With games consoles and tablets so popular in modern life, reading books almost seems to have taken a backseat in children’s hobbies.
But for one day a year, all-things books are celebrated to raise awareness and showcase how fun reading actually is. World Book Day (WBD)takes place on March 1, and sees the literature community join forces to promote and encourage more kids to get into reading.
But how did World Book Day come about, and what are the best books to get your kids to wean them off their games and get their heads back into books?
What is World Book Day?
World Book Day is the celebration of reading and books, aimed at getting children of all ages to take up reading as a hobby. Held in over 100 countries around the world, this year marks the 21st annual edition of the event with authors and illustrators alike encouraging youngsters to get involved with all-things reading.
Then, thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens, publishers and bookseller, WBD send out around 15 million book tokens around the world for children under the age of 18 to pick one of ten exclusive books. These include:
- The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog – Clare Balding
- The Bolds’ Great Adventure – Julian Clary
- Oi Goat! – Kes Gray
- Brain Freeze – Tom Fletcher
How is World Book Day celebrated?
One of the biggest parts of WBD is children dressing up as their favourite literary characters for a day of literary-based activities at school. From Willy Wonka to Harry Potter, and Matilda to Pippi Longstocking, the fancy dress aspect brings some fun and excitement to the day as kids can get involved in picking and making their costumes.
But the biggest celebration has to be encouraging kids of all ages to pick up a book and start reading. By highlighting how fun reading is and what they can get out of it, rather than sitting watching TV or playing on a games console, kids will want to read for fun and not because they are being forced too.
Best children’s books for World Book Day
To get your kids inspired and excited for World Book Day, here are a few of the best books for them to read this year.
A brilliant debut from Irish author Padraig Kenny, Tin depicts a world of robot children, remorseless villains and a young hero looking to reveal the truth about his own past. The plot is based around the production of humanised machines that have had their developments limited so stave off any wars. Christopher, a real boy, has gone missing and it’s all down to his gang of robotic buddies to find him in this fantasy world.
One of the books available for £1 on WBD, My Baby Brother From Outer Space! is an outrageously funny tales of a little baby who has the ability to control minds and wants to beam everyone up to outer space! With illustrations from Thomas Flintham, this book is a great read for young kids looking to develop their reading skills.
Book number seven of the A Spoonful of Murder series, A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery sees Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells caught up in their latest murder mystery adventure. But this time they find themselves in an unusual position after the death of Hazel’s grandfather – she is a suspect! The girls need to work as a team like never before to prove Hazel’s innocence and clear her name before it’s too late.
The first release from now-number one best-selling author David Walliams, The Boy in the Dress tell the tale of Dennis – a child a little different to the rest of the boys. A hilarious, charming and sparkling debut, Walliams’ writing will have both boys and girls in stitches of laughter as Dennis sets off on his attire-based adventure.
Winner of the 2017 Costa Book Awards Children's Award, The Explorer is the perfect read for a young children looking for some adventure and imagination. Following protagonist Fred, he and three children have been left lost in the jungle after a plane crash and have to do all they can to escape and be rescued – but not everything is what is seems. A must-read for kids who love exploration and discover.
For more inspiration on World Book Day, visit the event website and find out how you can get your kids into reading.