(Persia Digest) – April 2nd is International Children’s Book Day observed on the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, a prolific author best known for his lasting children’s books. But, this day was forgotten in Iran years ago.
Hans Christian Andersen was born on 2 April 1805 in Odense, Denmark. He is the author of “The Little Match Girl”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “Thumbelina”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, and a myriad of other tales for children that have lasted till today.
International Children’s Book Day was officially recognized in Iran in 1970. The day is observed in one of the member countries every year, and Iran’s turn came in 1992.
The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) in Iran has been the main trustee of children’s book for over forty years, publishing valuable books and stories for the young in the country. The Institute has had a close cooperation with the authors of books written for children and young adults, launching storybooks and collections of poems on a regular basis. It is active in the furthest urban and rural areas of Iran where it has branches and has been able to distribute books nationwide. It also operates mobile libraries for children in buses in distant border towns.
Apart from IIDCYA, the Ministry of Education is also active in publishing books for children, focusing mainly educational and moral subjects. There are no other custodians of children’s books barring these two institutions and the relevant publishers on Iran’s cultural scene despite the significance of books for the young and culture-making and training for forward-moving generations.