IBGD 2015

International Book Giving Day 2015

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Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Everyone knows that. It’s a day for giving flowers, sometimes chocolates, certainly a card, and perhaps dining together. If you’re into that sort of thing. But tomorrow is also another day. It’s International Book Giving Day. I posted about this a while ago, when it was revealed that Chris Haughton had designed the poster for it. You can read that blogpost here.

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I would love to receive a book for Valentine’s Day instead of flowers (hint, hint!). Giving a book reveals an enormous amount about yourself to the recipient. Are you giving a book that you’ve read and enjoyed? Or a book that you haven’t read but think the person receiving might enjoy? Both stances say much about who you are. Which book did you choose to give and why? There are so many books to choose from that picking one can be a daunting task.

I personally like my fictional love to be dark and doomed, so perhaps this isn’t the right message for a loved one! It’s an interesting message if you’re handing over Madame Bovary or Anna Karenin (spoilers – they’re about affairs!). Unless of course you’re giving it to your lover not your partner – although equally both protagonists come to quite sticky ends, so perhaps not a great message.

It’s much easier to give to kids! Tomorrow I’m going to blog my book recommendations for kids for Valentine’s Day – with a twist.

In the meantime, what is International Book Giving Day? It is actually all about donating a book to a child – to a children’s library, to a child you know, to an impoverished child. It’s a 100 per cent volunteer-led initiative, which is aimed at increasing children’s accessibility to books and growing their love for books. Did you know that in the UK one third of children don’t own books? In a time of austerity (so we’re told) and certainly in a time of wavering funding for public libraries, it would be great to get more children reading. Look up a book charity – donate one book – read to your child. Celebrate International Book Giving Day.

There are bookmarks/book plates and other goodies to download on the International Book Giving Day web site here.

If you know me personally and the school library in which I work, then contact me for which books we’d love to have donated to bolster our new and growing book stock.

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Chris Haughton Designs the 2015 International Book Giving Day Poster

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Today Chris Haughton is revealed as the illustrator behind the 2015 International Book Giving Day poster, and I’m pleased to be able to post it here.

Book Giving Day is on 14th February 2015 and aims to spread the love of reading by getting books into the hands of as many children as possible on that day. This is clearly a day close to my heart, as my main aim is to promote children’s love of reading and to encourage them to become lifelong book addicts.

The other reason Book Giving Day is close to my heart is that it is a 100 per cent volunteer initiative day. As a volunteer primary school librarian and someone who’s spent many hours on a volunteer basis campaigning for children’s playgrounds/road crossings/libraries etc, it’s great to see other people give up their time so willingly to help others.

The idea is to gift a book to a friend, leave a book in a waiting room for a child to read, or donate a gently used book to a local children’s library, hospital or shelter, or to a non-profit organisation that distributes books to children in need internationally.

There are numerous schools round the country which don’t have libraries, or don’t have libraries with enough books for the children. From my own experience, building a library from scratch for a school can be difficult, even with a supportive PTA and a good community. In more deprived areas, it can be much more difficult. The London Evening Standard on Tuesday highlighted the case of Kensington Aldridge Academy, in a socially deprived area, where they have the rooms for libraries but a complete lack of books to fill the shelves. In November, Russell Brand announced that he would give money to set up a library in his former school in Grays, Essex, where the library had been closed. Unfortunately, not all schools have celebrity alumni, so International Book Giving Day is a great opportunity to get involved.

A big thank you to Chris Haughton for designing the poster. Chris Haughton has been an illustrator for more than 12 years. His latest picture book, Shh! We Have a Plan won various awards, and his latest success is the wonderful app Hat Monkey. Try it – I love giving Hat Monkey a banana to eat! He’s also written Oh No, George!, and A Bit Lost, the latter for which I have a soft spot because of the owl!
A Bit Lost

www.bookgivingday.com