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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

National Children’s Book Week

By Alexandra Adlawan

Children’s Book Week (November 6-12) is a great time to celebrate the amazing characters that allow children to encounter new perspectives, make them feel less lonely, empower them, let them feel a myriad of emotions, or to simply take them on new and exciting adventures.

This year’s slogan is Read Books. Spark Change. Books can spark change within an individual reader, a family, a classroom, or even a whole community.

Here are 5 great ways that you and your children can celebrate the fabulous characters created by so many talented authors during Children’s Book Week.

1 Have your child dress up as their favorite book character. This does not need to be elaborate or entail purchasing anything. Simply recreate the character’s dress as best as your costume box (or closet) allows. Children love to emulate the dress and mannerisms of people they admire. Then let them tromp around town all day dressed like this.

2 Have a book swap with other children from school, play group, daycare, or the neighborhood. Encourage each child to bring their favorite book (of the moment) from their personal library, the school, or the local library and put all of these in a box. Have each child pull out a new book to take home and read. Get together again to return everyone’s book and let the kids talk about the characters. Did they like them? Relate to them?

3 Write a letter to a favorite author. Writing letters also helps young readers learn the format for letter writing, practice writing their own address and feel quite “sophisticated” as they take the letter to the nearest post office. Sometimes they even get a reply!

4 Act out a scene from a favorite book. Find props around the house and recruit siblings or friends to play parts. For the truly creative book lover, scenery is fun to create. And you can always bring out those costumes they created earlier to make it an official play. Off, Off, WAY Off Broadway here they come.

5 Create a life-sized favorite character from a book. Get a roll of printer’s paper. Trace your child’s form and then have them add clothes, hair, and accessories for a favorite character. These can hang in your child’s room later.

Here’s to the characters that help our children grow, learn, and relate. Here’s to the characters that are strong, funny, sad, beautiful, unwieldy, loud, quiet, young, and old. They are the magic that creates life-long readers, and also decent humans. 

And here’s to National Children’s Book Week, to celebrate the many books in which these characters live! 

Alexandra Adlawan is a writer and illustrator from Long Beach, CA. Her children’s book series includes, The Adventures of Maddie and Albert, Wild Imagination, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Flying the Imaginary Skies, and Backyard Jungle.