Thursday 2nd March 2017 is UK's World Book Day! Winter's Head of Education, Carolyn Savage, reflects on the importance of World Book Day globally.

brighton-international-college-bangkok - two boys in library

As a teacher I always enjoyed the run up to World Book Day - planning ideas for costumes, looking at amazing illustrations, sharing story extracts, library visits, displays, bookmarks, cover illustrations, character and setting descriptions, historical fact-files - it was always such good fun!

In a multicultural setting this was further enhanced by the opportunity to celebrate storytelling across the globe, immersing myself and my students in cultures and settings from all continents of the world. Students were encouraged to bring in stories from their own cultures, written in their mother tongues, and to share these with their peers. Linked to this was the fact that every year UNESCO chooses a World Book Capital, offering further opportunities to study literature from one particular region of the world. This year it is Conakry, the capital of Guinea in Africa, and the 2018 winner has already been announced as Athens, in Greece. Check out our very own Winter's Around the World - Reading photo gallery, showcasing some of the reading taking place in our member schools.

Officially, UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day takes place on April 23rd, the date on which many prominent authors were born, or died, including Shakespeare, Cervantes and Vladimir Nabokov. Some countries, however, have chosen to celebrate it in March, to avoid potential clashes with school holidays around Easter time. In the UK and Ireland, for example, it is always celebrated on the first Thursday in March. The UK’s official website offers a multitude of resources for schools, parents and children, including dress-up ideas, games, videos, puzzles, competitions, news and events, teacher resource packs, and so on, all free of charge. One of the most popular aspects of the UK’s celebration is the national book token scheme, whereby students receive a £1 book token to redeem against a choice of ten books at their local bookseller. This year over 15 million book tokens will be distributed and the choice of books ranges from Jacqueline Wilson’s Butterfly Beach to Peppa Pig, and The Famous Five to Michael Grant’s Dead of Night. To view the complete list, click here.

For anyone needing a bit of inspiration, the UK’s Book Trust has created a list of its top 100 books from the last 100 years for children aged 0-14. Of these, the UK voted for its top 10 as follows:

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  3. The BFG by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
  4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  5. Winnie-the-Pooh by A A Milne, illustrated by E H Shepherd
  6. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
  7. The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien
  8. Charlotte's Web by E B White
  9. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  10. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

I can safely say that many of these books are amongst my favourites as well, although there are, of course, some noticeable absences!

Students at Collegiate school with their books

If you’d like to keep up-to-date with World Book Day celebrations in the UK, please do use their website or follow them on Twitter: @WorldBookDayUK. And for a little more inspiration, check out these amazing Pinterest boards: TES Resources - World Book Day, Book Character Dress Up Day and World Book Day.

Winter’s would like to wish everyone a fantastic World Book Day, and we’d love to hear about your celebrations and share them with the world, so if you’d like to share any events and photos with us, please do! You can reach me on:

Happy reading!

Piece by Carolyn Savage - Head of International Education

Photo Credits:
Brighton College International School Bangkok, Thailand
Sir Manasseh Meyer International School, Singapore
Collegiate American School, Dubai