Photos & Stories 2012

There are some things I did not expect when I first proposed we celebrate International Book Giving Day a mere 10 days ago! I did not expect Tomi Ungerer to participate. I did not expect a blogger to promote International Book Giving Day in Turkish. And, I did not expect a poet to write a poem to mark International Book Giving Day. (See bottom of this page.)

But, all three of these things -- and so much more -- have happened and are happening. Thank you all for joining me in giving books! This is beautiful!

A poem inspired by International Book Giving Day by Barney Saltzberg.

International Book Giving Day slideshow

"I'm in. I just donated books to Head Start. What will you do to celebrate International Book Giving Day? Love, Todd" -Author Todd Parr, US

"I gave books to my kids, gave Sora and the Cloud to my son's kindergarten, made a donation to The Book Bus, and bought some used Japanese books to place in doctor's waiting rooms." -Medea, Japan

A South African family donated some of their used books to a school in rural Lesotho for International Book Giving Day. They have a dream of creating a school library and are asking readers (Mom blogs at SeVen) to contribute books.

"I've just made a donation to Book Aid International - they're a wonderful charity, which I've supported before, and it's lovely to now have a special day on which to support them again." -Elli, UK

"I've made a donation to The Book Bus because it's so completely fantastic. And I had a little sort through my bookshelves. Like lots of author-illustrators I guess, I have lots of new books lying around...So I assembled a little goody bag of books for the doctor's waiting room in the neighbouring street, where I have sat with my children for many boring, worrying hours over the years." -Author Clara Vulliamy, UK

"I'm taking a pile of books to a local pediatrician's clinic where kids can browse, enjoy and read (or be read to) while they wait for their parents outside the doctor's room." -Rashmie, India

"International Book Giving Day is supposed to be about giving to others. Instead, I find it has become its own gift to my family. I'm watching my children turn from (too often) me!me!me! people into generous little souls. They're imagining who might get their books. They're smiling and they feel good." -Alison, US

"We're giving books to MICA for the Headstart program or for any kids that come to the food pantry." -Monica, US

Phil Moore (of Bowerbirds) leaves Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban in a waiting room, while a boy watches suspiciously. -Musician Phil Moore

"We, our readers and our friends who own children's book store in Istanbul-Turkey organized a little meeting for tomorrow evening. We'll give some of our books to kids and friends." -Banu, Turkey

Author Vivian Schwarz donates books for International Book Giving Day.

"Littlesheep Learning will give a copy of every book sold today to a local school, children's centre or hospital." -Elaine of Littlesheep Learning, UK

"We are trying to organize a 'book giving day' where we live." -Handan, Turkey (It looks like they were successful!)

"Participated in International Book Giving Day by getting three books: 1. I Want my Hat Back by Jon Klassen for the girls. 2. This Land is Your Land by Kathy Jacobsen for my wife. 3. All Things Bright and Beautiful by Ashley Bryan for our church." -Dan, US

"I dropped off a book today to the local medical centre for their waiting room. What a lovely idea. They were chuffed." -Author Katrina Germein, Australia

"Will be donating books to my public library and sending a couple to one of my husband's workmates little girl. Brilliant idea ;o)" -Bev, UK

"Books wrapped and ready to go to 1st, 3rd and 4th classes - 46 in total. Amy (on the right) got a book from her school for bringing in 20 books for her classmates. Emma's (middle) teacher spread the word and so Emma came home with 2 books from 2 friends. Charley (left) gets a book from Mams 'stash' so happiness all around!!!!!" -Grace, Ireland

"Will be giving books to the local Strongstart program." -Anne, Canada

"I went to Westwood Elementary School in Los Angeles and was able to give a pile of my books to Isabelle Fisher, a second grader. These books will go into the school library." -Author Barney Saltzberg, US

"I have a little pile of books that I'll be giving today and some special books for my children!" -Melissa, Australia

"Will be giving books to my daughter and donating to a public library." -Sebnem, Turkey

"I have ordered 'I Want my Hat Back' by Jon Klassen and 'There are No Cats in This Book' by Viv Schwartz to add to the Volunteer Reading Help stock...For book giving to my own pair, we've shared the Love at the library this morning." -Polly, UK

