This week is the official Children’s Book Week, as put on and promoted by Every Child A Reader. Of course, every day is a Children’s Book Day in our house, but we’re certainly happy to see the rest of the nation getting a week at it, too. As one of the founders of Children’s Book Week said, “A great nation is a reading nation,” and I do believe that children who read become adults who read, and adults who read become (on the average) better informed, more open-minded, more thoughtful, happier, and all kinds of other good things. (Of course, those aims may be better served by some books than others, and I was a little horrified to see a children’s book by Rush Limbaugh on the ballot for the Children’s Choice Book Awards. Still, as the good little liberal that I am, I believe that we should raise our children to be aware of all their options, even those from venomously ranting lunatics, so that they learn how to make the best choices.)
My favorite offering from Children’s Book Week, though, is the page of Story Starters. Famous authors provide a few opening lines that hopefully will prompt children to imagine their own stories. Some are so vague a kid would have to have an idea of her own already, but I get the biggest kick from the ones with all sorts of quirky details a young writer would be challenged to incorporate. But whatever proves an inspiration, it’s all good! You can find all the Story Starters here. For sci-fi or fantasy flavor I recommend One Evening…, Tutu is a Funny Nickname for a Guy!, And Then…, and The Night Visitor, but of course any of these might end up going in any direction under the pen of an inspired child! And that’s what we really hope to get out of all this: inspired children.
So get a book into the hands of the nearest child right now, and while you’re at it, why not grab a children’s book to read for yourself this week, too. Enjoy!
[Pictures: Bookmark and book quiz, paper collage by Steve Jenkins, 2014 (Image from bookweekonline.com);
Poster, watercolor by Jessie Wilcox Smith, 1921.]