Children’s Book Week

Literacy is learned. One study shows that two-thirds of people who cannot read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare.


Children’s Book Week is the nation’s longest-running literacy initiative, now in its 93rd year. The purpose of the program is to raise awareness of the importance of children’s books as they relate to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people. In other words, get children reading by fourth grade and their chances of success in life are higher.

This year, Children’s Book Week is May 13-19. Not only does this week promote reading for children, it also provides authors and publishers of books for children a natural vehicle to promote your children’s books. Here are four ideas on ways to jump on Children’s Book Week to garner some publicity for your books.

  1. Donate copies of your book to a local school for use in classrooms and in the library. Then, send a press release to your local media about your donation, linking it to Children’s Book Week. Be sure to include a photo with the school principle or librarian receiving the books.
  2. Host a story contest for a local elementary school. Provide the teachers with guidelines for the contest and host an author appearance at the close of Children’s Book Week to collect the entries. Be sure to provide prizes for the winners. Again, send a press release to your local media about your contest and another one highlighting the winners.
  3. Host a book giveaway during Children’s Book Week. Encourage people to enter for a chance to win a children’s book on your website or blog. Not only will you gain publicity for your book, you will collect an email from each entrant for your mailing list. You can use these collected emails for future publicity campaigns.
  4. Offer to host a book reading for children at your local public library during Children’s Book Week. Give each child attending a bookmark with a picture of your book on it. Also, ask permission to sell autographed copies of your book after the reading.

National initiatives offer authors and publishers opportunities to highlight and promote your books. Don’t pass up this chance to garner more publicity for your children’s titles.

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Children’s Book Week

To celebrate Children’s Book Week (May 10 – 16), I thought I would share with you two very interesting Christian children’s books by small publishers that have come across my path lately.

The first book is Shamgar and the Ox Goad written by Patti Ogden, illustrated by George Almond, and published by Capstone Productions. This book is about an unsung hero in the Old Testament. One little verse in Judges 3:31 says “After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.”

Six hundred men with an ox goad! Imagine that. Almost as great as Samson killing one thousand Philistine men with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:15), and yet, before this book, I had not taken notice of that little verse about Shamgar’s heroic deed.

Patti has taken the liberty to create a fictionalized account of what Shamgar’s heroic act may have looked like to bring to light to an unsung hero in the Bible for children.

The second book is The Person I Marry, written by Gary Bower, illustrated by Jan Bower, and published by Storybook Meadow PublishingThe Person I Marry won the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award for the Children’s 8-12 years category this year.

This delightful book helps young children begin to consider the character traits that they should consider in choosing a spouse. Written all in rhyming verse, The Person I Marry answers questions about what makes a princess or a prince to help the young reader determine what type of person will be a keeper. The book helps children think about qualities like kind, generous, hard-working, honest, and respectful, long before they even start to date.

Children’s Book Week presents a wonderful opportunity for authors and publishers to promote their children’s books. If you have written, published, or just stumbled upon a great children’s book recently, please share the title of the book in the comments below.

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Children’s Book Week

Children’s Book Week, sponsored by Children’s Book Council (CBC), runs May 11 through May 17 this year. This event is designed to encourage children to read books. CBC encourages schools, libraries, booksellers, and communities to organize events to get children excited about reading.

If you are an author of a Children’s book, hop aboard this week to promote, promote, and promote your book. The possibilities are as vast as your creative mind can imagine.childrens-book-week1

Although it may be late in the game to book a reading at a local library or book store for this event, it never hurts to ask. Ask around your town to see if you can set up a reading of your book with an autograph party afterwards for next week. Offer something free for the kids to entice them to come. Make sure that whatever you offer for free ties into your book, your book’s message, or your book’s characters in some way. It need not be expensive. For example, an author with a book about a friendly ghost could hand out Tootsie Roll lollipops covered with a tissue, tied with a piece of yarn, with eyes drawn on using a black marker. Remember those lollipop ghosts from when you were a kid? The author would advertise it as Come listen to the author read The Friendly Ghost and receive your own ghost to take home.”

Booking an event at a local school or local church might be more easily accomplished at this late date. Check with your church’s library to see if you can offer something special for children after services on Sunday, May 17. If you have a book geared for the preschool audience, you should have no end of possibilities for next week. Daycare and preschool centers abound in the United States.  Call a few local ones and see if you might make a special appearance to read your book to a few classes. Leave the kids each a gift along with promotional literature about your book and how to order it. You might even arrange a “special” for the week and see if the center would be willing to sell your books. Allow the center to keep a few dollars of each sale and you have given them an incentive to sell your book for you.

Another avenue to connect with kids and their parents is to contact your local moms’ groups and see if you can make an appearance at a playgroup or book a special reading event for the group.

More information about Children’s Book Week can be found at

I invite you to share with me how you plan to promote your book during Children’s Book Week.