At Sesame Workshop's Publishing Department, we publish more than 100 children's print books, ebooks, and apps every year with a vast array of publisher partners. Making educational and engaging books for preschoolers is our mission, so we are constantly thinking about how Elmo, Big Bird, and the rest of the Sesame Street friends can help young children enjoy books, improve their vocabulary, and learn to read, a skill that has significant influence on a child's later success in school and beyond.
Children's Book Week (CBW) is an annual celebration of books for young readers and the joy of reading. Administered by Every Child a Reader, and sponsored by the Children's Book Council, it has been a national celebration for 95 years and counting. Festivities include book-related parties and events, "coast to coast, cover to cover." Bookstores, libraries, museums, theaters, and more, have invited young readers to celebrate books with their families and communities. On a global scale, the twitter hashtag #CBW14 is host to pictures and conversations between booklovers all over the world. CBW promotes reading and encourages children to take part in the literary activities and resources their community offers.
As staunch booklovers and readers, we have always participated in CBW in our own personal ways. Because the goals of CBW are so closely aligned to the work we do every day, this year we decided to do something special to help get the word out. Earlier this week we posted an adorable photo of Elmo reading with his daddy on our social media platforms.
We encouraged parents and caregivers to respond with their reading photos and comments of their favorite children's books. Not surprisingly, Sesame Street's The Monster at the End of this Book, which was first published in 1971 and is still in print with Random House, was an often-mentioned favorite. Hooray for the classics!
We also collaborated with one of our talented Sesame Workshop character artists, Louis Mitchell, to recreate one of our iconic Cookie Monster storybook covers. In the five-second video you can see below, Mr. Mitchell captures the whimsical cover of The ABCs of Cookies perfectly.
By making these small contributions to CBW, we at Sesame Workshop Publishing feel a closer connection with our audience and our readers. Celebrating literature for young people and instilling an appreciation of reading in the littlest learners is one of the most important and essential duties we can perform. As children shift from learning to read to reading to learn, the entire world of knowledge and imagination opens up to them. Cultivating a love of the written word in our young readers is crucial to our future... as publishers and as citizens. This connection between books and their readers is exactly what CBW celebrates.
So here's to children's books. Here's to their readers, publishers, librarians and champions everywhere. Here's to Children's Book Week. Grab your favorite children's book, sit down with a child, read together, talk together, learn together, and celebrate your own connection to reading.