The birds are chirping and the pages are turning, as the spring portion of the 2023 Children’s Book Week kicks off next week nationwide. With more than 2,600 registered locations expected to participate, children across the country will be taking part in the annual literacy initiative spearheaded by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader from May 1–7.

This year’s slogan, “Read Books. Spark Change,” has been incorporated into a slew of activities and materials for teachers, librarians, and parents to engage kids in the celebration. “It is always a joy to see the Children’s Book Week theme take on life as resources are created and used,” said associate executive director Shaina Birkhead. “It was wonderful to see the theme embraced by the amazing artists as they created resources, and we can not wait to see how young readers embrace it as well, discovering and honoring the books that spark something for them.”

Materials for the Masses

Among the supplemental supplies are five Book Week bookmarks designed by artists Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo, Lian Cho, JeyOdin, K. O’Neill, and Briana Mukodiri Uchendu. They can be downloaded on the Every Child a Reader website.

Drawing instruction activities, also available online, are being provided by Delzin Choksey, Mike Curato, Paddy Donnelly, Polina Doroshenko, Ann Kim Ha, Andy McGuire, Clotilde Perrin, Benjamin Phillips, Jack Wong, and Xindi Yan.

To further immerse readers in book-related adventures, the CBC has created the “Find Your Spark Challenge,” which includes a book scavenger hunt, suggestions for how to express the excitement found in a book, and a printable personalized certificate.

And the Award Goes To…

This year’s recipient of the Anna Dewdney Read Together Award will be named on May 3, while the second annual Floyd Cooper Day will be held on May 5 in honor of the late author-illustrator. According to Birkhead, the CBC has encouraged Book Week participants to celebrate Cooper by reading and sharing his books. A series of videos celebrating Cooper’s work and created in conjunction with KidLit TV will also be promoted. “They are evergreen and a great resource,” she added.