Typically, children dress up as their favourite storybook character on the day and every child in full time education is given a voucher to spend on books World Book Day – a tradition of 25 years.
The UK’s version of World Book Day is a local exhibition of the original World Book Day organised by UNESCO. It was put in place to promote reading, publishing and copyright, which was originally held in late April.
Event organisers moved the UK version to the first Thursday in March to avoid clashes with Easter school holidays and St George’s Day. It first began in 1998, launched by Tony Blair at the Globe Theatre.
Millions of children were given a special £1 World Book Day Token (€1.50 in Ireland) which should be used to redeem any book in a UK bookshop. Every year, the number of children receiving a World Book Day Book Token has increased.
Additionally, World Book Day collaborates with publishers to produce up to 12 £1 books a year, covering a range of age groups, abilities and genres. This ensures that each school kid is eligible for one free book a year with the use of their WBD token.
World Book Day’s work is based around what encourages children and young people to read for pleasure – supported by six elements. These include:
- Books being read on a regular basis
- Access to books at home
- The ability for children to choose what they want to read
- Having trusted adults and peers sharing and recommending books
- The reading experience being enjoyable
- Designated time to read
As such, there will be special live and online birthday events, new inspiring video content for home and the classroom, as well as resources to engage children in reading for pleasure.
We would like to take this time to encourage our students, and their families, to read for pleasure. Reading is necessary for your education, development and general world experience. It encourages you to think creatively and imagine adventures that the world would otherwise be void without.
A good read takes us away from the harshness of reality, even just for a while. A gripping book offers excitement and comfort and that is something we all need from time to time. So, please, make use of the World Book Day this year round and take some time to let your mind drift to a faraway fantasy that you will only ever find in a book!