Hi, friend! Welcome to the blog.
And just like that, half of 2022 has passed. It’s July 1 and with it comes… National Children’s Book Month!
For the whole month, we are celebrating the timeless stories that shaped our young minds and, thus, played a huge role in moulding us into the adults, and more importantly, the society, that we are.
Our Sprout is only ten months old, and still has no interest in books (except to tear and bite off the pages). I hope that when she grows up, all my reading will pay off and she ends up loving books as much as I do.
For that to happen, she should be surrounded with lots of good books. That is not a problem for me as a school librarian: I literally work in the midst of storybooks.
But then I know that for some families, books are a luxury. There are more basic needs – food and shelter – to be addressed with their hard-earned money. After all, no one will buy a book before buying bread, right? Erm… right?
I hope that other children can also have the opportunity to grow up listening to and reading stories that nurture their imagination and enable them to see a bigger world. This is the purpose of children’s books, and this is the power and influence that we are celebrating this month.
In this blog, I list five COMPLETELY FREE ways to celebrate National Children’s Book Month.
1. VISIT YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARY
Philippine public libraries are FULL of children’s books. They also hold storytelling sessions for kids. I am sure that children’s librarians will be really active in their outreach activities this month, so better maximize that. Public libraries are totally free for everyone.
2. CHECK OUT E-BOOKS.
Stories that do not have exclusive intellectual copyright belong to the public domain and may be read free of charge. Also, the Department of Education* has published various teacher-made storybooks on Globe E-Library and LRMDS portal. You may ask the help of your public school teachers to access them. (Look for “Si Kasanag at ang Huling Bakunawa” and thank me later!) DepEd storybooks are also available in the YouTube channel of BLR-LRMS.
3. CREATE TIKTOKS ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS AND MENTION THEIR AUTHORS/ILLUSTRATORS
In my line of work in resource development, I have learned to appreciate the hard work and passion that authors and illustrators put in their works. They deserve so much appreciation and love. After all, without them, we will have no storybooks to read. If you’re lucky, the creator/s of your favorite book, or their living relatives might notice your TikTok.
4. ASK YOUR ELDERS TO TELL YOU STORIES FROM THEIR CHILDHOOD
Some of us may remember pleading our grandparents to tell us the same stories over and over again when we were children. You may want to revisit those stories and see them with brand new eyes.
5. WRITE YOUR OWN STORY
Finally, and most importantly, write your own children’s story. The world will never run out of stories as well as audiences for these because, as Yuval Noah Harari said, “Humans think in stories, and we try to make sense of the world by telling stories.” Who knows? Maybe yours will be one of those children’s books sold in book stores and read in libraries!
How about you? Do you have other ideas on how you can participate in celebrating children’s books in your home or school?
Happy National Children’s Book Month and may the odds be ever in your favor.