Libraries and schools around the United States will spend April 30 celebrating El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros, a holiday honoring children, family literacy and multilingualism.
Loosely based on Children’s Day celebrations from around the world (particularly Mexico) festivities in the United States began in 1997 largely through the efforts of children’s author Pat Mora.
Libraries celebrate with bilingual story times, book clubs, fiestas and programs that include people from many different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
In honor of El Día, think about visiting the library and checking out one of the North Olympic Library System’s bilingual or Spanish books. All four branches of the North Olympic Library System have a collection of bilingual materials in Spanish for children and adults.
Search in the catalog by limiting the format to “español” to get a list of materials in Spanish. If you are interested in finding a book in a different language, the library may be able to get it through interlibrary loan; talk to library staff for information.
Get into the spirit of the day with these books from the NOLS collection:
“Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day = Celebremos El DiÌa de los NinÌƒos/El DiÌa de Los Libros”
by Pat Mora, illustrated by David Díaz
There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday than with “Book Fiesta.” Lovely illustrations by the talented Díaz accompany Mora’s cheerful text. (E MORA)
“Colores de la vida”
by Cynthia Weill
In the world of Mexican folk art, an alebrije is a representation of an animal, usually in miniature, made of copal or paper mache and vividly painted. Weill took photographs of Oaxacan alebrijes and coupled them with colors in Spanish and English to produce a delightful concept book simple enough for use with toddlers. (Español WEILL)
“Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book”
by Yuyi Morales
Winner of the 2004 Pura Belpré Award for illustration, Yuyi Morales’ tale is the story of a grandmother who tricks death (Señor Calavera) into waiting for another day. Although the book is written primarily in English, it is punctuated by Spanish numbers and evokes many Mexican traditions and art. (J Nonfiction 398.2097 MORALES)
“Rin, Rin, Rin/Do, Re, Mi”
by José-Luis Orozco, illustrated by David Díaz
Children’s musician José-Luis Orozco celebrates reading and books in his bilingual song, illustrated, once again, by the ever-amazing David Díaz. (Español Orozco)
“Rubia and the Three Osos”
by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Goldilocks and the three bears told partially in English and partially in Spanish, illustrated by the prolific award-winning Melissa Sweet. ¡Fabuloso! (E Elya)
The North Olympic Library will celebrate El Día at the Port Angeles Library on April 30 at 6:30 p.m. with a special bilingual story time, a piñata, crafts and food.
All children who come will receive a free book in English or Spanish. Come celebrate literacy and books at the library!
Jennifer Knight is Youth Services Librarian at the Port Angeles Library. Reach her at email@example.com.