20 reasons to celebrate children's books

A pathway to understanding

1st March 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 one of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors, Michael Morpurgo to share why, for him, children’s books are so special:


Michael Morpurgo



Perhaps what children need most in this ever more complex world, along with love and food and shelter and clean water, is to learn empathy, to understand the lives of others, the lives of creatures great and small, to discover the wonders and fragility of the earth around us.

Books are the best pathway to that understanding.  They open eyes, and hearts and minds.


Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children and has won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, The Writers Guild Award and the Blue Peter Book Award for his recent novel, Private Peaceful, which has also had two successful runs as a play devised by Bristol Old Vic. From 2003 to 2005 he was the Children’s Laureate, a role which took him all over the UK to promote literacy and reading, and in 2005 he was named the Booksellers Association Author of the Year. Find out more about Michael 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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