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If like me, you have lived in different countries long enough to learn about their different special days, you might have wondered how come international Children's day is celebrated at 2 or even 3 different dates. Here is a short summary of the history and meaning of each date.

April 23

National Sovereignty and Children's Day (Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı) is a national holiday in Turkey, always celebrated on April 23rd.

In 1927, the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, dedicated April 23rd to the children of Turkey to recognise that children are the future of the nation. With this, Turkey became the first country in the world to celebrate an official Children's Day, as a gift to the children in Turkey and around the world.

June 1

The origin of this holiday goes back to 1925 when representatives from different countries met in Geneva, Switzerland to convene the first "World Conference for the Wellbeing of Children". After the conference, some governments around the world designated a day as Children's Day to highlight children's issues. There was no specific date recommended, so countries used whatever date was most relevant to their culture. Germany, for example, chose to celebrate Children's Day on September 20, while most ex-Soviet states like Romania and Bulgaria kept to June 1.

September 20

German World Children’s Day on September 20 is the official children’s day of Germany, one of two children’s days recognized in Germany every year. The history of this day is very interesting; if you are curious and have the spare time, you can read more about it here.

November 20

UN-declared World Children’s Day as November 20, in 1945– the goal was for each state to focus its attention on children and their celebration, support for children, their education and healthy development.

Some states retained the date of June 1, others, on the recommendation of the UN, chose November 20, and others retained both the June date and adopted the date in November.

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With Christmas approaching, it is a good opportunity to find that special book that your child or children will grow to cherish forever and maybe even pass on to the next generation.

Many parents tend to focus their attention on Christmas themed books around this time of year. However, children will often lose interest in these books once the holiday season is over. This is why we recommend offering at least 1 book with a general theme that can be of interest at any time of the year and why not, which has been awarded one of the prestigious children’s books awards across the world. The text and the illustrations in these books are of the highest quality giving parents reassurance that the values and context they will be exposed to can only be enriching. We have covered in detail the topic of why book awards are so important in children’s literature in the blog article here.

Here are our book recommendations for each of the 5 languages available in our bookstore:

Awarded with 2019 ALA Mildred L. Batchelder Award this book is available in our shop in both Romanian and Italian language.

In a quest for treasure, Pete, an excited and persistent young mouse, appears in the Professor's class at the University of Mice. A simple request for assistance turns into a complex and technical adventure with an unexpected conclusion that parallels one of the most important inventions of all time.

Recommended age 5+

  • Cyparissus. That which dies is never forgotten by Marta Sanmamed and illustrated by Sonja Wimmer

Winner of multiple awards like Independent Book Publisher Book Award 2015 & Living Now Books Awards 2015, this touching book is available in our shop in English, Romanian and Spanish.

Four different stories, four children that lose their beloved animal. A picture book that helps children to overcome the loss of a pet and help with the grief process, learning how to confront other losses that may happen in their life.

In Cyparissus there is a little dog who gets lost in a park, a sleeping rabbit, a horse up in the clouds, and a bird setting off on a long, long journey.

In Cyparissus there is Irene playing jump rope, George looking up at the sky, Molly who has bad dreams, and Danny carrying a backpack full of T-shirts.

Recommended age: 4+

  • Le visage de Mamina by Simona Ciraolo

Winner of the Prix Chronos 2018 , this book is a tender and touching dialogue between a grandmother and her granddaughter.

On her grandmother's birthday, the little girl worries about the wrinkles that parchment her face. It is the occasion of a wonderful dialogue between the child and his grandmother. Each wrinkle has its memory: the opportunity to tell about the significant events in her life.

Recommended age: 3+

  • Kas yra upė written and illustrated by Monika Vaicenavičienė

This book was nominated and awarded multiple awards like The Most Beautiful Book of the Year 2019 - The Awards of the Lithuanian Section of IBBY 2020 or Publisher's Choice Award - Shanghai International Children's Book Fair 2018

“What Is a River?” is a picture book is about rivers and the plentiful connections they have with us, humans. It follows a child and her grandma as they look for answers to a question – what is a river? In their imaginary expedition, they discover rivers flowing in the sky and living organisms; meet pilgrims and conquistadores, magical shape-shifting river dolphins and older-than-dinosaurs species of sturgeons; fish and bathe; and explore many other things.

Recommended age: 4+

Browse more award-winning books directly in our bookstore. Look for the Award Winner label!

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Traditionally, advent calendars let you open a door and find a little chocolate treasure every day from December 1 through December 24. All nice, but not something that gives an opportunity for connection. Creating a book advent calendar can become a wonderful Christmas tradition for the entire family and create an opportunity for family bonding.

There are many ways to go about creating a book advent calendar, and you can find your own special way to do it to fit your family. Here are a few suggestions from our side.

Get the 24 books ready

Get the books well in advance and hide them away so that the unwrapping is a real surprise for everyone else. Include Christmas classics with beautiful illustrations, but also children's books with themes that interest your children at that time. Keep the most beautiful, special book for opening on Christmas Eve. If you are a multicultural family, add books in other languages and books that show how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.

Wrap the books - Get your Book Advent Calendar ready!

There are different ways of going about wrapping, it depends a lot on how much effort you want to put in. With wrapping, we know that it can go from newspaper wrap to exquisite bows and ribbons. It's all up to our own style. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Divide the books into a few categories and use different wrapping paper so you can identify them easily. Then create some kind of raffle mechanism to help the family pick out what style of book to open. It can be a simple pick from the hat or a more elaborate spinner.

Use one style of wrapping paper and add numbers to each wrapped book, opening each book on its corresponding day.

Display the books

Put the books in a basket, under the Christmas tree or on a shelf. There is nothing like the sight of a wrapped item to get kids excited about an activity.

Create a festive and cosy atmosphere

Make sure all devices are off, the room is nice and cosy, everyone has a cup of something to drink and that the light is soft. The Christmas tree in the background is a must for magical family time. If you want to learn more about the art of cosiness, read about the Danish concept of Hygge in The Little Book of Hygge. We are big fans in our home!

If you are a busy family like ours, you might not have the chance to create a magical atmosphere every December evening. Don't put too much pressure on ourselves and open 2 or 3 books every few days instead when the mood is right and the entire family is relaxed instead. As you get closer to Christmas Eve, the excitement is bound to overflow!

Merry Christmas!

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