International Children's Books

Over many years the Clarke Library has worked to add to our collection of children's material examples of the best children's books published internationally. To accomplish this goal we have obtained books nominated by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) for the Hans Christian Anderson award.

Founded in 1950, 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. In June 2004 the organization had 68 national sections, along with representation in an additional six countries that lacked full recognition as a national section.

Among IBBY's activities is the awarding of the Hans Christian Anderson Award. Every other year IBBY presents the Hans Christian Andersen Awards to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature. Often called the "Little Nobel Prize", the Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books.

The nominations are made by the National Sections of IBBY and the recipients are selected by a distinguished international jury of children's literature specialists. The Hans Christian Anderson Award was first given to an author in 1956 and the award was expanded to include an illustrator as well as an author in 1966.

The IBBY nominee books found in the Clarke include nominees for the years 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. In 2018, IBBY adopted an online process for reviewing nominees books. Because of the online nature of the process and related copyright issues, it is no longer possible to obtain complete sets of nominee books in hardcopy.

Please see our Finding Aid for International Board on Books for Young People, Dossiers of Award Nominees for more details on this collection.

In February of 2021 the Clarke Historical Library invited volunteers to read books from our collection of over 1,500 children's books in about 50 languages. For 2021, we asked volunteer readers to be recorded reading from books in the collection. We invite you to explore these beautifully illustrated, fanciful stories and celebrate the language diversity at CMU!