International Children’s Book Day is celebrated on or around April 2nd each year, which happens to be the birthday of famed author Hans Christen Andersen. This day of celebration is held to celebrate the love of reading and to call attention to Children’s Books. Each year, a different international section of the International Board on Books For Young People (IBBY) picks the theme to celebrate and creates many reading lists and activities for all children and their family caregivers to enjoy. In 2021, the United States has its turn to host and the theme is “The Music of Words.” IBBY includes a yearly understanding of the theme on its publicity that I thought was beautiful and want to share it here with you.  It was written by noted children’s author Margarita Engle.

“The music of words
When we read, our minds grow wings.
When we write, our fingers sing.
Words are drumbeats and flutes on the page,
soaring songbirds and trumpeting elephants,
rivers that flow, waterfalls tumbling,
butterflies that twirl
high in the sky!

Words invite us to dance---rhythms, rhymes, heartbeats,
hoofbeats, and wingbeats, old tales and new ones,
fantasies and true ones.

Whether you are cozy at home
or racing across borders toward a new land
and a strange language, stories and poems
belong to you.

When we share words, our voices
become the music of the future,
peace, joy and friendship,
a melody of hope.”
    In celebration of International Children’s Book Day, I wanted to highlight some brand-new children’s books recently added to our collection that can be placed on hold for checkout through our online catalog:

“The Big House and the Little House” by Yoshi Ueno: This picture book takes a look into what new friendships are like. Little Mouse and Big Bear live on opposite ends of the very same street. They routinely pass by each other until one day their eyes meet and a friendship begins!

“The Doll” by Nhung N. Tran-Davies: Refugees routinely have to flee across the globe searching for a better life for their family. In this story based on true events, a little girl is given a new doll as a welcome present when they reach their new country. Years later, that same girl who is now an adult, gets to meet a group of new refugees to her county and pays it forward by giving a young refugee a doll to make them feel welcome in their new land. 

“The House of Grass and Sky” by Mary Lyn Ray: There is an old house just waiting for a new family to move in. A beautiful old house under the bright sky in a big meadow. Many new families come to check out the old house but none stay. Will this beautiful old house find just the “right” family to move in?

“Liliana and the Frogs” by Scot Ritchie: Liliana loves frogs, specifically chorus frogs. Chorus frogs are really small, really fast, and really loud! Liliana loves their singing so much that she decides to bring a few home… ok a boxful home. Once home they all escape, but have no fear, Liliana, the nature lover knows exactly what to do!

    These are just four of the very exciting new children’s pictures books coming to the Adams County Library in April. Over 100 more new titles have been ordered. Here at the Adams County Library it feels like everyday is International Children’s Book Day. We look forward to seeing you this spring to “check out” new titles and old favorites at the library. Please stop by your local branch in Carroll Valley, Biglerville, East Berlin, Gettysburg, Littlestown, and New Oxford to find some new books to celebrate and enjoy!

Brandt Ensor, Assistant Director, Adams County Library System.