International Books Collections

IBBY has established several collections of children’s books, each with its own emphasis. These include a biennial Honour List of the best books from around the world; a list on books for or about disabled children; wordless book collection and collections of books from Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The IBBY Honour List

The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books, honouring writers, illustrators and translators from IBBY member countries. The IBBY Honour List, established in 1956, is one of the most widespread and effective ways of furthering IBBY’s objective of encouraging international understanding through children’s literature. Seven parallel sets of the books circulate around the world at exhibitions during conferences and book fairs – see more about IBBY UK’s touring book collections. Permanent collections of the IBBY Honour List books are kept at the International Youth Library in Munich, the Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media in Zurich, Bibiana Research Collection in Bratislava, at IBBY in Tokyo and Northwestern University Library at Evanston, Illinois. A book catalogue is produced and translated into different languages.

Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

Every two years, IBBY invites nominations for its international list of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities. Nominations are made by IBBY national sections and the final list is selected from these by the IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Young People with Disabilities which is based in Toronto. Because of its international content, the list is unique in the children’s book world.

The books in the final selection form three collections. One is held at the IBBY Documentation Centre in Toronto and the others are available as travelling collections. An annotated printed catalogue of the final selection is published. Further details and copies of previous lists can be viewed on the IBBY website.

The Silent Books Collection

The Silent Books collection is a collection of children’s books without words, created as a response to the need for books on the Italian island of Lampedusa, the destination for many refugees fleeing North Africa and the Middle East.

  • Full details of the Silent Books Collection
  • Full details of IBBY UK’s nominations
  • Read Helen Limon’s account of her experience visiting Lampedusa
  • Read about the Silent Books Tour in Montolieu
  • If you are interested in hosting a touring collection of Silent Books, please see information on our touring exhibition project.

Virtual Collections

IBBY has also supported the creation of two virtual collections of children’s books, Children’s Books in Europe, a collection of books in European languages and Books for Africa/Books from Africa highlighting books published in African languages from Africa. A selection of 100 books for children and young people in Arabic from different countries in the Arab-speaking world is also now available in English, compiled and translated by IBBY France, IBBY Ireland and IBBY UK.

Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Current and past posters are available from the IBBY Secretariat. A catalogue of posters and messages that have appeared between 1967 and 2002, created on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of IBBY is also available here.

About IBBY

The International Board on Books for Young People is a unique international alliance of everyone interested in children’s literature: academics, librarians, writers, illustrators, publishers, teachers, literacy workers, booksellers, parents and others.

Registered Office: 71 Addiscombe Court Road, Croydon, CR0 6TT
The IBBY UK Section is a Company Limited by Guarantee: Company number 7892957; Registered Charity number 1145999.

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