World Book Day – it’s more that just a costume

Posted on: March 3, 2020

What’s not to love about World Book Day?  It’s a celebration of reading.  A celebration of books, of their authors and illustrators.  It’s an opportunity for children (and grown-ups) to share their favourite stories, so much so that we are being challenged to Share a Million Stories for WBD 2020.

Once upon a time, World Book Day was an opportunity for children to come to school dressed as their favourite character from a book.  Gangsta Grannies, Matilda Wormwoods’, Horrid Henrys’ and Oompa Loompas’ have all walked the corridors at some point in the past.  Parents, carers and grandparents going to so much time, effort and often cost, to create the costume that would make the BBC wardrobe department proud!

The digital world we live in today, however, has played its part in seeing World Book Day evolve into a day to keep up with the Jones’.  A day to photograph and post your child’s creation online for the world to ‘like’ and ‘share’ – or is that to like and share YOUR creation?

Let’s just remind ourselves exactly what World Book Day is about;

“children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.” World Book Day

Here, here World Book Day!

There are so many befits to reading and they’re not all linked to school…where do I start?

  • It’s free and it’s fun! Libraries do still exist, if not in your village or town then in your school or child’s class.
  • You can continuously get better at it. Like everything in life, the more you do it, the better at it you become.
  • Children learn the art of concentration and it will overspill into the art of conversation – remember that?
  • Vocabulary and language grow which in turn improves a reader’s writing and creativity.
  • Its exercise without lifting a finger and for one of the most important muscles in the body – the brain!
  • Believe it or not it inspires children to play (something other than Fortnite or Roblox) as they draw upon the characters they have met in the pages of their book.
  • Reading takes the imagination to places unimaginable, empathising with characters and their feelings then translating into real life situations.
  • It’s a chance for you and your little one to snuggle up and share something together. Who doesn’t want an extra 10 minutes cuddle with their little one every night to wind down?
  • Reader’s, no matter how old or young, learn something new with every turn of a page be that a twist in the plot or a fact they didn’t already know.
  • Children who read can achieve. Back in 2012 author Bali Rai’s Book Trust Reading for Pleasure blog made that exact point.

Still not convinced about the importance of reading and remembering the REAL reason behind World Book Day?  The Reading Agency’s blog, ‘Why is reading for pleasure important?’  will hopefully give you the reassurance you need.

Or if it’s confidence you lack, provide some excellent advice and guidance on how to get you started on your reading journey with your child.

So, this World Book Day let’s do exactly what it says on the tin and what our friends at World Book Day ask of us; READ.  Don’t worry about what the parents on the school run will say or if you don’t get as many ‘likes’ as last year.   Instead of spending hours scouring the internet for the best Harry Potter costume in all of Hogwarts, get a stick for a wand and use a felt tip to draw on a scar and with the time you would have spent searching for that perfect costume, pick up the book………and read.

World Book Day we salute you!

Mark Stewart