International Children’s Book Day is celebrated 2 April every year by  International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization that was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953.

Image Courtesy: By Thora Hallager

The day is observed on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, April 2. Activities include writing competitions, announcements of book awards and events with authors of children’s literature.

Hans Christian Andersen, Dutch author, was born in Odense on 2 April 1805. Andersen’s fairy tales, consisting of 156 stories across nine volumes and translated into more than 125 languages.

His most famous fairy tales include “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Little Mermaid”, “The Nightingale”, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “The Red Shoes”, “The Princess and the Pea”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Little Match Girl”, and “Thumbelina”.

A very early fairy tale by Andersen, “The Tallow Candle” was discovered in a Danish archive in October 2012. The story, written in the 1820s, is about a candle that did not feel appreciated. It was written while Andersen was still in school and dedicated to one of his benefactors. The story remained in that family’s possession until it turned up among other family papers in a local archive.

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, 2 April, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books

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