April 16, 2008

A Día Book!


I meet wonderful people not only in person as I travel around the country, but also through correspondence. One woman I’ve met through snail mail is Gabriela Ruiz Monsalvo. Some years back, Gaby wrote me from Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, to say how excited she was about the concept of El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children’s Day/Book Day. Originally from Mexico, Gaby was familiar with school celebrations in Mexico of El día del niño on April 30th. She liked linking the celebration of children, Kids’ Day, to a celebration of connecting all children to books, languages and cultures. Like many others, year after year, she worked where she and her family live to promote and support Día celebrations.
Gaby cheerfully brought Día to the Pine Bluffs daycare center, Head Start Program, the elementary school and the county library. Year after year, Gaby sent me photos of the celebrations in Pine Bluffs. This January, Gaby mailed me a big surprise. Gaby had written her own Día book! What an idea to share. The title of her book , is, “. . . and when is Children’s Day? . . . y ¿cuándo es el Día de los Niños?” The book, assembled in a notebook, is illustrated with wonderful photos of Gaby’s cute children, their friends and of the Pine Bluffs 2007 Día celebration at the high school that included dancers and children in costumes. Gaby’s book even includes a U.S. map that shows which states celebrate Día. Gaby thanks many who helped her at the end of her fine book, and I thank her for all her hard work and for my present. I asked Gaby if I could share her good bookjoy sharing idea, and she graciously agreed.

Día Idea: Children or families can create their own Día book using photographs, drawings, paintings, etc.

I always stress that Día is a daily commitment to link children and books and can be celebrated at home, school, the public library, etc. Across the country, annual culminating celebrations are held April 30th or a convenient date for your own community. Día creates community partnerships; Día strengthens communities.

1 comment:

Mark said...

We are lucky enough to have Pat with us this weekend for our fifth annual Dia celebrations in Riverside County. Pat was with us our first year and we've grown a lot since then thanks to the hard work of our coordinator Paulina Moreno. We have also been active in encouraging our state library to adopt Dia as a statewide project. This is a very important step and one that I encourage all of you Dia enthusiasts to do as well. I believe that Dia is one key to the longterm survival of the public library as an institution that is responsive to the needs of its ever-changing clientele. State library and state association support of Dia is vital to institutionalizing this event. Endless thanks to Pat Mora for being the inspiration and guardian angel of this celebration. And many congratulations to all libraries that celebrate Dia.

Mark Smith
Riverside County Library System
Riverside, California