20 reasons to celebrate children's books

Children’s books: where literary culture has its start

20th February 2017 | Blog

On Thursday 2nd March, World Book Day turns 20! That’s 20 years of celebrating children’s books and the joy that reading can bring.

To mark this special anniversary, we’ve teamed up with 20 top children’s authors, illustrators, publishers and journalists to bring you 20 reasons to celebrate children’s books.

Today we are delighted to welcome David Almond, the critically acclaimed author of many children’s books including Skellig. Here’s here to share why he believes children’s books are so special:


David Almond


The children’s book department is a place of great creativity, freedom and experimentation. Children’s books come in an amazing range of forms. They are serious, barmy, solemn and hilarious, just like children are themselves.


Don’t believe the boring pessimists who try to say that children don’t read. Children read passionately, creatively, incisively. Children’s creativity should be respected and celebrated by us all. This is where all literary culture has its start.


David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, The Savage, The Tightrope Walkers, A Song for Ella Grey and many other novels, stories and plays. His work is translated into over 40 languages and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include The Carnegie Medal, two Whitbreads, The Michael L Printz Award, Le Prix Sorcieres, The Eleanor Farjeon Award and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2010 he received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’s authors. His innovative, boundary-breaking work is loved by readers of all ages, and receives widespread critical acclaim. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. You can find out more about David and his books here.


World Book Day is an annual celebration of authors. illustrators, books and reading. Every year on World Book Day, thousands of school children dress up as their favourite children’s book characters to raise money for Book Aid International, so we can send more brand new books to libraries and schools in Africa. Last year they raised over £120,000 – enough to send 60,000 books to communities where children would otherwise have extremely limited opportunities to read! Learn more about World Book Day here.

Visit our World Book Day resources page for fundraising ideas, classroom resources and costume guides. Fundraise for Book Aid International this World Book Day and share the joy of reading with children in communities where books are scarce.


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