Children’s Book Week 2018: a Nostalgic Reading List

a children's book week inspired reading list

The 99th annual Children’s Book Week is April 30-May 6, 2018! The longest running literacy initiative in the country, Children’s Book Week is hosted by Every Child a Reader and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) in order to encourage literacy and a love of reading in children.

Most adults who love reading can trace that love of reading back to their childhood. Use Children’s Book Week as an opportunity to revisit the stories that helped shape you into the reader you are today! Here are just a few of the most famous classic children and young adult books guaranteed to evoke childlike happiness, inspiration, and nostalgia in grown-up readers:


If you’re looking for more books to read in honor of Children’s Book Week, check out this round-up of books for ideas for kids, teens, and readers of all ages.

Enjoy the books and never forget the child-like magic of reading!

Summer reading: Stealing Buddha’s Dinner

Stealing Buddha's Dinner book cover

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner
Bich Minh Nguyen

One of the first images Nguyen relates in her memoir, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, is of her being mesmerized by the daughter of her host family, Heather Heidenga, reaching into a canister of Pringles and shoving a handful into her mouth.

This “American” memory is the start to the story of her family’s immigration from Vietnam to Michigan in 1975 and her desire to fit into her white suburban community. Instead of her grandmother’s traditional Vietnamese dishes, or her Mexican-American stepmother’s lack of interest in cooking, she longs for Toll House cookies made by Jennifer Vander Wal’s mother, or Mrs. Jansen’s blueberry muffins, made with Jiffy mix. Her imagination carries her into her books she is so fond of reading, eating salt pork (or bacon in her case) just like Laura in Little House on the Prairie, or connecting with Ramona Quimby, who also had to eat boring snacks and resented her blond, pretty neighbor.

Through this coming of age story, we can relate to Nguyen’s struggle with being an outsider. But through her memories, it is her uniqueness that ultimately defines her identity, and her voice is found in this otherness that we all too often try to avoid.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

Revista Matador

Revista Matador

Through La Fábrica—the Madrid-based publishing house he also directs, journalist Alberto Arnaut aims to incite a cultural debate in Matador, or in his own words a “campo de batalla” (battlefield) for ideas in all genres. The work of painters, sculptors, photographers, novelists, poets, playwrights, essayists, philosophers, architects, filmmakers, actors, chefs, musicians, fashion designers, and more adorn the pages of the lavish folio-size issues. Published annually since 1995 beginning with the letter A, the publishers are committed to completing 28 issues in 2022 when they reach the letter Z.

It is difficult to describe what takes place in Matador until you put your hands on an issue. Other than the dimensions, no issue is alike and each takes on a distinct theme. The magazine is predominantly visual with an emphasis on creators from the Iberoamerican world such as artists Miguel Barceló, Luis Gordillo and Eduardo Chillida; photographers Francesc Català-Roca, Xavier Miserachs, Ramón Masats; and filmmakers Bigas Luna and Gonzalo Suárez. However, contributions from all the continents establish an international dialogue. The words of contemporary fiction writers such as Javier Marías, Juan Goytisolo, Elena Poniatowska, and Juan Villoro engage with the deceased such as Rafael Alberti, Clarice Lispector, José Saramago and others. The texts of French theoreticians Hélène Cixous and Paul Virilio and the Department of Spanish Portuguese’s own Alex-Saum Pascual can also be encountered in Matador.

This year, the Art History/Classic Library was able to acquire all issues to date (A-T) as a joint purchase with the Romance Languages Librarian and is now one of only three libraries in California with a full-run and subscription.

Revista MatadorMatador. Madrid: La Fábrica, 1995-
Art History/Classics f NX456 .M368




By Joshua Dullaghan

For the 2017-18 academic year, I kept the graphic art print “Apollo” in my office.  It became a wonderful talking point with students, faculty, and staff.  I look forward to next year and can’t wait to see what piece might adorn my office for 2018-19.  I greatly appreciate the Morrison Library for providing this opportunity.

May 3: Lunch poems featuring student readings

The Morrison LibraryThursday, May 3
12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Morrison Library in Doe Library
Admission Free

One of the year’s liveliest events, the student reading includes winners of the following prizes: Academy of American Poets, Cook, Rosenberg, and Yang, as well as students nominated by Berkeley’s creative writing faculty, Lunch Poems volunteers, and representatives from student publications.

Summer reading: My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs

My Twentieth Century Evening book cover

My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs
Kazuo Ishiguro

In his 2017 Nobel Lecture in Literature, My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs, Kazuo Ishiguro recounts his childhood when he moved in 1960 with his parents from Japan to England, where they were the only Japanese family in the town where they settled. Looking back, he is amazed that although it was less than 20 years after the end of WWII, the English community accepted them with “openness and instinctive generosity.” His identity is shaped by this openness as he ventures into his writing, where he surprisingly starts to emotionally construct his own idea of Japan.

This emotional construct, he comes to realize, is due to the importance of relationships — relationships that “move us, amuse us, anger us, surprise us” — and due to finding meaning in the “small, scruffy moments” that seemingly allow writers to be vulnerable in experiencing the unknown and the elusive and in finding meaningful exchanges through human encounters.

His hope is for us not to be complacent, but to embrace diversity, to include many voices and be open to new ideas — to listen. What starts out as his appeal to literature and writers is also an appeal to combat “dangerously increasing division,” reminding us of his first encounter in England, of openness and generosity.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

Eduardo Paolozzi’s Experience


By Andrew Stevens

I borrowed artwork from the GALC every year during my time at Berkeley as a graduate student. The GALC helped me realize that “Art” – curated, original, unique art – is something that can be accessible and engaged with on a personal level. One ought not believe that “Art” is only for museums or the wealthy. Indeed, I have now decided to try and buy original art from emerging artists to decorate my home rather than purchase mass-produced plastic canvases from big-box stores. The GALC had a large role in shaping my views on how one can choose to engage with art.

John August Swanson’s Rainy Day

Rainy Day

By Nick Pingitore

The GALC is something unique to Cal. Although it is a relatively small part of a massive university, it is one of the many things that collectively make it the amazing place it is. It’s simply amazing that anyone with a student ID can check out artwork of almost any subject and bring a little piece of Cal back into their dorm room or apartment for the year.  I love it!