The aim of The World Through Picture Books programme is to create an annotated list of picture books from around the world, recommended by librarians. The programme is led by IFLA Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section.

The programme was launched in 2011 and the first edition of favourite books from 30 countries was published in 2012. The 2012 first edition was replaced by an expanded second edition in 2015. It was also published and sold as an IFLA Professional Report, but is now out of print.

In 2021 a working group began reviewing The World Through Picture Books Programme and working on the creation of a new third edition. The pandemic created challenges for the participation of many countries, but we are delighted to announce the publication of the new third edition in 2023. The third edition features the lists of the favourite picture books from 57 countries, in 37 languages and includes 530 books. It is a fully digital catalogue which is downloadable free of charge and printable.

Two exhibition collections of the books have been created, thanks to generous donations by the publishers. These are based in the National Libraries of France and Japan. They will be available for loan to libraries in all countries wishing to exhibit them.

Practical information for borrowing the exhibition from Japan.

This is an ongoing programme. If your country was unable to participate in the third edition but would be interested in participating in the future when a fourth edition is planned, please post on our Facebook page:


Catalogue for Third Edition (2023)