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International Children's Book Day 2020

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Today marks International Children's Book Day, observed annually on or around Hans Christen Anderson's birthday, April 2.

Reading is the perfect way for children to learn about new and exciting cultures from around the world. With stories about the exotic islands that make up The Islands of Tahiti to adventure stories featuring Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Books allow children to begin dreaming about traveling around the world.

Hans Christian Anderson, Central Park, New York ©MDHarding

About International Children's Book Day

Sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People, an international non-profit organisation. It was founded in 1967.

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. This year, IBBY Slovenia is hosting ICBD and chose the theme, “A Hunger for Words.” Slovenian writer Peter Svetina wrote the message, translated to English by Jernej Županič, and Damijan Stepančič designed the poster.

Here are some of the world's inspiring children's books, with exciting adventures and exotic lands.

USA Havenfall (Sara Holland) - Colorado, USA

Released at the beginning of March, Havenfall is a new fantasy fiction novel by New York Times best-selling author Sara Holland. The book follows the story of young Maddie Marrow and her experiences at Havenfall, a fictional town and the gateway to other realms, which is nestled deep within Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountains provide an atmospheric backdrop as Maddie embarks on a journey to discover the shocking truths about the dangers lurking beneath Havenfall.

The Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss) – San Diego, California

Dr. Seuss, the famous author, and illustrator of children’s books, once lived in San Diego’s seaside community of La Jolla, where his fantastical world and beloved characters came to life. At his home and studio high atop Mount Soledad, Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated one of his most famous works, ‘The Cat in The Hat’, as well as more than 40 other well-known titles. During March and throughout the summer, the Geisel Library – named for Theodore and his wife Audrey Geisel – exhibits selections from a vast Dr. Seuss Collection of more than 10,000 items from his personal archive, including drawings, storyboards, rough drafts, notebooks, photographs, and other memorabilia.

A (mostly) Kids' Guide to Naples, Marco Island & The Everglades (Karen Bartlett) - Florida’s Paradise Coast

A (mostly) Kids' Guide to Naples, Marco Island & The Everglades is a three-time national award-winning family guidebook, it offers a super-fun view of the beaches, nature preserves, attractions, and experiences on land and sea. It is the perfect book for those looking for some awesome museums and attractions in sophisticated Naples to outrageously exciting adventures deep in the Everglades. Packed with tidbits of regional history and trivia for children, parents, grandparents, educators, and armchair travelers this is a must-have book on your shelf.

Canada Penguin Days (Sara Leach) - Whistler, Canada 

Whistler author, Sara Leach, recently released her eighth children’s book Penguin Days. Leach’s books follow Lauren, a young autistic girl. Each story focuses on the ups and downs of home and school life with Penguin Days following Lauren and her family traveling to North Dakota for a wedding in which Lauren is a flower girl. Leach aims to simply write a good story that people want to read, with this being her eighth book it appears she has succeeded at what she set out to do.

Japan Buddy in Japan (Nazneen Bustani) - Hiroshima, Japan 

Join Buddy, a dog who loves adventures, and best friend Peggy, a magic tent, on an exciting journey across Japan. Buddy meets a new friend Robotto, together they visit Mount Fuji, Tokyo, Kyoto, Takayama, Himeji, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Hokkaido during cherry blossom season. Discover some of Japan's great landmarks, culture, and people in this colourfully illustrated picture book.

The Islands of Tahiti Boy of the South Seas (Eunice Tietjens) - The Islands of Tahiti

Boy of the South Seas is a children's novel that tells the story of Teiki of the Marquesas Islands who, after accidentally stowing away on a visiting ship, suddenly wakes up one afternoon and finds himself way out at sea on a strange boat. He had not intended to leave home at all. He swims away from the boat and lands on a south sea island and makes a new life on the island of Moorea.

Our top bookshop pick Nakanoshima Children’s Book Forest, Osaka, Japan 

Due to open later this year, Nakanoshima Children’s Book Forest was designed specifically for children. The space is filled, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, with outward-facing books. The building was designed and built by famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who donated the shop to the city to be utilized by children of all ages.

Parents Who Are Homeschooling Pre-School/Lower Primary

The brilliant children's writer Deborah Kelly has a series of books including Ruby Wishfingers, Jam For Nana, Me and You, The Chalk Rainbow, The Bouncing Ball, The Things About Oliver (currently up for an award by The Children's Book Council Australia) and just released Dugong Magic. Did you know most children's books are accompanied by teachers' notes?

Filled with activities and ideas for discussion, they can help little ones get even more out of a story.

Here are the teaching notes for some of Deborah Kelly's titles for you to use at home during this difficult time.

Ruby Wishfingers:…/RubyWishfingers2TeachersNotes.p… Me and You Jam for Nana…/14560/Jam-for-Nana-TN.pdf Bouncing Ball:…/learningtime_45_bo… If you need a copy of any of these books they are available online.

Follow Deborah Kelly Author and keep up to date with her latest books, competitions, and more.

I hope you have enjoyed reading and your family goes on to enjoy some of these fabulous titles.


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