The 3rd of March 2016 saw the 19th World Book Day! During the week there were plenty of fun activities at schools to help appreciate reading and literature as a whole. Thousands of schools participated in fancy dress, based on fictional characters. Although it is great fun for the kids, judging from the expressions on parents’ faces on my way to work, it is quite stressful for the costume designers! Even one of my colleagues had to think quickly and sent her young boys as Harry Potter and a crocodile. However, having seen Scottish comedian Joe Heenan’s Tweet about “sending his kids as pages 89 & 165 of the Argos Catalogue”, I am guessing she wasn’t the only one who ran out of time, bless her!
But what exactly is “World Book Day”?
“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 for their own.”
World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrations, books and, most of all, a celebration of literature. Designated by UNESCO, the World Book Day scheme covers support for over 100 countries Worldwide. Spreading the importance of literature globally, packs of “Book Tokens” and “Resource Packs” are sent to participating schools ensuring that the most can be gained from inspirational literature works.
“National Book Tokens Ltd”, publishers and booksellers send over 14 million book vouchers to children and young people. This is estimated to be nearly one voucher for each child under the age of 18!
“The voucher can be taken to a local bookseller and can be used to pick 1 of 10 books, exclusively for free”
The raised awareness of literature encourages the inspiration and imagination that can be found from reading great books. The opportunity is given to children and young people to make the most of reading and enjoy doing so.
Fun activities and dressing up as literature heroes and characters also raises a lot of awareness for great authors, allowing them to present their literary works as part of a global scheme. Ideal!
Although we somehow missed the opportunity to get dressed up here at Edu-Quip, at least we have an entire year to think about our costumes! I am already thinking about how best to create my “Mr Grumpy” costume, just wondering what the others will dress up as?! Might even have to rope in my talented colleague Sheila, to help us all out. Don’t worry, I will keep you all posted! Until then, keep reading!