When the author Anne Fine was the Children's Laureate in the UK, she started a project that encouraged children to build home libraries, and enlisted well-known children's book illustrators to design bookplates, which were then offered for free online. You can still download these artistic gems from the web site My Home Library. You'll find black and white plates by Quentin Blake, Shirley Hughes, Nick Sharratt, and Debi Gliori, to name a few, and color plates by Jez Alborough (pictured, right), Aliki, Helen Oxenbury, Tony Ross, and many others. My Home Library features printable bookmarks, too. All are for non-commercial use, of course.
At My Home Library, Anne Fine suggests to children,
If you have to get a present for your brother, sister or best friend, and you're not feeling rich, then think about using one of our bookplates to personalise the perfect choice of book from a charity shop or second-hand book shop. They're brilliant for blotting out the last person's name. (In fact, they're so good that more and more bookshops are giving them out free - or is it in the hope customers will buy more books just to have something to stick them in?)
Everyone needs a Home Library. Make sure that yours keeps growing. Don't forget that books furnish the mind, and unfurnished minds are EMPTY and TIRESOME.
I love the My Home Library site and the bookplates and the whole very green idea of buying gifts at the thrift store. A number of our Goodwill finds sport My Home Library bookplates. So, that's my tip of the day!
"This Book Belongs To..." is part of the November Carnival of Children's Literature: Tips Edition, hosted by the effervescent MotherReader. (If you're wondering what a blog carnival is, don't fret. I wrote an explanation a while back.)