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International Children's Book Day 2019

Join the ChLA International Committee in celebrating International Children's Book Day (ICBD) on April 2nd!

International Children's Book Day Poster 2019 created by Kęstutis Kasparavičius

About ICBD

ICBD is a worldwide celebration of reading and children's literature meant to inspire and promote a love of children's books.


International Children's Book Day has been celebrated on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, April 2nd, since 1967. Each year a different National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) selects 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.

ICBD 2019

International Children's Book Day 2019 is sponsored by Lithuania with the chosen theme "Books Help Us Slow Down." Award-winning Lithuanian author and illustrator Kęstutis Kasparavičius penned the annual message and designed the poster.

2019 Message - Books help us slow down

I’m in a hurry! ... I don’t have time! ... Good-bye! ... We hear words like that almost every day, not only in Lithuania, which is in the very centre of Europe, but in many other places of the world. No less frequently do we hear that we live in the age of information overload, haste and rush.

But if you take a book into your hands, you immediately feel a change. It seems that books have this wonderful quality – they help us slow down. As soon as you open a book and delve into its tranquil depths, you no longer fear that things will whizz by at a maddening speed while you see nothing. All of a sudden, you come to believe you don’t have to dash off like a bat out of hell to do some urgent work of little importance. In books, things happen quietly and in a precisely arranged order. Maybe because their pages are numbered, maybe because the pages rustle gently and soothingly as you leaf through them. In books, events of the past calmly meet events that are yet to come.

The universe of a book is wide open; it happily fuses reality with imagination and fantasy. And sometimes you wonder if it was in a book or in life that you noticed how beautifully the drops of thawing snow drip from the roof, or how pleasing to the eye is the neighbour’s wall overgrown with moss. Do you know from a book or from reality that rowan berries are not only beautiful, but also bitter? Was it in a book or in reality that you were lying in the summer grass, or sitting with your legs crossed, watching clouds sail across the sky?

Books help us not to rush, books teach us to notice things, and books invite us or even make us sit down for a while. We usually read sitting, with a book on our desk or in our hands, don’t we?

And haven’t you experienced another miracle – that when you read a book, the book reads you?Yes, of course, books can read. They read your forehead, eyebrows, the corners of your lips as they rise and fall, but, first and foremost, books read your eyes. And looking into your eyes, they see... Well, you know what!

I am sure that books are never bored when they are in your hands. Someone who enjoys reading – be it a child or adult – is much more interesting than someone who doesn’t care for books, who is always racing against the clock, who never has time to sit down, who fails to notice much of what surrounds them.

On the International Childrenʼs Book Day, my wish to all of us is: Let there be interesting books for readers and interesting readers for books!

Written and illustrated by Kęstutis Kasparavičius, message translated from Lithiuanian by Daina Valentinavičienė

To learn more about the International Committee's relationship with IBBY and our other partnering organizations, visit our Resources Page.

How are you celebrating International Children's Book Day?

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©2018 Created by Olivia Bushardt and Tanja Nathanael for the ChLA International Committee.

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