kids National Children's Book Week is a time-honored tradition. Celebrated since 1919, it is dedicated to spreading the word about children's literature and encouraging the joys of reading. Annually, the week before Thanksgiving, schools and libraries applaud books and reading by coming up with ideas to mark this special event. The Children's Book Council is often asked for tips on how to celebrate Book Week. Recently, they asked teachers and librarians for their help in bringing these suggestions together. What follows are some of the many wonderful ideas that people shared with them. . .


  • Dress up as Children's Book Characters
    Put on plays, visit the auditorium or study hall during study periods, make a surprise appearance in the library.

  • Have a Poetry Festival
    Each child can bring in and read a favorite poem, or create one of his/her own.

  • Hold a Story Writing Contest
    Can be done at the classroom level, or sponsored by the principal or library.

  • Institute Amnesty for Overdue Library Books
    Best excuse wins a prize!

  • Assign Arts and Crafts Projects
    Have the kids make their own bookmarks, banners, quilts, posters, or maybe even a book.

  • Start a Promotion and Publicity Course
    Everyone can write ads promoting reading and Book Week that can be announced over the public address system, published in the school newspaper or magazine, or aired by a local radio station.

  • Book Sharing
    Opportunities for sharing are limitless, and what a great way to enjoy reading and books!

    Here are some ideas:
    -- book fairs and auctions
    -- read-alouds
    -- class discussions
    -- book-swapping
    -- reading with the family
    -- book raffles
    -- sleepover read-a-thons
    -- story hours
    -- book debates
    -- reading with a friend


  • Launch a Treasure Hunt
    A good activity to organize in homeroom; the teacher writes and hides "literary" clues for the kids to find.

  • Have an Annual Week of NO TV!
    Sign a pledge, wear a button, carry a sign: during Book Week, reading only, please.

  • Put on a Magic Show
    Kids love magic, and the props can be things mentioned in a favorite book.

  • Celebrate Books and Authors
    Study an author a day, have an author birthday party, pick a favorite book to discuss for the week, arrange for a local author to visit.

  • Organize Games
    Play book trivia question-and-answer, create book crossword puzzles, have clues read over the public address system and play "Name That Book".

  • Choose a Library or Class Mascot
    A stuffed toy, a kid (selected by the teacher, or kids can take turns) dressed in a favorite book character's costume, or even the school principal as mascot-of-the-week . . . Whatever you do, NOT a live animal, please!

  • Take Field Trips
    Visit local literary landmarks, the library, a bookstore, or attend a college literature class.

  • Hold a Cooking Fest
    In home economics class at school, or at home, have fun making food from stories, like Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs & Ham.

  • Invite an Unusual Visitor
    A person from a different country or culture can introduce kids to her/his culture using costumes, literature, and song; an environmentalist can discuss the importance of being "green" using books; biographers can explain what makes them choose a particular subject.

These tips are from the Children's Book Council, a non-profit trade organization that has been dedicated to encouraging literacy and the use and enjoyment of children's books since 1945.