I was at the library the other day with my kids when I overheard a young child asking her mother if she could check out a stack of picture books. While a child's enthusiasm for reading should be viewed as a positive event, what surprised me was her mother's reaction: she told her daughter that she had too many books and could only choose one.

My first thought was, "Are you kidding me?" Your child wants to read more books, wouldn't you want to encourage that? In all fairness, I had no idea what the circumstances were, so I'm in no position to pass judgment, but when my kids were reading picture books, we used to check them out by the dozen. We literally filled large canvas bags with them each week, because they couldn't get enough of them. Today, picture books are beautifully done and are a great way to introduce kids to the wonderful world of reading.

With that in mind, April 2nd is International Children's Book Day (ICBD) and a great time to celebrate and encourage a child's love of books. The event is sponsored by the International Board of Book for Young People (IBBY), whose mission is to promote and encourage the field of children's literature. IBBY was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953, and has grown to over 70 chapters throughout the world. Every year one member country of the IBBY sponsors this special day, choosing a theme and having a native author and illustrator help to promote it.

This year that country is Ireland.

If you're like me and are a big believer in the value of books and reading, then take some time to encourage it with your kids. It's never too early to begin, and can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment.

Here are 7 ideas to help.

1. Talk to Your School

School is a great place to teach a love of reading, and virtually every teacher would be enthusiastic. Ask them to spend some time talking to their class about ICBD, which happens to coincide with the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson.

2. Spend the Day at the Library

What better place to encourage a love of books? Regardless of what day it is, there is something comforting and magical about libraries. Help your kids check out books with global themes to encourage awareness of other cultures.

3. Organize a Book Club

Book clubs are as simple and informal as you want, and loads of fun. Kids can spend their time together reading and talking about their favorite books. They can be held at someone's house, the local library, or outside when the weather is nice.

4. Contact Your Local Library

Most libraries have a children's librarian. Inquire if they are doing anything special for ICBD, and if not, encourage or assist them in developing a program or some activities.

5. Go Global

It is worth teaching kids that the world is a big and wonderful place, and books are a great way of starting this process. They are also send the message that people, especially children, are basically the same wherever you go.

6. Get a Big Strong Bag

A large canvas tote works well. Bring it with you to the library and fill it with books, choosing a variety of topics while choosing cultural themes in honor of ICBD.

7. Turn Off the TV and Read

A lot of parents I know wish their kids would spend less time in front of the screen, and nothing accomplishes this more than reading books, either alone or with mom and dad.

Regardless of what day of the year it is, a child's life can be enriched through the magic of books. Books stir up a child's imagination by opening up new worlds and introducing them to topics and themes that can change their lives.

For more information about ICBD, visit the website for IBBY and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).