Today is World Book Day!  A time to celebrate and encourage everyone, particularly children, to read books.  Reading is good for everyone, it can open up the imagination and help children to learn new things.  It can also help kids broaden their vocabulary as well as encourage them to write and create their own stories in future.  I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate World Book Day when it began and although I’m now an adult I still believe everyone should celebrate this day and read a book.

What is World Book Day?

World Book Day began in 1995 as a way of encouraging children to read.  I remember one of the first World Book Day where each child at school was given a £1 book token to spend on any book they wanted.  I remember the very first book token I got and it was amazing, I felt so lucky and got excited heading to the book shop to get my special book.  Every year after that a £1 book token has been issued to children in the UK and there are even special books made especially for kids to buy on this day.  As the event has grown through the years, more and more people have gotten involved and children have been encouraged to go to school dressed as their favourite book characters.  World Book Day is a global event, hoping to give children in all countries a book and a chance to fall in love with reading.

Despite the enthusiasm around World Book Day, many children in the UK still aren’t reading as much as we’d like them to.  Apart from problems like dyslexia which can of course hamper a child’s progress with reading and make them nervous about reading books, many children just don’t get enough encouragement or exposure to books, and some see it as a chore to read, or see text as a daungting and boring experience, rather than the wonderful escape that reading can be.  If not tackled, this can lead into adults not enjoying reading either.

Why some children don’t like reading

As a child I was never into reading as much as I am now.  I found it hard to read in my early primary school years.  I had learned English almost as a second language (I couldn’t understand my school teachers in the first year of reception class), and I believe this led to me disliking reading in general.  Although I had some books with pictures in them like Winnie the Pooh and a lovely illustrated children’s version of Gulliver’s Travels, I found it hard to read anything more complex and without any images.  I was also frustrated that my reading skill was obviously not that good – my school colour-coded books according to how difficult they were to read, and my colour, grey (yes bland and boring grey), was somewhere in the middle which made me feel I wasn’t that good at reading.

As I went through primary school, I was exposed to more and more books.  Ones with all kinds of illustrations were still my favourite and although I did start to enjoy reading, I still prefered writing and illustrating my own stories (particularly more adventures of Winnie the Pooh)rather than reading books.  I continued to go through school reading lots of illustrated books which were kept in each classroom.  These were mainly books about history, with pictures of all sorts of artifacts and barely any writing underneath.  At some point the school even bought a picture book about a diabetic girl – to help fellow students understand my newly diagnosed condition.  But I never saw myself as ‘reading’ because these were picture books, with not much text.

As I grew older I did begin to read more text based books and by secondary school I did begin to enjoy reading.  But I still felt I wasn’t so good at it as my reading speed was slow compared to many of the others at my school.  Although I eventually deveoped that love of reading, I never felt like I was a proper ‘reader’ until I read text based books (middle grade/older children’s books), and for years I just didn’t want to read because I felt oddly scared of reading those big books with lots of text and no pictures.  In fact someone once gave me a copy of The Hobbit when I was younger, and I just stared at the text wondering how dumb I must be to not understand it/get into the book.  I think that experience of The Hobbit alone gave not only held my reading back but also made me dislike fantasy for many years 😮

Encouraging reading in all ages

The problem with some children, like with my own experience above, is that many feel scared of reading because they feel that reading a text based book is either boring, or too hard.  Of course eventually we want all children to feel confident in reading, but to start off you don’t have to just read big books to enjoy World Book Day.

Books come in all forms and sizes.  There are picture books with fun rhymes, and happy stories, and there are picture books that teach things about the world.  Then there are graphic novels, books that look like comic strips on the inside, featuring lots of images and bits of text dotted around.  And others  are the illustrated text based books, like my favourite series: Julius Zebra.  These are story books to read, but the font is often larger than normal and there are lots of pages of illustrations throughout the book breaking up the writing into easier chuncks of reading.

