As practically every teacher and parent in the UK will know by now, Thursday 1st March 2018 is World Book Day! Yes, it’s the day when every school child in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be celebrating their favourite books and book characters, and it’s an institution that we thoroughly approve of here at Discovering Days.
What Is World Book Day?
World Book Day was first celebrated in 1995 and, since then, has become a staple date in the calendars of nursery and primary schools across the country. Organised and run by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), WBD was set up to promote reading, publishing and copyright in all it’s forms and is now a runaway success, with children and adults from countries all over the world taking part in various ways.
Fun fact: did you know, that the rest of the world actually celebrates World Book Day on 23rd April each year? It’s only the UK that celebrates this day of books on the 1st Thursday in March each year, which technically makes it less World Book Day and more the UK Book Day, but that’s splitting hairs.
It’s not entirely clear why the UK celebrates World Book Day on a different day to the rest of the world, especially as 23rd April is also both Shakespeare’s birthday and the anniversary of his death, which you would think would make it the perfect day to celebrate the wonderful world of words. However, as 23rd April often falls during the school Easter Holidays, as well as being St George’s Day, it is thought the British decided another day would be more impactful. Well, after all, we are British; we never do anything when the rest of the world does it!
What Is The Purpose Of World Book Day?
World Book Day is the one day of the year when everyone comes together to celebrate books, and the beauty of it is that it’s universal. From the youngest little ones at nursery, through primary school children and even adults at work, boys and girls of all ages can take the time to appreciate just how wonderful books really are. And not just high-brow books either, the real benefit of WBD is that it celebrates writing in any guise, from short stories, to fiction, non-fiction and even trashy romance novels…it doesn’t matter what the reading matter is, what matters is that we’re reading it!
That’s why, according to the World Book Day website itself;
“World Book Day is a celebration! It’s 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.”
So no matter what type of books you like best – whether you’re a fan of graphic vampire novels, love fairy tales about princesses trapped in towers, prefer to unravel a good murder mystery or just love a bit of chick lit – Thursday 1st March 2018 is the day to pull out a book, dress up, or just do whatever you have you have to do to show your appreciation.
What Events Are Happening On World Book Day?
Luckily, there are so many events happening all over the country on World Book Day that you won’t have to go far to find one.
Usually, most nurseries and primary schools have a dressing-up day on the day itself, where children and teachers are invited to come into school dressed up as their favourite character from their favourite book. (That means a lot of parents will have spent last night cursing World Book Day, whilst frantically trying to cobble together a fancy dress outfit at the last minute!)
Even if no dressing up is in the offing (you lucky parents who have got away with it!), it’s likely that the majority of schools will be running some activities around World Book Day. If you’re a little old for school, however, then many libraries and book stores across the country will be running WBD events for both kids and grown-ups alike, so why not pop along to one of those to get your reading fix? You can find about events that are running via the World Book Day website.
In fact, there’s even a children’s literature festival that runs on World Book Day. The Spread The Word literature festival takes place annually on 1st March in Penderyn Square, Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, from 09:00 – 17:00. It’s free to attend, so why not pop along and give your little ones some reading inspiration? You can find out more on their website.
But if all of that is a little far to travel and you fancy doing something closer to home, then why not check out the World Book Day website for loads of ideas on activities, games and events that you can put on yourself to celebrate WBD? Here you can find recipes, colouring sheets, resource packs and even teaching guides – it’s great for parents and teachers alike and, best of all, totally free!
Where Can I Get My World Book Day Token?
One of the best things about WBD though is the free book tokens!
Now in its 21st year, World Book Day is renowned for sending free book tokens to children all over the country;
“Thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens Ltd, publishers and booksellers, we can send millions of book tokens to children and young people (some 15 million, in fact: that’s one for nearly every child aged under eighteen in the country). They can take their book token to a local bookseller and can use it to pick one of TEN (exclusive, new and completely free) books. Or, if they’d rather, they can use it to get £1 off any book or audio book costing over £2.99 at a participating bookshop or book club (terms and conditions apply).”
To many children all over the UK, books are still an expensive luxury that they don’t get the chance to own very often. That’s why the opportunity to get a free story book of their own, which they can choose themselves, is just brilliant. It’s very easy to sniff at, but that one little act could really make a child’s day, and give them hours of enjoyment to boot. You can find out more about the book token, plus this year’s choice of £1 books, on the World Book Day website.
Get In Touch With Discovering Days
Here at Discovering Days, we have spent many years working in schools and nurseries, so we have seen the real value books and reading can have to children. Yes, play is important, but equally important is losing yourself in a story and growing your imagination.
That’s why everything we do is designed with these goals in mind. We want to provide children with the space to use their imaginations and learn through play, which is why we have designed a range of products that do just that. From our storytime chair and benches – the perfect place from which to read the latest books to your class of little ones – to our range of outdoor classroom equipment and sheltered seating areas, Discovering Days have created spaces where children can sit quietly and read or act out their favourite story lines, whichever suits them best!
If you’d like to find out more about our quality playground equipment, then please just get in touch with us today; you can use the contact form on the website or give us a bell directly on 01282 416755.
And whatever you’re doing, enjoy World Book Day!