International Book Giving Day — Share your love of books!

Organized and supported by groups of book enthusiasts, including bloggers, authors, illustrators, teachers, and librarians, February 14th  is International Book Giving Day. The celebration, started in 2012, aims to increase children’s access to and enthusiasm for books. Coinciding with Valentine’s day, a day dedicated to LOVE, why not share your love of books:

  • GIFT a book to your child and/or encourage your child to gift a book to a friend. Below are some simple, inexpensive ways to make handmade books.
  • LEAVE a book in a waiting room (at the doctor, dentist, train or bus station) for someone else.
  • DONATE a gently used book to a library, school, hospital, or shelter.





  • A long piece of paper (or several sheets of paper glued or taped together) approximately 8” x 24” (Craft paper or paper cut from a grocery bag gives a fun antique look to your scroll.)
  • 2 Dowels, chopsticks, or paper towel roll tubes
  • Tape or glue
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • ribbon or string

Make It

Tape or glue the dowels to the ends of the paper. Make sure the paper is centered on the dowels. Roll the paper around them so that it is covering the dowels completely and tape or glue again. Lay the scroll on a flat surface to work. Have your child create an original story or dictate a story they already know. Leave room for illustrations. Depending on the length of the scroll, your child may need several days to fill it. When it is done, roll the scroll in to the center from both sides. Lightly tie a piece or ribbon or string around the scroll to secure it.




  • 3 (or more) pieces of copier or construction paper
  • 2 pieces of yarn, ribbon, or string
  • hole punch
  • markers, crayons, or colored pencils

Make It

  1. Stack the pieces of paper together so that each consecutive piece is about 1” higher than the sheet behind it creating “steps.”
  2. Holding the papers together, fold the top down and align the edges so that all but the top step or cover are even. Crease along the fold.
  3. Punch a hole on each end of the top fold, thread the yarn through the holes, and tie a double knot.
  4. Have your child hold the step book either vertically or horizontally, then write and illustrate the story.

Step books make fun counting books, how-to books, all-about-me books, and more.




  • A long, narrow piece of paper (or several sheets taped together) about 6” x 30”
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • 2 Pieces of cardboard
  • 2 Rubber bands, ribbon, or string

Make It

  1. Use the ruler to measure and mark 5”-6” intervals along the top and bottom of the paper. Draw a line between each pair of markings to create a fold line.
  2. Starting at one end of the paper, fold it along the first line. Use the back of the scissors to score the fold so that it is crisp and sharp.
  3. Fold the opposite way along the second fold line and score again. Continue this process, alternating the fold direction. When you reach the end, the paper will look like an accordion.
  4. Cut the cardboard pieces so that they are a little larger than the pages of the book. Glue the cardboard covers to the first and last pages.
  5. Encourage your child to use both sides of the book to write and illustrate a story.
  6. Have your child decorate the covers with markers, crayons, photographs, stickers, or pictures cut from magazines then add the title and name of the author.
  7. Secure the book with the rubber bands, ribbon, or string.

The accordion style adds some pizazz to alphabet books, counting books, books with a sequence of steps or events, and more. You can even make your accordion book in a fun shape! Because they stand up easily, they make great books for displays too.




  • 3 (or more) lunch-size paper bags
  • construction paper or card stock
  • glue
  • stapler
  • scissors
  • ribbon
  • markers, crayons, colored pencils

Make It

  1. Stack the paper bags on top of each other with the openings at the same end. Fold the stack in half and staple along the fold to secure. This will create a book with three “secret pockets.” (if you want alternate pages to have pockets, stack the bags with the ends in alternating directions.)
  2. Cover the staples with decorative tape or paper.
  3. Cut the card stock into rectangles approximately 3.5” x 4” to fit inside the pockets.
  4. Glue or staple a loop of ribbon to the narrow end of the rectangles, creating a pull tab.
  5. Have your child write and illustrate a story, including the pages hidden in the pockets.

Pocket books are great for question-and-answer style books like riddles, surprise-type books with notes or hints about the ending, and even gift books with little treasures such as a small sheet of stickers or gel clings – perfect for a birthday!


What to write about:

Original stories are great, but so is having young children retell a story in their own words, building an understanding of story structure. Retell:

  • Fairy tales
  • Mother Goose rhymes
  • Poems
  • Songs

For short pieces, like rhymes and poems, you can dedicate a page to each or fill a whole book with a single favorite, dedicating one or two lines per page.

How to Illustrate Your Books

Original artwork can be hand drawn with markers, crayons, and colored pencils or created in simple ways your child can learn. Try:

  • Collage with small magazine pictures
  • Rubber stamps
  • Potato prints
  • Thumbprints
  • Cut or torn paper shapes
  • Stencils
  • Stickers

NO MATTER HOW YOU CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVING DAY, SHARING YOUR LOVE OF BOOKS IS A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING! And if your child enjoyed the book-making crafts, continue winning book + craft combination with Once Upon A Craft, the Educational Insights series of book and craft products that pairs favorite folk and fairy tales with mess-free, hands-on craft experiences based on the stories from making a mosaic to creating a crown and more.

Once Upon a Craft

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