Tuesday, April 2, 2013

International Children's Book Day & Maria Sibylla Merian !

International Children's Book Day

Today it is a very special day! International Children's Book Day! It's a wonderful day for teachers who love to read in the classroom and for students who love read new books! 

I love books,  I love children's books, I love to read, I love to read in my lessons.

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.  

The United States is the sponsor country 2013! 

  • Theme 2013:

"Book joy around the World"

The theme is "Book joy around the World"Ashley Bryan is the poster designer, Pat Mora  wrote the message.

You remember! Mexico was the sponsor country 2012! The theme was "Once upon a time, there was a story that the whole world told".

Juan Gedovius was the poster designer, Francisco Hinojosa wrote the message (Spanish).

The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books.

The winners of the 2012 Awards were announced by IBBY at the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2012.

But Bologna 2013 celebrated its 50th anniversary last March 25-28. Congratulations! It's the best Children's Book Fair from Europe.

«The "rights" place for children's content»

To mark the 50th anniversary Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2013, Bologna Fair and AIE - Italian Publishers Association will be launching a new initiative to pay tribute to excellence in the world of children’s publishing: "BOP - Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the year."

Planeta Tangerina
Best children's book publisher, Portugal

And Portugal has been honoured as "Best Children’s Publishers of 2013" of Europe with Portuguese children's publisher Planeta Tangerina.

Planeta Tangerina is a well known children's books publisher by all Portuguese educators and educators of the world. 

Google Doodle Maria Sibylla Merian's 366th Biryhday

  • Maria Sibylla Merian:

Oh! But April 2, 2013 has another awesome event! Google celebrates the 366th brithday of Maria Sibylla Merian with a beautiful Doodle featuring various forms of small wildlife – butterflies, caterpillars, a lizard, and more.

credits: Maria Sibylla Merian

German-born Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was a Naturalist, an Entomologist and a Botanical Illustrator and is rated as being one of the greatest ever botanical artists.​
From childhood, she had been fascinated by the life cycles of butterflies, and she made a close study of their transformations. She became a flower-painter and teacher in Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

Maria Sibylla Merian

Her works on insect development and the transformation of insects through the process of metamorphosis contributed to the advance of Entomology in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
As a botanical artist, Merian published three collections of plant engraving from 1675 to 1680. In preparation for a catalogue of European moths, butterflies, and other insects, Merian collected, raised, and observed living insects, rather than working from preserved specimens.
Maria Sibylla Merian also drew other species such as snakes, iguanas, spiders, and frogs – and these drawings are still highly collectible.

New Book of Flowers
Maria Sibylla Merian
She died in 1717 after suffering a stroke a couple of years earlier. Erucarum Ortus Alimentum et Paradoxa Metamorphosis, a collection of her work, was published later by her daughter. 

MERIAN, Maria Sibylla (1647-1717). 
Erucarum ortus, alimentum et paradoxa metamorphosis
Amsterdam: Johannes Oosterwijk, [1718].


You know me! I am a huge fan of reading at school. And I don't miss a good resource to include it into every day lesson!

Today, we are very lucky! We have two fantastic events to share with our students! Children's Book Day & Maria Sibylla Merian. Two in one?

Maria Sibylla Merian
Artist, Scientist, Adventurer
Sara B. Pomeroy & Jeyaraney Kathirithamby

  • Reading:

As educators, we have an ubiquitous responsibility to encourage the love of reading in our students by exploring this wonderful and magical resource in our in-person lessons.

Of course, today is the fay of reading by pleasure! Let your students read what they like the most. 

There are two reasons:

  • 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 bring a book or e-book from home or go at the school library to choose a book/e-book to read aloud in the classroom will let them completely free and happy! Students like to be active in the classroom and make their choices. 

credits: Marc Hill/Alamy

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

The love for books and reading are awesome moments in Languages curricula (in the classroom, or online).

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. And helps to spot 'problem behavior' and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Believe me!

Maria Sibylla Merian
Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium

But we can enriched International Children's Book introducing Maria Sibylla Merian as a different kind of reading. Discovering the beauty of nature and species by her beautiful painting books.

We don't read only Literature and Poetry in Languages curriculum. We read different kind of texts. And reading about Science and Botanic will improve students reading skills to understand better science curriculum. 

Jean-Jacques Audubon, it means something to you on my blog? Or Ada LovelaceOf course! 

So, put your students on their tablets or smartphones, and let them discover Maria Sibylla Merian.

William Home Lizars, Portrait of Madame Merian (from "The Naturalist's Library," volume 30) (detail), 1835 
NMWA; Print collection assembled by Nancy Valentine, purchased with funds donated by Mr. Oliver R. Grace


  • Invite the students to  find Google letters on the Doodle.
  • They can read about the life of Merian, and explore highlights of her work.
  • Girls will be delighted to know another woman in Science! 

Curricula: Languages; Sciences; Arts.

Level: All levels (each teacher will adapt activities to the level they teach) 


update: 02.04.2022
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International Children's Book Day & Maria Sibylla Merian ! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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