International Children’s Book Day
by Lisa De Silva
Inspire a love of reading among your children by celebrating International Children’s Book Day.
International Children’s Book Day has been celebrated since 1967, either on or around the time of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday on 2nd April. It has been the brainchild of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organisation which is committed to giving children the opportunity to access books with high quality literary and artistic value, promoting international understanding.
Each year, IBBY sponsors International Children’s Book Day, giving a different country in the organisation the opportunity to choose the theme of the day and to invite one of their established authors to write a message to the children of the world, along with a well known illustrator to design a poster. Both of these are then used to promote books and reading to young people through activities in schools and public libraries.
The sponsor for 2017 is Russia, with a charming poster designed by Mikhail Feodorov and a message written by Sergey Makhotin. Makhotin explains how as a child he was seduced by the smell of a new book, which he describes as ‘exciting and unique.’ He also talks about the ability of books to take one to ‘other lands and worlds’ and to provide role models in an increasingly complicated and hard to navigate world.
What’s more, reading is fun! So, get involved with a trip to your local library or bookshop.