International Children’s Book Day is celebrated on April 2 annually. For centuries the importance of reading has been taught in schools. Still, International Children’s Book Day brings awareness to reading and how essential it is in molding the young minds of the future. Books provide kids with a sense of escapism from their mundane realities or their difficult circumstances and allow them to discover stories on their own terms in a language they understand. Next time you don’t know what to get your little niece or nephew, buy them a book that meant something to you when you were growing up, and share the adventure.
History of International Children’s Book Day
One of the greatest joys in life is gifting a child a book and watching them discover the magical world of reading. This is something that has been celebrated through International Children’s Book Day since April 2, 1967, which is also known as the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish author famous for his fairy tales that include “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Thumbelina.”
Fairy tales are inspired by European folklore and include characters like dwarfs, elves, fairies, giants, gnomes, goblins, mermaids, and talking animals. In most cultures, there is no clear distinction between myth and folklore or fairy tale; all of these together comprise children’s books. Though fairy tales are the most predominant form of narrative escapism given to kids, some books teach them a bit more about life through clever stories and tools.
Teachers play the most crucial role in providing children with the ability to read, comprehend, and utilize what they learn through books and reading. Parents, too, play a role, especially in early development, but schools are where kids will do the most learning. That is why schools spend a lot of money and time finding the perfect prescribed texts for their learners to ensure that they will be actively reading and learning something.
International Children’s Book Day is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People, which is a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom. Writing competitions, book award announcements, and events with children’s literature authors are among the activities that take place annually. Every year, a different National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People is chosen to be the international sponsor of International Children’s Book Day. It selects a theme and commissions a well-known author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a renowned illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used to promote books and reading in various ways.
International Children’s Book Day timeline
Danish author Hans Christian Andersen is born in Odense, Denmark, on April 2.
Andersen meets famed English writer and social critic Charles Dickens.
International Children's Book Day is established by the International Board on Books for Young People on Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday.
The House of Fairy Tales exhibition opens at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark.
International Children’s Book Day FAQs
At what age should a child be able to read?
Most children learn to read by the age of six or seven. Some children begin learning as early as the age of four or five. Even if a child has a head start, they may not be able to maintain their advantage once school begins.
Why is reading an important skill?
When you read, you exercise both your comprehension and analytical skills. It activates your imagination and stimulates your memory centers. It aids in the recall of information and the regulation of emotions. A reading habit is beneficial because it strengthens mental muscles.
What is effective reading?
Reading effectively entails reading in a manner that allows you to comprehend, evaluate, and reflect on a written text. As you might expect, these skills are essential for college students, regardless of field: you’ll be doing a lot of reading.
International Children’s Book Day Activities
Give a child a book
You can either buy a brand new book or select a book from your collection or archive to give to a child in your family, your neighborhood, or even the child of someone you work with. A book is a wonderful gift idea, and it provides hours of enjoyment for little ones. Make sure you know the kid’s age so that you can give something appropriate and enriching.
Reread an old favorite
When growing up, we discover our favorite things as we find out our taste in music, television, clothing, and books. Everyone has that one book that meant the world to them, particularly from an early age, that served as an important influence in their understanding of the world. So, dust off your favorite children’s book and reread it. Reliving the magic will undoubtedly make you feel nostalgic and joyful.
Visit a library
These days people do not go to the library as often as they used to. And what is to blame? Mobile phones, television, and e-books. At one point in the not so long ago past, there was a time when everyone had a library card, especially kids and young adults. Isn’t it time you revisit the magical world of a library? Most libraries allow you to renew your expired library cards and are usually free of charge. Do it; go take out a book and enjoy the sensation of paging through a book as you take in the words.
5 Essential Children’s Books
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”
This book, written by Eric Carle, illustrates the evolution of a caterpillar eating its way through an array of food to pupate into a beautiful butterfly.
“The Cat in the Hat”
Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, wrote and illustrated this much-loved classic, which became one of the best-selling children's books of all time.
This story about a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte was written by E. B. White and is still a prescribed book in schools to this day.
“Where the Wild Things Are”
Both kids and adults love this story, written by Maurice Sendak, about Max, who sails away to an unknown island where he encounters ‘wild things’ or creatures.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
Famous British author, Roald Dahl, penned this take about a little boy who came from nothing and becomes the heir to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Why We Love International Children’s Book Day
Reading shapes the minds of the future
While reading can entertain and provide escapism from reality, one of the essential parts of reading, especially for children, is that it teaches them skills like spelling and grammar, narrative tools, and lessons in the shape of character choices and outcomes. It has been proven that when kids start reading at a young age, they experience little to no learning difficulties and can easily focus on their school work and other reading tasks.
Books cancel out screen time
We all know that mobile phones, tablets, and television screens are the most common things currently occupying our kids' time and minds. It can be challenging to break them free of those habits, but when you get them to instead read a book or page through a picture book, they can become less anxious, more focused, and even learn something. Next time you want to make sure your kid is entertained at a family event or in a group setting instead of pulling out a tablet.
It inspires creativity
Research has shown that most people who are working in creative fields and industries that require creative thinking and comprehension started reading at a young age or are avid readers. When you can read words and imagine worlds and characters and settings, that gives you the ability to create your own stories. Imagination is a gift cultivated through reading and something that should be celebrated. It starts at home or school when a child opens a book.
International Children’s Book Day dates