April is a hard month for literary holidays because there are so many! Without further ado, here they are:
Since 1967, International Children’s Book Day has been celebrated on April 2nd, which was selected in honor of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. This day gets a different international sponsor each year and they get to choose the theme. This year the sponsor is Latvia and the theme they chose is “The Small is Big in a Book.” Here are three interpretations of Thumbelina in honor of the day:
- Thumbelina By Brian Pinkney
- The Girl of the Wish Garden By Uma Krishnaswami
- The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention National Library Week from April 8th through April 14th. This momentous week gets an Honorary Chair and theme selected each year. This year Misty Copeland was selected with the theme “Libraries Lead.” For this day, I give you an inspirational ballerina story, a memoir by Copeland, and a book about historical libraries:
- Firebird by Misty Copeland
- Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland
- Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Casson
April 12th brings us D.E.A.R. Day or Drop Everything and Read Day. It is celebrated on Beverly Cleary’s birthday since she is the first author to write about this event. Read her book Ramona Quimby, Age 8 to see this memorable mention, or check out a few other books for this day:
- The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
- Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Sijie Dai
- Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
St. Jorge’s Day takes place in many places on April 23rd; let’s look at how Catalonia celebrates the day St. Jorge defeated the dragon. Lovers exchange gifts of books and roses! In Catalonia, it has become a big book holiday. People queue up to get their books signed and authors are escorted from one location to another. Here are a couple books on Saint Jorge, and one book by a Catalan author.
- Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
- La Leyenda de San Jorge by Lluis Farre
- This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets
April 23rd is Shakespeare Day, the day of his birth and possible death (there are no exact records of his death, just his burial). There are many ways to honor the bard on this day. I’ve provided a couple of retellings of his plays and a little history for the day.
- Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
- Dreamers Often Lie by Jacqueline West
- The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Come April 30 it’s El día de los niños, el día de los libros or Children’s Day, Book Day. It’s a day that came about as a celebration of children linked with encouraging family literacy. This day has a tradition of book fiestas throughout the month that culminate on April 30. Pat Mora is an advocate for this day, here is one of her books along with a few others for the day.
- Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
- Tales Our Abuelitas Told by Isabel Campoy
- The Mermaid’s Purse by Patricia Polacco
- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Stay tuned, I’ll have more Literary Holidays for you in May!
~ posted by Meranda T.