If ever there was a time for promoting international understanding through children’s literature, it might be now. As librarians and educators, we know that encouraging children to read diverse literature, including that from other countries, promotes international understanding and encourages an open-mindedness that embraces multiple perspectives and viewpoints.

IFLA’s Libraries for Children & Young Adults (C&YA) Section is delighted to be launching the 3rd edition of The World Through Picture Books catalogue, which is an amazing resource developed by librarians for librarians.

What is it?

Children’s Librarians understand how important picture books are for children—for their development, their cultural identity and as a springboard into independent reading. The World Through Picture Books 3rd edition is a digital catalogue featuring 530 quality picture books in 37 languages, from 57 countries, with links to publishers, other relevant organisations and WorldCat record links for easy access to other formats and editions. The 3rd edition was developed and co-ordinated by IFLA’s C&YA Section’s World Through Picture Books working group, and allows librarians and children’s literature experts everywhere to identify and access quality titles for their own collections. The books provide new connections for children and families through literature, culture, and language. As well as the featured books, the catalogue includes many ideas for librarians using the catalogue as well as activities to do with children. It also includes an In Memoriam tribute to our IFLA friend and colleague Viviana Quiňones, who was instrumental in the development of the first catalogue and joint co-ordinator of the first two editions.

How was the list developed?

IFLA’s C&YA Section sought country co-ordinators from across the globe. Professional librarians and relevant children’s literature organisations, including many IBBY members, from 57 countries answered our call. Countries were asked to submit ten favourite children’s picture books, selected by librarians in that country, against a set criterion.

How can I access it?

You can download the WTPB catalogue, bookmark, and poster from IFLA’s Section on Libraries for Children & Young Adults, or from the IFLA Repository:

The World Through Picture Books, 3rd edition (2023)

The World Through Picture Books (WTPB) is a programme of the IFLA Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section in collaboration with IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Children’s Librarians all over the world understand how important picture books in both traditional and digit...

WTPB Exhibitions

Physical exhibition sets representing the latest 3rd edition catalogue have been created by the International Library of Children’s Literature in the National Library of Japan and in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) / National Centre for Children’s Literature. Previous collections from the 2nd edition have been hosted in many countries around the world.

What if my country was not included in the 3rd edition?

You can still use this unique resource! IFLA’s C&YA Section is collecting expressions of interest from library professionals and relevant C&YA literature organisations and librarians who would like to participate in the next edition.

To register your country’s interest for the next edition email, please write to: iflacya@gmail.com.

Authors Claire Stuckey and Annie Everall, with members of IFLA’s C&YA Section