Hooray! It’s Summertime!
Are you looking forward to being outside, exercising, and reading a good book? Here’s a great way to combine all three of these activities as you WALK AND READ.
The idea is simple. A children’s book is mounted on boards and displayed page-by-page in shop windows. Families read the story as they stroll through town in this fun and kid-friendly activity.
My picture book, EVIE’S FIELD DAY: More Than One Way to Win, is the featured title this year in my home town of Kingsburg, California. This picture book about sportsmanship features Evie, a girl who loves to win. But at the school’s Field Day, things don’t work out the way she plans and she is a terrible loser. When she is finally ahead of the pack, she needs to make a decision. Will she race ahead or take the opportunity to be a good friend?
Sponsored by the Kingsburg Friends of the Library, the walk begins and ends at the Kingsburg Branch Library where children receive a game card. There is an element of a scavenger hunt involved as children look for small clues on each book page and check them off as they read through town. When finished, their cards are entered into a raffle for sport games with the book’s theme. They also have the opportunity to sign up for the summer reading program.
Book walks can be created in a number of different ways. Some communities mount their book pages in StoryWalk® premade frames and post them outside in parks. Schools can create book trails through their campus and churches sponsor book journeys featuring different holidays.
Here are a few suggestions to create a successful event:
- Walk and Read events can be as short as a day or as long as a season. The Kingsburg Walk and Read is a one-month event.
- The Walk and Read is a perfect way for the library to connect with the community. Our library administrator has developed wonderful relationships with the city administrators and shop keepers who are happy to showcase the event as it brings extra foot traffic into shops.
- Make sure that you have permission from the publisher to use the book pages so that you don’t violate copyright laws. My publisher, Cardinal Rule Press, supports the use of their books in community book walks. If you are a librarian interested in learning more about free rights to their book posters, just rely to this email.
- A book walk is a great way for authors to become more involved in their community. Reach out to the local parent magazines and neighborhood Facebook groups. People are curious about the writing process and how books are made.
- Contact your local schools. My district is encouraging students to get out to walk and read. They even sent copies of the book cards home with the children.
So, lace up your shoes and head outside for this FREE activity that promotes family health, literacy, and fun. And, don’t forget, Readers Always Win!
Have you ever gone on a picture book Walk and Read? I’d love to know the location and the books you read. Just leave a comment below.