World Book Day - What is it?

Posted on February 06 2018

World Book Day Time to Dress Up

World Book Day


What is World Book Day? 

If you are a new parent, or your little people are only just attending pre school, nursery or playgroups, then you will be asking yourself this question!

World Book Day is an annual event with the ultimate goal of encouraging children to pick up a book and read. Run by a charity UNESCO  to promote reading and education to children of all ages.

This year (2018) will be the 21st World Book Day event and in the Uk is on 1st March.

It is a worldwide event but not all countries host the event on 1st March. In the UK it has been hosted on this day, around other school holidays, festivals and events. Here is the official website which has a whole array of extra information

Children are encouraged to pick up and enjoy a book, and teachers, parents and learning providers all encourage this even more so around the event. Activities and events are usually hosted in schools and nurseries.

In 2004 the scheme was extended to include pre school and nursery schools, with the aim of encouraging children from a young age to love and enjoy reading.

This year all schools who have chosen to participate will be sent a pack by World Book to help them inspire and encourage the children, and the scheme has been extended to nurseries, pre schools and even senior schools.

As part of the pack sent to schools, and thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens Ltd, publishers and booksellers, who all participate, book tokens are sent to the children and youngsters in the UK. This year it will be around 15 million book tokens, which accounts for almost one for every child under 18 years of in the UK.

Then the fun part…shopping! The child can take their token to a book store and use it to choose one of ten carefully selected (age appropriate) free books, or to use it to get £1 off any book of their choice, they have until 26th march to spend their token. How brilliant is that?


Usually Schools and Nurseries choose a theme e.g. Disney characters, animals, fairy tales, villains and heroes and ask children to choose a book and dress up as a character around this theme. Others leave it entirely up to the children to choose their own dress up theme and character. It can be a fun day, with teachers participating… how funny is it to see your child’s Year 3 teacher dressed as Cruella De ville? Or the manager of your children’s nursery school dressed as Captain Underpants? Children absolutely love it.

Some schools run a competition for everyone to guess the character that the child is dressed as, as often children are a little more cunning and less obvious in their costume selection!

We should remember that a lot of films first started out as books… Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Peter Pan, The Snowman, The Grinch ….

And, don’t forget that most Disney cartoon films started out as Fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and brothers Grimm. We think that Disney devised these amazing tales, but the truth is that they were written a long time before Disney, and were originally much more brutal, gruesome and without a happy ending, and that’s where Disney changed and recreated them into the stories and films we love today…. Beauty & the Beast, Snow White & the Seven dwarves, Rapunzel (was used to create the Disney Film Tangled) and even Frozen started out as the tale “the Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen.

So with 3 weeks to go until World Book Day, have a chat with your little one, talk about what they are reading, which characters inspire them, and who or what they would like to dress up as.

And pop onto our website to take a look at monsters, animals, dragons, dinosaurs, Princesses, Unicorns, fairies....and more!





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