El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros

Have you ever wanted to go on an adventure like the characters in your favorite children’s books? On April 21 from 1 to 3 p.m., the Waukegan Public Library will host its annual El Dìa de los Niños/El Dìa de los Libros family festival featuring games and activities from classic children’s books including “Charlotte’s Web”, “The Giving Tree”, “The Cat in the Hat” and “Harry Potter”.

Library books will come alive as children of all ages make Wild Things monster masks for a bonfire dance, taste apples from the Giving Tree, balance a stack of household items with the Cat in the Hat, cast spells at Hogwarts, go on a pirate treasure hunt and meet well-known book characters. Every 15 minutes, families will be entertained with bilingual storiesin the library’s Early Learning Center and then have a chance to explore the Farm Fun exhibit, milk a life-size fiberglass cow, and hold real baby chicks.

The library will also highlight mariachi culture from the bilingual children’s book “Delicious Hullabaloo/Pachanga Deliciosa” with an interactive student performance by Milwaukee’s award winning Latino Arts Strings Program. In partnership with Lyric Unlimited, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s multifaceted community engagement program, the student mariachi group will educate families about music and Latino culture as a preview for the 7:30 p.m. performance of “Cruzar La Cara De La Luna” at the Genesee Theatre. “Cruzar La Cara De La Luna” is presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago and is the world’s first mariachi opera. Four tickets to the evening’s performance will be raffled off during the festival.

Each family will take home a free bag of books while supplies last, courtesy of Bernie’s Book Bank. Partner organizations also include the Green Youth Farm, the United Way and Words on Wheels. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

“In the past, our El Dia celebrations incorporated themes surrounding the environment, Earth Day, and Latino culture. This year, we placed the focus on books so children can relate to the classic stories they love through hands-on play,” said executive director Richard Lee. “Hopefully this will inspire families to interact with books in a fun and creative way at home.”

For more information about El Dia de los Niños, contact Rena Morrow, Marketing, Programming, and Exhibits Manager, at (847) 623-2041, ext. 231.