International Children's and Youth Book Day
Reading as a source of knowledge, values and recreation for the new generations is highlighted on the International Children's and Youth Book Day, which is celebrated every April 2, in order to encourage the habit of reading and literary creation for most youths.
The day has been commemorated since 1967 at the initiative of the International Organization for Youth Books (IBBY) and pays tribute to the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, born on this date in 1805.
Among the most prolific and well-known authors for children, Andersen's work includes stories that have accompanied children of several generations around the world, such as The Tin Soldier, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Suit, The Nightingale, Thumbelina, The Snow Queen and The Red Slippers, among two hundred stories.
Every year, some national section of the IBBY is sponsor of the day, given on this occasion to the United States, which selected the writer Margarita Engle and the designer Roger Mello to elaborate the message and the poster that will identify the celebration in the world.
By sharing words, our voices / become the music of the future, / in peace, joy and friendship, / in a melody / of hope, says the outstanding creator of children's texts in her message “The Music of Words”.
In Cuba, the promotion of children's and young people's books is one of the relevant aspects in the cultural sphere, with diverse actions that involve national institutions and the community itself, in schools, cultural centers and municipal libraries.
There are publishers on the island specialized in literary production for that segment of the population, such as Gente Nueva and Abril, and the universe of authors with works dedicated to the new generations is large.
Various awards recognize and encourage literary creation for the youngest, among them the Golden Age Award, named after the magazine that, in 1889, the Cuban National Hero, José Martí, founded for the children of America.