Bookjoy alegria en los libros
book´ · joy
noun,  a love of books and the pleasure of reading. 

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Dear E-pals,
As someone not fond of cold weather (I know.  What am I doing in Santa Fe?), I am so ready for spring.  Spring also means: let's celebrate kids!  ALSC tells me the good news that 194 libraries in 29 states have requested Día brochures.  "Día," short for El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children's Day/Book Day, is 13 years old this year, a teen!  Día is our theme for this second newsletter.  We regularly update the information about this family literacy initiative on my web site, and I hope that you're ensuring that Día is being celebrated in your community and that in some way you're supporting the celebrations.  These are usually held on or near April 30th.
I've been a bit concerned to hear some people say, "We just don't have the funds this year."  Don't we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day regardless of our economic situation?  The spirit of the celebrations isn't about money; it's about caring, right?  In good times and bad times, every school and library can annually have a Día book display and some event that celebrates children and the importance of books in their lives and homes.  Partnering with parents or a local business can mean even a small treat as part of a special story time or a family literacy night.  Again, lots of ideas on my site. 
Here are my goals or dreams for Día's future.  I hope that you'll join in making the dreams a reality.
  1. Día is included on all library and school annual calendars.
  2. State library associations, state libraries, and school districts across the country promote and support Día's development on an annual basis.
  3. The number of Día celebrations in schools, libraries and community centers grows annually, and the celebrations are truly culminating celebrations of a daily commitment to link all children to books, languages and cultures.
  4. ALA secures national funders for Día.
  5. ALA graphics annually offers appealing Día materials.
  6. Publishers join the Día parade and create Día materials and support Día's work which can help build home libraries.
  7. ALA or ALSC creates a national Día advisory committee that includes ALSC, other relevant ALA divisions, REFORMA, national literacy partner organizations, media and corporate representatives, etc. to insure Día's growth and effectiveness.
  8. Día serves to create community locally and nationally by strengthening all kinds of partnerships: between libraries and schools, between libraries, schools and diverse families some of whom may not speak English, between educational institutions and funders, etc.
  9. Día serves to reduce the discomfort or intimidation that some teachers and librarians feel dealing with Spanish in books and with Spanish-speaking families and all non-English-speaking families.
  10. Día helps grow a nation of readers.
Join us!
 Pat Mora
Book Fiesta!Book Fiesta!
by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael López 
I'm excited that my bilingual book about Día, Book Fiesta, is now published. It also includes ideas for celebrating Día at home and in libraries, schools, museums or community organizations, and bookstores.
 "This lively selection will motivate and excite children about the adventures they can go on through reading." -- School Library Journal
"The straightforward, bilingual text in Spanish and English is beautifully illustrated in bright, bold, acrylic paintings that integrate books and letters into timeless scenes of multicultural children cavorting, exploring, and, of course, reading." -- Booklist
"The cheery and effortless dual English/Spanish text instills a festival atmosphere brilliantly expressed in Lopez's luminous full-page montages of a world of reading opportunities." -- Kirkus Reviews
An interview with Rafael López 
Pat Mora and Rafael LópezRafael López illustrated Pat's book Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America's Sproutings.  Pat feels very lucky that he has now illustrated two of her books.  We love his bold graphic style, bursting with imagination and intense color. We asked him a few questions about his work. 
Tell us how you got started as an artist. What drew you to painting?
I grew up in a household of 2 architect parents who loved art books. They were very supportive of my love of drawing from a very early age and through my school years I was lucky enough to have the support and mentorship of wonderful teachers that encourage me to continue with my dream.
Tell us how you got started as an artist. What drew you to painting?
Finding a style needs to come naturally. I see many young talented people looking and imitating the latest trends and styles and I remember going through the same temptations early in my career. 
Style will never come when it is forced, it needs to happen naturally, needs to be the result of life experiences, travels, beliefs, the kinds of things that inspire you in everyday life such as music, food, color, texture, family, politics, etc. With the passage of time you look back and surprise yourself by discovering a consistency in a personal style or "feel" to your work.

Mexico continues to influence me, having a second home there, I am connected to its past, its color, music, its history and one of my favorites..."texture."  I love old Mexican walls that show the years of wear, the many layers of paint that have been applied, they are like books that invite you to sit, observe and imagine.
Book Fiesta! is your second book with text by  Pat Mora. What was the experience of working on this book like?
I love Pat's writing, she understands her audience and has this contagious enthusiasm and passion for what she does. She is very encouraging to every artist she works with. Obviously this creates a very inspiring atmosphere to create your best work.

