Most parents are aware of Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards, which this year took place just this past March. The awards’ main appeal—aside from the star-studded show that announces the winners—is the fact that kids themselves get to choose their favorites from a broad array of entertainment categories in a media landscape that is increasingly designed to appeal to them. The KCA includes a “Favorite Book” slot, though like the rest of the categories, it offers only four possible winners and tends to favor blockbusters and books turned into movies, such as the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games franchises, which leaves many of us who love children’s books wanting more.
Luckily, there is another national award decided by kids that is entirely devoted to books! In 2008, the Children’s Choice Book Awards were created to provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them and to develop a reading list that will motivate children to read more and cultivate a lifelong love of reading. Kids from Kindergarten through High School are encouraged to vote for their favorite books in selected categories that include “Book of the Year,” “Author of the Year,” and “Illustrator of the Year.” Last year, almost 1,000,000 votes were cast.
Read Related: What are “Diverse” Children’s Books
The Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala on May 13, hosted and presented by children’s literature luminaries such as this year’s Lisa Yee, Lois Lowry and Walter Dean Myers, kicks off Children’s Book Week, the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Established in 1919 and administered by Every Child A Reader, a nonprofit literacy organization dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children, it includes yearly commemorative events held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores and homes—wherever young readers and books connect. 2013 is a record breaking year for the celebration, with 50 cities hosting Official Events, in addition to countless Local Events nationwide. Find yours!
The Children’s Book Council, an anchor sponsor for the celebration, enlists beloved children’s literature illustrators to design the commemorative Children’s Book Week Poster and Bookmark each year. Download the 2013 Book Week bookmark created by Newbery Honor recipient Grace Lin, and order your free copy of the Book Week poster by Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator Brian Selznick.
And don’t forget to continue to celebrate diversity and children’s books by entering our own Día de los niños, Día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) Giveaway to receive a free copy of Pat Mora’s bilingual picture book Book Fiesta! running through May 17! Happy Children’s Book Week!—Adriana.