March 31, 2011

Díapalooza 2011

Ready for our second annual Díapalooza? My web team, Laurina Cashin and Bobbie Combs, and I hope you’re finding the Día Nuggets helpful as you plan for culminating 15th Anniversary Día Celebrations. At the end of April, we’ll post a pdf of a Día Planning Booklet, including the 15 Nuggets and 30 Día Reflections I’ve written. All this material is also archived on my site. We’ve recently changed my web design and enhanced some navigational features so if you haven’t visited in awhile, take a look.

My hope is that when your Día committee does its assessment, you’ll find the booklet a helpful guide on ideas for the future. Next year, print copies of the booklet pdf for your diverse committee and personalize it with your unique cover design.

30 Daily Día Reflections

Visit this blog for a Daily Día Reflection during April. We’re also posting Día News throughout the month. To have your news considered, please complete and submit the form below. Enjoy sharing bookjoy!

Send Us Your Día Celebration News

From Laurina Cashin, blog manager
If you'd like to have your Día celebration featured on Pat's blog during our April Díapalooza, please describe your Día event in 150 words or less. We welcome a visual or two (jpegs only, please) of your team, location, or a past Día literacy-related event. You can also choose to post a Día message as a comment on Pat’s blog.

We may not be able to post all that we receive, but we’ll certainly try. We appreciate your cooperation and enthusiasm. Happy Día to all!

Pat’s blog is Share Bookjoy! ( Send all blog posts to Laurina Cashin, lcashin (at)welovechildrensbooks(dot)com.

Name and email:

Library, School, Organization :

Dia Event Description (150 words or less):

Photo description if attached:

Download a pdf of the  blog post form.

Register Your Event

Remember to register your event at the Association of Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Día website receive colorful complimentary Día stickers for your event.

March 17, 2011

15 Día Nuggets: #10 Themes and Programs to Enrich Your April Día Celebrations

One more Nugget today, resulting in numbers 1-10 available individually and as a downloadable packet.

To assist those of you planning Día celebrations at your schools, libraries, etc., we’re sharing 15 Día Nuggets, 15 lists of 15 items to assist you in your planning. During our second Díapalooza during April 2011, we’ll showcase the 15 Día Dynamos, 15 Mora Award winners and the 15 Día Nuggets, etc.

15 Día Nuggets
#10 Themes and Programs to Enrich Your April Día Celebrations

Looking for a new idea for your culminating Día celebration? Consider incorporating these themes and exploring organizations that could strengthen your yearlong Día work.

April Celebrations

1. National Poetry Month (Academy of American Poets)

2. School Library Month (American Association of School Librarians/AASL)

3. April 2, International Children’s Book Day (United States Board on Books for Young People/USBBY)

4. April 10-16, National Library Week (American Library Association/ALA)

5. April 10-16, Week of the Young Child (National Association for the Education of Young Children/NAEYC)

6. April 22, Earth Day

National Literacy Programs

7. Colorín Colorado & Reading Rockets (WETA Public Television)

8. Born to Read, Every Child Ready to Read (Association of Library Service to Children/ALSC)

9. PAWS to Read

10. Prime Time Family Reading Time ® (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities)

11. Raising a Reader

12. Reach Out and Read

13. Read to Me Program

Literacy Organizations That Have Partnered with Día Events

14. First Book

15. Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)


ALSC is now offering a new webinar, Día 101: Everything you need to know about celebrating el día de los niños/el día de los libros. Taught by Beatriz Pascual Wallace, MLIS Children's Librarian, Seattle Public Library, participants will learn about the history, resources and ideas behind Día. For more information visit ALSC’s online education page.

March 14, 2011


ALSC announced the opening of 2011 registration for Día. Let others know about your upcoming Día programming and see what Día celebrations are occurring all over the country. Spread the Día word!

Cool stickers, right? Receive complementary stickers when you register.

