Celebrated on April 2nd on an annual basis, International Children’s Book Day is a day that celebrates children literature in all of its forms and acknowledges the writers which create it. It is an event that is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People, a nonprofit agency that was created in 1952. In 1967, the agency officially created this holiday on the anniversary of the birth of Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson’s birthday.
In 1952, a meeting called the International Understanding through Children’s Books was organized by Jella Lepman in Munich, Germany. It was organized to promote understanding through children’s books and many of the world’s top authors, teachers and publishers attended the event. As a result of this meeting, it was determined that a body should be founded to further six fundamental areas that was determined important.
These six areas were:
- to promote international understanding through children’s books.
- to provide training and support to those who create children’s books
- to give children access to high quality literature
- to encourage the publication of children’s books.
- to uphold the rights of children as laid out by the UN
- to stimulate research in the field of children’s literature
As a result, the International Board on Books for Young People was created and by 1953 was officially registered as a nonprofit organization. In 1967, this body created International Children’s Book Day to promote the six key areas deemed important by them. Every year a theme and a sponsoring country is chosen to host the holiday.
Customs, Traditions and Celebrations
Every year on International Children’s Book Day , an author from the host country is invited to write a message to all of the children of the world. There is also a poster designed every year for the promotion of this holiday. Other activities performed on this day include book fairs and special exhibitions.