The International Children’s Book Day is a yearly event which is held on April 2 and coincides with the birth date of Hans Christian Anderson. The event is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). According to IBBY’s website, the International Children’s Book Day is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to draw attention to children’s books. The activities done during the International Children’s Book Day include writing competitions, announcements of book awards, and events with authors of children’s literature.
Some libraries celebrate this day by having story-telling sessions as well as other events for young children. Some schools often plan ahead for this day and have individual classroom activities which lead up to International Children’s Book Day, such as a reading of a story by Hans Christian Andersen; facilitating discussions about why the day is celebrated on his birthday, and poster designing contests which advertises the event. Other activities include book-swapping, creating bookmarks made of leftover art materials, and, if possible, including a local author or illustrator to speak in their program, or to tell a story.
The IBBY is (International Board on Books for Young People) is an organization based in Switzerland, whose mission is to bring books and children together. It started in 1952 when Jella Lepman organized a meeting in Munich, Germany, entitled “International Understanding through Children’s Books.” Plenty of authors, publishers, teachers and philosophers attended the meeting, and a year later the organization was registered as a non-profit organization in Zurich Switzerland. The organization created an international award in 1956 and since then, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, (also known as the “Nobel Prize for Children’s literature”) has continued to be awarded every two years. As a non-governmental organization, that has an official status in UNESCO and UNICEF, IBBY plays a policy-making role as an advocate of children’s books. It is committed to the principles of International convention on the Rights of the Child. One of its main proclamations is the child’s right to a general education and a direct access to information. It’s due to IBBY’s insistence that the resolution includes an appeal to all nations to promote the production and distribution of children’s books.