International Children's Book Day

I absolutely love (l o v e) books, and children's books are no exception. Reading stories aloud to our children at night is one of the most precious moments of childhood, a ritual that shapes both the child's imagination and curiosity. By being able to travel lands near and far away, see and meet new things and characters, the child discovers what endless possibilities lie in the art of storytelling, and also in life.

Every year, on or around H.C. Andersen's birthday on April 2nd, the whole world celebrates the International Children's Book Day. This date is the perfect opportunity to bring out your favourite children's books and authors into the limelight and share their stories once again, as well as discover new stories to include into your children's library.

I wanted to take the chance to share some of my own favourite children's books: Some have stuck with me since childhood, and others I've discovered as an adult. What they all share, no matter their specific age target, is the ability to bring the reader into a fantastic world that is only their own, a world where everything is possible and just a little bit magical.

I've chosen the English versions of all of these books, but many of them are translated into and availabile in many, many other languages.
Courduroy, the lovely book written and illustrated by Don Freeman. First released in 1968, the book tells the story of Corduroy, an adorable and ingenuous little bear who is displayed on the toy shelf in a department store. After closing hours on this particular night, he goes looking for a button he is missing, and discovers the wonders of the other floors of the store that he has never seen. A truly wonderful little tale about friendship and imperfection that has many equally lovely sequels. 

Anne likes Red, by Dorothy Z. Seymour. A very simple yet wonderful book about the little girl Anne, who goes to the department store (another one!) with her mother to get new attire. Anne is a very determined girl and a big fan of the colour red, and even though she gets to choose from an array of things in different colours from the department store, she only likes items in red. The book shows the child determination and confidence and is a great little tale about knowing what you want. 

A true classic at this point, Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. Here's a book that really lives up to its fame, and that seems to become an inevitable favourite when presented to the children. Max is a somewhat wild little boy who breaks havoc in his wolf costume and gets sent to his room. Once there, the whole room mysteriously turns into a mystical jungle filled with monsters (the Wild Things). Max soon wins them over and is hailed king of the Wild Things. The story goes on and has a happy ending where Max returns home to discover his hot dinner plate waiting for him in this room.

A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson. This classic book by the author of Treasure Island is absolutely a must have for the good night tales at a certain age. Filled with poems that encompass the child's different discoveries in and around the house, it includes lovely poems such as the Land of Nod, My Ship and I, Wintertime, The Land of Storybooks and many more. There are many different editions of the book with many different illustrators available, so you can make sure to find just the right one for your children. Lovely!

There are obviously many, many more books that deserve to be mentioned on a day like this, and this is only one, small selection. 

Which ones are your favourite books for children?