Monday, April 2, 2012

Schools : 2012 International Children's Book Day

Poster: Juan Gedovius

Today is a very special day! International Children's Book Day! And why is so special? It's special because I love books,  I love reading, I love reading in my lessons, I love children's books. 

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, April 2, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire the 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. ICBD 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.  

Mexico is the sponsor country 2012! The theme is "Once upon a time, there was a story that the whole world told", Juan Gedovius is the poster designer, Francisco Hinojosa wrote the message that can be read here (Spanish).

Había una vez un cuento que contaba el mundo entero

"Había una vez un cuento que contaba el mundo entero. Ese cuento en realidad no era uno solo, sino muchos más que empezaron a poblar el mundo con sus historias de niñas desobedientes y lobos seductores, de zapatillas de cristal y príncipes enamorados, de gatos ingeniosos y soldaditos de plomo, de gigantes bonachones y fábricas de chocolate."(...)

Francisco Hinojosa *

Hans Christian Andersen tales

2012 is also Hans Christian Andersen Award, considered the most prestigious in international children’s literature, given biennially by the "International Board on Books for Young People" to a living author and illustrator whose complete works are judged to have made lasting contributions to children's literature.

The Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury of the "International Board on Books for Young People" (IBBY) announced that María Teresa Andruetto from Argentina is the winner of the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and Peter Sís from the Czech Republic is the winner of the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award. Here a brief reference about two books:

La niña, el corazón y la casa
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Pluma de gato, 2011

“Un  libro que  corta el corazón!”

Marina Colasanti

Maria teresa Andrueto Comunicarte,2006

In awarding the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Medal for writing to María Teresa Andruetto, the Jury recognises "her mastery in writing important and original works that are strongly focussed on aesthetics.  She creates sensitive books, which are deep and poetic with a clear literary base. Her books relate to a great variety of topics, such as migration, inner worlds, injustice, love, poverty, violence or political affairs". You can read about Andruetto children's books here

It will be interesting to know a little more about her books watching the video below:

In awarding the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration to Peter Sís the Jury recognizes "his extraordinary originality and deep creative power to relate highly complex stories that can be interpreted on many different levels.  The jury particularly appreciates his use of different design and artistic techniques, as well as his innovative approach using a subtle balance to depict well-documented and historical events and fantastic elements".

Peter Sís, illustrator

The winners of the 2012 Awards were announced by IBBY at the Bologna Children's Book Fair on Monday, 19 March 2012.

The Andersen medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners at the ,International IBBY Congress in London, United Kingdom. on Saturday, August  25, 2012. 

"There is an art of reading, as well as an art of thinking, and an art of writing."

Isaac D'Israeli

I've written before on this blog about books and the importance of reading in school (several of my posts are about reading and about books (digital or paper). 

I am a huge fan of reading in school. As educators, we have an ubiquitous responsability to encourage the love of reading in our students by exploring this wonderful and and magical resource in our lessons (in and out of curricula).

International Children's Book Day is a fantastic motivation to tell and experiment with our students how reading can be a gift by stimulating the imagination and "offering creative solutions to obstacles that we will find along the way."

The love for books and reading are 'exquis' moments in Languages curricula (in the classroom or online on blended learning)!

"Y había una vez, también, un país lleno de mitos, cuentos y leyendas que viajaron por siglos, de boca en boca, para exhibir su idea de la creación, para narrar su historia, para ofrecer su riqueza cultural, para excitar la curiosidad  y llenar de sonrisas los labios."(...)

Francisco Hinojosa *

Of course, today is the fay of reading by pleasure! Let your students read what they like the most. There are two reasons for this:
  • One is benefiting those readers in your classroom that wish to read from you and need to let them be free. 
  • Secondly, it is so you can reap the exponential rewards their choices offers. 
By inviting your students to go at the school library and choose a book to read aloud in the classroom that will let them free to read a book they like.

As educators, can we make every day an International Children's Book Day? Yes! We can! And those special days and awards are always a fantastic reason to do it.

"Al leer, al contar o al escuchar cuentos estamos ejercitando la imaginación, como si fuera necesario darle entrenamiento para mantenerla en forma. Algún día, seguramente sin que lo sepamos, una de esas historias acudirá a nuestras vidas para ofrecernos soluciones creativas a los obstáculos que se nos presenten en el camino." (...)

Francisco Hinojosa *

Students become better readers when their teachers love books and love to read. I can assure you. It's a 'transmissible' pleasure! Even for those students that at the beginning are poor readers. Reading has a curative power.

Lots of students have growing up in my courses of Fiction and Poetry. We had reading great moments in formal learning and informal learning. 

Google images

Some conclusions:

It occurred to me that there is a simple pedagogical principle that explains the appeal of very early learning, homeschooling, and reading begans at home, with parents since childhood. But sometimes this is not possible. There are some poor readers among parents.

So educators are important references for students. We must valorize books and read in the classroom. We can do a better job if we are rich readers.

This act of pleasure of reading must start in kindergarten to be continued in primary, elementary and secondary education.

Reading out loud is a pleasant way that students love the most. One important point: schools need more time for reading aloud, choosing and sharing the pleasure of reading books and not just extracts. However, teachers can make reading exciting all through the years.

I quite agree about the stimulation and success of International Children's Book Day as well World Book DayThese special events always generate huge enthusiasm of reading in children and young people. 

If I have any suggestions as how could schools keep that excitement about reading going all through the school? Yes! I have! Loving to read! Loving libraries, loving book stores. Sharing this love with students.

Go to the public librairies and book stores with your students. Encourage them to buy their own books. Whether they spend their pocket money on a book means every child can add a title to his 'book store'. 

All research shows that owning books plays a key role in encouraging reading and we need to do all we can to make that happen. 

"No sé si basta la escuela, pero la escuela es lo que tenemos, lo único que tenemos todos los ciudadanos. (...) Sería mejor, claro, tener, además de la escuela, libros en todos los hogares, padres lectores estimulando a sus hijos en todas partes, hombres y mujeres y niños sin carencia económica alguna, pero sabemos que no es esa nuestra realidad, aunque debemos trabajar para que algún día lo sea. Eso en lo que a la lectura respecta."

Maria Teresa Andruetto 

Some Links for Educators:

* Francisco Hinojosa Message can be read in French, English and Deutsch here
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY
María Teresa Andruetto


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