World Book Day 2017 - Thursday 2nd March
Hurrah! Today is World Book Day, when the UK and Ireland celebrate everything to do with children's books! It's an initiative run by the World Book Day Ltd charity, and you can find a load of useful information and resources on their website here.
We love World Book Day for so many reasons. Firstly, and most simply, it gets children excited about reading! Schools often get children to dress up as their favourite book characters, organise trips to the library, spend time reading and discussing their favourite stories, and generally encouraging children to pick up as many books as they can. It used to be one of my favourite days of the library year when local schools would come into the library and I'd get to deliver special storytime sessions, and then let the children loose to look round the library shelves. People might worry that children don't read as much as they used to with so much more technology readily available nowadays, but if you put a group of school kids in the children's section of any library you'll struggle to find a more excitable bunch with any other type of activity or hobby.
World Book Day also provides all children in full time education (including those home-schooled) with a book token to exchange in bookshops for one of a select set of books, and this years' list is an incredible lineup, including David Walliams, Julia Donaldson, and even a Where's Wally? book! There are many families who really don't have the money to spend on books, and that don't visit libraries for a variety of reasons, so a book token like this can be a lifeline when it comes to getting hold of reading material.
We also love the fact that, as a nationally-renowned reading initiative, it's the perfect way of encouraging families to read together, which is after all what the Picture Book Challenge is all about! Anything that gets families enjoying the joys of reading together has to be a good thing, which is why we fully support World Book Day.
In one of those annoying twists of fate, I'm actually in London until late tonight (on a book-related journey!), so I'm making sure we get our reading for the day done before I go, and hopefully Cat will be able to read with the kids again before bed to give them a double dose of reading-excitement on this special day!
Xander had his World Book Day event at his pre-school yesterday, and dressed up as one of the dragon's from Caryl Hart's How to Draw a Dragon, one of their favourite books (which we had an excellent time reading on Day 23!). Today, Josh is dressing up as Sir Cuthbert Clinkety-Clank from the same book (whilst also wearing the dragon costume!), so they've both fully embraced the spirit of the day!
World Book Day is fantastic because it's dedicated to getting children reading, whether alone or with their families, and the importance of doing that on a child's imagination, health, and future prospects in life cannot be understated. We hope you and your children all have fun celebrating it today, whether they're beginning their reading journey or just taking the next step along it!