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.
Everywhere I go, the kids call me ’the book lady.’ The older I get, the more appreciative I seem to be of the ’book lady’ title. It makes me feel more like a legitimate person, not just a singer or an entertainer. But it makes me feel like I’ve done something good with my life and with my success.
When you’re 11 or 12 years old, you can get so swept up in a book that you start to believe that the fantasy is reality. I think when you have a giant crush when you’re in fifth grade, it becomes your whole world. It’s like being underwater; everything is different.