National Children’s Book Day in Thailand Date in the current year: April 2, 2024

National Children’s Book Day in Thailand National Children’s Book Day is observed in Thailand every year on April 2, coinciding with International Children’s Book Day. It was established in 2005 to promote love of reading and encourage the development of national children’s literature.

International Children’s Book Day was founded by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) in 1967 to promote children’s literature on a global scale, celebrate authors, illustrators and publishers, and highlight the importance of reading for children and their development. The date of the holiday, April 2, was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, a renowned Danish author who is best remembered for his fairy tales.

In 2005, the government of Thailand approved the establishment of National Children’s Book Day. In addition to coinciding with International Children’s Book Day, it falls on the same day as the birthday of Princess Sirindhorn, the second daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was born on April 2, 1955. The first celebration of National Children’s Book Day coincided with Sirindhorn’s 50th birthday.

Princess Sirindhorn is a polyglot with a doctorate in educational development and an interest in technology, history, and literature. In addition to her royal duties, she has written and translated a number of children’s books under the pen name Waen Kaew.

Sirindhorn’s best known book for children is Kaew the Playful (alternative translation Kaew the Irrepressible) about a girl named Kaew and her friends, first published in 1978. It is based on the princess’s own experiences growing up. A sequel titled Kaew the Mischievous was published in 1983. Sirindhorn also translated Rossignols en cage (“Nightingales in a Cage”), a young adult novel by the French author Madeleine Treherne, into Thai.

Princess Sirindhorn supports a number of projects in the sphere of education, arts and culture, and bestows the annual Princess Maha Chakri Award upon teachers who have made significant contribution to the enhancement of education and child literacy. In 2018, she was presented the UNICEF Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to improving the lives of children in Thailand.

In short, it is fitting that Thailand’s National Children’s Book Day coincides with the birthday of Princess Sirindhorn and, among other things, highlights her contribution to the development of education in Thailand, promotion of reading among children, and enrichment of national children’s literature.

National Children’s Book Day events and activities in Thailand are held under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with the Thai section of IBBY (ThaiBBY). They take place at schools, libraries, and other organizations and institutions involved in promoting reading among children and young adults and advancing children’s literature and children’s book publishing. They include public readings, book presentations and exhibitions, meetings with authors and illustrators, storytelling competitions, and more.

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National Children’s Book Day in Thailand, cultural observances, holidays in Thailand, Princess Sirindhorn