Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

Categories

Subscribe

  • ChLA International Committee

International Children's Book Day 2020

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

International Children's Book Day Poster 2020 created by Damijan Stepančič

About ICBD

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

History

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 2020

International Children's Book Day 2020 is sponsored by Slovenia with the chosen theme "Hunger for Words."

Renowned Slovenian author and scholar Peter Svetina penned the annual message with translation by Jernej Županič and award-winning children's illustrator Damijan Stepančič designed the post.

2020 Message - A Hunger for Words

Where I live, bushes turn green in late April or early May, and are soon populated by butterfly cocoons. These look like wads of cotton or candy floss, and the pupae devour leaf after leaf until the bushes are stripped bare. When developed, the butterflies fly away, however, the bushes have not been destroyed. As summer comes around, they turn green again, each and every time.

This is a picture of a writer, a picture of a poet. They’re eaten away, bled dry by their stories and poetry, which, when they’re finished, fly away, retire into books and find their audience. This happens again and again.

And what happens with these poems and stories?

I know a boy who had to have eye surgery. For two weeks after the operation, he was only allowed to lie on his right side, and after that was not permitted to read anything for a month. As he finally got hold of a book after a month and a half, he felt as if he was scooping up words from a bowl with a spoon. As if he was eating them. Actually eating them.

And I know a girl who grew up to be a teacher. She has told me: Children who hadn’t been read to by their parents are impoverished.

Words in poetry and in stories are food. Not food for the body, not food that can fill up your stomach. But food for the spirit and food for the soul.

When one is hungry or thirsty, their stomach contracts and their mouth turns dry. They look for anything to eat, a piece of bread, a bowl of rice or corn, a fish or a banana. The hungrier they grow, the narrower becomes their focus, they become blind to everything but the food that could sate them.

The hunger for words manifests itself differently: as gloominess, obliviousness, arrogance. People suffering from this sort of hunger don’t realize their souls are shivering cold, that they’re walking past themselves without noticing. A part of their world is running away from them without them being aware of it.

This type of hunger is sated by poetry and stories.

But is there hope for those who have never indulged in words to ever satisfy this hunger?

There is. The boy reads, almost every day. The girl who had grown up to be a teacher reads stories to her pupils. Every Friday. Every week. If she ever forgets, the children are sure to remind her.

And what about the writer and the poet? As summer comes, they’ll turn green again. And again, they’ll be eaten away by their stories and their poems that will then fly away in all directions. Again and again.

Written by Peter Svetina, translated by Jernej Županič. Poster illustrated by Damijan Stepančič.

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?

Home          Contact Us          Blog          Write for Us          About Us          Privacy

  • Facebook Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • YouTube Icon

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

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now