International Children's Book Day
Today, April 2nd, is International Children's Book Day! April 2nd is Hans Christian Andersens' birthday, and every year since 1967, this day has been marked as the day to celebrate and call attention to children's books and to continue to inspire a love of reading in the world. Each year, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)designates a different country to sponsor the day and create excitement through a specific theme. This year, Ireland is the sponsor and the theme is Imagine Nations Through A Story. There is huge scope for learning and understanding within this theme.
Ireland's first children's laureate, Siobhan Parkinson has written a wonderful letter to the children of the world. In it she says:
"...the reader is just as important to the story as the writer. There is only one writer for each story, but there are hundreds or thousands, or maybe even millions of readers, in the writers own language, or perhaps even translated into many languages.Without the writer the story would never be born; but without all the thousands of readers around the world, the story would never get to live all the lives it can live...."
So true; so very true. And that is just a small part of the magic of reading For children, even more for all of the grown-ups in the world, the difference reading can make in their own lives and the life of the world, is immeasurable.
My challenge to you for International Children's Book Day (and for the rest of the month) is to read a book with your child(ren) that you might not have considered before; one that speaks to the lives and imaginations of somewhere other than where you live. Translations are freely available everywhere now, so you, too, can experience a different place and time than your own. Trust me...you'll be so glad you did!