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Make a Book for Read Across America Day

By Ellen Luckett Baker


March 2nd is Read Across America Day, celebrated on the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Nurture your children’s love of reading by helping them create their own storybook. Made from a cereal box, paper and yarn, these books are simple to make and offer many possibilities. An adult will need to do most of the cutting in the first steps, but then kids can sew the book together and make it their own with drawings and words.

-Cereal box
-Scissors or paper cutter
-Rounded corner punch (optional)
-Hammer and nail or awl
-Paper clips
-Tapestry needle


1. Cut the front and back rectangles from your cereal box. You can make two books from each box. Cut these in any size or shape you choose. You can round the corners with a paper punch if you’d like.
2. Cut the paper slightly smaller than the dimensions of your box. About five sheets of paper works well. Stagger the papers before you cut them so that the book will close nicely. Again, you can round the corners if you’d like.
3. Mark the center of your box cover on the inside and score down this line with a blunt tool. I used my closed scissors for this.
4. Arrange the paper in the center of the back side of your box cover and use paper clips to hold it in place.
5. Flip over the stack and make four marks for your holes on the front cover. With a hammer and nail or an awl, make your holes. Be sure to work on a surface that won’t be damaged.
6. With the paper clips still holding the paper in place, thread the yarn onto the tapestry needle. Your child can now sew through the holes. This can be done however you’d like, but we used a backstitch like this: starting from the inside and holding the tail, come up through the second hole, down through the first hole, back up through the second hole, down through the third, up through the fourth and back down through the third again. Tie the two ends together in the center.

My plan was to read some Dr. Seuss books then make the cereal box book into a rhyming book so that my five-year-old can practice her rhyming skills, but creativity took over and she immediately started drawing in her new book.


Visit the NEA website for more information about Read Across America Day and links to resources, including the Dr. Seuss website.

About the Author

Ellen Luckett Baker

Ellen Luckett Baker is the author of the long thread, a blog about handmade goods. She has always enjoyed making things, but the flexibility of staying a...

Ellen Luckett Baker is the author of the long thread, a blog about handmade goods. She has always enjoyed making things, but the flexibility of staying at home with her two daughters along with the creative inspiration they provide has led her to craft on a daily basis. Combining her love of graphic design and sewing, she has created an Etsy shop selling machine embroidery designs and sewing patterns.

Ellen lives in Atlanta with her husband and two young daughters. She holds a B.A. in Art History and a Master’s of Public Administration with a focus in Non-Profit Management.

Ellen recently wrote 1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects her crafting book. She is crazy talented!

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What a great idea! Thanks


what a great idea

Sherry Artemenko

Great idea! I love reinforcing reading with little ones. When you are reading Dr. Seuss books, consider reading Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith. Basee on 14 rough drawings and verses by Dr. Seuss before his death, this book is a hilarious finish to what he started. The story behind the story is great for kids.
I am a speech-language pathologist and blog about how to use great toys and books to build kids’ language.


What a great idea for the weekend. All kids love making books. If you stick plain paper to the cereal packaging before construction the leaves could also be used. Well I think I will do this with mine. Thanks for sharing.


I absolutely LOVE this idea. We have so much boxboard, and I hate tossing it all in the recycling each month. My 5-year-old son will enjoy this. Thanks for sharing!