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What Is International Children's Book Day?

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International Children's Book Day 2009 I am the World poster promotes reading
2009 Poster artwork courtesy of EBBY - The Egyptian Section of IBBY

Question: What Is International Children's Book Day?

Answer: International Children's Book Day is an annual event, which is held on around April 2, the birth date of Hans Christian Andersen. It is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). According to the IBBY Web site, "International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books."

Each year, one of the 70 National Sections of the IBBY around the world serves as the international sponsor of ICBD. It selects the theme and oversees the development of promotional materials for ICBD. The materials are then used to promote reading and children's books. Often, schools and libraries hold events in conjunction with International Children's Book Day.

The 2014 sponsor of International Children's Book Day is the IBBY Ireland and the theme is "Imagine Nations through Story." The poster features an appealing monster with a crown made up of buildings on his head. He is smiling as he reads a book with the words "Imagine Nations through Story" on the cover. IBBY USA sponsored ICBD 2013, with the theme of "Bookjoy around the World."

IBBY Mexico was the 2012 sponsor of International Children's Book Day. The 2012 theme was "Habia una vez cuento que contaba el mundo entero / Once upon a time, there was a story that the whole world told."  The theme of ICBD 2011, which was sponsored by IBBY Estonia, was "The book remembers." The theme of the 2010 International Children's Book Day, which was sponsored by IBBY Spain, was "A book is waiting for you, find it!"

The 2009 international sponsor was EBBY, The Egyptian Section of IBBY, and the 2009 theme was "I am the World." See the 2009 poster above. The theme of the 2008 International Children's Book Day, which was sponsored by the Thailand IBBY National Section, was "Books Enlighten: Knowledge Delights."

There are wonderful children's books being published around the world. ICBD is a good time to make a point of sharing books originally published in other countries with your children.

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