Archive for April, 2012


April 28, 2012

I am very excited to be an ambassador for El día de los niños / El día de los libros, Children’s Day / Book Day, better known as Día.

Día is a year round celebration of children, families, and reading that culminates on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Día was started by the wonderful author and literacy advocate Pat Mora in 1996. When she learned that in Mexico and in other Latin American countries April 30 is a holiday to celebrate children, she decided to create a similar celebration in the US and further, to link it to literacy. She soon found enthusiastic allies. Members of REFORMA, the  National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, joined her efforts and in 1997 the first Día was celebrated.

Día has grown and grown over the years. It is now sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). There are Día celebrations hosted by librarians, teachers and community leaders all around the country. A Día day may involve readings by guest authors, book give-aways, games, activities and cultural performances.

Día is an opportunity for children to spend a great day with their families and to enjoy books. It is a day especially important for children who live in underprivileged areas or who have parents whose first language is not English. There is a wonderful map on the American Library Asociation (ALA) website where you can look for a Día event near you (click on the map) .

If you are a librarian, a teacher or someone interested in hosting a Día event there are wonderful resources in Pat’s webiste and in the día website There is a very thorough and insightful resource guide with everything you need to know about Día based on more then 15 years of experiences here:

There is in fact an award, the Mora award, named after Pat’s parents, where libraries, schools or educational institutions receive a 1,000$ stipend based on the creativity, focus and outreach of the Día event they plan to host. You can find out more about the Mora award here:

Be sure to check out Pat’s blog where she is hosting díapalooza, with daily April entries related to Día:

Again, I’m thrilled to be an ambassador along with other wonderful authors and illustrators. ! I’m fortunate to know and be friends with some of them like: Monica Brown, René Colato Laínez, Yuyi Morales, John Parra and Lucia Gonzales. Check out the full list of ambassadors here:

I made a pair of videos for Día where I’m reading from my books. Enjoy!!

Dear Primo, A Letter to My Cousin

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours