Libraries offer kids their own Big Read
Cover art used with permission from HarperCollins Publishers.
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:09AM
Nine years ago a group of local librarians created The Big Read to offer adult readers a chance to celebrate a book.
Three years ago the youth librarians at those participating libraries asked the question, “Why should the adults have all the fun?” That’s when Kids Read, Too! was created.
Fashioned after the popular Big Read program, which invites adults to read a selected book and participate in dozens of related programs, Kids Read, Too! offers younger readers their own version of the annual event.
“When they choose their book for the Big Read, we get together and try to find a similar book along a similar theme,” said Tiffany Verzani, youth and young adult services manager at Hinsdale Public Library.
Librarians from the ten participating libraries — Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Indian Prairie, Thomas Ford Memorial, La Grange, LaGrange Park, Westmont, Woodridge, Lisle and Downers Grove — not only choose the book for Kids Read, Too!, they also brainstorm ideas for related events. This year’s book selection, Granny Torelli Makes Soup, by award-winning author Sharon Creech, offered plenty of inspiration.
Like the adult Big Read selection, The Shoemaker’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani, Granny Torelli Makes Soup offers ties to family, to Italy, and to food.
“Italy is our common factor,” said Monica Dzierzbicki, head of the kids and teens department at Indian Prairie Public Library.
Creech’s book centers on the relationship between a child and her grandmother, who shares with readers parts of her Italian upbringing.
Kids Read, Too! programs will include opportunities for children and their families to explore their own ancestry by creating family trees. There also will be plenty of chances throughout March to enjoy the flavors of Italy.
Book discussions will be held at each participating library, as will movies, explorations of Italian culture and language, and lots of family activities.
Perhaps most exciting is a chance March 27 to chat with the author of Granny Torelli Makes Soup. Creech will Skype with young readers at 2 p.m. at Hinsdale, Indian Prairie, La Grange, LaGrange Park, Lisle, Thomas Ford and Woodridge libraries.
For a full list of events and more information about Kids Read, Too!, visit thebigread.org.