International Children's Book Day

Next Wednesday, 2 April 2025

International Children's Book Day is celebrated every year on April 2nd, the birthday of the famous fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen. The International Board sponsors this worldwide observance on Books for Young People (IBBY), to commemorate the books that shape us all from a young age and the positive influence of literature on children and their development.

Children's books stimulate the imagination, teach values, and introduce children to new things. International Children's Book Day also aims to encourage children to read more (or parents to read more to their children) to inspire their love for books. 

Child and parent reading a story together

History of International Children's Book Day

The International Board on Books for Young People founded International Children's Book Day in 1967, to promote children's literature and encourage young people to read more. April 2nd was picked as the date to celebrate this day on, as it is the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, one of the most prolific story writers of all time. 

Hans Christian Andersen

A black and white image of Hans Christian Anderson

Born in Odense in 1805, this author of many classic fairy tales wrote over 150 stories that many people know and love, such as:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Emperor's New Clothes
  • The Princess and the Pea

This day is an annual event, and every year a different national section of IBBY is chosen to be the international sponsor of International Children's Book Day. That section can pick a theme, and invite a famous author from their country to write a message to be seen by children worldwide. 

Why is International Children's Book Day celebrated?

Books are crucial when it comes to a child's development and education. It is not only a great brain exercise because it engages them and builds up their vocabulary, but it also stimulates their imagination and curiosity and teaches them empathy. This means that it opens new horizons for children, makes them want to explore the world around them, and teaches them how to think outside the box. These are all essential skills that make them grow up to be intelligent, kind adults. 

the hunter, the wolf, grandma and little red riding hood in an old cartoon.
Little Red Riding Hood - one of the most well-known story of all time.

The Top Children's Tales

Children's books are important because they stay with us. Most of us had a favorite book as a child that we still remember today, and it brings us good memories. It is almost certain that your favorite book as a child has had some important impact on your life. Here are five of the most loved and well-known children's stories from around the world:

  1. Cinderella: This is a classic tale of a young girl who overcomes the adversity of her evil stepmother and step-sisters, and with the help of her fairy godmother attends a royal ball and wins the heart of her prince. It is a story known in many cultures, with various versions of it in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

  2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: The Harry Potter series tells the story of a young wizard and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the stories have captivated children and adults around the world since the first book was published in 1997.

  3. Little Red Riding Hood: The story of a girl who ventures into the woods to visit her grandmother, only to encounter a dangerous wolf along the way. It is believed to have originated in Europe, and the most well-known version of the story was written by the French author Charles Perrault in the late 17th century.

  4. The Three Little Pigs: This story of the three pigs who build houses of straw, sticks, and bricks to protect themselves from a hungry wolf.

  5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: This classic picture book, which tells the story of a caterpillar who eats his way through a variety of foods before transforming into a butterfly, has been popular with children since its publication in 1969.

How to Celebrate International Children's Book Day

This day is not only celebrated by IBBY National Sections, many libraries and schools around the world participate in the commemorations too. These celebrations can include readings by authors, exhibitions by illustrators, writing competitions, or award ceremonies. 

You can celebrate this day by attending an event, and taking your child with you if you have one! You can get into the spirit of the day by encouraging the children in your life to read more. And you can always reread your favorite childhood books as an adult, you might find some messages you missed when you were younger. 

Read these articles next:

International Children's Book Day
International Children's Book Day

International Children's Book Day - Next years

Thursday, 02 April 2026

Friday, 02 April 2027

Sunday, 02 April 2028

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