PoetryTagTime is the first electronic-only poetry anthology for kids! This eBook project was compiled and edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Included are 30 new poems by 30 well-known contemporary poets writing for children -- including a poem by Pat.Visit the website for more information. (Available April 1)

March 10, 2011

Creativity Interview: Erica Brown

I met Erica briefly at YALSA's Young Adult Literature Symposium in Albuquerque.  My friend, Flo Trujillo, Día Dynamo and Youth Services Coordinator at the Farmington Public Library (NM) proudly gave me a copy of Blended Zine edited by Erica and staffed by her fellow teens in San Juan County, New Mexico. I was so impressed by the quality of the work in the zine and by the fact that this is a teen production.  What a fine model of school, library, and community cooperation.

My name is Erica Brown, I’m 17 years old, a senior in high school and I have been home schooled my entire life. I’m involved in several programs besides Blended such as Mayor’s Teen Advisory Council, UMATTR (, coaching second grade cheerleading for Upward basketball, and Student Leadership and the Worship team through my church. In January of 2009 when I was 15 years old, I applied for a position at Blended Zine. I had submitted before and thought it was a really cool project, so I wanted to get involved. I was hired as a general staff member and joined the 12 person staff. In June of ’09 after the current editor graduated, I was promoted to the position of editor.

Do you think of yourself as creative?
EB: I would definitely think of myself as of creative. My whole life I’ve loved experimenting with different art forms whether it was painting, drawing, writing or music. I always try to do something different and think outside of the box. Creativity is one of the most defining aspects of my life. I like to be different from what most people are doing. I like to be crazy and stay on the edge of new and exciting things.

In what ways does creativity shape your life?
EB: I love creativity in any form. I love dancing and learning new things and figuring out things that haven’t been done. I also love music. I love just experimenting with music to make something different or a new sound. Something I really enjoy is making sidewalk murals with chalk. Chalk is one of my favorite mediums. For Blended over the past few years I have submitted a broad range of pieces. Drawing, etchings, paintings, digital art, and in our most recent issue, poetry! I really like expressing myself in so many different ways.

Blended, May 2010
 As for balancing school and creativity, I think the two can be a wonderful combination. I truly believe that creativity produces rational thinking because when you don’t limit yourself to the norms, you open up your mind to so much more! You can look at things from more perspectives. One of my favorite subjects is math. Although math is very precise, there are limitless possibilities that are just wonderful to explore, and for me personally this sparks a lot of curiosity. No matter what subject you are researching or writing on, creativity can helps you see things from new perspectives or different viewpoints.

That’ s why Blended is such a great program for teens to get involved with. It sparks creativity. We've had many teachers tell us that they've had students improve in school after submitting and getting published in Blended. I think that’s one of the greatest effects a program like this could ever have.

Blended, December 2010
 Blended Zine has been one of the biggest parts of my life for the past two years. I was so blessed with the opportunity to be part of the program and it has changed my life in more ways than I can list. I am currently working on the eighth issue, and my fifth and last issue as part of the staff. It has been a truly amazing experience!

Tell us about your most memorable teacher.
EB: I have been home schooled my entire life [so] my most memorable teacher is definitely my mom! She has taught me the importance of thinking for myself, being my own person and just being myself! Although, I have been taking college classes part time since my junior year, in my second semester I took inter-personal communication. My teacher was wonderful! She definitely made a profound impact on my life.

Release Party December 2010

Blended Zine is published three times each year by the Farmington Public Library, Farmington NM. All submissions and published pieces are from students, ages 13-19, living in San Juan County. The Mission Statement states "Blended strives to be a positive influence and helps teens stay connected and involved with the community. Along with the Farmington Public Library, Blended enlightens, enriches, and changes lives by providing innovative, optimistic and constructive influences for adolescents.


