Wednesday, April 2, 2014

International Children's Book Day 2014 in school

Poster : Niamh Sharkey 

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. 

I have some friends who write books or illustrate children books. And it's beautiful!

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.  

Ireland is the sponsor country 2014! The theme is "Imagine Nations through Story"
Niamh Sharkey is the Poster design, Siobhán Parkinson wrote the message that can be read here

"Letter to the children of the world

Readers often ask writers how it is that they write their stories – where do the ideas come from? From my imagination, the writer answers. Ah, yes, readers might say. But where is your imagination, and what is it made of, and has everyone got one?


Every reader of a story has something in common with every other reader of that story. Separately, and yet in a way also together, they have re-created the writer’s story in their own imagination: an act that is both private and public, individual and communal, intimate and international. It may well be what humans do best.

Keep reading!
Siobhán Parkinson

Teens reading


"Books, to the reading child, are so much more than books they are dreams and knowledge, they are a future, and a past."

Esther Meynell (1940)

I am alaways writing on my 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, formal and informal learning.

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 beautiful moment in Languages curricula (in the classroom or online on blended learning)!

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 *

I would like to propose a Portuguese designer Catarina Sobral who just won the 5th International Award for Illustration at Bologna Children's Book Fair 2014. Watch the video below:

I hope you love it. 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 class of Fiction and Poetry. We had great reading moments in formal learning and informal learning. 

Some thoughts: 

It occurred to me that there is a simple pedagogical principle that explains the appeal of very early learning, homeschooling, and reading began 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 a lot 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 International Book Giving Day . 

These special events always generate huge enthusiasm of reading in children and young people. Let's keep it every day!


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