Skip to content

Children’s Book Day came to be a celebration once upon a time, in land far, far away. Who doesn’t love the bold, colorful world of whimsical picture books?

Each storybook whisks us away to lands of adventure. In the pages of children’s books, we can meet mystical dragons or learn what happens when one falls down a rabbit hole. 

History of Children’s Picture Book Day

Children’s literature has a history that’s long and, appropriately enough, storied. It started with a Bohemian educator, Jan Komensky. Komensky wrote a picture book, “Orbis Sensualium Pictus,” or “Visible World in Pictures,” in 1658.

It was a reading primer with copperplate printed images. It was a far cry from today’s colorful, modern children’s books. Still, it started a movement.

Fast forward to the next great advancement – John Newbery’s “A Little Pretty Pocket-Book” in 1744. It gained fame for being the first children’s storybook.

Newbery’s book was purely for enjoyment, unlike the earlier primers, which were intended expressly for teaching reading. Newbery received accolades posthumously earned recognition as “The Father of Children’s Literature.”

The children’s literature movement continued the upward trajectory during the middle to late 1800s. Those were the days when iconic authors like Hans Christian Anderson and Lewis Carroll wrote whimsical tales.

The International Board on Books for Young People, or IBBY, was formed in Switzerland in 1953. Its founder was German author and newswriter Jella Lepman. IBBY’s mission was simple – to inspire children to read more books. 

The first Children’s Picture Book Day was officially announced in 1967. The day falls each year on the same day – appropriately enough, the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson.

How to Celebrate Children’s Picture Book Day

Here are some excellent ways to write a whole new chapter of fun on Children’s Picture Book Day:

Organize a Picture Book Read-a-thon

Organize a community picture book read-a-thon. You’ll transport children into a world of wonderful, colorful stories. Transform some space into a storybook wonderland with colorful decorations and cozy reading nooks.

Invite children to dress as their favorite characters to add excitement to the event. Offer a large selection of books – children can pick their favorite. Reading out loud to younger children?

Bring stories alive with character voices and sound effects. This event can be a memorable experience in classrooms or libraries. You can scale it back and make it an in-home opportunity for your own child.

Visit Your Local Library… or a Bookstore

Local libraries and bookstores come to life for Picture Book Day. These venues may host special storytelling sessions, where tales leap off the pages through the voices of animated storytellers.

You might even find some local author meet-and-greets. Children at these events get to interact with the creators of their favorite books.

Workshops may also offer activities like illustration lessons or story crafting. Hands-on events help children enjoy reading even more.

Encourage Children to Make Their Own Picture Books

Encourage children to become authors and illustrators. How? By guiding as they create their own picture books.

This Children’s Picture Book Day activity can include a range of creative tasks like writing original stories, drawing illustrations, or even using digital tools for a modern twist.

Parents and teachers can help them along in this process, by translating their creative ideas into real book pages. This activity boosts creativity. It also gives children a sense of accomplishment as they hold their self-made books.

Donate Children’s Books to Children’s Hospitals

Celebrate the joy of reading by sharing it with those who need some encouragement. Organize a book donation drive in your community. Collect new or gently used titles for children’s hospitals.

This act of kindness ensures that the magic of reading reaches children who might enjoy reading while recovering. By donating, you help positively impact young lives. You also teach your children how to show compassion to those who need a smile.

Explore Picture Books from Around the World

Turn Children’s Picture Book Day into a global adventure by exploring books from various cultures. This activity can be a wonderful way to teach children about diversity and inclusivity. Select picture books that represent different countries, traditions, and stories.

Discuss the unique illustrations and narratives and incorporate related cultural activities or crafts. This exploration broadens children’s literary horizons and fosters an appreciation for global perspectives.

Hold a Book-Themed Party

Host a party inspired by a beloved picture book. Choose a book and base the party’s theme, decorations, and activities on its story and characters. Create themed snacks and games that reflect elements of the book.

For instance, a party based on “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” could feature fruit-shaped treats and a butterfly craft activity. Storytelling can be the party’s highlight, bringing the theme full circle. This experience deepens children’s connection to the story. It may also enhance their reading enjoyment.

Celebrate Children’s Picture Book Day by opening up the colorful world of storytelling. It’s a day to reminisce about the joys of childhood reading. It also helps ignite a passion for reading in the new generation

Also on ...

View all holidays

Don’t Walk Your Dog Day

Exploring alternative activities for your canine companion could be more beneficial than the conventional practice of daily walks.

SAAM Day of Action

Spreading awareness on eliminating harm, fostering safety, and empowering communities to end the silence against sexual violence.

World Autism Awareness Day

Learn about the symptoms and effects, be better prepared to help those with autism in your life, or participate in a fundraiser or event on Autism Awareness Day.

International Fact-Checking Day

Make sure information is accurate and reliable — always double-check sources and question things that sound too good to be true!

View all holidays

We think you may also like...


National Young Readers Week

Fostering young minds' love for stories and expanding horizons through the magic of books; opening doors to imagination.


Reading Is Funny Day

By reading books of riddles, jokes, and comedy, help kids see how reading can be just as fun and funny (if not moreso) as video games, tv, or the internet.