Since 1925, Día de los Niños (“the Day of the Child”) has been celebrated in Mexico on April 30. This day pays homage to children and tries to raise awareness of what they need to grow, learn, and reach their potential.
Aside from love, food, medical care, water, and oxygen, is there anything children need more than books? No, thought Texas native and children’s author Pat Mora when she heard of this Mexican tradition in 1996. Her idea: also call it Día de los Libros (“the Day of the Books”). And so it is.
Naturally, this attracted the attention of the library’s Clara Sheffer, who not only speaks Spanish but is a big fan (as is virtually every librarian) of celebrating cultural diversity. She found herself asking, “Why not celebrate Dia here?” And so we did, although it was decided to celebrate on April 29 instead, since a Saturday would accommodate the mid-afternoon celebration better than a Sunday.
And what a celebration is was! Setting the tone was singer and guitarist Tricia Sebastian, whose lovely duets with her musician husband Steve created a “world music” vibe and a lot of energy. After serenading an estimated 80 audience members with Mexican ballads, Tricia and Steve poured on the dance music, resulting in a lot of kids dancing and even an adult-led conga line.
Families were then served the special Tres Leches cake and invited to take part in traditional Mexican crafts activities. It was fun piled on top of fun, as any number of happy participants would have told you.
Speaking of children’s books, the library not only has them in a variety of languages, including Spanish, but also in the form of bilingual books and book/CD combinations to assist reading development. Just ask your friendly KidSpace library to show you where!