Pat Mora On Día’s First Blog Hop


It is with greatest respect and much delight that we welcome award-winning author and poet, Pat Mora, as our blog hop’s first contributor. As Día’s founder, it seems only fitting that she launch this event. For a look at the complete blog hop schedule, click here.

Día’s First Blog Hop

by Pat Mora

What a special honor: beginning Día’s first blog hop! I sometimes think of Día as my fourth child, definitely the most challenging, and definitely hop-hop-hopping around our diverse country spreading bookjoy. Día’s history goes back to 1996 when at the University of Arizona, a radio interviewer from Mexico introduced me to the custom of celebrating El día del niño on April 30th. I loved the idea of a children’s day and felt confident that kids would too. Who doesn’t like a party—and treats?

My first children’s book, A Birthday Basket for Tía, had been published in 1992, and I’d quickly become aware that, as not all children are equally valued, all books aren’t either. I also discovered that, essential as it is for children to see their lives and families like theirs reflected in books, many book buyers were wary of difference, of books that reflect our national reality. I also knew what literacy challenges our country faces.

What if, I wondered? What if those of us who care deeply about children and literacy created a national, community-based initiative to celebrate children, nuestros niñas y niños queridos, and to celebrate books? My committed friends at REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, became my first partner. REFORMA remains committed to Día and its members serve as judges for the Mora Award. Día, as in día por día, day by day, has grown to include linking all children to books, languages and cultures. It’s now housed at the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association. ALSC produces materials to help promote Día and has an annual Día registry that reflects some of the many culminating April Día celebrations.

Research indicates how important it is for children to be active readers by third grade. Think of the technological world that they’ll inherit, and literacy is essential in a democracy. Those of us lucky enough to be readers can serve as coaches to those who may not have had our opportunities. On my blog during our Díapalooza, I’ll be posting some literacy tips and a small downloadable poster : “Growing a Nation of Readers: Creating a Bookjoy Family.”

My dream for Día? That April book fiestas become as rich a tradition as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day; that families, libraries, schools, youth organizations and communities honor kids, their cultures and languages & creatively share bookjoy with them. I’m so grateful to the wonderful authors and illustrators who are doing this.

Día strengthens communities, and hundreds of Día celebrations are planned for this year. Do explore if such events are planned at your local schools, libraries and community organizations. If they aren’t, with some friends, become active Día advocates. You’ll find many ideas and links on my site. In your unique way, foster the tradition in your family and champion it in your networks and organizations. Spread the Día word. Día needs your innovative ideas too.

Let’s all clap for Monica Olivera and Latinas for Latino Literature for creating this clever blog hop and their important blog. They’re a shining example of designing a clever way to expand Día’s reach and visibility. Gracias, gracias, Monica and Latinas for Latino Literature!

Pat Mora, born in El Paso, Texas, is an award-winning poet and author of books for adults, teens, and children. Her awards include a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Golden Kite Award, American Library Association Notable Book Awards, and honorary doctorates. A former teacher and university administrator, she is the founder of the family literacy initiative El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day (Día). The year-long commitment to linking all children to books, languages and cultures, and of sharing what Pat calls “bookjoy,” culminates in celebrations across the country in April. Pat lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Giveaway

L4LL has put together a wonderful collection of Latino children’s literature to be given to a school or public library. Many of the books were donated by the authors and illustrators participating in this blog hop. You can read a complete list of titles here on the L4LL website.
To enter your school library or local library in the giveaway, simply leave a comment below.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Monday, April 29th. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and announced on the L4LL website on April 30th, Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros. The winner will be contacted via email – so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment! (If we have no way to contact you, we’ll have to choose someone else!)

By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.

¡Buena suerte!

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Comments

  1. says

    Our local library is expanding. The children’s library program is dear to me and our community. I would love to share these books with our library. Thank you for opportunity to win!

    ¡Mil gracías!

  2. says

    Our school, El Sol Elementary, is a public dual language school in Kalamazoo, MI. It’s a sweet little school that would benefit greatly from this donation.

  3. Anani Vasquez says

    Please enter Paideia Academy of South Phoenix for the library book giveaway. It is a new school and is working hard to get enough books to open it’s library. Thanks!

  4. Anonymous says

    Please enter Becker Elementary, a dual language school, in the heart of Austin, Tx into the drawing. The kids would love the books!

  5. Anonymous says

    This would be a lovely addition to our dual language school, Becker Elementary…a sweet sweet school in south austin, tx.
    –ginny barrett

  6. says

    Thank you for considering El Sol Elementary in Kalamazoo, MI! This dual language school has mucho corazon y a modest yet growing library that works hard to create a culture of learning in both Spanish and English. Muchas Gracias!

  7. says

    I love the idea of celebrating el Dia del Niño con literatura y con la contribucion de tantos Latinos! Mil gracias. Me gustaria incribir a mi linda biblioteca Linden Library en Nueva Jersey, porque ellos siempre tratan de incluir a la comunidad con sus clases de lectura para “toddlers”.

  8. Anonymous says

    This would be a great collection for Clifton Memorial Public Library, Clifton, NJ 07013, Their latino literature section is not that big. We have a great big latino community and this would be great!

  9. says

    Our dual language immersion school- Nuestro Mundo Community School in Madison, WI serves mostly poor children of color. We love our community school. We love that we are helping to bridge the gap in student achievement in our community. Our goal of building a better world- together is a source of pride. We are in our 9th year of existence, but our first in our own building. Our library needs help. We would welcome and be honored to receive this donation! mil gracias!

  10. Melissa Morones says

    I’m a proud parent who is asking to please enter Paideia Academies of South Phoenix, Arizona for library books, we are a new school working on starting a library for our deserving students and staff. Thank you.

  11. says

    Good luck to all the entrants and kudos to Pat for her work promoting children’s literacy. When my children were small we had “book night.” Each picked a few short books for me to read aloud to everyone. We kept up the tradition until they complained I read too slowly; they could read faster on their own. Reading aloud to kids at an early age is a great way to share Pat’s “bookjoy” and letting kids see and choose books through book fiestas will help to build wonderful family traditions.

  12. Anonymous says

    Starting in the fall, Paxson Elementary School in Missoula will house the first public dual language immersion program in the state of Montana! Budgets are very tight, and this school would benefit greatly from the beautiful collection you have put together. Community partner email: oaktree.cypress@gmail.com. Gracias!

  13. says

    Our school and church celebrate día de los niños by having an international program where children are free to express in their native language, be it Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, or any other…and we have them. I have learned to appreciate many of the books shared on here because of a wonderful professor, Dr. Murillo, at the University of Texas Pan American. She introduced me to these great books and I have begun my home library of Latino Literature. Saludos! from McAllen, TX

  14. Anonymous says

    Kempsville Library in Virginia Beach could surely use more dual language books. We’ve read through their small selection several times already!

    cafanador (at) shoreschristian (dot) org

  15. says

    I had heard about Dia, but it is not until recently that I have really learned its meaning and purpose. I love the idea of combining a day to celebrate children with a day to promote a love for books and reading. I have seen all of the resources offered to be able to start my own Dia celebration and plan to do my part to honor this day in some way.

  16. says

    I had heard about Dia before, but didn’t really know much about it until recently. What a beautiful idea…to combine a day when we celebrate children and also honor books and reading. I know that there are many resources that are available to be able to start our won Dia celebrations and I plan to do my part to spread the word!

  17. Jamie Pajan says

    The Tuckahoe Common School District Library would like to participate, as well! As it is, I will be recommending these titles to our school librarian.

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