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.

Honour List 2018

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 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. 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.

Titles are selected by each national section of IBBY, who are invited to select books characteristic of their country and suitable to recommend for publication in different languages. One book can be nominated for each of the three categories: writing, illustration and translation. Books for consideration should have been published within three years of nomination. An English-language book catalogue is produced and translated into several languages.


cover image of the 2023 IBBY catalogue with a selection of books for young people with disabilities

Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

Every two years, IBBY invites nominations from national sections for its international list of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities.

Every two years, IBBY invites nominations from national sections for its international list of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities. 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. It is a huge voluntary undertaking as every country is encouraged to submit up to twelve titles across the three categories. This identifies well-written and illustrated books for and about young people with different abilities, presented with dignity, emphasising the person rather than the disability itself. The full collection of nominated books is held at the Toronto Public Library and can be accessed online here. It is searchable by title, author, subject, format, keyword and language. An annotated printed catalogue of the final selection is published.


The Silent Books Collection

The Silent Books collections have been developed from submissions from IBBY National Sections.

In response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving in the Italian island, Lampedusa, IBBY launched the project “Silent Books, from the world to Lampedusa and back” in 2012. There have now been five collections which can be downloaded here. IBBY Sweden has produced a booklet giving ideas about how to use the Silent Books with children.


Virtual Collections

IBBY National Sections / Regions have collated a virtual collections of books:

  • The National Sections of IBBY in Europe present a selection of books for children in languages spoken in Europe:
  • IBBY Europe has compiled a selection of 100 books for children and young people in Arabic from different countries in the Arab-speaking world. 
  • CERLALC together with the IBBY National Sections of Latin America and the Caribbean have created a catalogue of children’s books on the theme of Sustainable Development: Leer, imaginar, actuar
  • The catalogue, Japanese Children’s Books 2020, provides information about recent Japanese books recommended by a JBBY book selection and review team.
  • 2020 Korean Books for Young Readers presents the Korean nominees for IBBY awards and collections and a selection of Korean children’s books recommended by the book selection committee of KBBY