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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.


December 23, 2011

Even though the weather is mild, it's still December. We've just passed the winter solstice; with it, the shortest day of the year (or the longest night, depending on your perspective) and a timeworn source of various observations.

December is filled with celebrations and traditions.

A recent PW posting reminded me that a relatively new American tradition of the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature (perhaps inspired by the UK Children's Laureate) may be catching on. It has been started across another body of water.

Boorie Pryor and Alison Lester have been named the first Australian Children's Laureates. Many books by these children's book creators are available in the U.S. to the delight of readers of many ages from the youngest to young adult.

As the Australian tradition begins, the American Children's Ambassadorship continues. In January a new Ambassador will be announced as Katherine Paterson "retires" from her two years. I am confident that her ambassadorial theme, "Read for your life," will continue.

Here's hoping that your December traditions — traditional or not — are fun, festive and memorable.

All good wishes for the New Year!

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"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943