2023 ICBD celebrations around the world

The International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books. This year, the ICBD was sponsored by IBBY Greece and its theme was ‘I am a book, read me’. The beautiful message and poster are the result of a collaboration between author Vagelis Iliopoulos and illustrator Photini Stephanidi. Together, they wanted to celebrate the power of children’s books in promoting values of equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as connecting people through tolerance and understanding.

We have compiled some of the inspiring activities organized by IBBY Sections all around the world to celebrate the 2023 International Children’s Book Day — enjoy!





IBBY Greece, sponsor of ICBD 2023

One of the highlights were, of course, the lovely video messages that IBBY Greece prepared with Vagelis Iliopoulos and Photini Stephanidi. 

IBBY Greece organized several other activities to celebrate ICBD. One of the most recent ones took place during the Thessaloniki Book Fair, where children created their own unique books inspired by the ICBD message 'I am a book, read me'. Visit IBBY Greece's Facebook page for more impressions. 


IBBY Australia sent all current members a link to a video featuring Award winner author Katrina Nannestad celebrating International Children's Book Day.


From 2 to 4 June, many activities took place in the Boeung Trobek High School in Phnom Penh to celebrate ICBD — including storytellings, short story performances, handcrafts, quizzes, and so much more. More on IBBY Cambodia's Facebook page.


From China, a lovely theme song for ICBD 2023 based on the message reached us.


In cooperation with the Croatian Center for Children's Books (IBBY Croatia), the Department for Children and Youth of the City Library of Zagreb and the Commission for Library Services for Children and Youth of the Croatian Library Association, a short film was made to mark the 10th birthday of the campaign Read to Me! and the International Children's Book Day 2023. The ambassador for 2023 is Sanja Pilić, the Croatian candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2024. In the film, Sanja Pilić reads her picture book and speaks about her work, the beginnings of writing and the importance of reading.


On 2 April 2023, during IBBY Cyprus' celebration of International Children’s Book Day, the newly established CYBBY Michalakis Maratheftis Children’s Literature Legacy Award was presented to its first ever recipient: Kika Poulcheriou, one of the most acclaimed Cypriot authors. Poulcheriou’s work includes poems, novels, short stories, fairy tales, and theatre plays, and has been highly influential in the development of Greek-Cypriot children’s literature.


IBBY Mexico did an audiovisual translation of the message for ICBD 23, which you can find on their Facebook page



IBBY Pakistan/Alif Laila Book Bus Society organised a mural competition. They invited schools and communities to paint a wall of their school/community building with lovely murals celebrating the joy of reading. More on IBBY Pakistan's Facebook.


The IBBY libraries in Gaza celebrated ICBD by organizing reading promotion activities, which included getting to know Hans Christian Andersen and his life, discussing his books, as well as drawing some scenes from them. More photos on IBBY Palestine's Facebook.


An exhibition with past ICBD posters throughout the years since its inception was organized in the Blanca Varela bookshop, in the city of Lima, with the support of IBBY International and Fondo de Cultura Económica. Its main goal was for the exhibition to be a meeting space for families to reflect on books, reading and illustration.

In the scope of the exhibition, a reading promotion activity with Peruvian children's author Mauricio de la Cuba took place, in which two children's book clubs participated: Biblioteca Fitekantropus and Biblioteca de Cristy.


IBBY Slovenia celebrated International Children's Book Day with young readers, reading mentors, artists, and other book enthusiasts. A reading promotion campaign inspired by the 2023 ICBD message 'I am a book, read me', and focused on books for and about young people with disabilities, was organised in partnership with the Ljubljana City Library and the Pionirska Centre for Youth Literature and Librarianship. Throughout the years, seven Slovene books were selected in the IBBY Collection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities. The traditional ICBD celebration was prepared in cooperation with the Slovene Writers' Association, the Otrok in knjiga (Child and Book Journal), and the Slovenian Reading Badge Society, and included a fundraiser to support Ukrainian refugees in Poland through the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund. The celebration of the 2023 ICBD was co-funded by the Slovenian Book Agency.




The 2023 ICBD message (original in Greek) has been translated into the following languages: ArabicChineseFrenchGermanItalianJapanese, Slovenian.

Search for #ICBD23 on your social media channels for more wonderful activities!

#ICBD23 on Facebook#ICBD23 on Instagram ・#ICBD23 on Twitter




IBBY Japan will sponsor ICBD 2024!

You can already start looking forward to next year's International Children's Book Day, which will be sponsored by IBBY Japan. We wish them good luck with all the preparations and thank them for their amazing work!