International Children's Book Day

Today is 2 April – International Children's Book Day  –
the day we celebrate children's books.

Dear Friends

We are still waiting for good news, perhaps Korea or China can give us a
glimmer of hope that this virus will stop spreading, but we know that
for now, most of us are deep in crisis.

IBBY members around the world are working online trying to reach
children in many different situations. We shall share news on the IBBY
website and on social media.

Today is 2 April – INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY – the day
when we celebrate children's books. It began in 1967 to inspire a love
of reading and to call attention to literature for young people. The
birthday of Hans Christian Andersen was chosen as the day to celebrate
– nearly every child in the world knows his tales in some form or

Each year, a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to
be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and
invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to
the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a
poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and

The 2020 sponsor is IBBY SLOVENIA.  The section invited members of IBBY
to translate the message written by Peter Svetina and send a video of
the message being read in their national languages. Damijan Stepančič
illustrated the poster.  Take a look at the IBBY Slovenia website or
their Facebook page to see the results of this exciting project:

Other good news was announced on Tuesday from Sweden: Korean author and
illustrator Baek Hee-na was pronounced the laureate of the 2020 ALMA.
Boel Westin, chair of the jury said: "With exquisite feeling for
materials, looks and gestures, Baek Hee-na's filmic picture books stage
stories about solitude and solidarity. In her evocative miniature
worlds, cloud bread and sorbet moons, animals, bath fairies and people
converge. Her work is a doorway to the marvellous: sensuous, dizzying
and sharp." Congratulations to this talented creator of picture books!

Over the next month IBBY will be promoting its 2020 Awards: the
IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award; the IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading
Promoter Award; and, the Hans Christian Andersen Awards. We kindly ask
you to share the news with your members and through you national press
outlets – tell the world about IBBY and its work, especially about
your candidates – 48 sections have nominated at least one candidate
for one of these three awards! 

Last month Mingzhou Zhang initiated his translation and reading
programme called Picture Books About COVID-19 for Children Around the
World. The online platform is now open at:
Eleven books have been selected and are available in over ten
languages. The books are related to the current pandemic and the spread
of COVID-19.

We hope that you and your loved ones keep safe throughout these
difficult times. During this global crisis we remember the message of
IBBY that grew from the rubble of WWII – children need stories to
dream of a better future, we all need stories for that. And what better
way than to bring children and books together?

With warmest wishes to you all,

Mingzhou Zhang
IBBY President

Liz Page
IBBY Executive Director