This year’s World Book Day will take place on Thursday 7 March, with schools all around Brighton participating in this annual event.

I think every person in the United Kingdom must know what World Book Day is, but just in case you missed the memo, it is a registered charity event that aims to give every child or young person a book of their own. This annual event is a celebration of literature and reading and is recognised in over 100 countries across the world.

Reading is so important for young children, as it allows them to open up their minds and enter an entirely new, fictional world. The creativity in young children is boundless

In its 22nd year of running, World Book Day continues to be an incredibly exciting events in schools, with children of all ages dressing up as their favourite characters in schools and embracing their love of books. Participating schools are sent packs of book tokens and World Book Day Resource Packs for fun activities to engage the children in on the annual celebration.

As the event is sponsored by National Book Tokens Ltd, millions of children are able to get access to book tokens to then take to their local bookshop and pick one of ten exclusive and free books. Or, they can use it to get £1 off any book or audiobook at a participating bookshop. There are many children across the globe that may not normally have access or the funds to obtain a library of novels, so World Book Day aims to give every single child under the age of 18 access to books.

Illustrator Rob Biddulph is also getting involved with World Book Day this year, taking up the role of official illustrator for the event. His best-selling and award winning picture book, Blown Away, was the second illustrated book ever to win the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Now, he continues to engage with his passion for reading and illustrating, creating illustrations and graphics to inspire children to find their own creativity.

For us university students, World Book Day is a great throwback to our own youths, bringing back fond memories of dressing up for school and attending exciting library events for the occasion. My most prominent memory of World Book Day was definitely dressing up as (a ginger version of) Lucy Pevensie from Narnia for the occasion and pretending that I could bring people back to life with Queen Lucy’s Cordial for the day (what can I say, I was a cool kid).

With children being introduced to a whole new age of digitalisation that hasn’t previously existed, the act of reading is rapidly changing. With iPad games, Nintendo’s, YouTube and other fun things for children to do, its important to remember the joy and creativity that a child can get from simply sitting down and exploring an exciting fictional world.

Unlike a movie, novels leave a lot more to the imagination, and allow children to really imagine themselves in fantasy settings. Many young children will be our next generation of authors, illustrators and other creatives, so its important to remind them of their creativity and let them explore the wonders of a book.

Although you may not be a primary school child anymore, give some recognition to World Book Day on Thursday and maybe even rediscover your own love for reading. With student life being ruled by studying, use World Book Day as your chance to grab a book and have some down-time rediscovering your own creativity.

Featured image credit – Pixabay – O12

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