It wasn’t until I embarked upon the path of becoming a children’s book author that I learned about fantastic initiatives to give books, such as Picture Book Pass It On, Books for Africa, and International Book Giving Day to name a few. Valentine’s Day is also International Book Giving Day with the aim of “getting books into the hands of as many children as possible” according to their website. For my part, I’m thrilled to (finally!) have my own children’s book to be able to give away in addition to some fantastic books that I’ve found through my new network of authors and bloggers.
As I compiled my list of books for giving, I thought about memorable children’s books that were given to me as a child…
I can’t recall the relevant details (the poor book is safely packed away in storage after moving half way around the world), but I know it has a green paperback cover with an illustration of a boy and girl in a kitchen and is almost certainly out of print. It was given to me by a former neighbor and family friend and is my all-time favorite book gift . I’m sure this book is responsible for my love of food, but can’t be blamed for my lack of cooking talent. It tried.
I’m sure I’ve read this book over 1000 times. I even have the Spanish board book edition that I read to my toddler. From the vintage-looking illustrations to the sweet innocence of the little bird looking for his mom to the heartwarming ending, this a perfect picture book, in any language.
The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales
How can anyone not love a book containing the classic stories Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling and The Emperor’s New Clothes? The book itself is small and fits perfectly in little ones’ hands. My edition is made just that much more special because it’s signed by my late grandmother.
Thanks to the thoughtful inscription in this well-loved book, I’ll always remember that it was given to me by my mom when I turned four. And within just a few months, I’ll be reading it to my own four year old. Now that is a gift that keeps giving.
If there is anything to learn from this list of books, it’s this…I’m still talking about them years (OK, decades) after receiving them as gifts. Why not find a special book, maybe a picture book, to give to a child this Valentine’s Day? Who knows, they may one day, many years from now, write about how much it meant to them.
Visit the International Book Giving Day website for more information, creative ideas and downloadable items including bookmarks, bookplates and posters.
P.S. Here’s my book gift list for Valentine’s Day, I mean International Book Giving Day…
Sing-Along Construction Song – For my two year old nephew
The Wandering Bear by Colin West – For my three year old son
The Legend of the Dust Bunnies by Michelle Eastman – For my four year old nephew
Middle Grade/Chapter Books
Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers by Sharon Powers – For my seven year old niece
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon – For my 12 year old niece
Laurinda by Alice Pung – For my 15 year old niece who attends a private girls school in Australia
And finally, I’ll be sending Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin half way around the world to friends in Paris! How’s that for International Book Giving Day? Leave a comment below and let us all know how you’ll be celebrating!