Something to make 2011 get off to a great start…

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I’ve one last giveaway for this year and although it’s not large, it is beautiful and inspirational and just perfect if you love children’s books. But first some background…

A few weeks ago I wrote about calendars I had unearthed which featured the work of children’s book illustrators. In the process of researching those calendars blog reader Annette introduced me to the Family Reading Partnership, one of my highlighted charities in yesterday’s post all about book and literacy charities around the world.

The Family Reading Partnership, based in New York and working in their local community since 1997, has a great mission:

To create a culture of literacy in which all children in our community experience the pleasure of books as part of everyday family life, right from the start!

I love the emphasis on the pleasure of reading and also the normalcy of reading, making it part of regular family life.

As a coalition of several local organizations, individuals, schools, libraries and businesses, all committed to creating a “culture of literacy” the Family Reading Partnership delivers all sorts of programmes to families. Some of my favourite include:

  • A Welcome to School Book
    New kindergartners receive a brand new book entitled A Splendid Friend, Indeed at kindergarten registrations each spring. It includes an enclosure with a personalized message about the importance of reading aloud, a note to “readers to be” from author Suzanne Bloom, encouragement to use the library, and information about making books a part of everyday, summer, family fun. I love the idea of using books to form bonds and friendships.
  • Read-Along Songs
    Children in low-income based pre-school programs receive a bright red book bag filled with six beautiful books and a CD of the books being both read aloud and sung. The same set of books and CD is also given to classroom teachers in pre-school, kindergarten and 1st grade so that children see and hear the set in both school and home. I think the idea of using singing as a way into literacy is a great one.
  • Traveling Books
    Every two weeks, a volunteer reader delivers a crate of 20 carefully selected children’s books to a participating daycare home. He or she reads to the children, leaves the books for them to enjoy until the next visit and in two weeks arrives with a new crate of books.
  • If you’d like to support the Family Reading Partnership you can donate online (or via post), you can donate gently used children’s books, or if you’re local you can donate your time and become a volunteer.

    Every year the Family Reading Partnership produces a calendar featuring from children’s book illustrators. These calendars are typically used as gifts to families involved in their programmes and they are gorgeous. They are also available for the public to purchase (from anywhere in the world).

    I made a donation to FRP and in return received 3 copies of their latest calendar. When I opened them they took my breath away – they are beatifully produced and full of really stunning illustrations by some of my favourite artists. It makes me happy just to look up at my desk to see the calendar on my wall!

    Now, I don’t need 3 calendars all to myself so one is going to my local children’s library. But the last one I’m giving away here on Playing by the Book. As regular readers of Playing by the Book I’m sure each of you would be delighted with this wonderful, inspirational calendar so please leave a comment on this post to be in with a chance of winning it.

  • The giveaway is open worldwide.
  • The giveaway is open only for 48 hours – to try to ensure the calendar reaches the winner before the New Year this giveaway will close 6 am on Thursday 16th December.
  • The winner will be selected randomly using
  • If you don’t win the calendar, or would like to order your own copy anyway please contact FRP via email on (or if you are ordering as part of a US not-for-profit organization you can use the form on this page).

    My huge thanks to Annette for pointing me towards the Family Reading Partnership, and good luck to everyone in the giveaway!

    5 Responses

    1. sandhya

      Oh, I would so so so love to win this beautiful calendar!
      I agree completely with what the charity believes in:reading aloud does create bonds, and makes for wonderful readers eventually. Also I firmly believe in books facilitating friendships- as they become a great commonality between friends. And of course, books are meant to be shared. People in the community I live in have slowly begun to see the sense in encouraging their children to read, and often approach me for book recommendations or even request that I lend them a book that their child may enjoy. And I’m more than happy to assist in getting another child into the readers’ fold.

    2. Katherine

      Fantastic, I would love to win this. A great inspiration throughout the year.

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