The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organisation representing an international network of countries and people, mostly volunteers, dedicated to bringing books and children together. It is the only international body working comprehensively for children’s books.
IBBY’s mission is to:
- promote the value of reading and books to the world’s children
- promote international understanding through children’s books
- encourage the publication and distribution of quality children’s books, especially in developing countries
- stimulate research and scholarly works in the field of children’s literature
- provide support and training for those involved with children and children’s literature
- protect and uphold the rights of children according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as a non-governmental organisation with official status in UNESCO and UNICEF.
The special nature of IBBY Congresses
IBBY International Congresses attract at least 450 delegates from 70+ member countries. (A full list of members can be found at www.ibby.org). Many of those attending are international leaders, influential in their fields.
Recent Congresses have been held in Cape Town, Basel, Macau, Copenhagen, Santiago (Spain), London and Mexico City. The highlight of each Congress is the presentation of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards for children’s writing and illustration, honouring a living author and illustrator whose complete works ‘have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature.’
New Zealand’s acclaimed writer, the late Margaret Mahy, won the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2006, establishing New Zealand as a distinctive ‘small country’ within IBBY and children’s literature world-wide.