Do you need a great event to encourage parents and children to get involved with reading? April 2 is International Children’s Book Day—a worldwide celebration to promote literacy and inspire reading to and with young children. Every year, teachers celebrate this day to remind parents and children of the importance of reading.
History of International Children’s Book Day
International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) was first organized by Jella Lepman, founder of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) in 1966. Every year, a different international section of IBBY hosts this day on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday (April 2) to encourage parents, teachers, and children around the world to participate in reading events in their local communities. Events are often organized in libraries, schools, and community centers, and parents and children are invited to participate.
In preparation for April 2, the hosting country that is chosen for the year picks a theme and invites a well-known author to write a message to children around the world. Then a prominent illustrator creates a poster to go with the story. The materials are used to promote books and reading for ICBD.
This year, IBBY Lithuania is hosting ICBD and chose the theme, “Books Help Us to Slow Down.” Lithuanian writer and illustrator Kęstutis Kasparavičius wrote the messaging and designed the poster, while Daina Valentinavičienė translated the message from Lithuanian to English.
Celebrate International Children’s Book Day in the Classroom
Celebrating ICBD is a great way to encourage reading participation in the classroom.
- Print out the poster for the ICBD event
- Download the ICBD message for this year’s event and share it with your class
- Encourage parents to get involved with ICBD by helping their child choose a favorite story
- Invite your students to read their favorite children’s story on April 2
- Invite parents to participate in a classroom reading activity
For more information on International Children’s Book Day on April 2, visit http://www.ibby.org/