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Children's Picture Book Day

Children's picture books are taken off shelves today, to warm the hearts of the young and old alike. These books combine images and basic words—simple words that children can understand, but can't necessarily yet read. The books are read to young children by adults, and when children are later learning to read on their own, these are the first books they read.

There are different types of children's picture books, such as counting books, alphabet books, nursery rhyme books, pop-up books, and board books. The pages of board books are made with thick, hard cardboard so that very young children can play with them. Early examples of children's picture books that are similar in format to today's books include Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman, published in 1845, and The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, published in 1902.

Some of the most famous children's picture books of all time include The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. In 1938, the American Library Association (ALA) created the Caldecott Medal, which is given to illustrators of children's books, and was created to complement the ALA's already existing Newbery Medal, which is awarded to "the most distinguished" children's book of the previous year. In 1955, the Kate Greenaway Medal was created in the United Kingdom; it, too, recognizes the illustrators of children's books. Other awards for children's book illustrators have since been created.

How to Observe Children's Picture Book Day

Celebrate the day with children's picture books! Read them to your children, your grandchildren, your students, or any other children in your life. But, it's not necessary to know a child in order to read a children's picture book—you could read one to yourself! Perhaps you have some children's picture books tucked away in a closet somewhere that you could pull out. Maybe within their pages are your first memories of books, and the books generated a love of literature that you still have today. If you don't have any children's picture books, you could pick up some of the best ever written, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are, Corduroy, or Green Eggs and Ham. You could also choose a book that has been a Caldecott or Greenaway medal winner. Not all children's picture books are necessarily geared towards children. Tibet: Through the Red Box by Peter Sis, as well as many others, have much to offer adults.

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