Happy International Children's Day
You did know it was International Children's Day today, didn't you? No, me neither.
Luckily Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are more on the ball. Here's an excerpt from their press release today:
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of a rare children's picture book written in 1945 about Canadian soldiers in Holland.
LAC purchased the book, Hi Ha Canada, on March 7, 2008, from the Antiquariaat Gemilang bookstore in Bredevoort, The Netherlands. It was selected because it reflects the important role of the Canadian army during the Second World War and it adds to LAC's vast collection of books about Canada. Few children's books describe the celebrations at the end of a war, especially in terms of Canada's role. The book's superb craftsmanship, excellent condition, rare paper and limited edition make it a treasure for collectors.
"This book is a rare gem," said Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "The use of illustration and rhyming verse in this publication gives us fascinating information about the Dutch people's perception of Canada as liberator during the Second World War. Hi Ha Canada is a fine addition to LAC's Children's Literature Collection."
The book was written by Mart Kempers, an award-winning Dutch graphic designer, illustrator and painter who was interested in creating atmospheric rather than realistic depictions of scenes. The story illustrates details of daily life such as friends playing together, and a family in a garden having tea with Welfare biscuits and chocolate bars given to the Dutch during food rationing by Canadian soldiers. The Canadian maple leaf is prominent and street scenes depict traditional pastimes and architectural elements including gabled roofs. There is a sense of wonderment and happiness conveyed throughout the book, using text and imaginative artwork.
LAC's Children's Literature Service contains over 150,000 books published in English, French and other languages, a world-class reference collection, and a significant collection of literary archives and original children's book illustrations. In 1967, the International Board on Books for Young People declared April 2 as International Children's Book Day to celebrate the love of reading and to call attention to children's books.
There's also story in the Ottawa Citizen here. Thanks to Bookninja for the lead. I love that title: Hi Ha Canada - wish I'd thought of it first. That and writing a book in rhyming Dutch.
For more on International Children's book day you can visit the IBBY site here where you will find this lovely image:
What's IBBY? I thought you'd never ask.
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.
And what could be better than that?