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By Tracy Ihnot

Every spring, Delta County Libraries distributes a book and craft kit to every 4-year-old in the county. A statewide program called One Book Colorado and a partnership with the local BELA program make the book giveaway possible in Delta County.

“One Book Colorado distributes the chosen book, in English and Spanish, to libraries across the state. Library staff members work with the local preschools to distribute the book to children,” says Adriana Chavira, library manager in Delta and Paonia. “We always partner with the BELA program to plan a craft that relates to the book and engages children in the story.”

The 2019 book, “Penguinaut,” tells the story of Orville, a penguin who decides to build a spaceship and fly to the moon. “Orville’s rocket-launching adventure is an excellent prelude to the craft,” says Sarah Smith, senior librarian in Hotchkiss and Cedaredge.

After hearing the story, children design and decorate their own launching rocket to take home along with the book. “It is wonderful to see how excited children are to receive a book of their own to take home and share with their loved ones,” explains Smith.

Providing four-year-olds with a book to take home and read with an adult is a primary goal of the program. According to the One Book Colorado website, “research shows that 4-year-olds with access to books and adults who read to them will be more likely to be ready to read when they start kindergarten.”

The statewide book giveaway is Monday, April 8, through Monday, April 22. Library staff will distribute books and craft kits at area preschools countywide. Books are also available at all Delta County Libraries during weekly storytimes.

For more information about One Book Colorado or other library programs, visit



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