She is also a highly accomplished and respected author so it is always an honor to be working with her again.

Besides children's books you've created murals on buildings, posters, postage stamps, and editorial illustration. What's your favorite?
Every project is different and I welcome the challenge. I feel very lucky to work on something different every day. Murals are fun because is the result of group participation. I encourage families, parents and kids to take part in the creation of Murals. Stamps are challenging because you have to convey so much of the message in a very small area. Finally editorial illustration challenges you to create a visual solution to abstract or difficult subjects.
We're interested in your upcoming projects. What are you working on?
I just created 3 paintings as a gift to Oprah Winfrey and her school in South Africa. They were given to her recently; inspired by her continued support and commitment to learning and advancement of girls around the world to become world leaders and as she puts it "Sit down on the table to make the decisions of the future."
Interviews with 2008 Mora Award Winners
Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established in 2000 by Pat Mora and her family to honor their parents and to motivate libraries to support and celebrate "Día," El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children's Day/Book Day. The 2008 award went to the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (NC) and the Riverside County Library System (CA) for their exemplary programs and for promoting Día throughout their states. We spoke with Meryle A. Leonard, Outreach Manager at PLCMC and Arlene M. Cano, Coordinator of Leer Es Triunfar at Riverside and asked them to tell us about their plans for Día in 2009. We also asked them about the successes and challenges in growing Día; their state-wide training; advice for first timers; and favorite Día idea. 
Tell us about your plans to celebrate Día in April 2009.Arthur Dorros
ML: This year we are pleased to present author Arthur Dorros as our featured speaker. Mr. Dorros will make appearances in our school system as well as conduct a book writing session during the April 25 celebration. Our celebration will also include:
  • The reading of the City of Charlotte Día de los Niño's proclamation in Spanish and English.
  • Traditional dances from Asia and India
  • Tae Kwon Do demonstration
  • Snacks from Bimbo foods
  • Storytelling from around the world
  • Crafts from around the world
  • Book give-a-way for celebration participants
PLCMC will celebrate Día de Los Niño's throughout the month of April.  Several of our branch libraries will be offering the following programs to celebrate Día:
  • Native American stories and crafts
  • International food sampling
  • Mesoamerican art/culture and mask-making
  • Cinderella stories from around the world
  • Names in different languages
  • Bilingual storytelling
  • Crafts and games from around the world
  • Making piñatas
Read the entire interview with Meryle Leonard 
AC: Throughout the month of April, Riverside County Library System will present its sixth annual celebration of Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros, a series of special events honoring books, libraries, and reading for children. This year, many of Riverside County Library System's 33 branches will offer a variety of programming for children and adults, including author appearances, bilingual story times, crafts, games, and music. To highlight just a few of these:
Laughing Out Loud, I FlyJoin us for a reading and talk by beloved author, award-winning poet, and spell binding storyteller Juan Felipe Herrera on April 18th at the Mecca, Coachella, and Desert Hot Springs libraries. Juan Felipe Herrera is an award-winning poet, and author of 21 books in total, during the past 10 years, whose publications include 14 collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and picture books for children. 
My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz Inspired by her Peruvian-American heritage, Dr. Monica Brown is the author of award-winning bilingual books for children, including My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz (Luna Rising)which was awarded the Américas Award and Pura Belpré Honor. Dr. Brown will be visiting San Jacinto, Temecula Public, and Perris libraries on Saturday, April 25th for a reading of her award-wining children's books and a book signing to follow. 
Read the entire interview with Arlene Cano
Día Champions
Pat wants to recognize outstanding 2009 Día Champions.  On Pat's blog, we'll soon introduce you to New Mexico librarian Flo Trujillo who's busy spreading Día throughout the state.  Let us know if you have an outstanding Día literacy advocate to propose.
We wish all of you a memorable Día, and days full of Bookjoy!
Share Bookjoy! Tell your friends and colleagues about this newsletter. Signup is quick and easy at  Pat will send her book brochure to those who sign up for the newsletter, if you include your snail mail address.  
Newsletter editor:  Laurina Cashin, We Love Children's Books