no books

According to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), Nearly two-thirds of low-income families in the U.S. own no books.  That is just plain wrong.  But, we can help fix it.

I recently started a literacy initiative encouraging people to donate new or gently used books to needy kids, locally-wherever you are.  It has caught on in the US, and we also have people passing it on in the UK and Australia.  Many children’s book authors are participating by giving local kids in need copies of the books they’ve written.

We now have a shiny new badge.  Please feel free to copy and paste the badge.  Add it to your blog, post it in your tweets, or use it however you see fit to promote Picture Book Pass it On.  Remember to share your giving story on our new Facebook page Facebook page

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A Child’s Picture Book Bill of Rights…

Never, ever, underestimate the power of a picture book.

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I believe that every child’s Bill of Rights should be indelibly inked with the right to have picture books read to him/her.  And, they deserve to have books of their own.  Many of us take for granted the sacred ritual of cracking open a picture book, and cuddling together while the words and pictures collectively take us away.  You can probably recall having been read to by your parents or caregivers.  You likely hold a special picture book, from your childhood, close to your heart.  And, until now, you’ve probably not given much thought to how profound that experience can be.

Imagine, never having that.

When I look back on my early childhood memories, I recall a lot-good and bad.  But, there is not a single memory of anyone reading to or with me.  I cannot name a favorite picture book from my childhood; I don’t have one.   We were poor, and picture books were not a top priority for my teenaged parents.  Later, picture books were not on my single-mom’s priority list either.

I guess that’s why picture books hold such a special place in my heart now. Perhaps that’s why, like a starved hyena, I gobble them up. Maybe it’s why I chose to write my own. I know it is why I jump up on my soapbox, touting the power of picture books.

I CAN imagine a child, growing up, never knowing the power of a picture book.  I WAS that child.  I DO want to lead the charge to ink “Picture Book” on every child’s Bill of Rights.  I’m a mom, teacher, and children’s author who believes, passionately, that we should never, ever, underestimate the power of a picture book.

I am celebrating the power of the picture book by starting an initiative called, Picture Book Pass it On (#PBPiO) to give kids in need their very own books.

I hope you will join me by accepting 3 calls to action:

#1 Pledge to donate a new or gently used picture book/s to a children’s charity in your area.

#2 Post about your pledge.  Share it on your blog and on social media.  Please include our badge and #PBPiO

#3 Pass it on.  When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your  #PBPiO  giving chain.  Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…

Oh, and be sure to share your giving story on our Facebook page . We love to see how books are reaching kids all over the globe.

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