Every year on the 2nd of April, International Book Day is celebrated. Every year it is hosted by a diffrent section of the world, this year it's being hosted by Thailand. They also pick an illustrator and/or author to represent the host, this year it is Chakrabhand Posayyakrit. I encourage you, my reader and your family/friends, to check out this link: http://www.storylines.org.nz/events.asp?pid=107.
It explains what International Children's Book Day is and who is sponsoring it this year. You can also download a PDF of the Illustrator/Authors work, the poster that he created is really interesting.
I bring this up in Joe's Thoughts because, being a father myself, I think that this is an important celebration for people, especially parents/grandparents, to know about. It's a day specifically set aside to encourage children to read and be read to.
I would like to share with you, from the above website, this message from Chakraband Posayyakrit:
2008 Message to the children of the world from Chakrabhand Posayakrit, Thailand
"Books enlighten; Knowledge delights The quest for knowledge through reading needs to be given a high priority and nurtured from childhood.
In my view, Thai children have long been inculcated with a desire for knowledge through reading, based on a sublime culture and tradition.
Parents are their first teachers and the clergy are their principle mentors in guiding and educating young people intellectually and mentally, in both worldly and spiritual matters.
I found inspiration for this painting from Thailand's long recorded traditions, through the telling of stories to children to their learning by reading inscriptions on palm leaves placed on small folding tables exclusively designed for the purpose of reading.
Stories written on palm leaves usually come from Buddhism. They tell of Buddha's life and recount tales from the Jataka's with the noble intention of cultivating young minds and instilling in them faith, imagination and morality".
It contains a wonderful message of children and the roles of parents in their lives. I think this is the time for one of those "moments" I've been talking about, I know your listening parents.
The holiday was started in 1967 by the International Board on Books for Young People, they act as the sponsor each year and choose the host country, they are also the ones who invite the children's author and illustrator to come up with a message and a poster.
The really cool thing about this holiday is that it is always celebrated on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. This well known author of children's fables can be found all over the web and in your local library, his birthday was chosen because he was such a wonderfully imaginative author of children's literature.
Once again, I urge you to take some time aside today to not only talk to your kids about this wonderful holiday, but also to read to them, go out and buy them a new book to read, or to just sit on the floor and watch the miracle of a child's imagination at work, while they read.
For more information pertaining to this holiday, go to your favorite search engine, there are tons of websites dedicated to International Children's Book Day.
And remember, everyday is a chance for your children to learn something new and wonderful, be the one to teach them that wonderful new thing.