A week today, it’s World Book Day (4th March); that time of year when we all go a bit more book-crazy!
I love World Book Day – the fact there is a whole day marked out for celebrating just how wonderful books are is brilliant. And I love the costumes (yes really I do – it helps being married to Mr Dilly who has a big costume cupboard!) Yes, books should be celebrated every day, but I think it’s great that the whole world comes together to celebrate books every Spring. A UNESCO initiative marked in over 100 countries around the world, World Book Day is enjoyed by hundreds of children – and dare I say it, adults too -up and down the country.
Working as a school librarian, World Book Day was always a great day to be in the library. Children would love to see what was happening – and generally just be excited to be in there, in costume, trying to find the book their character was from (if they hadn’t brought it in from home)! I’ve run Jackanory (always a huge favourite – teachers and other guests reading aloud), book breakfasts (food and books…),Mad-Hatter tea parties (more food and books …) a multitude of competitions (Show us your Shelfie, Guess Who’s reading, Get Caught Reading) book art sessions (crafting using old books), reading treasure hunts (use the clue to find the book). And then there’s the special World Book Day assemblies – I once delivered an assembly in my pyjamas (we chose to celebrate Bedtime Stories that year), as a Ringmaster (circus themed another year) and even using a Dr Who pop-up wardrobe through which teachers ‘appeared’ as their favourite book characters. Fond memories! Despite schools being closed for most, and in-person events not possible, there’s still plenty of ways to celebrate. This year more than ever, bringing the magic of books to life wherever you are, is a great idea and there are some brilliant online events that will help.
National charity, World Book Day, seeks to change lives through encouraging a love of books and shared reading. They’ve a planned a whole host of events and participation campaigns to mark the occasion, supported by high-profile partners, authors, illustrators and poets. On the World Book Day website you can access Early Years, Primary and Secondary toolkits with activities and discussion guides for teachers, parents and carers with useful downloads like ‘5 ways to encourage children to read’ and ‘Top Tips for Sharing Stories’. Also available now, there’s an Authors and Illustrators Academy with tutorial videos from this year’s World Book Day authors including Jonny Duddle, Joseph Coelho and Lydia Monks to encourage creativity. From the 1st March, a brilliant social media participation campaign #ShowYourShares invites everyone to post photos of themselves sharing a story (and maybe win a prize!).
From 3rd-5th March there’s a programme of FREE ‘Share a Story’ events featuring a range of children’s favourite authors – Katherine Rundell, Humza Arshad, Tom Fletcher, Sita Brahmachari to name a few. Each event runs between 25-30 minutes on the World Book Day YouTube channel or via their website and focuses on ‘Books that make us LOL’ (6yrs+) ‘Words and pictures -bringing reading to life’ (4yrs+) and ‘How reading helps us understand the real world’ (9yrs+).
All in all, World Book Day have made something for everyone and it’s all free. Not only that, the website is active all year round so you can keep celebrating, every day!
Find out more at www.worldbookday.com.