World Book Day

On Thursday 5th March thousands of school children will be celebrating World Book Day by dressing up as their favourite characters.

What is World Book Day?

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading. Designated by UNESCO, it is the biggest celebration of its kind and takes place in more than 100 countries all over the world. Whilst children have fun dressing up for the day, the main aim is to get young people to read and love books.

World Book Day, a registered charity, is on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. To do this they send schools packs of Book Tokens which children can then take to their local bookseller and use it to pick one of twelve books, or they can use it to get £1 off any book or audio book costing over £2.99.

Below are the twelve books can be chosen from:

  • Bing’s Splashy Story
  • Supertato: Books Are Rubbish!
  • Dog Man
  • Amelia Fang and the Bookwork Gang
  • Evie in the Jungle
  • The Case of the Drowned Pearl: A Murder Most Unladylike Mini-Mystery
  • Alex Rider Undercover: Four Secret Files
  • The Kissing Booth: Road Trip!
  • My Awesome Guide to Getting Good at Stuff
  • The Day We Met The Queen
  • Kid Normal and the Loudest Library
  • Split

This year, World Book Day are holding a nationwide campaign to ‘Share A Million Stories’, with the hope of making story-sharing a habit and creating readers for life. Sharing a story means being read to or reading with an adult, sibling or friend – which makes guided reading at school a great way for pupils to get involved!

History of World Book Day

The idea of celebrating books originally came from booksellers in Catalonia, Spain, in 1923. Writer Vicente Clavel Andres wanted to honour fellow author Miguel de Cervantes who died on 23rd April. The date is also the death and birth date of prominent authors including William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth. In 1995, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) officially designated 23rd April as the date to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day. Each year, they choose a World Book Capital where activities are held and supported by the book industry throughout the year, with Kuala Lumpur being chosen for 2020.

The UK’s version of World Book Day was launched by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Globe Theatre in 1998, as a way to allay fears and concerns over poor reading and writing standards. It is celebrated every first Thursday in March, as April coincides with the Easter holidays and 23rd April is St. George’s Day.

World Book Day in Schools

World Book Day has become a key event in the educational calendar and school’s offer a range of activities for children, including reading games, events and most importantly, fancy dress. By dressing up as their favourite characters it creates an excitement among the children and gets them discussing their chosen books. Also, research has found that children who participate in World Book Day activities are more engaged in reading and books than those who do not.

The Oak-Tree Group of Schools enjoy getting into the spirit for World Book Day and see some fabulous costumes. Last year, Oaklands and Coopersale Hall saw many Harry Potters and Roald Dahl characters. Whilst at Braeside pupils were given blank masks to transform into a book character and Normanhurst visited The Spinney, a residential care home, to show off their costumes and read their favourite books to the residents.