalists. The Epic! collection is free to schools, and parents at home can register online for a free 30-day trial period.
After a strong reception to the spring celebration, the CBC is looking forward to an equally successful fall event. “We saw such a wonderful response to our spring #BookWeekatHome2020 celebration, with people across the country celebrating through social media, virtual events, and at home,” Birkhead said. “That has really put us on a wonderful path to further engagement this fall, as teachers and students are more adapted to many different methods of learning and interacting.”
She credits CBW’s online-only format with opening the doors to a much wider audience. “Shifting to an all-virtual celebration has encouraged us to expand our online resources and find new and creative ways of connecting kids with books and book creators,” she added.