Children's Book Recommendations, Crafts & Creative Ideas

Children’s Book Week 2023

Children’s Book Week starts today and it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year to celebrate with my kiddos. I started celebrating this week with my children several years ago because I think it’s important for my kids to see that I, too, get excited about reading, and especially about reading to them. Not only is it beneficial for all the obvious reasons (building vocabulary, imagination, and critical-thinking skills), but it usually means, if I’m reading, they’re all quiet(ish) and that’s awesome.

Children’s Book Week is put on by a charity called Every Child A Reader whose goal is kind of self-explanatory. Get the right books in kids’ hands and they’ll become lifelong readers. It is the longest-running national literacy initiative and they’re celebrating their 104th anniversary this year. Each year, they develop a new theme and poster for the week-long celebration and this year, this is it…

There are three cute printable activity pages on the back of the poster that you can download here.

To celebrate the week at home, I usually choose a picture book a day to read/focus on (usually from our own home library). Sometimes I go with a specific theme, like food, or a specific moral or lesson I’d like them to learn. This year, they did the work for me by setting up a “Book Scavenger Hunt” as one of their activity pages. I chose seven books from their great idea list and will feature one per day on my Instagram, @CreatedBeloved. I’ve also given a sneak peek below.

However you choose to celebrate this week, I hope you cuddle up with your loved ones and enjoy some quality time reading together.

  1. A story about an invention – If I Built a Car

This cute story from almost two decades ago has rhyming reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. The young narrator decides he will invent a car much cooler than his family’s current ride. Not only is it safe, comfy, and pleasing to the eye, the inside boasts a pool, snack bar, and a robot that can take the wheel. It will definitely spark the imaginations and creative juices of your youngins, so don’t be surprised if they don’t start getting fancy ideas on how to elaborate things around the house. This book is part of a series that includes, If I Built a School and If I Built a House, so be sure to check out those gems too.

2. A book about an idea that comes to life – Imogene’s Last Stand

If you have a young history buff on your hands, this is the book for you. When the mayor of Imogene’s little town wants to tear down the neglected Historical Society building to make room for a shoelace factory, the plucky and determined young lady turns her attention towards preservation at all costs. Filled with historical figures’ quotes and references, the book is very colorful and amusingly detailed. Will the town side with Imogene?

3. A story where a book sparks change – The Invisible Boy

Our family was first introduced to this book from the list in 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up (and we agree that it belongs in there!). Little Brian seems to be invisible to everyone. He’s a quiet boy who feels left out. But then a new boy comes to school who is laughed out. Which is worse? When the two come together for a class project, Brian blossoms. This story is a fantastic way to start discussions with children about teasing, loneliness, inclusion, speaking up for others, offering compliments, and simple acts of kindness.

4. A story about a real-life person who made a positive change in their life or community – Eliza

I’m sure most of us by now are at least a little familiar with the story of Eliza and her legacy, thanks to a little Broadway phenomenon called “Hamilton”. This children’s picture book relays her story in letter format as she addresses her great-granddaughter. She describes her childhood, courtship and marriage to Alexander, family life and the accompanying tragedies, and then what took her attention the fifty years following her husband’s death: the Orphan Asylum Society. There is an afterward written by Phillipa Soo, the actress who played Eliza on Broadway. Eliza and the work she accomplished in her long life is inspiring to say the least.

5. A book that features a character that gets a bright idea – Lily Lolek, Future Saint

This darling book follows sweet Lily as she thinks and dreams about the lives of the saints. She marvels at their adventures and virtuous lives and one day, asks Father Michael when he comes for dinner, “How could my life be the same?” He assures her there is no checklist and she is loved for exactly who she is. She is one-of-a-kind. She will use her own unique heart, mind, and soul and be herself!

If Lily looks a little familiar, it’s because the illustrator of this picture book is the same talented woman who I had draw the adorable children for my Let’s Chew on This! Jars. (You can choose which illustration you want for the jar toppers).

(If you’d like to purchase this book from a Catholic publishing company, you can purchase it from here, at TAN Books.)

6. A story where the Sun is a character – Sun! One in a Billion

Who makes life possible?… this amazing star that also lights up our solar system! Told from his point of view, read the autobiography of the Sun, filled with all sorts of fun facts and colorful illustrations that are sure to captivate young readers and science enthusiasts. Don’t forget to check out the other books in the charming collection!

7. A book featuring a team who works together – The One Day House

“One day…” Wilson wants to fix up his older friend Gigi’s house, and he has all these grand plans how to make it better and nicer for her. She appeases him, that for now, he’s all she needs. “One day” indeed arrives and she is surprised to find neighbors outside her door ready to make her and Wilson’s dreams come true. This simple story shows the power of teamwork, community, and verbal manifestation.

Happy Children’s Book Week!! Please let me know if I’ve peaked your interest with any of these, and feel free to leave your own recommendations for me below. Thanks!

(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase any recommended books from these links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, so thank you. 😊)

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

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