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The Music of Words

2 April is International Children's Book Day!

International Children’s Book Day has been celebrated since 1967 on the birthday of the famous Danish fairy tale author, Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen is known for much-loved stories like “The Little Mermaid”, "The Ugly Duckling”, "The Princess and the Pea" and the “Emperor’s New Clothes”.

The day calls attention to children’s books and aims to inspire a love for reading. This year’s lyrical theme, “The Music of Words”, encapsulates the joy that is characteristic of children's literature.

books are at the heart of what we do

Books (and especially children’s books) are the quiddity, the backbone and at the heart of the work that we do at the Otto Foundation. So 2 April is a very special day for us. Happy International Children’s Book Day to you!

The books we are exposed to as children shape who we are. The stories you hear and read growing up become a part of your own story. That is the beauty of books and the power that these paper-based wonders exude over our lives.

At our school libraries we work hard to present children with an opportunity to see themselves in the stories on our shelves. With the help of a growing community of local partners, we aim to ensure that the books in our libraries are both representative of the lived experiences of the learners who use them, and are varied enough to expand their knowledge and world view. Representation is key and a singular narrative simply will not do. Our wish is for children to learn more about themselves and others through the pages of books.

"Stories are perhaps the most reliable

medium with which to convey complex ideas

about society, and the individual's role within it.

Without stories life would be dull"

- Andrew Cooper Sansone

We continue to foster and nurture connections with teachers, learners, parents and caregivers to deepen the reading culture in our school communities. A reading culture where children are encouraged to feed their naturally beautiful, curious minds, to read for pleasure and to become lifelong readers.

If you are in the presence of a young human today:

  • read a book together,

  • share some of your favourite stories,

  • talk about the books that you love, and

  • play-portray some scenes from your favourite books.

In the spirit of this day of book celebration we have created a worksheet to guide your reading adventures. Print it out, fill it out together. Please enjoy!

Children's Book Day Worksheet
Download PDF • 747KB

With love from the Otto Foundation Team

*Note: Our beautiful International Children's Book Day graphic was designed by Xanelé Bird. We are delighted to have this very special human on our team!


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