Pull Over Book Mobile—Make Way for the Book Burro
by Lynn Peinser
April 30 is the official day to celebrate children in México. Pat Mora, author of fiction, poetry, non fiction and children’s books—and a former teacher—introduced the celebration to the United States 19 years ago, but her interpretation had a twist. It made literacy part of how we honor kids on this day. Pat says Children’s Day, Book Day, also known as El Día de los Niños/El Día a de los Libros (Dia), is about connecting all families and children to local resources that will help inspire and sustain the love of reading every day of the year.
Communities are creative with how to tailor Día programming to reach specific audiences. One event in Clarke County at Pinewoods Library, for example, even used a grant from AthFest to sponsor an after-dark shadow puppet show called “Cada Heroe Tiene Una Historia.” In three parts, the show is based on Aztec myths, the children’s book, “Niño Wrestles the World,” and an unusual philanthropic effort from Colombia known as El Biblioburro.
El Biblioburro is a traveling library that brings books to children in La Gloria, Colombia, via donkey. It was started and is still operated by teacher Luis Soriano, who has found this unique way to fill in the blanks of an area where libraries are only found in large cities.
“A child we are educating today through El Biblioburro, is a child to whom we are teaching rights, duties, and commitments,” said Soriano. “A child who knows his rights is a child who can say no to war. We are building the Colombians of the future—intellectual Colombians.”
Cada Heroe Tiene Una Historia” is scheduled for May 2 at the library, which is located in a mobile-home park, populated almost entirely by people of Mexican heritage. Children from grades 3 to 5 who live in the Pinewoods community will perform in the show, and the material will be adapted for the library’s summer reading program. The show—led by Children’s Librarian Jonathan Dolce and Pinewoods Library Manager Aida Quinones—also will tour all 11 Athens-Clarke County Library locations.