Rebekah Manley

Coordinator, Texas Center for the Book

Texas Center for the Book Celebrates Children and Diversity in Literature

Friday, April 29, 2016 • Austin, Texas • News Release

This April, Texans celebrate 20 years of Día de los Niño’s, Día de los Libros (Children’s Day, Book Day): a celebration of children, culture and literature. Texas Center for the Book coined the term Lone Star Día for Texas and encouraged statewide participation. Nationally, libraries, schools, churches and organizations are encouraged to discover “bookjoy” year-round and most events occur around Día’s birthday on April 30th.

Pat Mora, a native Texan, founded Día de los Niño’s, Día de los Libros (Children’s Day, Book Day) in 1996 which is celebrated nationally as Día – Diversity in Action - which seeks to link all children to books, languages, and cultures, and to make reading an integral part of children’s lives. Mora chose the Mexican observance of Día de los Niño’s (Children’s Day), April 30, since promoting literacy went hand in hand with supporting the well being of children.

A national registry displaying the state events is available on and Texans can find events near them such as story times, family celebrations and cultural meals.

For example, on April 28th, Austin’s Little Walnut Creek Branch Library will offer an all-ages interactive family program including multi-cultural songs and stories from Mexico, Brazil, Africa, Hawaii, and the Native American Northwest/Southwest. This interactive presentation features a folktale book display, colorful costumed storytelling, flannels, song, drumming, rhythm clap, dance movement, a short shadow show.

Texas Center for the Book kicked off this year’s celebration at ZACH Theatre with a special performance play based on Mora’s book, Tomás and the Library Lady. Tomás Rivera, son of a migrant farm worker during the 1940s in the Midwest, felt lonely and out of place after his family’s move from Texas to Iowa. Tomas stumbled into a library and was welcomed and encouraged. Through the librarian’s patience and understanding, he developed a lifelong love for books and learning. Tomás Rivera later became the first minority Chancellor of the University of California System. At the performance, Texas Center for the Book honored local librarians – the foundation of Tomás Rivera’s success story.

One of 50 state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Texas Center for the Book is a nonprofit organization under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and is guided by library professionals, educators, authors, publishers and booksellers who provide support to our shared mission of promoting a love of literature to the more than 26 million residents in the Lone Star State. For more information contact Rebekah Manley at 512-936-2505 or visit