For those that have already discovered the joy of reading, World Book Day will be a wonderful time to try out a new book and discuss the ones you love.  For those that get nervous or don’t enjoy books so much, why not encourage someone to read some of the illustration-type books mentioned above?  And even though World Book Day is about getting children reading around the world, if you are an adult, you can still get involved by encouraging children you know, maybe by giving them a book to read which you enjoyed when you were younger, and of course, you can celebrate World Book Day today by just reading a book yourself.

No matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction, illustrated or not.  Don’t be put off by any difficulties you had in the past.  Eveyone can enjoy reading and we should all shout out how wonderful books and reading are!  Happy World book Day everyone! 🙂

Recommended reading

There are tons of books you can try out, but if you are stuck for an idea of what to read why not check out the books I’ve already reviewed by clicking here.  And of course here are 6 books I recommend if you’re wondering what should you start reading today.  I’m going ot suggest a bunch of books that leave you feeling good after reading them.  Some happy, funny books and some with very interesting facts!  Why not try one of these…

Locomotive by Julian Tuwin

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Locomotive by Julian Tuwim

This book is over 80 years old and is a translation of the original Polish version but there are some fun rhymes and a very silly story of birds chirping to each other endlessly and getting flustered, a steam train travelling through the countryside and all the wondeful noises that you hear, and the largest turnip you’ve ever seen but how many will it take to pull the turnip out of the ground?

See my review of this book by clicking here

Three Cheers For Women! by Marcia Williams

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Three Cheers for Women by Marcia Williams

Want to celebrate both World Book Day and international Women’s Day tomorrow?  Then why not check out this book.  Filled with illustrations and lots of information about women throughout history, from Boudica to Malala Yousafzai, this book celebrates women everywhere and will inspire girls to become anything they dream to be.

See my review of this book by click here

Julius Zebra Rumble with the Romans

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Julius Zebra Rumble with the Romans by Gary Northfield

I know I keep going on about this series but I just can’t get enough of the hilarious Julis Zebra and his pals!  Follow Julius and his friends as they are captured by Romans and forced to fight in the colleseum.  With funny illustrations accompanying the text, a hilarious British-style slapstick humour, and lots of real-life facts about the Romans, I’m sure everyone will laugh out loud and enjoy reading this book (and the rest of the Julius Zebra series).

See my review of this book by clicking here

My Name is Book – An Autobiography by John Agard

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My Name is Book – An Autobiography by John Agard

Do you want to learn where books come from and how reading has changed in history?  Then you can find out everything about the book by reading this autobiography of Book.  Written in a fun way, with easy to read text and many interesting facts, this book will interest anyone who wants to know the history of the written word.

See my review of this book by clicking here

The City of Secrect Rivers by Jacob Sager Weinstein

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The City of Secret Rivers by Jacob Sager Weinstein

This is a fun and silly romp around London’s lesser known rivers.  When Hyacinth moves to London with her mother, she doesn’t realise how important it is to not mix the cold and hot water in the tap.  Doing so unleashes magic into the city and along with a cast of funny characters, including a very large pig, she travels around London trying to catch what she has unleashed.  This is such a fun book for older children (and teens and adults alike), featuring lots of real-life London landmarks.  It will put a smile on your face as well as make you wonder about the real mysteries of London city.

See my review of this book by clicking here

Lou Out of Luck by Nat Luurtsema

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Lou Out of Luck by Nat Luurtsema

This hilarious young adult book is perfect for anyone who’s ever felt like their life’s not going to plan.  Lou Brown’s family is having money trouble and things are going from bad to worse.  With bills piling up Lou’s having to take lifts to school with a strange boy and on top of that her new boyfriend and best friend aren’t getting along, and the Prom Comitee then steals her best friend!  This book, told from Lou’s perspective, is filled with lots of humour and a lot of silliness.  It’s the perfect antidote to a bad mood and perfect for any teens (and even some adults) whose own lives might not be going so well, it will certainly help you to see the funny side of life.

See my review of this book by clicking here


-I hope you enjoyed my recommendations.  Let me know if you try any.  For more information on World Book Day please visit:

How are you celebrating World Book Day?  Do you enjoy reading in general?  What book(s) do you plan to read today or soon?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