As Children’s Book Week, a national festival of children’s books and reading, celebrates its 96th Anniversary, teachers, librarians, families and booksellers will be holding events and leading the fun.
MerryMakers, the market leader in book-based toys, joins the festivities by providing the perfect tools to engage reluctant readers and thrill enthusiastic ones.
Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Official events are free and held all week, May 4 through 10. A constantly updated list is available here.
Clair Frederick, President of MerryMakers, says, “We love Children’s Book Week and its emphasis on promoting the joy of reading. Reading should be fun for kids at all levels and sometimes adding a plush doll based on a favorite character is just what’s needed to deepen a child’s relationship with the character and story.”
“We hope every child will have an opportunity to participate this year. If you can’t go to an event in your neighborhood, celebrating can be as simple as setting aside a few minutes a day to read alone or, even better, read aloud with parents and teachers. Because children all over the country will be participating, it’s a great opportunity for every child to be a part of the celebration,” says Betsy Foster, VP Sales and Marketing at MerryMakers. “If children read a little more during this week, they will nurture a positive habit and become life-long readers.”
The MerryMakers line of soft toys and gifts is full of characters based on books that are beloved by kids and grown-ups. Educators in particular see the dolls as useful teaching tools, helping to engage every child during storytime. Fan favorites include:
- Pete the Cat: A cool and groovy blue cat with a positive attitude toward life’s ups and downs.
- Clark the Shark: An active, enthusiastic shark who has trouble settling down to study.
- Fly Guy: Lots of buzz about this series of books featuring a fun-loving fly.
- Little Critter: The many adventures of childhood.
- Froggy: Hop into a new book featuring Froggy!
- The Kissing Hand: Find out how a kiss on the hand can help anyone feel close to a loved one.
MerryMakers products include items based on James Dean’s wildly popular Pete the Cat; Tom Lichtenheld and Sherri Duskey Rinker’s bestselling Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site; Tad Hills’s Duck and Goose; Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser’s Fancy Nancy; Kevin Henkes’s
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse; Ian Falconer’s Olivia; Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty; Judy Schachner’s Skippyjon Jones; Tedd Arnold’s Fly Guy; David Soman and Jacky Davis’s Ladybug Girl and Melanie Watt’s Scaredy Squirrel.
About Children’s Book Week:
Children’s Book Week is administered by Every Child A Reader, a 501(c)(3) literacy organization dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children. The Children’s Book Council, the national non-profit trade association for children’s book publishers, is an anchor sponsor. During Children’s Book Week the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader activates the Children’s Choice Book Awards Program, which provides young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them and to develop a reading list that will motivate children to read more and cultivate a life-long love of reading. Winners are announced live during Children’s Book Week at the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala, the Academy Awards of children’s literature. This year, voting is open at ccbookawards.com from Tuesday, March 17 through Sunday, May 3.
About MerryMakers, Inc.:
MerryMakers, an Oakland, CA-based toy and gift company, designs, manufactures and distributes dolls and toys based on bestselling and classic children’s books, museum collections, and historical figures. The company’s products have earned multiple awards in children’s entertainment, parenting and toy categories, including the Dr. Toy Classic Products and Toy of the Year from Creative Child Magazine. The licensing division was founded in 2012 and represents Pete the Cat, Miss Bindergarten, Duck and Goose, and Rosemary Wells Characters. For additional information, visit the company website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.