International Children’s Book Day

en français

IBBY Canada is delighted to have been the official sponsor of International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) 2022. Thank you to all who joined in the celebrations!

Audrey’s Books, Edmonton, AB
A child’s illustrations on Richard Van Camp’s message to the children of the world
St. Thomas Public Library

Every year, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday (April 2), International Children’s Book Day is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books. IBBY International has been sponsoring the event since 1967.

The theme for International Children’s Book Day 2022 was: Stories are wings that help you soar every day written by celebrated author Richard Van Camp. This idea captures the power of children’s books to expand horizons, ignite the imagination and build understanding. It is featured on a poster IBBY Canada has produced, in collaboration with Van Camp and illustrator Julie Flett, for IBBY sections around the world to use to promote books and reading.

IBBY Canada is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Richard Van Camp, a Tłıc̨hǫ writer from Fort Smith, NWT and the award-winning author of 26 books, as well as the acclaimed Julie Flett. Flett is a Cree-Métis author and illustrator who has been honoured with the Governor General’s Award, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, and the American Indian Library Association Award.

Together, Van Camp and Flett have a combined 16 books featured in IBBY Canada’s Indigenous Picture Book Collection, including Little You (Orca Book Publishers, 2013), where their talents combine. We were thrilled to bring their talents together in celebration of International Children’s Book Day.

“Reading is freedom. Reading is breath,” reads, in part, Richard Van Camp’ Message to the Children of the World for ICBD 2022. “Reading lets you see our world in a new way and it invites you into worlds you never want to leave.”

“Congratulations to all involved for producing a charming and evocative poster to celebrate International Children’s Book Day 2022,” says IBBY International Executive Director Liz Page. “The artwork is delightful and the accompanying message is perfect for children around the world. Indeed, Stories are wings that help you soar every day!”

Many, many thanks to Friesens Corporation for generously donating poster printing for International Children’s Book Day 2022!

Thank you to Teresa Bubela for lending her exceptional design skills to the creation of the poster and the Message to the Children of the World for International Children’s Book Day 2022

You may download copies of the International Children’s Book Day 2022 poster as well as the Message to the message here:

Poster (English)
Poster (French)
Brochure (English)

Enjoy the International Children’s Book Day 2022 Activity Kit

A fun and engaging activity kit was created for ICBD 2022 celebrate the joy of reading. The kit includes template to make a fortune-teller and a bookmaking activity based on Richard Van Camp’s message to the children of the world (printable template included).

The activity kit is perfect for classroom use and library programs. It can also be enjoyed at home with families, too.

International Children’s Book Day Message templates available in English, French, Northern Dialect Michif, Tlicho, Spanish, German, Māori, and Portuguese. As well, there is a blank template to make your own!

Thank you to the stellar committee who created the International Children’s Book Day 2022 Activity Kit:

  • Mary Beth Leatherdale and Marcela Mangarelli, Co-Chairs
  • Megan Howe: English Copyedit
  • Nadine King
  • Maral Maclagan
  • Lorisia Macleod
  • Patti McIntosh
  • Josiane Polidori: French Translation

Many, many thanks to the amazing Michèle Guevara who designed the kit.

Richard’s video pitch to the children of the world to illustrate his message is on Bibliovideo. Thank you to videographer, Conor McNally!

Download the activity kit in English and/or French.

Thank you to all the translators who helped with the posters, the message to the children of the word, and the activity kit:

  • Vince Ahenakew: Northern Dialect Michif
  • Nina Garde: German
  • Darryn Joseph: Mãori
  • Marcela Mangarelli: Spanish
  • Josiane Polidori: French
  • Mary Rose Sundberg: Tłıc̨hǫ
  • Karla Japôr: Portuguese

International Children’s Book Day Launch

Special thank you everyone involved in the International launch of International Children’s Book Day held March 25th, 2022. We were delighted to have attendees join from across New Zealand and Canada — as well as from Australia, Chile, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Peru, Sweden, UK, and USA.

Thank you to Kaumātua Ben Brown and Elder Jo-Ann Saddleback for starting the International Children’s Book Day celebrations with very special conversation about Māori and Cree children’s storytelling, and bringing blessing for International Children’s Book Day. 

Kaumātua Ben Brown Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) is the Te Awhi Rito New Zealand Reading Ambassador, a program led by the National Library of New Zealand.  Please visit Kaumātua Ben Brown’s bio here.

Elder Jo-Ann Saddleback
Nôhkom Jo-Ann Saddleback is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree First Nation and Elder in Residence at the Edmonton Public Library. Please visit Elder Jo-Ann Saddleback’s bio here.

Thank you to the authors, readers, and publishers who supported the-of-a-kind children’s storytime featuring six exceptional Indigenous picture books, shared by exceptional readers from Canada and New Zealand:

Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop
Published by Gecko Press
ISBN 978-1-77657-302-8
Introduced and read by Gavin Bishop
The Origin of Day and Night
Written by Paula Ikuutaq RumboltIllustrated by Lenny Lishchenko
Inhabit Media
ISBN 978-1-77227-180-5
Introduced and read by the Grade 7 Theater Skills Class at Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School: Amanda Amarook, Dontae Paungrat, Dustin Quinangnaq, Elizabeth Smadu and Kayden Tootoo in Baker Lake, Nunavut
Māui: Sun Catcher
Written by Tim Tipene
Illustrated by Zak Waipara
Oratia Books
ISBN 978-0-94750-614-8
Reading introduced by Tim Tipene
Read by Tahlia Tipene in Auckland, New Zealand
Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock
Written by Dallas Hunt
Illustrated by Amanda StrongHighWater Press
ISBN 978-1-55379-779-1
Reading introduced by Dallas Hunt
Read by Callie and Theo Yu Schott in Whitehorse, Yukon
The Stolen Stars of Matariki
Written by Miriama Kamo
Illustrated by Zak Waipara
Scholastic New Zealand
ISBN 978-1-77543-540-2Reading introduced by Miriama Kamo
Read by Te Rerehua in Auckland
The Girl and the Wolf
Written by Katherena Vermette
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Theytus Books
ISBN 978-1-92688-654-1Reading introduced by Katherena Vermette
Read by Ada Cassin in Oakville, Ontario
Little You

Written by Richard Van Camp
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Orca Book Publishers
ISBN 978-1-45980-248-3
Introduced and read by Richard Van Camp

With gratitude from IBBY Canada, the launch of International Children’s Book Day was presented in partnership with IBBY New Zealand/Storylines, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Edmonton Public Library and the National Library of New Zealand.

Thank you to the event planning committee:

•       Nicola Daly
•       Celeste Harrington
•       Kaaren Hirst
•       Emma Hunter
•       Elaine Jones
•       Carolyn Lagahetau
•       Libby Limbrick
•       Patti McIntosh
•       Trish Osuch
•       Frances Plumpton
•       Colette Poitras
•       Emily Riddle
•       Rosemary Tisdall
•       Mary Wadsworth
•       Pikiora Wylie

Thank you to Emily Riddle, Senior Advisory, Indigenous Relations at Edmonton Public Library, for gracious ly hosting the conversation between Kaumātua Ben Brown and Nôhkom Jo-Ann Saddleback.

Thank you to Colette Poitras from IBBY Canada for the warm and wonderful hosting the children’s storytime — and to Nicola Daly from IBBY New Zealand for the beautiful closing words.

Thank you to all who joined in the International Children’s Book Day Celebrations – and shared on social media using:


Please check out how some of the international sections celebrated here.

IBBY Canada’s sponsorship of International Children’s Book Day 2022 was possible because of the contributions of so many! Please support the work of IBBY Canada by donating or becoming member.