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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Displays Every Day! An April 23rd Sampler

Yesterday was Earth Day, and I suspect a fair number of you librarians out there did some killer Earth Day displays of books for the kiddos, teachers, and parents out there.  I love thematic book displays.  But who says you need an official holiday to create one?  Let us say, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to do a really eclectic display on (just to pick a random date) April 23rd.  Honestly you could make a truly crazy but interesting series of books if you wanted to.  After all, April 23rd is . . .

Shakespeare’s Birthday – Apparently last year was his 450th so 451 just doesn’t quite have the same panache.  I’m looking forward to 2064 when it’s his 500th.  We are gonna party hearty then, m’dears!  Until then, there are lots of different ways to do a Shakespeare display in a children’s room.  Consider the following:

Just for starters (and I’m completely cheating with that last image since that book isn’t out until September).

World Book Day –  I’m sort of amused that even though World Book Day was originally a British creation, somehow or other James Patterson still managed to become this year’s spokesperson.  Americans, truth be told, don’t pay a lot of attention to World Book Day (see the recent SLJ article We Need More International Books, Kid Lit Experts Say for some thoughts on the U.S. and our relationship to world literature for children), but it practically makes its own display.  Find books originally published in other countries and then translated here.  You’ll have to search a bit more for African and South American stories, but they’re out there.

President James Buchanan’s Birthday – Well why not?  We actually have some books on him in the library, after all.

Okay, fine, he’s boring.  Dull as dishwater.  But they haven’t made a Shirley Temple bio for kids yet (and wouldn’t THAT be a complex challenge?) nor one about Nobokov (yet) so we take what we can get 4/23 birthday-wise.

Comics Out Loud Day – Ostensibly a day to celebrate reading comics out loud in the classroom, the timing couldn’t be better.  After all, they just announced the Eisner Award nominees yesterday and the inclusions are marvelous.  Gownley! Bell! Hale!  The list goes on and on.  Pluck a couple from your shelves and put ’em up for display.

The day Cervantes was buried – Okay, it’s a stretch but I like the randomness of it. Plus there are some interesting children’s books out there that use Quixote as a starting point.

By the way, I’m closing with this DVD.  Because when I searched my catalog for Don Quixote this came up.

Here’s the description, in case you doubt.

Ride to the rescue and share a love of reading books along the way with Lady Knight Dora, in these two knightly adventures, featuring the legendary Don Quixote!

A couple things about this image. First off, as a knight this is a uniquely bad costume. Sure her upper half is adequately covered by armor but ballet flats?  Come on, Dora!  Extra points for the steel tiara, though.  A nice touch.  Note too the windmills in the background.

Happy 4/23!

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Anita Silvey’s Children’s book-a-day is a great source for random excuses for book displays.

  2. Christine Bird says:

    Might it also be possible to do a display of Betsy Ramsey Bird’s books, on, oh say, next April 23?

  3. Yep, a dress on a knight doesn’t quite work, does it? lol