20 reasons to celebrate
To mark the 20th anniversary of World Book Day, we teamed up with 20 top people from the world of children’s literature to bring you ‘2o reasons to celebrate children’s books’. We’ve been releasing a new reason every working day over the past month in the run up to World Book Day.
Here they all are for you to enjoy at once!
- Former Children’s Laureate and bestselling author of Noughts & Crosses, Malorie Blackman
Children’s books entertain, illuminate, excite and educate but perhaps most importantly they stimulate our children’s imaginations.
Children’s books are a space and a place where each reader sets their own parameters, yet simultaneously reading nurtures and encourages the imaginations of our children to grow and flourish. Children books demonstrate that limits could and should be bounded by the imagination alone.
Nothing else takes bookworms on such magical, extraordinary and exciting adventures . . . The adventures we go on when we read children’s stories are the adventures we remember for life, all ready to be discovered between the pages of a book.
3. Children’s author Zana Fraillon
Children’s books express what the world could be, rather than what the world is – they open our minds to dream and imagine that which is beyond us. Children’s books grow hope.
Reading to children is one of the most powerful bonding experiences, where parents and children explore together a world of curiosity and excitement.
5. Award-winning children’s author Jim Smith
We should celebrate kids’ books because a lot of them are very silly. And silly things are good.
6. Booker and Carngie Medal-winning author Penelope Lively
Reading allows a child to step beyond its own circumstances and enter other worlds, the imaginations of other people. Fact or fiction, books are an extension of experience, for children, for anyone.
7. Author and illustrator of How to Train Your Dragon series, Cressida Cowell
There are children’s books in the world that will feel like they are written just for you to enjoy.
8. The Sunday Times Children’s Books Editor, Nicolette Jones
Children who read grow up to make a kinder world. Books help youngsters to make sense of their lives and to realise their own potential.
9. Award-winning children’s author Piers Torday
When a child loses themselves in the pages of a book, someone else’s story, they can discover the wonder of realising that they are no longer alone in their hopes and fears.
At their very best, books offer children stepping stones towards becoming the very best adults they can be.
11. Children’s writer and illustrator Clara Vulliamy
Wherever in the world a child is, or whatever their circumstances, the chance to lose themselves in the pictures of a book, savouring every detail at their own pace and dreaming up stories of their own, may be comforting, thrilling, hilarious, serious, transporting – but it is always an adventure.
12. Critically acclaimed author David Almond
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.
13. Award-winning children’s author Elizabeth Laird
When a child reads a novel, she (or he) gets the chance to put on the shoes of the main character in the book and walk around in them for a while. She learns to understand someone else’s feelings and their point of view. This creates empathy, which makes a huge difference in furthering a child’s emotional development.
14. Children’s publisher Miles Kelly
When children develop a love for reading books at a young age, it will stay with them forever and open up a whole new world.
15. Carnegie Medal-winning author Tanya Landman
Opening a book is like stepping through a door into a different world where anything and everything is possible.
16. Children’s publishers Barrington Stoke
Children’s books are incredible things – they offer entertainment, escape, excitement, the chance to develop empathy and understanding . . . If we develop a love of reading at an early age, we need never be bored again.
17. Bestselling children’s author/illustrator Rob Biddulph
That first book, the one that you really, really love. That you ask for night after night after night. That book is your gateway into a world of imagination, fantasy, adventure and fun that will continue to nourish you for the rest of your life. That book is a TARDIS.
18. Children’s author Ross Welford
Ask an adult what his or her favourite book is, and there’s a good chance that the answer will be a book from childhood . . . Proof, if it were needed, of the immense power of children’s books to spark the imagination long after the last page.
19. 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.
20. Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell
Children’s books are engines for empathy.
They allow us to see through the eyes of others.
By transporting us to other worlds they help us to understand our own.
Huge thanks to all who contributed. It has been wonderful to be reminded of many of the reasons children’s books are so brilliant. Here’s to World Book Day and the impact that children’s books have on the lives of their readers.
If you fundraised for us on World Book Day, details of how to get your funds to us are here.