International Children's Book Day is a worldwide celebration to encourage and inspire in children a love of reading. Instilling a love for reading promotes a lifetime of learning and enjoyment. The program was originally started in 1967 to celebrate Hans Christian Andersen's birthday which is on April 2nd.
The yearly event is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), an international non-profit organization.
Here are a couple of ideas and some great websites to visit to celebrate:
- Visit the library. Libraries celebrate with storytelling hours and other events for young children.
- Plan a book exchange with other children.
- Encourage your child to write their own story.
- Check out the interactive Andersen Fairy Tales website. Very fun site!
- The Screen Actors Guild Foundation brings us Storyline Online, an on-line streaming video program featuring SAG members reading children's books aloud. Each book includes accompanying activities and lesson ideas. I love this site!
- Another fun and interactive website, Ziggity Zoom, has free online stories that you can listen to with audio or you can turn the audio off and read the story to your child or have your new reader read it to you. The site also has a ton of other educational activities.
- For older children, check out the Scholastic's Online Adventures of Captain Underpants, where in addition to lots of fun activities your child can make their own comic.
- Take a virtual stroll through Seussville.
- The Storyplace en Espanol is a Spanish-language website offering online stories and activities.
- The International Digital Children's Library allows you to read books from around the world. Books in twenty-nine different languages are available.
- Leading to Reading (Reading is Fundamental) is RIF's fantastic early literacy website "where young children discover the world of reading and grownups enjoy the journey." Activities targeted toward babies and toddlers (ages 0-2) and Preschoolers (ages 3-5). Also available in Spanish.
- Storynory offers online audio stories that are free to download. You will find a mixture of new stories, fairy tales, and specially adapted myths and histories, and poetry.
- And finally here are some free classics to read online.