Anabel donated the proceeds from the sale of her mother-in-law's VW to Book Aid International. -Anabel, UK

"I have chosen to donate some books to The Book Bus because I find them very inspirational, and I just love the idea of a library on wheels!" -Melanie, UK

For International Book Giving Day, we made bookplates for the books we are posting to Lesotho. -Mom at se7en, South Africa

"I'll be giving Spanish language books to Angelo's 2nd grade class." -Patty, US

"I gave away four books of my own ('Amazing India', two volumes of translated Indian folk tales, and my new picture book) - dropped them off at my daughter's dentist's." -Author Anita Vachharajani, India

Lastly, a poem for International Book Giving Day...

The End by Elli Woolard

'The End'
Said the queen 'Is starting to send
Me up the wall and round the bend
Happily ever after? Pish!
No - what I really, really wish'
Said the queen, as she flicked to page one
'Is to start again. Now I've just begun!'
And she grabbed the 'Once upon a time'
Hitched up her dress, and started to climb
She pulled at the letters, she tugged and she jerked
But, however hard she worked
Though she pushed at the letters, and gave them a nudge
The letters
would not
'Nooooo!' yelled the queen, 'I won't be condemned
To a boring happily after end
'Snot fair' said the queen, as she stood in a rage
'Where are my servants? I must have my page!'
Page One came up, he scratched his head
And giving a little bow, he said
'Your Highness, you'll find that these words are fixed
They can't be pushed or pulled or mixed'
'No good!' cried the queen, 'it's prison for you!
You're no help here - I'm calling Page Two'
'These words', said Page Two 'will not come loose'
'Off with your head!' cried the queen 'You're no use!'
'Who's next?' said the queen, 'Hmm, let me see'
And she counted her fingers: 'One, Two, Four'
(NO, NO! You silly queen
One, Two, THREE!)
Page Three came running, he scraped and he bowed
And said 'You Mag, if I may be allowed
To give some advice to the nation's dear leader
The thing you need now, Your Mag, is a reader'
'Phooey!" the queen cried "What hogwash! Instead
I will send you to prison, then chop of your...
Hang on - what did you say?'
Page Three simply bowed again 'All that you're needing
Is a someone to come here and simply start reading'
'But how', said the queen, 'will they mix up these letters
Can a reader make fun for its elders and betters?'
'Why yes!' cried Page Three, as he bowed and said
'Come, come, Your Maj, to a reader's head'
'What?' cried the queen. 'Do you suppose
That I'd shrink and climb in through a reader's nose
A big hairy tunnel of slime and snot?
Well think again, you dunce - I WILL NOT!'
'No, no', said Page Three, 'No, not at all
You don't need to get slimy and snotty and small
For as soon as the reader opens the book
There you are in their head - take a look!'
And the queen gazed opened-jawed, because
Just as he'd told her, there she was! 
Zooming through pages and looming in pictures
Asking for room on a broom and some witches
Eating a snack with a piglet who
Told her she must meet his friend, named Pooh
Given a caterpillar afternoon tea
(He's made a cacoon now - what will he be?)
Knitting some socks for a fox in a box
While getting her tongue round chicks and clocks
Having a rumpus with strange Wild Things
And flying with Tinkerbell, flapping her wings
Then off through a wardrobe, a land filled with snow
And into a peach - it's going to go!
Dancing with snowmen and flitting through blizzards
To Hogwarts to dine with a group of young wizards
Then sleep, and a dream on a midsummer's night
And drinking with Bloom in Dublin's grey light
The queen turned to Page Three. 'Thank you!' she said
'Books are fantastic, as long as they're read'
And she pardoned Page Three and Page Two and Page One
'Come!' cried the queen 'now it's time for some fun!'

So look at the queen, as she skips and she goes
To the back of the book, right to the close
And she climbs up 'The End' and she tears up the 'T'
And the 'H' and the 'E' and the 'E', 'N', 'D'
Yes she rips up 'The End', she tears it apart
And she writes, in big letters: 'Just The Start'