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Saturday 1 April 2023

International Children’s Book Day and Eudaimonic Happiness

April the 2nd is a special day – International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) organised by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Nella Pickup encourages us all to revel in the long term happiness that reading to children can engenderÉ.Start reading!

New Scientist published a feature about the different types of happiness (Flood, 2023) informed by research undertaken by Robert Waldinger. The example given for eudaimonic happiness was a parent reading and rereading (and rereading) a favoured book to a child. Did the parent experience hedonic happiness (short term pleasure) at the moment of rereading? Probably not. But they would achieve eudaimonic happiness described as a long-term flourishing.  

Since 1967, on 2 April, Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, IBBY has celebrated International Children's Book Day (ICBD), a day designated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books. In 2023, IBBY Greece has created a beautiful poster, flyer and poem with the theme 'I am a book, read me'. Scroll down https://www.ibby.org/awards-activities/activities/international-childrens-book-day to see the poster and read the poem on the poster or flyer.

Last week, my husband and I experienced our own eudaimonic happiness when our son, visiting from Brisbane, read books to our 2.5 year old grandson and quoted books that we had read to him three decades ago.

Experience happiness - both hedonic and eudaimonic. On April 2, celebrate ICBD – buy a children’s book (maybe even by an international author) and share it with someone special. 

Want to find out more about the international children’s book world? Join  IBBY Australia Inc. Australian members can view Katrina Nannestad as she celebrates this year's theme:

I am a book, read me


Flood, A. (2023, January 9). How to be happy, according to the longest-running study of happinessNew Scientist. [requires subscription for full access]

Nella Pickup

Happy parent/grandparent, retired librarian, reader, member of IBBY Australia Inc, and Children's Book Council of Australia, Tasmanian Branch

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