‘Celebrate stories. Love Reading’.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, whatever your social media platform of choice, today is the day to give it a rest, because today is World Book Day! If you’ve got kids you probably know this already as likely you’ll have spent the last 48 hours desperately trying to scramble together something that resembles a Little Red Riding Hood costume! Take advantage of our HALF PRICE BOOK MARKS to celebrate the day and take part in our Facebook Competition to win three!
Today is the 22nd World Book Day, and this is how the Charity describes what they do:
“World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.”
It’s thanks to booksellers and publishers that 15 million book tokens are issued and distributed to schools - that’s one for almost every child in the country enabling them all to own at least one book. Brilliant! It’s basically all about encouraging children to explore the absolute pleasure and privilege that is getting lost in a good book, and there are some fantastic resources on the World Book Day website (LINK https://www.worldbookday.com/) to get you thinking from creative tools to author and illustrator masterclasses. Of course there is also the list of their favourite book recommendations, and I’m pleased to say it’s as much about promoting new books as it is the classics.
One of my absolute top 10 books when I was a kid was Stig of the Dump by Clive King, and it’s right up there in the age 9-12 list, as is the wonderful Coraline by Neil Gaiman and Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mister Tom. In fact, if you have a browse around their recommendations across all ages, there are some brilliant suggestions in there.
Of course these days reading can be done on almost any device, but I believe there’s no better way to read than turning the pages of a real book. Feeling the paper between your fingers. Being able to see in an instant how far in your are. In my opinion, just the mere action of taking a book out of your bag and opening it is reason enough to go analogue when it comes to reading.
World Book Day is the day when schools across the country, and indeed the World, get involved to promote reading and rejoice in the story and storytelling. Stories have been around since time began. The earliest cave paintings depict stories of the day’s hunting. For centuries story tellers were employed by the Royal Court to entertain Kings and Queens. It’s a fact that when we read, the images we conjure up in our minds physically exercise the part of the brain that enables imagination, and many say that an active and exercised imagination is one of the essential skills when it comes to leading a happy and fulfilled life.
So I’m going to throw one of my own into the mix now. It’s a book that I read when I was about 8, and the images created in my mind have stuck with me ever since. It’s called The Starlight Barking by Dodi Smith. First published in 1967, it is the sequel to 101 Dalmatians.
The idea that dogs everywhere wait till their humans are asleep, then talk to each other with their starlight barking is something I have never forgotten, and only illustrates the fact that books and stories that inspire us, no matter what age we read them, really do stay with us forever.
So even though today is about encouraging children to get reading, why not join in too? Think back to those books you’ve read that have remained with you through your adult life. Think about how the ideas and pictures you created back then have kept you company ever since.
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