State Library Marks Bicentennial with Family Literacy Activity Calendar

The Maine State Library is marking Maine's bicentennial year with the publication of the Maine Day by Day Family Literacy Activity Calendar. The perpetual calendar is designed to assist parents, caregivers, teachers and librarians in creative activities that encourage emergent reading.

Thirty-thousand calendars were printed with funding from the Maine Bicentennial Committee, the David Family Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation. The calendar is free and copies are being distributed to libraries throughout the state to give to their patrons.

"Every child in Maine should have books and reading in their lives," said Janet McKenney, director of library development at the Maine State Library. "The calendar's activities reinforce early literacy practices and encourage parents and caregivers to read to infants and young pre-school children."

Each month features works from Maine authors and illustrators with a focus on a theme around which books, songs, activities, arts and cultural events, and health and family wellness information are centered. The calendar is an easy to use tool for anyone to work with kids on the five early literacy practices - reading, writing, talking, playing and singing.

"Early literacy activities help ensure our children are better prepared to learn when they enter school - and the value of a strong start in education has the potential to make a big difference over the course of a lifetime," said Maine State Librarian, James Ritter. "As we look ahead to the next hundred years of our state's history, our future prosperity will be inextricably tied to how well we do in preparing the next generation of workers to be competitive in the global economy."

Copies of the calendar can be obtained at Maine public libraries. If a library has not requested copies or need more, they can make a request through the Maine State Library website:

Maine authors and illustrators featured in the Maine Day by Day Family Literacy Activity Calendar

    Ana and the Sea Star written by R. Lynn Roelfs, illustrated by Jamie Hogan and published Tilbury House Publishers;

    Beautiful Blackbird written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers;

    The Wicked Big Toddlah written and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes and published by Random House Children's Books;

    How to Read a Book written by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Melissa Sweet and published by Published by HarperCollins Publishers;

    Thanks to the Animals written by Allen Sockabasin; illustrated by Rebekah Raye and published by Tilbury House Publishers;

    If I built a House written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen and published by Penguin Young Readers Group;

    The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields; illustrated by Scott Nash and published by Candlewick Press;

    Rainbow Stew written and illustrated by Cathryn Falwell and published by Lee & Low Books, Inc.;

    I'm New Here written and illustrated by Anne Sibley OBrien and published by Charlesbridge Publishing,Inc.;

    The Cat at Night written and illustrated by Dahlov Ipcar and published by Islandport Press;

    Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons; illustrated by Daniel Minter and published by Peachtree Publishing Company; and

    Mud, Sand and Snow written and illustrated by Charlotte Agell and published by Islandport PressCover illustration: Marty Braun.

The calendar was printed in Lewiston, Maine by Penmor Lithographers.

For more information, contact Janet McKenney at or visit