Thursday, April 2, 2009

International Children's Book Day

This annual event sponsored by (IBBY), has been celebrated on or near Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, April 2nd since 1967.

Many years and a few careers ago, as a Children's Librarian I remember attending in The Rocks the Annual IBBY Dinner organised by Ena Noel for whom the The Ena Noel Award - the Australian IBBY Encouragement Award for Children's Literature was named. Although I have changed careers I have maintained an interest in children's literature.

After reading a wonderful post on a library blog , Readers in the Mist, about International Children's Book Day today I started wondering about my ancestors and what they might have read as children. Indeed some of my early 19th century ancestors are listed as illiterate on immigration records . I cannot imagine a life that is not enriched by the vicarious experiences one gains through reading.

Genealogists may be interested in this chronological list or works "
which have been sources of materials considered suitable for youthful readers" published by Roger Blackwell Bailey, Ph.D. Browsing through the list gives us an idea of the reading materials available to young people during various historical periods.

As an ancestor I enjoy sharing my childhood favourites with my grandchildren and have recorded for future generations a record of my reading on LibraryThing. I commend all genealogists to leave a similar record for their descendants.

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