Saturday, April 2nd was International Children’s Book Day. Unbeknownst to me, this special day has been celebrated every year since 1967 on Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. The goal? To promote great children’s literature and to remind us of the importance of reading to young people.
I have always been a great fan of children’s books. Not only am I an avid reader of them (and was even before I had children), I am a collector as well. I had the pleasure of taking a class at NYU with the master of children’s literature, Constantine Georgiou (learn more about him here.) Since then, I have always looked to picture books and stories as teaching tools, guides, and places to get lost in my imagination. We are incredibly lucky to have access to an abundance of quality literature.
In the photo above, children at St. Jude Children’s Home received a shipment of books sent from New York due to the tireless efforts of my mother-in-law who organized, managed and funded a book drive. Though these books were sent many years ago, they are still at the orphanage today being enjoyed and loved by the children.
So, in honor of International Children’s Book Day, I would like to offer a picture book recommendation to you. This is a short, simple story, that carries a whole lot of meaning. My seven, six and three year olds love it. I have also found older cousins lurking around and enjoying the colorful illustrations and soothing, repetitive text while reading to my kids.
This is a story about culture, diversity, and celebrating how we are similar and how we are different. I hope you get the chance to fall in love with Whoever You Are by Mem Fox.