International Children’s Book Day

International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is a yearly event sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), an international non-profit organisation. Founded in 1967, the day is observed on or around Hans Christian Andersen‘s birthday, 2nd April. Activities include writing competitions, announcements of book awards and events with authors of children’s literature.

Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organise activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children’s books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards.

IBBY Lithuania is the sponsor for International Children’s Book Day 2019. This year’s theme is “Books Help Us Slow Down”.

Ten Ways to celebrate International Children’s Book Day! 

1) Read stories by Hans Christian Anderson

2) Introduce your children to folk tales from around the world

3) Invite family friends from different cultures to share their childhood favourites and folk tales

4) Suggest that your book club read an overseas children’s book

5) Encourage your child to write a story about a child from another culture

6) Start a pen pal club with children from abroad

7) Encourage your child to find a folk tale or story from elsewhere

8 ) Explore flags, food, clothing, housing and stories from other cultures

9) Spend time sharing YOUR favourite children’s book with your child and light a candle for world peace.

10.) Just the fact that you’re reading this is a celebration!

If you’re interested in celebrating International Children’s Book Day with other book lovers, check out your local branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY): many branches are celebrating with dinners, activities and more.

What’s your favourite children’s book? How are you celebrating International Children’s Book Day? I’d love to hear about it on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram.