Home Culture & Festivals Small is Big in a Book : International Children’s Book Day

Small is Big in a Book : International Children’s Book Day


Small is Big in a Book : International Children's Book Day

International Children’s Book Day falls on 2nd April on the Birthday of Hans Christian Andersen.

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, 2 April, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.

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. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children’s books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards.

IBBY Lithuania is the sponsor for International Children’s Book Day 2019.

2019 Theme : Books Help Us Slow Down 

International Children’s Book Day 2018.



Latvian Section of IBBY is very proud and happy that exactly in 2018 it has become the ICBD sponsor of the International Children’s Book Day because thisis the year of celebrating the 100th anniversary ofestablishing Latvia as a state. Choosing the theme ‘THE SMALL IS BIG IN A BOOK’  we want to stress that the word “small” is a relative concept. With courage,belief in our ideals, foresight, perseverance and thepower of talent we make our literature and the art ofbooks significant and meaningful. 25 years have elapsed since Latvia joined theInternational Board on Books for Young People.Every year we celebrate 2nd April in different eventsin libraries and schools; we celebrate Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, we remember the thoughtexpressed by Jella Lepman, the founder of IBBY thatgood children’s literature builds bridges betweennations. We are always grateful for the IBBY posterand translate it into Latvian which belongs to the Balticlanguage group and is the mother tongue for 1.7million people.

The message THE SMALL IS BIG IN A BOOK by the prominent Latvian writer Inese Zandere is greetings to the world on the International Children’s Book Day.
The poster is created by a well-known Latvian illustrator and animation film artist Reinis Petersons
International Board on Books for Young People


People are inclined toward rhythm and regularity, just as magnetic energyorganizes metal shavings in a physics experiment, just as a snowflake creates crystalsout of water. In a fairy tale or poem, children enjoy repetition, refrains, and universalmotifs because they can be recognized anew each time – they bring regularity to atext. The world gains a beautiful order. I still remember how as a child I struggled with myself over justice and symmetry, over equal rights for the left and the right:if I tapped a beat on the table, I counted how many times each finger got to play, sothat the other ones wouldn’t be offended. I tended to applaud by patting my righthand with the left, but then I thought that it was unfair and learned to do it the otherway – left on right. This instinctive aspiration for balance is funny, of course, but itshows the need to prevent the world from becoming lopsided. I had the feeling thatI was the one who was responsible for the balance of it all. Children’s inclination toward poems and stories likewise stems from their needto bring regularity to the chaos of the world. From indeterminacy, everything tendstoward order. Nursery rhymes, folk songs, games, fairy tales, poetry – all theserhythmically organized forms of existence help small people structure their presencein the greater chaos. They create an instinctual awareness that order is possible inthe world and everyone has his or her unique place in it. Everything works toward this goal: the rhythmic organization of the text, the rows of letters and the designof the page, the impression of the book as a well-structured whole. The greatis revealed in the small and we model this in children’s books even if we are notthinking about God or fractals. A children’s book is a miraculous force that promotesthe small person’s great desire and ability to be. It promotes his or her courage tolive.In a book, the small is always big, instantly, not just upon reaching adulthood.A book is a mystery in which something unsought can be found, or somethingbeyond one’s reach. That which readers of a certain age cannot grasp with theirminds remains in their awareness as an imprint and continues to act even if notthoroughly understood. A picture book can function as a treasure chest of wisdomand culture even for adults, just as children can read a book intended for adults andfind their own story, a hint about their budding lives. Cultural context shapes people,laying down the bed for impressions that will arrive in the future, as well as for thetrying experiences they will have to survive while keeping themselves whole.A children’s book signifies respect for the greatness of the small. It signifies aworld that is created anew each time, a playful and beautiful seriousness, withoutwhich everything, including children’s literature, is just empty busywork.


IBBY Lithuania is the sponsor for International Children’s Book Day 2019.

2019 Theme : Books Help Us Slow Down 

2017 Russia Theme  Let Us Grow With the Book Poster Design Mikhail Fedorov Message Sergey Makhotin
2016 Brazil Theme  Once Upon a Time Poster Design Ziraldo Message Luciana Sandroni
2015 UAE Theme  Many Cultures One Story Poster Design Nasim Abaeian Message Marwa Obaid Rashid Al Aqroubi
2014 Ireland Theme  Imagine Nations through Story Poster Design Niamh Sharkey Message Siobhán Parkinson
2013 USA Theme  Bookjoy around the World Poster Design Ashley Bryan Message Pat Mora
2012 Mexico Theme  Once upon a time, there was a story that the whole world told Poster Design Juan Gedovius Message Francisco Hinojosa
2011 Estonia Theme The Book Remembers Poster design Jüri Mildeberg (aka Jüri Mildebergius) Message Aino Pervik
2010 Spain Theme A book is waiting for you, find it! Poster design Noemí Villamuza Message Eliacer Cansino
2009 Egypt Theme I am the World Poster design Hani D. El-Masri Message EBBY
2008 Thailand Theme Books Enlighten: Knowledge Delights Message and poster Chakrabhand Posayakrit
2007 New Zealand Theme Stories Ring the World Message Margaret Mahy Poster Zac Waipara
2006 Slovakia Theme The Destiny of Books is Written in the Stars Message Ján Uliciansky Poster Peter Cisárik
2005 India Theme Books Are My Magic Eyes Message Manorama Jafa Poster Jagdish Joshi
2004 Greece Theme The Light of the Books Message Angeliki Varella Poster Nicholas Andrikopoulos
2003 Brazil Theme The World in an Enchanted Network Message Ana Maria Machado Poster Rafael Fabrice Yockteng Benalcázar
2002 Austria Theme Climbing Up Book By Book Message Renate Welsh Poster Maria Blazejovsky
2001 Hungary Theme Books Have It All Message Éva Janikovszky Poster Krisztina Rényi
2000 Finland Theme The Secret Is in the Book, the Book Is the Secret Message Hannele Huovi Poster Mika Launis
1999 Spain Theme My Book, My Love Message Miguel Angel Fernández-Pacheco Poster Javier Serrano
1998 Belgium Theme Open the Book and the Magic Starts Message Bart Moeyaert Poster Gabrielle Vincent
1997 Slovenia Theme Childhood Is Poetry of Life. Poetry Is Childhood of the World Message Boris A. Novak Poster Matjaz Schmidt
1996 Denmark Theme Books Are a Passport to the Inner World Messag Bjarne Reuter Poster Lilian Brøgger
1995 Japan Theme Books – a Shared Experience Message Shigeo Watanabe Poster Kaoru Ono

International Chidren’s Book Day 2018 – In Kidsfreesouls News 

International Children’s Book Day 2019 – In Kidsfreesouls News 


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