Tuesday, April 2, 2013

International Children's Book Day 2013!

Happy International Children's Book Day! Since 1967, International Children's Book Day has been celebrated on April 2nd, Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. It's a day to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's and teen's books, particularly those that have been passed down through generations or passed across multiple cultures.

Interested in reading one or more of these passed-around stories? Check out information on Batchelder Award. This award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and has since been translated into English for publication in the United States.

Click her for a list of winners of this award from 1968-present.

This year, however, I decided to focus more on Hans Christian Andersen himself, instead of on a list of books, since he is the one who seems to have inspired it all.

Hans Christian Andersen was born April 2, 1805 in Denmark and was a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems. However he is best remembered for his fairy tales, a literary genre in which he almost accredited with entirely.

In 2009, I had the privilege of getting to visit Denmark and seeing this statue of Hans Christian Andersen. (I'm the one holding a whole pile of shopping bags.)

Aside from statues all over the world, Andersen's legacy is an important one. Some of his most favorite fairy tales are still read everywhere today: The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, and The Ugly Duckling. Additionally, his stories laid the groundwork for other children's classics, such as The Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh.

Why not read one Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales today? And have a great International Children's Book Day!

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Copyright 2009 Laura Druda