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’re delighted to welcome Nicolette Jones, Children’s Books Editor of The Sunday Times to share why for her, children’s books are so important:
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.
Readers are less likely than non-readers to be angry, disaffected and frustrated, because so many more possibilities are opened up to them, while reading also helps them to identify and empathise with others.
So many current children’s books are addressing the big themes of our time: migration, gender, social justice – even in picturebooks – that readers of this generation are being shown the way to become tolerant and generous adults.
Nicolette Jones is a writer, critic and broadcaster, specialising in literary and arts journalism, who has worked for national newspapers and the book trade press. She has been the Children’s Books Editor of The Sunday Times for more than two decades and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished service to the world of children’s books. She is experienced in radio and television and a professional chair of adults’ and children’s events (at, for instance, Cheltenham, Oxford and Charleston literary festivals). Interviewees have included Joan Bakewell, Vince Cable, Richard Ford, Elizabeth Jane Howard, John Humphrys, Erica Jong, Michael Morpurgo and Philip Pullman.
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 us this World Book Day and share the joy of reading with children in communities where books are scarce.