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International Children's Book Day 2016

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

International Children's Book Day Poster 2016 created by Ziraldo

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 2016

International Children's Book Day 2016 is sponsored by Brazil with the chosen theme "Once upon a time ...." Brazilian author Luciana Sandroni penned the annual message with translation by Linda McGill and renowned illustrator Ziraldo designed the poster.

Luciana Sandroni

About Luciana Sandroni: Born in Rio de Janeiro, in 1962, she is the author of several books for children and young people, such as Minhas memórias de Lobato, with illustrations by Laerte, which won the Jabuti Prize for Best Children's Book, the FNLIJ Award for the Best for Children and was nominated to IBBY Honour List, and O Mário que não é de Andrade, awarded with the FNLIJ Award Best for Children, with illustrations by Spacca. In 2010, Luciana took part in the book Peace Story, published in South Korea, with illustrations by Roger Mello. Her most famous character is Ludi, and the first titles, Ludi vai à praia and Ludi na TV, were adapted for the theater. Other books with the character are Ludi na Revolta da Vacina (Carioquinha Award, by Rio De Janeiro City Hall). Ludi na chegada e no bota-fora da Família Real and Ludi es os fantasmas da Biblioteca Nacional. All of them received the honor of Highly Recommended by FNLIJ.


About Ziraldo: Born in 1932 in Caratinga, Minas Gerais, and currently living in Rio de Janeiro, Ziraldo is an illustrator, designer, cartoonist and political cartoonist. In 1969, he published the book Flicts, which became a classic, and in 1980 launched O menino maluquinho, which was adapted for the theatre, television, movie and the first Brazilian children opera. In 2010, Ziraldo received the Quevedos Award, from the University of Alcalá, Spain. His books have been translated for all Latin America, with some being published in several countries, including Japan and Korea. Ziraldo was indicated by FNLIJ three times for the Hans Christian Andersen Award--IBBY, in the Writer category

2016 Message - Once upon a time...

Once upon a time there was a...Princess? No.

Once upon a time there was a library. And there was also a girl named Luisa, who went to the library for the first time. The girl walked slowly, pulling an enormous backpack with wheels. She looked around at everything in amazement: shelves and more shelves filled with books…tables, chairs, colorful pillows, drawings and posters on the walls.

“I brought a picture of myself,” she said shyly to the librarian.

“Wonderful, Luisa! I’m going to issue your library card. In the meantime, you can choose a book. You can choose one book to take home, ok?

“Only one?” she asked, disappointed.

Suddenly, the telephone rang and the librarian left the girl with that difficult task of choosing only one book from that sea of books on the shelves. Luisa pulled around her backpack and searched, searched until she found her favorite: Snow White. It was a hardback copy with beautiful illustrations. With the book in hand, she pulled the backpack again and, just when she was leaving, someone tapped her on the shoulder. The girl almost fell backwards in surprise: it was nobody less than Puss and Boots with his book in his hands, or rather, in his paws!

“How are you? How do you do?” asked the cat in reverence. “Luisa, don’t you already know everything there is to know about these stories about princesses? Why don’t you take my book, Puss and Boots, which is much more fun?

Luisa, amazed, with her eyes popping out, didn’t know what to say.

“What’s the matter? The cat got your tongue?” he joked.

“Are you really Puss and Boots?!

“It’s really me! In flesh and blood! Well, then, take me home and you will know everything about my story and that of the Marques of Carabas.

The girl, so perplexed, just shook her head in agreement.

Puss in Boots, in a magic swoop, went back into the book, and when Luisa was leaving, someone tapped her on the shoulder again. It was her: “white as snow, cheeks like roses, and hair as black as ebony.” Do you know who it was?

“Snow White!?” said Luisa, completely shocked.

“Luisa, take me with you too. This copy”, she said, showing her the book “is a loyal adaptation of the story by the brothers Grimm.”

When the girl was getting ready to exchange the book again, Puss and Boots seemed really irritated:

“Snow White, Luisa already decided. Go back to your six dwarves.”

“There are seven! And she hasn’t decided anything!” exclaimed Snow White turning red with anger.

Both of them faced the girl waiting for an answer:

“I don’t know which to take. I want to take all of them…

Suddenly, very unexpectedly, the most extraordinary thing happened: all the characters started coming out of their books: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel. It was a team of true princesses.

“Luiza, take me home with you!” they all begged.

“I just need a bed to sleep in a little,” said Sleeping Beauty, yawning.

“Just a hundred years, a little bit,” scoffed Puss.

Cinderella started, “I can clean your house, but at night I have a party in the castle of…”

“The Prince!” they all yelled.

“In my basket I have cake and wine. Anyone wants some?” offered Little Red Riding Hood.

After that more characters showed up: The Ugly Duckling, The Little Match Seller, The Tin Soldier and The Ballerina.

“Luisa, can we go with you? We are Andersen characters,” asked the Ugly Duckling, who wasn’t really so ugly.

“Is your house warm?” asked the match girl

“Ahhh, if there is a fireplace, we’d better stay around here...” commented the Little Soldier and the Ballerina.

Just then, unexpectedly, an enormous, furry wolf showed up with sharp teeth, right there in front of them all:

“The Big Bad Wolf!!!”

“Wolf, what a big mouth you have!” exclaimed Little Red Riding Hood out of habit.

“I’ll protect you!” said the Little Tin Soldier, very courageously.

It was then that the Big Bad Wolf opened his huge mouth and...Ate everyone? No. He only yawned from being tired and then said very peacefully:

“Calm down, everyone. I only wanted to give you an idea. Luisa could take the book, Snow White, and we could go inside her backpack, which is big enough for us all.

Everybody thought the idea was very good:

“Could we, Luisa?” asked the Match Girl, who was trembling cold.

“All right!” she said, opening the backpack.

The fairy tale characters made a line and started getting in:

“First the princesses!” demanded Cinderella.

At the last minute, Brazilian characters also showed up: Saci, Caipora, a very talkative rag doll, a very crazy boy, a girl with a yellow purse, another one with a picture of her great grandma stuck on her body, a little, bossy king. They all got in.

The backpack was heavier than ever. The characters were so heavy! Luisa picked up the book, Snow White and the librarian wrote it down on the card.

A little later, the girl got home very happy, and her mother called from inside the house:

“Home, honey?”

“We’re home!”

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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