About the event
The 2nd of April is Hans Christian Andersen's birthday and, since 1967, International Children's Book Day has been celebrated on or around this day to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books. Each year the Day is sponsored by a different country member of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). It decides on a theme and invites an author from that country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster.
How to approach it
The International Board on Books for Young People was founded to promote international understanding through the use of children’s books for all. This is a great day to spread the joy of reading with you students at the same time as introducing them to books with a global theme.
Start a discussion on what student’s favourite books, genres, themes and authors are. Next, find some examples of authors from countries, cultures and communities your student’s haven’t been exposed to as much. Ask them to find comparisons between what they already like and what they haven’t explored yet. For example, if one student enjoys fantasy, you could introduce them to other culture’s folktales from Hindu, Norse, Persian or Native American cultures.
You could explain to students how important being able to empathise with the world’s different people is. Show them that stories allow us to see through different eyes. Encourage them to explore as many different perspectives as possible.
What’s your absolute favourite story? Why do you like it so much? There are children just like you all over the world. They love stories too and they read books in thousands of different languages. What different culture would you like to read a story from? Do you think there’ll be a difference to the stories you’ve read already? What do you think would be similar?