Uno, Dos, Tres: One, Two, Three Featured Title for Summer Reading Program

Pat's picture book Uno, Dos, Tres: One, Two, Three is a featured title for this summer's Collaborative Summer Library Program's (CSLP) theme "One World, Many Stories." has created an audio clip of Pat talking about how she came to write the book, and reading from it.

March 3, 2011

This Month's Día Dynamo!

Alma Ramos-McDermott is our 14th Día Dynamo, the first who is a school librarian. It's exciting to honor a school librarian who's active in the American Association of School Librarians, (AASL) who has experienced the value of sharing Día, and who is leading the way to connect other school librarians with this family literacy initiative. I met Alma at a YALSA conference in New Mexico last year and was so impressed at her commitment to share bookjoy with all students. As she and I discussed, when working with Middle School students, some Día advocates say: El día de los jovenes y libros, Day of Young People and Books. Some middle schools create Día literacy activities for themselves and some promote literacy at a neighboring elementary school. I hope that we'll hear from many fine school librarians who like Alma want to incorporate Día's goals of linking all children to book, languages and cultures into their planning and to start an annual tradition of planning a culminating celebration with parents on or near April 30th. Gracias, Alma, for enriching Día's work with your enthusiasm.

I. When and how did you become interested in sharing bookjoy?
AR: I was always a loner because my family moved at least twice/year, which made me the “new kid on the block” for my entire K-12 school experience. When I received my first public library card at age 11, a new world opened up for me. I experienced true bookjoy, as books became the friends I didn’t have and the one constant in my life. As a school librarian I love sharing bookjoy with students, watching books and children connect.

2.How did you first learn about Día and what has been your experience with Día?
AR: I first learned about Día 2 years ago. I have a student population made up of non-Hispanics, and wanted them to be aware of the availability of Latino literature, as well as learn about the Latino culture, using literature to bridge that gap. I have enjoyed teaching students about the importance of literacy through Día activities, and the students/teachers have enjoyed learning/participating in Día

3.What are your hopes for Día 2011, Día’s 15th Anniversary?
AR: I am hoping Día 2011 will be the beginning of great collaboration between school librarians in the United States. As a teacher and school librarian, I see the literacy gap that exists in many schools and know that participating in Día can help bridge that gap. A Quinceañera is a “coming of age” time, and I feel it’s time for Día to “come of age” with school librarians.

4. What helpful tip(s) do you have for those organizing a Día event for the first time?
AR: Tip number one is don’t worry if you can’t speak Spanish. Día is not just for Hispanics – it’s a Literacy Bridging event. Tip #2 would be to think of a way to bring literacy to your school or public library. Tip #3 is to just go out there and do it! Día events can range from the extremely elaborate, which involve hundreds, to something as simple as sharing puppet stories to a small group of children. Your only limitation is you, so “go for it!”

5.What is your favorite example of Bookjoy as either a child or an adult?
AR: My favorite example happened last year when I connected an 8th grade reluctant reader with a book. Previous to that, she’d only read Manga. That book about someone who liked Manga led to another book. Over the summer, she became a reader. In September, I met up with her in the hallway, during passing time, and gave her part two of a book she’d just finished reading. She jumped up in the air – in front of her classmates, and shouted “Yes! That’s just what I like to hear!” To that, I respond “Me too!”

6. What are you reading now?
AR: I just finished reading Three Black Swans by Caroline B. Cooney, and am starting Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald. Two days ago I read Starlighter by Bryan Davis and two days before that I read A Million Miles from Boston by Karen Day. With a personal stack of 250 ARC’s and 44 bound books waiting to be read, I’ll be reading something else by the time you read this. Suffice to say I’m never without a tween/YA book in my hand.

Visit Alma's blog ( about her Middle School Library Teacher position at Pollard Middle School in Needham, MA.

Interview News

"Books and Authors: Talking with Pat Mora" is a feature interview by Jeanette Larson in the January 2011 issue of Book Links and available online.  Pat talks about her work, bookjoy, and Día’s fifteenth birthday.