Library 101: International Children’s Book Day

Posted on: Thursday, March 31st, 2016 by Janet Kirby

April 2nd is International Children’s Book Day. It is sponsored by IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People.  IBBY is a non-profit organization that was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953. Today, it is composed of 75 National Sections all over the world.  It represents countries with well-developed book publishing and literacy programs, and other countries with only a few dedicated professionals who are doing pioneer work in children's book publishing and promotion.

International Children’s Book Day has been celebrated annually since 1967 on or around April 2, the birthday of famous children’s author and poet, Hans Christian Andersen.  He is well known for his fairy tales, some of the best known of which are The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and The Ugly Duckling.

This event is sponsored each year by a different international member of IBBY.   The theme for 2016 is “Once Upon a Time” and this year’s sponsor is Brazil.  Reading a great children’s book is an invaluable way to learn the history of people, places and events.  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.”  

Another part of the mission of IBBY is to provide support for children in crisis whether from civil war or natural disaster. According to the IBBY website “the two main activities that will be supported by the Fund are the therapeutic use of books and storytelling in the form of bibliotherapy, and the creation or replacement of collections of selected books that are appropriate to the situation. We hope the programme will not only provide immediate support and help, but that it will also make a long term impact in the communities, thus supporting IBBY’s goal of giving every child the Right to Become a Reader.” 

Now to the part about “why do you care?”  Hopefully many of you can remember a favorite book that meant a great deal to you as a child and still think of it fondly.  Perhaps you also have comforting memories of a mom or dad who read it to you over and over, and over, again. A good book is akin to “comfort food”.  A good book can fill you up and bring great satisfaction and comforting memories of childhood.

So what is your favorite children’s book?  There is a good chance that Kelly Library has a copy of your favorite book.  Our Juvenile book collection (on the second floor of the library) has many Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King award winning (and honor) books that you will be familiar with.  Take a break from your hectic college life and drop by – curl up on a couch or a bean bag and re-read a favorite book from your childhood.  A good book is even better than a comforting bowl of mac and cheese.

In honor of the sponsoring country, Brazil, we are highlighting some books from our children’s collection.

Amazon: a Young Reader’s Look at the Last Frontier / by Peter Lourie.  JUV F 2546 .L89 1998.  Journey through the heart of the Amazon and visit the endangered rain forest and the people who call it home.

The Best Children's Books in the World: a Treasury of Illustrated Stories / edited by Byron Preiss.   JUV PZ 5 .B422 1996 

Brazil / David Marshall.  JUV F 2508.5 .M276 1996   An introduction to Brazil's history, geography, culture, and economy, focusing on the city of Recife as an example of life in this Latin American country.

Count Your Way Through Brazil / by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson   JUV F 2510 .H38 1996    Use the Portuguese words for the numbers from one to ten to introduce the land, history, and culture of Brazil.

The Golden Lion Tamarin Comes Home / George Ancona.  JUV QL 737.P92 A53 1994.  The golden tamarin was an endangered species in Brazil due to deforestation.  A wildlife refuge and breeding programs in zoos are helping the species make a come-back. 

Let's Visit Brazil.  / by John C. Caldwell.  JUV F 2508.5 .C3   A history in text and pictures from the discovery by the Portuguese trying to find a route to the Indies for spices.

My Village in Brazil / Sonia and Tim Gidal.  JUV F 2508.5 .G5  In the village of Itaim a young man of Indian, Negro, and Portuguese ancestry shares two days of his life.

A Visit to Brazil / Peter and Connie Roop.  JUV F 2517 .R66 1998  Many aspects of the largest country in South America are described, including the land, landmarks, homes, food, clothes, schools, sports, celebrations, and arts.

Add Pingback