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 pleased to welcome award-winning children’s author Piers Torday to share why children’s books deserve to be celebrated on World Book Day:
On World Book Day we celebrate books for children, from picture books to young adult, reading for pleasure to educational aid. A rainbow of genre, style and content, that grows brighter and more diverse with every passing year. But whatever your reading taste or need, we celebrate them most for their unique ability to awaken the vital, empathic power of the human imagination.
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. Others not only once felt the same, but have felt things that reader is yet to feel. The dawning realisation that together, people can achieve great things, even the impossible. The awareness that there is space in the world for every kind of person and creature. The realisation that one day, they might just be old enough to do anything they want.
About Piers Torday: A former theatre and television producer, Piers is the author of five books, for children and adults. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award and has been translated into over 13 languages. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. The son of the late Paul Torday (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) Piers recently completed his father’s final unfinished novel, The Death of an Owl (W&N). His latest book for children, There May Be A Castle, is out now, along with a new short story in Abi Elphinstone’s Winter Magic collection. You can find out more about Piers 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 us this World Book Day and share the joy of reading with children in communities where books are scarce.