The mission of the International Children's Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world's children in becoming effective members of the global community - who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas -- by making the best in children's literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology designed in close partnership with children for children.
By providing a library of children books in more than 80 languages, the foundation also aims to provide immigrant families to find children's books from their cultures and in their mother tongue; thus giving parents access to the books and stories from their youth to pass on to the next generation. A fundamental principle of the Foundation draws from a paper published in 2005 by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): "Denial to access to information in one's mother tongue is equivalent to a denial of a human right." The report also concludes, "In terms of pedagogy, how do children learn best? In their mother tongue."
I was pleased to find that with 377 titles, Persian books rank high in the collection. (To put this number in perspective, there are 272 titles in English.) To find many of the titles that I grew up with, was like discovering a treasure box from my childhood.
This also brought me to discovering The Children's Book Council of Iran. The council has been around since 1962, devoted to the growth of national literature for Iranian children and young adults.
The Council encourages quality production of all types of literary and informational books, as well as Encyclopedia for Young People. Besides promoting the development of children’s reading culture, the council collects resources for rendering library services and establishing small types of libraries. It also encourages creators and publishers to produce quality literary and informational books; and promotes introduction of Iranian children’s literature to other countries.
For those of us who grew up with Hans Christian Andersen's stories, and who wish to celebrate their childhood on his birthday (April 2nd: International Children's Book Day), I propose we share the memory of the book that influenced our youth the most.
I will try to compile your responses into a colorful post.