Monday 14 February 2022

How to Promote and Celebrate Your Book with a Global Theme Day! by Natascha Biebow

Last week on Thursday, 11 February it was National Inventors' Day

Who knew? The reason I found out is because Eileen, an Emmy Award-winner, professional ham and YouTuber at KidTime Storytime, contacted me to ask if she could do a new read-aloud of my book THE CRAYON MAN in her signature style with . . . puppets!

When I saw her videos, I couldn't resist. They are hilarious!

Since the book's publication, National Crayon Day on 31 March has been a great hook to promote it, but this got me wondering: what other 'days' are there even out there? As an experiment, I decided to investigate what occasions fellow Picture Book Denners could use to get the word out about their latest or upcoming picture books. How can we engage with new, unexpected audiences for our writing and illustrating through this kind of lateral thinking?

Of course, in true nonfiction writer style, I soon got sucked down the rabbit hole and began imagining all kinds of new books I could write based on some of these cool themes . . . 

February 11 ... 'Day'


There is no end to how creative you can be! I mean . . . 'Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day'? 'National Make a Friend Day . . ', 'Cow Appreciation Day', and even 'National Lollipop Day'.

Celebrations are an important part of most cultures' yearly calendars.


We All Celebrate! by Chitra Soundar and Jenny Bloomfield

In their book, We All Celebrate!, Jenny Bloomfield and Chitra Soundar highlight celebrations from around the world grouped by season. Filled with colour, joy and new customs and traditions for young readers to learn about and discover, it is easy to engage with each one on its featured celebration day. The all-encompassing theme inspires and encourages young readers to connect with cultural holidays around the world. 


Celebrate it also on World Day for Cultural Diversity on 21 May.


The Greatest Show on Earth by Mini Grey


The Greatest Show on Earth by Mini Grey, which will be published in April, raises the curtain on the 4.6 million year story of Planet Earth. This sumptuous feast of a book is narrated by a friendly troop of insects who put on the show of the evolution of life on Earth – a whistle-stop tour from the birth of Earth, to the age of bacteria, the era of dinosaurs . . .  to present day. 


Celebrate it on Earth Day on 22 April. 


Stop the Clock! by Pippa Goodhart and Maria Christania


Stop the Clock! by Pippa Goodhart and Maria Christania, also published in April, tells the story of a boy who stops the clocks and goes back in time to revisit a very busy and rushed journey to school.  This poignant story reminds us to slow down, take a breath and notice the small details in our busy everyday lives, and even to take time to paint them. 


Celebrate it on World Sauntering Day on 19 June.

Ask First, Monkey! by Julie Clare Bell and Abigail Tompkins

In Ask First, Monkey!, illustrated by Abigail Tompkins, Juliet Clare Bell tackles an important subject through story. Monkey is the best tickler in the world, ever; even his mum says so. And there's nothing he loves more than tickling ALL his friends at playtime! But what happens if some of his friends don't want to be tickled? This humorous picture book shows young children what consent is, how to consider others' feelings with respect and why it's so important. It empowers young readers to realize that a reason for 'no' is never needed - it just needs to be respected.   


Celebrate it on International Day of Consent on 30 November.

Tiptoe Tiger by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup

For every imaginative child still bouncing off the walls at the end of the day, Tiptoe Tiger by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup is the perfect bedtime antidote. The interactive storytelling invites children to tiptoe round the jungle like the little tiger cub – or else scare away the beautiful butterflies and hooting owls – and to watch out for Snappy Crocodile! When at last it's bedtime, sleepy eyes will already be closing, whispering 'Night, night', just like Tiptoe Tiger. 

Celebrate it on Pyjamarama Day on 13 May to promote bedtime stories for all, or even on International Tiger Day on 29 July.

Sing Like a Whale by Moira Butterfield and Gwen Millward

If you read Sing Like a Whale: Learn How to Make a Noise Like the Animals Do! by Moira Butterfield and Gwen Millward, you will learn how to hoot like an owl, howl like a wolf and sing like a whale. Wow! Readers meet 12 animals from around the world and discover the sounds they make, and  why – because animals, just like people, need to get their message and feelings across. 

Celebrate it on World Listening Day on 18 July.

Fabulous Frankie by Simon James Green and Garry Parsons

The hero in Fabulous Frankie by Simon James Green and Garry Parsons is a flamingo who just wants to be fabulous. But how? He's literally surrounded by so many fabulous flamingos, how on earth can he stand out from the crowd? Frankie's friends help him to discover the most important thing of all: the best way to be fabulous is to be YOU!  


Celebrate it on International Being You Day on 22 May.

And today?


Today 14 February, is International Book Giving Day!


Artwork for International Book Giving Day by Viviane Schwarz

Will you be a book fairy or book ninja and leave a trail of enticing books around your neighbourhood for kids to pick up and discover? Along the school run, the dentist's waiting room, on the swings, on the walk to the library . . . You can tuck your bookmarks and bookplates inside. Join in the fun!


Natascha Biebow, MBE, Author, Editor and Mentor

Natascha is the author of the award-winning The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons, illustrated by Steven Salerno, winner of the Irma Black Award for Excellence in Children's Books, and selected as a best STEM Book 2020. Editor of numerous prize-winning books, she runs Blue Elephant Storyshaping, an editing, coaching and mentoring service aimed at empowering writers and illustrators to fine-tune their work pre-submission, and is the Editorial Director for Five Quills. She is Co-Regional Advisor (Co-Chair) of SCBWI British Isles. Find her at


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